Tidying up my life

Just before Marie Kondo’s Netflix show was launched, I got a message from a well wisher informing me about it. We share the need to de clutter our houses and admire Kondo’s way of looking at it.

His message took me back to 2016 when I first came across Kondo’s KonMari method. I believe it was the nesting phase of my pregnancy that led to this feeling but I found her magical. Since arriving in the US, I had started to ask myself the need for “stuff” in my life, especially too much of it. All around me, I saw excess of everything. For the first time, I had the time and the mental state to stop and look within.

Like my love for clothes. Or buying something just because it’s cheap. While cleaning the house and scrubbing the bathroom floor at 38-weeks pregnant, I was finding it life-changing already.

I felt a joy that I had never experienced before. Sounds exaggerated right? Well I was shocked too. Cleaning can give you joy? But when you sit back on the couch and look at the work done, you cannot help but pat yourself and smile. Right?

And that’s joy.

So when Kondo came into my life (through Instagram mostly), I couldn’t help but think of it as a sign. A sign from the universe. I read all about her and even the book reviews of The life-Changing Method of Tidying Up. Then before reading her book, I decided to first look at my life and my belongings.

I started with clothes as Kondo suggests. It was quite unbelievable when I counted them all. There were far too many. Being a lover of clothes, I had accumulated so much that I didn’t even remember some of them.

January 1, 2017, is when I decided to not buy clothes for one year. During the course of my journey, I discovered dresses that I once loved but had forgotten about. I found cute socks, scarves and even dupattas that were crying for a little love.

I found myself truly enjoying wearing the clothes left after decluttering. I am happy to report that I completed one year of “no buying” this January 1, despite my husband emotionally blackmailing me into buying.

And then, a couple of days back, I decided to go shopping! Yes yes I know. But wait a minute! Why not? I earned it. At least, that’s what it felt like.

Today my wardrobe looks so manageable. I have clothes that I truly love. Others I’ve kept to either donate or force my besties to buy at my prices! Freelancers gotta find new ways to earn people!

So when I look back, I feel Kondo inspired me to look within and think about my contribution to this planet. When we consume more, we waste more. It does even more damage to the environment.

Lessening stuff also gives you time to think about recycle, reuse and repurpose. It is the smallest action but it’s my first step towards decluttering my life. One thing at a time.

I haven’t read the book yet but I follow Kondo on social media. Her show must be good because it inspired my husband to arrange his wardrobe the same day he saw an episode. He even folded the clothes in her style. That’s one thing I’ve also tried to follow last year and it really works.

Earlier, folding laundry was a huge task that was oh! so boring. Today, I enjoy it with my daughter who’s learning a skill too. The husband also feels the need to look inside his wardrobe once in a while and keep it neat. I never thought of taking care of a house as an important life skill and how every person must possess it. But today I know better.

When you declutter, you also let go. You let go of memories, things, people and most importantly attachments.

And when that happens, you emerge stronger. Of course, you still have things that you cherish and can never let go. But you also know that if you have to, it will be easy. It won’t break your heart and make you unhappy.

For me, open empty spaces bring peace and calmness to the mind. You connect with yourself better in a room that isn’t busy with too many things. Tidying up makes the mind relaxed. It’s pleasing to the eyes and you are in control.

That’s what Marie Kondo has taught me, through Google and social media mainly. It’s still a long way to go but moving in the right direction feels good. This year, the plan is to declutter the house completely.

I think it’s time to read her book now.

May 2019 bring peace, calmness and joy to your lives readers!

Writer. Buddhist. Feminist. Looking for freelance projects.