I’m pretty much a clutter free person. I don’t have anything unnecessary lying around and on more than one occasion have tossed things that I later found out were useful and necessary.
Everything in my home has its place, and if someone moves something from where it belongs, I get annoyed.
So I figured downsizing my home and preparing for an upcoming yard sale would be a piece of cake.
I mean, I purge, declutter and hold annual yard sales regularly so that I don’t get inundated with stuff that I no longer need or use. I consign clothes regularly and donate the rest.
But when faced with the tough decision of parting with objects that I have had forever, I was confronted with some unforeseen lessons all thanks to the Kon Mari Method.
The Unexpected Lessons I Learned for The Kon Mari Method
Lesson One: The Kon Mari Method Highlights Your Wasteful Ways
As I started down my journey of choosing items for the yard sale, at first, it was easy.
Sure, my home is neat and tidy already, but I did have too much stuff. I had too many clothes that fell into the “someday when I lose 10, 20, or 30lbs I’ll wear them again” and far too many items that fit but I never wore.
When I pulled these things out and started evaluating them and applying the Kon Mari Method, I found I had a bit more difficulty.
The method is rather straightforward.
You simply ask yourself if an object brings you joy. If it does you keep it and if it doesn’t you get rid of it (toss, donate, yard sale it).
So I began in earnest and found myself struggling with items that didn’t necessarily bring me joy but if gotten rid of would represent a significant waste of money.
Most, if not all of the items, were clothing, shoes, and accessories that were purchased long ago when I was in the throws of my shopping addiction and spent recklessly. They were expensive clothes that were over ten years old.
That’s when it hit me; all these items were a reminder of my old extravagant ways.
They were a souvenir of how I nearly bankrupted myself and put my entire family in financial ruins. It was a painful reminder of my past recklessness and how much money I had thrown away buying things I did not need.
I thought I had thoroughly forgiven myself for my past spending frenzies, but clearly I was wrong.
I still had work to do in this area, and part of the work would have to include parting with these items.
I had been holding onto this belief that if I kept these things and made a promise to myself to “use them someday” it would absolve me of my past behavior. But that wasn’t true. I knew I needed to purge these items and to forgive myself once and for all.
In the end, I got rid of or consigned 20 bags of clothing, shoes, and accessories. I thanked the items for being there at a time when I needed to learn a valuable lesson in my journey and let them go.
Lesson Two: The Kon Mari Method Showcases Unfinished Business
Clutter often represents unfinished business.
Like all the beading equipment I keep in a tote bag in the back of my closet.
I use to make all sorts of jewelry with it. Most of it were so-so. Truth be told, I just didn’t have an eye for design. I vowed I’d take some classes but guess what happened? Nothing, that’s what.
I’ve never taken a class, and the supplies sat idly in the closet and have done so for years.
Instead of getting rid of these supplies, I’ve kept them. They are a reminder of unfinished business. The unfinished business of “someday I’ll take a class.”
To be honest, I’d rather do something else with my time than going to a beading class. So the beading supplies went into the yard sale box.
By doing this, I freed myself from the ‘someday’ burden I had placed upon myself and opened myself to consider activities I was interested in pursuing.
Lesson Three: The Kon Mari Method Emphasizes the Struggle Between Our Past and Future
Figuring out what brings us joy is the easy part. All you have to do is touch it to realize in an instant if an item warms your heart and makes your soul sing.
It’s in the discarding process, as I can attest that the problem rears its head.
Kondo tells us there are only two reasons you can’t let something go: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future.
Oh boy, was she ever right. This struggle has become increasingly evident as I’ve struggled with what to keep and what to discard.
I realized, I’m attached to the past I’ve created in my home, and I’m afraid of what the next chapter of my life will bring. I want the stability I created here to be recreated in my new environment, and I hope I can pull that off. I won’t know until I get there.
I can recognize this as I look at items and discuss with my daughter my need for her to bring these things into her new home. I’ve got this constant battle raging inside myself trying to hold on to the present and feeling optimistic about the future.
I know I’ll get there partly because the Kon Mari method has opened my eyes to the conflict. But until then, I’ll keep sorting, discarding and questioning which possession brings me joy and which ones don’t.
I don’t think this will be easy and in fact I’m certain it will be hard, but nothing stays the same no matter how much we want it too.
And somehow I’ll learn to let go of what was and embrace my future. I’ll learn to hold the memories of my home deep in my heart and will create a new home with new memories.
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