Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Monday, 15 June 2015

KonMari 1

I bought a copy of Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' and have been reading it. I've just had my third time through it, and since I managed to tear the backcover I decided to go ahead and user the highlighter pen on it (an old habit from my student days) as this seems to help me to learn what the text is saying.
If you've not read the book it basically breaks into two parts, going through all your stuff by category and deciding what to keep (and discarding the rest) and then storing what you have kept in a way which works.Her approach has you go through everything you own deciding what to keep and how to store it, which she reckons will take an average person about 6 months.

I've found various sites and blogs which cover off people's summaries of the book, but a few seem to be missing something. Which is having an initial vision of the end goal "before you start, visualise your destination". I can relate to this because in the day job I run IT projects, and one of the things we ask at the begining of a new project is what things will look like after the project is complete, you keep this in mind all the way through and at the end when you say you are done, you need to check you did actually achieve those original project objectives.

So in this context Marie wants you to imagine your lifestyle once you have done your discarding and deciding where to store things. In October I bought the home I now live in after several years of renting, so I had alrady started that process thinking about what roles I wanted my home to perform for me. However the sheer effort of moving and then sorting out some problems like a rotten bathroom floor, old boiler etc put some of this on a back burner for me, but I'm up for that next level of sorting through things now.

First I am going to revisit that vision I had for my home and its purposes, pull a few images for inspiration and really get that destination goal clear in my mind. Hopefully that will keep me on course when I start getting overwhelmed by the boxes of stuff. I have unpacked all of the moving boxes, but I still have things in various storage boxes and baskets which have not been dealt with properly, though they look fairly pretty.

Next I'm going to set myself a 6 month project duration and work through the book following as much of it as I can. Whilst Marie's approach comes from her Japanese background she's been doing this for so many years that her logic as an expert with many clients has to count for a lot. So I'm prepared to give it a thorough try. One thing I don't really see is how she caters for people who have a creative outlet. So expecting my sewing and craft stuff to be hard to tackle meaningfully I am going to put them in at the end of Komono (miscellaneous items) but before sentimental items (photos, letters etc) in the hope that having dealt with almost everything else in my house by then it will flow more easily.

Marie's order is supposed to start with things that are easy to decide about and move on to those which are harder, on the basis that each time you make the choice about whether something brings you joy you are honing your ability to make future choices.

I have lots of stuff in every category so I should be a joyous and decisive person by the time we get to Christmas. I thought starting on Sunday (the summer solstice) and going through to 21st December (the winter solstice) would mark the suggested 6 months well, and given I've spent more than 40 years collecting all this stuff it's probably going to take that long (what with working and sleeping and having a life) to pick everything up and decide one thing at a time.

In case others are interesting in following the journey I'll tag the posts appropriately as I go.


Linda T said...

I will look forward to following your posts and progress. This is something I should tackle, but my mindset is not there just yet.

Deb said...

It is great to have a plan and I do like the Kon Mari method.

I have the willingness to do this but not the physical capacity at this time, I am exhausted from dealing with RA and the aches and pains are not at a level that would allow me to start this just yet, but I will get there. 20 years in one home with 4 boys now aged 9 to nearly 22 and there is so much stuff and a lot of it needs to go.

I will be following your progress and hopefully will be on the journey myself before too long. Good luck.

Jenni said...

This sounds like a really sensible way to achieve what I know you have been keen to tackle for a while. The lengthy process, emphasis on really thinking it through, and having the end goal, seems very manageable. More so than the more common "go in the cupboard and chuck out stuff you haven't used/worn/looked at". Just because you haven't looked at it, doesn't mean its not important to you and worthy of being kept. This process seems like it would encompass that more effectively. The creative element part of it, I'm not sure about. I agree that this needs more thought than normal as there will be elements there where the "important" rule would apply even if you haven't used/looked at, whatever it is. But if you can streamline everything else, a slight excess in the creative arena may be more easily accommodated in the wider home environment.

Fabrickated Kate said...

I am excited you are doing this too. I like your emphasis on visualising your eventual goal Ruth. I have been getting there with this method for weeks, and have found it truly liberating. I too left my sewing stuff towards the end.

Sarah McClelland said...

Saw the thread on SG and I'm thinking about a similar undertaking for my household- I look forward to seeing your progress and I love that the solstices are your guidelines!