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Kehler Counseling Blog

Kondo Tidying #3

I now see how readers of this book will get all kinds of excited but quit.   
The experience is like trying to lose a lot of weight.  You know  you need to.  You know it bugs the heck out you every time you move, deal with clothes, enter a room, take a bath, shower or look in a mirror  - it's just there.  Lurking.  A constant reminder or trigger of what is WRONG.  . . No joy - who's kidding who?   If it's not the volume, its the lack of energy, health, strength, coordination . . . 

Back to Tidying. . . 

I've already warned about interruptions, music and cats.   Now I will begin encouraging whoever is reading this to KEEP GOING.    Don't give up.  

If you accomplished discarding through even ONE category - use that energy to sort through the next one in the larger category - rather than attempting to sort through 'all clothes' - I broke it down into smaller categories - all the stuff in seasonal storage totes, all bags/ purses, all scarves, all belts, all active tops, all active bottoms, all dressy pieces, types of shoes.  Bring it down to a manageable time frame.   I was able to get through some of these categories within an hour - 2 hours at the most.   If anything, it adds to the sense of accomplishment because you are seeing progress.  You are tossing -donating - giving away daily.   Its profoundly freeing.  

Do not under-estimate the use of gratitude and saying 'thank you' to items that you once valued or enjoyed.    Believe me I thought the concept and saying it was silly.  I'm too serious for 'silly'.   This is different.  When you touch and experience the trigger the item brings you - you will quickly know whether it is attached to a wonderful -loving - empowering memory or it invokes self judgment, criticism or even a broken heart.    Sometimes its really simple.  It reminds you you're not in your 'game' - it reminds you - triggers that 'ugly-old-out of shape' self.  Let it go.   As you push it into the bag thank it.    Thank it for serving its purpose AT THE TIME.   Thank it for making you feel great AT THAT TIME.  Then let it go. . .  and leave room for new - better - more in the future that is lined up with your NOW self . . . the evolved self,  the experienced, wiser self. . .  

As I slowly go through this process I am seeing HOW it is truly life changing - you begin to look at your choices - decisions - environment - how you eat, what you eat, what your doing with your time, what you want to surround yourself with.   I even stopped so I could get out on a motorcycle - because that gives me JOY!  

After attacking the mountain of products in my very dated  bathroom - I became very restless to change it to something that gave me JOY.   I'm on a budget - sure I could 'charge it' or borrow to make it happen - but I have learned that too much debt does not bring me joy.  I have learned to wait.   So I shopped at a local discount store and got white rugs and shower curtain - that made it look fresh and clean - the experience that gives me true JOY.   $25.   Sure I will continue 'improving' but it is surprising how deciding with the word "JOY" can shift how decisive you can become very quickly.    It also helped me see real progress.   

The other experience is the truth of tidying.   As Marie Kondo repeats, if you discard then have a place for every single thing - sorted by category.  You will find it remarkable in how stream lined, easy and efficient your living space becomes.   It isn't about buying a truck load of fancy, overpriced 'organizer' totes, boxes, cases, shelves or whatever 'stuff' the market has to offer.  This process, if followed fine tunes your life - to having just what you need where you need it.    ONE PLACE is what happens that makes it really WORK.   You don't scatter, hide, hoard or have multiple places throughout your home - you assign one place and all items of that category are there.  Period.   Now that I've assigned places for categories -nothing mixed in or up - its so freeing - significantly reducing stress of searching, looking and digging!   

One of the concepts that is embraced in this process is to TOSS OUT items you will NOT use again.  Many will really struggle with this.  We have all heard in our own heads - or from loved ones . . . 'don't throw that out! - you might need it again' . . .  well stay in one place for more than 5 years and you can accumulate a mountain of NONSENSE!   Try 30 years and we're talking serious volumes of 'stuff'.    There was an Oprah show with an organizer who spent 3 months of a 24+ person staff to declutter a woman's modest home - (ranch style) that required a 50,000 sq ft warehouse to sort the 'collection' she had accumulated inside!   Most of it from local 'Dollar Stores'!    
In the Kondo process - she wants you to understand that if you FREE yourself from an item that can be re-purchased, found online, borrowed or replaced - you will SAVE THE TIME of searching for it!   I had to laugh at that reality!.   How many times, especially wives, have you spent looking for something that you 'saved' and have no real idea where its actually stored??     How long did you waste looking?  While you were searching did you also discover other areas, corners, boxes, items that you didn't know you had?  Noticed more items that you need to 'go through'?   Stopped to read something? relocate something else?  Wish you could actually find it now??   
Now think the Kondo way . . . if you KNEW that you definitely did NOT have it - what would you do then?   You would either wait, improvise, "Google",call a friend,  borrow or buy whatever it was!   This strategy can be applied to almost ANYTHING!!    Obviously you wouldn't be parting with rare or special items that brought JOY anyway - but the I need it 1x - stuff - JUST DEAL WITH NOT having it - not storing it 'until then' - not having to clean and care for it 'until then' - not having to figure out where to put it!     This may not make sense when you read it the first time - but the minute I realized how simple the alternative of NOT having 'it' is - I just had to laugh.   This can be applied to warranties, any kind of information, books, gadgets, pantry items, clothing, music, movies, even tools and decorative items.   

So I have now starting experiencing 'tidy' - the significant reduction of STRESS and the increased JOY that this really does bring.   If you have had the experience of losing a significant amount of weight - going through this is similar.  You will hit days when you don't feel like it, don't want to do it another day, don't see any progress, don't want to 'hurt' or sacrifice anymore.   Just keep going - 'you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time'  plow through each category.  Shift the items not in the assigned category aside.  Stay focused as possible.   Assign a place for the categories you haven't attacked - separate them as you reach them - ignore them!!  Stick to the process of staying within specific categories.  There is a reason for the order she lists.   The most difficult or emotionally attached are last - when you have had plenty of practice deciding what really does give you true JOY.    

So keep going - I'm not done with clothing yet . . . BOOKS ARE NEXT!!  That's my real 'issue' - and I will be sharing how this process works for me. . . and dealing with discarding -donating - or selling them. . .  

EnJOY!  Karen 

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