When I stated my goals for 2019 I did not talk about organizing or curating. Yet as January unfolded, and Marie Kondo graced Netflix, I began a whole purge process. (Blog friend Chrissy set a goal to get rid of I think 150 things, and if I remember correctly, she reached that goal.) And I will tell you- I feel so much better. Letting things go really helped my whole mindset.
I began this year worrying about my Dad and his cancer treatments- which is going very well. He’s a champ in all ways and proceeding as expected, if not better. I also had the worry of my daughter and the whole college thing, which is also going better than expected. But the thing these two have in common is that the results are out of my control. I can not do anything to make either situation better: I can read, advise, but in the end, the decisions are not mine to make.
You all know that I hate being out of control.
So I began eliminating things from my closet. I now have an incredibly manageable number of clothes so I spend less time choosing what I am going to wear. But here’s the funny thing: I feel better in my clothes. Everything I own I love. There is never a day that I don’t feel confident in my dress. I met up with my writing friend G the other day and she said “Wow you look great. What did you do?” And I jokingly replied that my kid getting into a school she really liked helped. But it was also because I actually loved what I was wearing. If you love what you put on, you have a greater shot at feeling happy.
The outfit you love doesn’t have to be expensive- I was wearing a moderately priced sweater and pants, and a pair of sneakers. It was not fancy or crazy, but just pieces that I feel comfortable in and make me feel good. And obviously, I don’t have much anymore, so you really don’t need clothes to fit in one of those oversized walk in closets. Does anyone need that many clothes? Do we really need walk in closets?
I also began going through personal items. I slowly went through every drawer and every shelf. I took the items out and did a Kondo dump: everything on the floor. And then I held each item (though I did not thank anything- sorry- I just can’t thank my old mugs and such even though Marie looks so cute when she does it) and decided if it held a purpose in my life. If it did, was it a memory, or a useful item? And then I seriously determined where it should be kept so that it was either accessible, or could be stored as a personal treasure. I found I was getting rid of at least an item a day. I just kept a box under my dining room table and once a week I drop things off to be donated.
I have not missed one item yet. And I can find things easier- which is saying a lot because I was reasonably organized to begin with. I began thinking of how I stored things and putting the most used items in accessible spots. I curl my hair with curlers about once a month, yet I had the curlers in a prime spot for a short person, and I had purses (bags, pocketbooks, what term are we using this year?) which I use weekly on a high shelf. Duh. How had I not thought to put things in better spots. I have a very small bedroom which is totally function over form, yet I rearranged some things so that I now have things that are aesthetically pleasing to me in sight. It is not fancy or expensive or a sanctuary, but it does make me feel good, and that’s all that matters. I set it up to please myself, because happiness comes from inside. Sure, outside things effect you. Your parent has to go through radiation, your kid is stressed, your husband has a work situation which is ugly, your taxes went up. But you have to figure out from the inside how to be strong- you can’t control life, but you can work on how you feel.
By getting rid of material distractions I am finding I can focus on things better. My rewrites are getting better because I have the mental energy to think about what I want to happen in the book. Less stuff means less cleaning. Is there anyone who wants to clean more? More focus, less triviality means more time to enjoy life.
I want to enjoy life.