It seems fitting that at the beginning of the year one should consider organization. When my boss Lisa, an avid reader, gave me a book entitled: “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” – I was intrigued on a number of levels. First, it is no secret that I love throwing things away, and second, I clearly overindulge in the use of the word MAGIC. It’s so captivating, I can’t resist. And there it was, sitting squarely in the middle of the title, looking perfectly symmetrical, hinting at the tiny elegance and beauty that is the Japanese way. And third, because three IS the magic number, though I am religious about my “one in one out rule”, I could still stand to do some tidying up!
So I went in search of some insight. The KonMari Method (a combo of the author’s last name) I gleaned is what the French refer to as mise en place. This is of course a culinary term, but I feel its appropriate for most things in life, as it translates roughly to “putting in place”. You can’t cook a beautiful meal if you don’t have all the ingredients, portioned, chopped, accessible, and at your fingertips. Perhaps then it isn’t such a leap to believe that if your home isn’t free of clutter, and everything stowed away, while remaining easy to retrieve – you’ll never be able to keep a “tidy” house.
I really appreciated Marie’s exercise of holding all of your belongings, asking yourself – “do I love this thing”? “does it speak to me”? Instead of the more common declarations I find myself making before I decide to pack and move … yet again, another object that I no longer use. It almost always goes something like this …”I paid $xx. for that thing and I’m not going to just throw it away”. After Marie imparted her wisdom, I realized the error of my delusional ways. Not only was that crazy lamp way too expensive the first time around, now I’ve paid to pack and move it three times. It’s time to fish or cut bait.
I’ve always loved that saying – it conjures a call to action I can get behind. That lamp is taking up valuable storage space on my closet shelf. These are my choices, use the lamp, or let it go. I’ve made my decision, it’s going in the Estate Sale I am going to hold in my apartment in a few weeks. Great finds to be had, details to follow soon.
Once the unneeded items are dispensed with – apparently remaining tidy will be a breeze. Marie also mentioned that upon following the KonMari Method one of her clients had done such a great job of divesting herself of items she realized she no longer needed, that she put her husband out with the trash. I’m not advocating for this, and I certainly don’t think the extra space I made on the top shelf in my closet will open up enough space for a husband to slide in, but fortunately I know I could make room for him in my heart. I’d include it as a footnote, but wouldn’t want it to be missed or misunderstood – I don’t currently have a husband. I wouldn’t want any potential suitors to read this post and become discouraged.
I hope your new year is getting off on the right organizational foot. Remember, that which is most important, cannot be seen with one’s eyes. Thank you Lisa for always sharing with me the most interesting things.