Marie Kondo assures me that before I start on this “special event”, I must visualise my destination and this is critical for success.
“Before you start throwing things away, take the time to think this through carefully. This means visualising the ideal lifestyle you dream of.”
Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying
The truth is that when my other half dropped this book into my hands, I laughed. I was almost insulted that he thought our house was that untidy. I needed to read a book about tidying? Don’t get me wrong, I have always had an issue with clutter. I just seem to keep unnecessary things and think, “That will come in handy one day”. It was only when I went to bed that evening that it dawned on me. When I come home from work or university every day, the first thing Tom and I speak about is about how untidy a particular room of the house is or that he can’t find something underneath all my rubbish.
“Lo, why is there washing in the living room?”
“Where’s that jacket? I left it here. You’ve moved it.”
“Why have you bought more bleach? Are the ten bottles under the sink not enough for you?”
And then there’s this particular line which has been known to send me… over the edge…
“I thought you tidied in here yesterday?”
My excuse for most of the clutter in my house is, “I don’t have enough time. Balancing two jobs, a start-up business, full-time studying and a house. Not to mention my social life. It Isn’t easy, you know?”. I am exhausted all of the time. I often dread coming home to face the turmoil. It’s not somewhere where I can relax or feel content. I am constantly doing something only to turn around, sigh, and find something else.
Another huge problem in my life is visitors. Announced or unannounced visitors always get my heart racing. You know when you go into people’s homes and the first thing they say is, “Excuse the mess” or “Welcome to chaos” just to be polite? Well, come to my house and those sayings don’t even work. I have to make excuses such as, “Oh I worked the late shift last night, just got back…I’ve just had no time..”. It’s pathetic. I dread someone opening the cupboards and having my hoards fall down on top of them. I dread someone having to use the upstairs bathroom and walking past open doors on the landing (I could probably count on one hand the amount of people who have been upstairs in my house).
And more than all of the above, I dread a surprise visit from my in-laws.
So, thanks to Marie Kondo, I have finally taken time to think about the clutter free life I want to lead. I’ve thought deeply about this:
I want to be able to come home and relax without the thought of visitors keeping me awake until silly hours of the morning. I want home to be my happy place. I want my long-term partner to feel happy in his own home, to be able to find his things straight away. I want my life to be more organised – happy home, happy mind. I want to find time to do things that bring me joy, not the pressing unwanted need to tidy. I want people to come into my home and say WOW.
Marie Kondo then goes on to say that I must ask myself WHY.
Why do I want to come home and relax?
Because I never feel well rested. I want to get a better night’s sleep without worrying.
Because this will improve my physical and mental health. I will find time to do things that make me happy.
Because having a clear space in my home will give me a clear space in my mind.
Having a clear space in my mind will allow me to focus on the important things that will make me happy.
Why do I want visitors to not be nightmares?
Because we have worked hard for the house we own. I want to be able to enjoy this with my friends and family. I don’t want to be embarrassed to have people “pop in”.
I don’t want to have this mad rush to tidy up before visitors.
Because the stress makes me hide things away, only to be faced with it all again later.
Eradicating the stressful ritual of “emergency clean up” will allow me more time to enjoy my visitors, this will make me happy.
Why do I want to de-clutter for Tom?
because de-cluttering will make Tom happy and this will result in less arguments about our cluttered home.
Less arguments will potentially mean we will spend more time together doing the really important things, this will make us both happy.
Tom will be more inclined to help with home renovations and purchase new furniture.
My most used phases will no longer be: “Look Tom, I’ve just got home, can we talk about this tomorrow” or even “I’ll do it over the weekend”.
So, I’ve read the book and visualised the destination. Next Up, clothes.