I always try to practice what I 'preach' or 'teach' and I also learned from my Graduate school experience that a clinician should experience what they want their clients to go through. So I am working through the "Kondo" Life Change myself. It is eye opening, challenging and even hysterical. It is definitely a life review, contemplative and cleansing. You can almost feel the weight lifting. I lost 3 pounds in the last 2 days!
The most frustrating challenges are INTERRUPTIONS and CATS. Seriously. If you can do this without having a phone, spouse, kids or employment it will be much easier. Unfortunately, that is a lot to ask.
Having 2 cats - one that needs to be IN every box, hole,drawer, check out anything with an odor, looks like a string, rolls or shines - he will be right there in the 'mess'. He also will climb into the black garbage bags - that are a necessary element to this process. I know I could lock him out - but hearing him scratch at the door the entire time would be worse. He added to the JOY of the experience -not knowing where he would climb in next. . .
Through the entire process I am finding that I'm becoming extremely mindful of the experience of JOY. I will capitalize it over and over because it is a pure, clean, spirit filled word that drives this process. If you begin the journey you will find yourself not only using it to discard but also to select activities, people, room arrangements, foods, and the most minute choices. Warning: it can also amplify the distraction level of staying on task by category!
This is what happened on Day 2 and 3:
I knew that I didn't have 'time' to complete my clothing 'room' -needing to sort through the next categories of 'work' tops then shoes, accessories and bags, so I decided to attack my bathroom. I have a very ugly bathroom. It never gave me joy. It gives me a feeling of dread. It hasn't been updated since the 60's, it has a blue tub, a tiny vanity sink and limited storage. My budget is restricted at this point for a redo so I have to live with it. I dealt with the storage issue with a bookshelf with containers that act like drawers. The reality is that it became a collection site of all things for hair, cleaning, softening, smoothing, shaving, grooming, getting sick, getting healthy, appearances and scrubbing. I had one hour so I took all the containers and dumped them all on my bed. Warning: put down a sheet/cloth first - this stuff is messy!
It was a fine mountain. This mountain was already groomed once in recent memory but you wouldn't know it. I decided that I have generous friends, dates and a weakness for hair products.
With the menagerie in front of me I sorted by category.
I already broke the rule by going by place to start with. This place was ruining my joy so I decided to re-prioritize. I sorted by hair- then broke that down into tools, brushes, equipment, accessories then styling products. Then I tackled the ridiculous amount of lotions, skin cleansers, bath gels, bath salts (not drugs!), foot lotions, tanning creams and screens, then scented lotions and potions. I didn't count them but had one of each - and a variety of tanning lotions. I like being tan - that does give me JOY so I kept them-putting them in a separated container as their 'place'. I also sorted out items for teeth, eyes, illness, make up items I use daily that I separated from those I only need and use for special occasions. I had them all mixed up together and it was disgusting how old some were - I have no idea why I rationalized saving them all these years but removing them because they didn't bring joy was easy!
Now for the laughs. Here are some of the hiccups in the process. . . For some this is TMI . . . Tampons, pads, feminine products . . . I'm past menopause and had whole boxes. I didn't toss them yet - obviously I have no use for them, they don't bring me joy - but I also know how they're not cheap anymore and with this bad economy and minimum wage jobs I want to 'donate' them to a female who could use them. It might be embarrassing to receive but I have also read that its what shelters need! We always think about food and clothes but there's women there who don't have money - yet need these items! So they're sitting on the sideline. I will get joy or give it if I donate them.. . There's also a box of condoms - if you want to know - how long are they good for? Should I be optimistic and keep them? (you can laugh too) I have 'singles' for possibilities. . . needing them does give me JOY . . . just saying.
This exercise is all about being 'true to yourself' -not worrying about what other people think. . . I'm going to keep them. I did discard assorted 'what were we thinking' sex toys. . . I want NEW JOY -the items tossed would give me more hysterical laughter than JOY at this point in my life . . .I do have to work on what that is now though. . . seriously. I guess if anything, sorting out this 'komono' really was a review of one's sexual history -something that wasn't revealed in Kondo's book. You will also go through a walk down memory lane when you go through the under garments. . . Remember this exercise is about joy - if you feel more feminine, sexy, confident, and attractive - in other words - joy filled - KEEP them! This is not about minimizing and eliminating - its about seeking, sort and saving what gives you personal JOY. What does that for you specifically is what you keep - then find it a place.
My other 'heads up' is about music. I may be repeating myself. If you chose music with lyrics or favorites -it will distract you! I tried. Then quickly discovered why she makes a point about it in her book. I changed to Pandora's "Relaxation" station. It was calming but not distracting. I also found myself hitting the 'like' button - when a selection really gave me JOY . . . might as well customize my playlist for the next category! Absolutely NO TV and try to avoid the phone too! Your head and soul need to be open and focused on the experience.
So the next project is finishing the hanging items of clothing - then coats/jackets, shoes, bags then onto accessories. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my slowly joy filling spaces. . . but I'm wondering how I'm going to get through my books . . .