So…Am I done? Technically, probably not, but I’m feeling that way. I haven’t touched much komono (miscellany) or personal mementos. To be honest, I don’t have many mementos anymore, and while she says “the parent’s house is no place to store things,” I do have ONE small box of childhood things at my parent’s. I went through all of my mementos before my move into a small apartment and kept just about nothing (every trophy, except for my very first one has probably been recycled into a bunch of trophies by now, all of my old school assignments into more paper, etc…they’re all GONE). There’s probably a box or two of other things there like toys and books, from my childhood that my mom wants to keep (I’m not going to be like, “No you can’t do that, Mom”) and there are things in there I want to keep, too, (no way am I parting with the Beatrix Potter box set) that I hope to totally pass on to my children, someday.
I had a lot more than I thought. Did I hold every single piece of clothing during the cleanout and ask if it brought me joy? No, actually, I didn’t, because it was amazing how I had already been so annoyed at what I had kept in my closet that I was sick of pushing aside clothes in my armoire that I never wore. Every page that I read, it was almost like my body and brain had already picked out what I was ready to part with. It went by way faster than I anticipated.
Shoes, accessories, and CDs, were the hardest “what-ifs.” Since my closet tends to air on the side of simplistic and classic lines and colors, I usually leave it to accessories to elevate my attire. I got rid of a lot, though, and kept the things that brought joy, that felt polished, comfortable, and I liked to wear. With music, there’s some family relation there…My dad showed me what southern rock was and always had something “classic” playing throughout the house…from CDs that he had. Just like I never owned a record but my dad showed me what they were, my kids may not even OWN a CD…that in itself is a crazy thought.
I had a sort-of-cleaning-related epiphany around 7:15 p.m. on Friday as I was getting dressed to go out. I said, “I really wish I had bought a new outfit for my birthday.” I haven’t done much shopping lately. I’ve been on a really stringent budget not-buying much of anything that groceries since my organic/GF/sustainable lifestyle is expensive enough; plus, I work two jobs for a reason. And then this wave, like, hit me. I have everything I need. Everything I love. I don’t have to push extra clothes aside. I tried on a couple of things and ended up in an all-black outfit: J.Crew Minnie Pants, with a silk V-neck tank from Forever21, with my favorite LK Bennett heels that I had before Kate Middleton did (true story). I couldn’t tell you if I would have actually chosen THAT outfit combination with my closet overflowing with things that I wasn’t actually able to see. I probably would have just been upset about not having a new outfit.
If you are looking to take a similar approach to cleaning:
1. Take out each category of clothing and putting them in a certain spot on your bed or the floor. I just kind of went all gung-ho and took out all of my clothes then went through each “category” after that.
2. Take before and after pictures!! I forgot to do this. I only did the “un-joyous piles.”
3. She suggests starting early as your mind is clearest in the morning, and I agree. I started to lose some steam towards the end of the clothing category but I knew I needed to go-on.
4. Identify your resistance when it comes to cleaning. For all of us, time is so limited. I sat down, identified a time and a date that would work for me and I put it on my calendar. I’m not kidding. I took a day off of [both jobs] to accommodate for this. If you don’t transcribe it somewhere it probably won’t happen and hold yourself accountable.
5. Before you clean, identify places where you can take your belongings that no longer serve your life.Have your donation, trash, and consignment bags all set up when the cleaning process begins.
6. Write down affirmations from her book and any others that resonate with you. I found myself thanking pieces for their time and purpose when they served me.
7. Tell your boyfriend, husband, roommate, housemate, heck, even tell your dog if you want to, that you are undertaking this process so they understand if the house is a little out-of-order for a few days afterwards. (i.e. the donation bags sat in our hallway for 3 days until the pick-up was able to be scheduled, we don’t have a garage). I didn’t have to ask for time alone since The Stud was at work, but it really is a good process to reflect on alone. Ask for quiet time. Give your other half like $25 and tell them to go play putt-putt or to the movies or something, get ‘em outta the house. Love him tons, but if The Stud was around, my productivity would have been around 75%. It was hard enough to stay on track halfway through!
While I’m not so sure about the komono or mementos, or if/when I will finish, I recognize I can’t beat myself up about those few things. I accomplished so very much; I feel like my house is cleaner, and more streamlined. I’m looking forward to opening the windows this spring to change the air, just as I changed the physical makeup of the house.