One of my favorite of The Band’s songs, The Weight could also be used to describe the clutter in our lives. While it might not be physically oppressive, it can be so mentally. Some folks aren’t bothered by clutter; obviously, I am not one of those people. Had you come into my home before I began the purge according to KonMari, you wouldn’t have seen a lot of clutter. Some areas might be prone to collection – the corner of the kitchen counter, the desk, the chair that holds my purse, keys, jacket, etc. – but that would have been about it. (We won’t mention my husband’s closet…) But by and large, you would have thought I kept things fairly neat and orderly. And I did; I do. But it’s what was NOT seen that was weighing on me and what ultimately caused me to make the biggest KonMari mistake.
Kondo stresses the importance of doing one category at a time and doing it completely before moving forward. I really thought I was doing that. I was nearing the finish line about to start on sentimental items which are saved for last because they can seriously bog you down as you travel down memory lane. And then we had the bright idea to empty the attic. And what did we find? Boxes filled with categories I had already completed. Clothes. Books. Papers. Photos. Sentimental items. So, I start discarding again. And again, I feel like I’ve made great progress. That photo on the main page of the blog? All of the photos and sentimental items put into nice storage boxes ready for their new home (not the attic).
And then another bright idea. Since we are doing all of this discarding, why not get the stuff out of the storage unit at the U-haul so we can stop paying them each month. And what did we find? Again, tubs filled with categories that I had already completed – TWICE. I was so overwhelmed, I was ready for a match and some lighter fluid. Just take a look…
I cannot say this enough – please, please, please – if you follow no other rule of KonMari, follow this one – do one category at a time, all at once. Gather the items from every closet, drawer, storage unit, and attic. I did not do this; that is why I’m in the state I am now. T-shirts which should have been discarded with clothing have now become sentimental items instead. (MUCH more on t-shirts in a future post.) If I had gathered all the papers from the attic and storage unit, I would have made different storage choices for them. (Where to store – the thing you should do last, AFTER all the discarding.) So much I would have done differently if I had followed this one rule, because she is right – items stored out of sight are dormant. And when mine came to light and life, all I could envision was a bonfire.
Instead, I opted to start this blog because I needed a place to share (vent) about this process. The Facebook group has been very supportive, but I found I had a lot more to say than they might want to hear in a single sitting. And I wanted to share what this process can be like so that others have an idea of what to expect. Yes, it can be overwhelming and the weight of all that clutter can be crushing. But I am certain it will all be worth it in the end.