I’m trying something new and have been excited about it for weeks! It’s nice to feel excitement and interest in a topic the way I used to in my youth. It gives me energy. The topic is nothing exciting in itself; it’s just tidying. But then I’ve always been interested in keeping order, organising, creating a beautiful and functional home etc., so it’s right up my street.
A few weeks ago, I had some holidays that I spent redecorating my hall and rethinking my whole flat. Before deciding to buy a new shoe cupboard, however, I’d had to face my living situation with Tom. I live in a very lovely one-room flat and Tom always stays with me during the week and goes home to his own flat in B for the weekend, when he has to work. This is ok for me, but I didn’t know how Tom felt, being a ‘guest’ all the time, and if he was thinking of moving. When I asked him, he told me that he also preferred to leave things as they are for the moment. Really, the only way I can think I will ever move out is for a new job or to live with Tom. It’s such a lovely flat! I’ve been here for almost four years now.
While looking for some entertainment while I worked, namely audiobooks on YouTube, ‘The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up’ popped up. I’d heard of the book before and seen things about the special folding method that Marie Kondo, the author, proposes. Her method is apparently very popular. So, I listened to the book and found it interesting, though some concepts take much getting used to. Anyway, I got excited thinking of trying that new so-called KonMari method of tidying ‘once and for all’ and freeing myself of clutter. My flat is pretty neat and organised, but I moved in with stuff and have accumulated more, and am starting to lose track of what is where. Thinking of my things makes me feel slightly anxious. After reading the second book and searching on the internet, I decided to try tackling my possessions using the KonMari method.
I already know from experience that organising has a calming effect on the mind. But I was intrigued by the idea of making space in my life for new things, ideas and feelings by getting rid of unnecessary material things and confronting my past. I think I am at a point in my life where I am mature and strong enough to let go of old ideals and lay memories to rest. I was so afraid of so many things for a long time, so I tend to cling to anything familiar in search of security. Lately, I am trying to let go of my ideals and be kind to myself and stop using unhealthy coping mechanisms. Also, at my age, my life is beginning to feel ‘messy’ because there are so many years and so many things that happened and so many changes that I have gone through. I can’t hold on to every memory, and there is no need to record and keep everything.
Sorting clothes, books and papers, I have already come to realise new things about myself. With clothes, I had to let go the hope of being thin anytime soon. I kept my favourite ‘thin’ clothes, but put them in the attic for some day in the future. With books, I faced my guilt for ‘betraying’ old ideals when I looked at books that had once meant the world to me and now had no meaning at all. As silly as it sounded to me at first, it helped to thank them for their help in my life. It was very special, taking a thing like that in my hands, fully realising that it had served its purpose, consciously expressing gratitude and respectfully letting it go from my life. It lets me close some chapters of my past and really, really brings peace.
Sorting papers, especially University, insurance and tax papers, was very anxiety-provoking. But, after having everything in order, the vague underlying anxiety I had felt whenever I had remembered those papers is completely gone! It was worth facing them head-on. I am starting to sort all the rest of my possessions now and I’m excited to keep going. This thing popped up at a very good time!