Have you heard of Marie Kondo and the KonMari method that’s making headlines? She may inspire you to take action on the March series, The Clean Sweep.
Kondo is the author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I gave her simple but captivating technique for folding and storing clothes a try. Poof! In less than an hour, I had picked up 50% more space in each dresser drawer.
According to Kondo, tidying is much more than rearranging. Shifting outdated, unloved possessions from room to room is a warning sign, no matter how well they’re organized. This is what happened to Lena.
Lena grew up in a large Italian family with plenty of relatives nearby. Something was always on the stove. Sunday dinner at their house. Friday night pizza with the cousins. Cookies after school with her Aunt Rose.
By 35, Lena was in trouble with high blood pressure and diabetes. A heart racing episode sent her to the ER and made up her mind. She would throw in the towel on dieting and make an appointment for a gastric bypass.
For Lena, surgery was a success. Her counselor and support group helped her make serious lifestyle changes. Six months later, it was time to dive back into her closet.
Her acid wash jeans that had become a tight squeeze were a perfect fit. She threw her favorite flannel shirt on over them. Surely it would remind her husband of their first dates when grunge was popular. His reaction? “Uh, no.”
Then there was the darling paisley vest that she liked to wear with the hat with the big bright sunflower. She wanted to show her husband how cute she looked. As she entered the room, he glanced up and said, “I don’t get it.”
He shook his head and chuckled when she found her jelly shoes. “Honey, I love you, but I’ll make it simple. If there’s anything in there that you bought while Bill Clinton was President, it needs to go in the Goodwill pile, not back in the closet!” At this point, even Lena was laughing.
It’s easy to poke fun at Lena’s taste, but we’ve all been her. We’ve avoided hard conversations and tough choices for years. We’ve needed someone else to lovingly point out the difference between “it was right for you once” and “keep going.” Filling your life with things that bring you joy, putting them in true order, and detaching from everything else is a challenge worth taking.
That softball team that was once fun but is now ultra-competitive? It’s time to sign up for another league.
The regret you’ve been carrying over something that didn’t work out? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
And those clothes you used to hang out in? Well, it may be time to stop partying like it’s 1999.
Spring is just about here – tidy up!