Can A Hot Mess Really Clean Up?
The Magic that Happened when I committed to “Tidying Up”
Could my pantry be filled with ONLY mason jars? Could I always shop in the bulk section bins at Whole Foods or the Co-op? Could I possibly live that simply and maintain the glow of tidy? Oh! That makes me almost weep with lifestyle envy!
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” — Marie Kondo
If you are like me, you hold onto a lot of treasures from your past: Notes origami-folded from your high school boyfriend, ticket stubs from when you saw a band before they sold out, trinkets left over from an inside joke at summer camp. Present life piles up, and piles up on top of last week. Add a child and a billion legos, and you have a recipe for clutter. Some people can live just fine with clutter, and I think I have to a certain extent- lived just fine.
I decided enough was enough, and I had a summer to deal with the piles. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and give the “Kon Mari” method a try.
“When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” — Marie Kondo
Attachment to the Past
Only once in a while do I miss something I used to own — usually an article of clothing, but then I remember why it had to go.
-An impossible oil stain on a favorite linen dress from when I poorly packed the two cans of Greek olive oil in my suitcase.
-My favorite pink t-shirt I wore until it literally disintegrated at the armpit seams.
-Those pants from Athleta, which Whole 30, South Beach, nor Beach Body could make fit.
I still miss the car I had in college — the Toyota Corolla All-Track Wagon.
Never heard of it?
It was a great car for two years. I rolled it all over the Appalachian Mountains and to many concerts where the hatchback was a perfect tail-gaiting homestead. Most likely this car was pulled from the road after a purple cloud puffed from the hood, and I failed the state inspection.
Fear for the Future
It is a “First World Problem” that living with abundance can really cause people to hoard. What if all the stores close? What is a true emergency where I might not have enough?
It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be prepared. I am a mom. However, I am learning that being resourceful is enough to hold onto. I am learning that I can let go of something that is cluttering my home, my space, my classroom, or my mind.
The goal is NOT perfection. It is about intention.
Lately I have been decluttering my writing. I am finding millions of combinations of words — rewriting, revising, repurposing, and sharing here on Medium and elsewhere. I might need all these journals for the future. Perhaps someday I will let them go.
What is magically happening now?
Because I have focused a lot of energy into finding a place for everything, and letting go of what I no longer need, I am experiencing a clearing that I have craved for a long time.
Here are some of the ways tidying my personal space has helped my life:
My priorities seem to have magically shifted. I spend time and money with more mindfulness and joy. My relationships are becoming clearer. I left a job that no longer offered me a chance to grow.
I have clear plans for my classroom.
I now have an editorial calendar!
I am willing to clean up my eating habits, and my media consumption has a way to go.
Some day I will climb into the attic and attack the boxes up there. But not today.
© Samantha Lazar 2019
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