KonMari, part 1

Last night we started KonMaring.

“The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo is a best-selling book detailing the author’s method for decluttering your home and making it a nice place to live in. The short version is, go through all your possessions by category, one by one, holding it and seeing if it “sparks joy”, in effect deciding what you want to keep, and ditching the rest.

It sounds like an enormous task, and it is, but part of the concept is that you only need to do it once, then you won’t go back. Having only stuff you like around, encouraging you to not keep stuff you don’t like.

The first category is clothes, which is broken down into several smaller groups. Clothes I felt I could probably manage, the enormity of Everything Else was entirely too overwhelming for my brain. My poor wife was trying to construct a cheat sheet list of all the categories, and most of the subcategories (except from the last category, which was kind of long). She asked me if there was anything else I could think of that should go on the list.

I looked at the list, and my brain just started shutting down. I already have rather a lot of Things I’m Supposed To Do, with so much of it already falling between the cracks, seeing that much about to be added to the bunch, was overwhelming. I managed to gather enough brain to ask if we could just do the clothes for now.

You’re supposed to grab all your own clothes, and put them in a pile. Mine from around the house weren’t a problem, and we had some boxed in the garage which I brought in. Technically I should have had a check through all my other boxes out there for clothing and accessories (hats, jewellery and so on), but there wasn’t the space out there to do that amount of shunting.

First up was shirts, t-shirts, jumpers/sweaters and the like. Some things were easy to keep, and I was surprised by the volume of stuff that ended up being easy to let go of. There were some points where I just needed to sit and zone out, to recoup some mental energy for doing more.

There was a yellow shirt that I kept. If I remember right where I got it from (I wouldn’t rush to put money on that, if I were you, dear reader), then I got it somewhere around 1998 or ’99. I remember choosing it, because I like yellow, but then for years it wasn’t ever something I felt like wearing.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve been wearing it more. Well, at all would be more, but I’ve chosen it quite a few times, more in the summer because it’s not one of my thicker shirts. It probably would have failed the “spark joy” test for most of its time in my possession (perhaps it would have passed the “spark guilt” test instead), but now it was pretty easy to keep.

Similarly, there was another shirt. It was medium-dark gray. It was a gift from my grandparents. I was a bit disappointed in it when I got it, it’s not a colour that I wore before, and that unfamiliarity brought discomfort. Or maybe I was just an ungrateful little git.. But it was less of a gap, and it became a shirt that I took to wearing quite a bit. I’ve got the feels getting rid of it, but the collar’s started wearing out, so I don’t wear it any more.

By the time I stopped last night, I had decision fatigue. But it was actually nice deciding what I wanted to keep, and letting some other stuff go. I’m looking forward to getting to the socks. I think anything there with holes in the wrong places, will soon be disappearing from my collection.

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