Saturday, March 14, 2015

House progress

   Although there is still so far to go, things are moving in the right direction. The clutter I've collected for years is trying to kill me. Suffocate me. Sap my will to live. I've been fighting it for years.
I would make much progress. Then I'd slide back down that hill. It wears one out. Both the struggle and just the effort required to function in a space that is so chaotic. Everything is always lost, or damaged, or dirty. Cleaning properly is almost impossible. My home was constantly sabotaging me and making me feel bad; about my home (can't have people over, even to stop by, without humiliation), and about myself (what kind of person lives like this? A hoarder. Not someone I wanted to be.)

   Lately though, something has changed. Quite a lot. Pictures like the one above look like something I'd pin on Pinterest to inspire myself. But that is MY kitchen. Part of it. Not the bit with all the crap I still need to go through, or the sinkful of dishes. But glimpses like that one keep me going. I can have a calm, interesting, supportive, functional house. Parts of my life/home are already there. I look at them and it's like I won the lottery. I cry big, fat, almost disbelieving tears of joy.
   Although I have read many, many books, articles, blog posts, etc.,about cleaning, de-cluttering, homemaking, and organizing, and many of them have helped, nothing compares to this one: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo (called Konmari). A friend had posted about it on Facebook.  I was always interested in books of that genre. One more tool in my arsenal. I bought the Kindle edition for eight bucks and started in. That eight dollar book was a game changer for me. It freed me to release things that sparked no joy. Things that had served their purpose, whatever that was. Even if their purpose, for me, was to show what I no longer needed. What no longer reflected me. No need to save it "just in case" or to justify it because it had cost money, or to worry that if I let the thing go, I would be shutting down some facet of myself that it symbolized. I could just thank that object and release it. If it didn't spark joy in me, I didn't need it and I could just let it go.
   As I said, I have fought this battle for decades. I am amazed that one book amongst so many could have such an effect. But it did. I am still in this process of purging. I am still a bit bemused that this huge, immovable obstacle I have beaten myself against for years to try and move, has shifted. I am immensely grateful, I am shocked, I am still wary of declaring complete victory (I've slid down this hill so many times), but I can just look at pictures like this and feel the shift that happened inside me and let the relief and joy wash over me.

Magic indeed.