#47 It’s A New Year, Let’s Konmari With A Vengeance

Journal of my Konmari-ing process – Ground Zero

[I want to own less things.]

I did not want to read this book. I did not want to believe that I needed help – like millions out there, I guess – to do something so simple. Throwing away something useless should be basic common sense, right? (Despite many ‘studies’ saying that not everyone possess common sense) Either I lack that sense, or I have a serious case of denial, or unhealthy attachment to useless things. I hated this sweet-looking ageless Japanese woman for pinning a victimful non-crime on nearly everyone’s back. What if I like living in a house full of sentimental yet useless knickknacks and curios that will never make it to an oddball museum one day? What if I have a burning desire one day to be buried in a King Tut-inspired pyramid together with my stacks of phone bills, shapeless T-shirts, sleek barely-worn somewhat-new jeans, boxes full of cutesy gag gifts received year after year from Christmases, birthdays and weddings, plus greeting cards, letters, high school memorabilia… like a 21st-century princess?

As I type this, I am surrounded by a hell-load of mess. The past year’s worth of bills and somewhat-important papers jammed haphazardly in a corner, waiting to be “filed” or BURNT to ashes. Unopened gifts from Christmas. [So I have this weird habit of opening gifts as late as possible, unless the giver is watching me expectantly to open it. For three reasons. One, if it turned out to be rubbish, at least this thing stayed as a hopeful little package for one more day before I send it to the landfill. Two, I don’t need anything, and I seriously doubt it would be anything I need, so there is no real urgency to open it. Three, I am living a minimalist life so I barely buy new things anymore, so I want to save the opening for that rare occasion when the consumerist bug bites and I have the urge to run out there and buy something new.] Amazingly cute soft toys given to me as presents, postcards dangling off every corner – reminding me of vacations long past. The list is so long that I would have no problem filling up my burial chamber when the time comes.

We just came back from my husband’s hometown post-Xmas. After all the unpacking jazz, I realized with horror and chagrin that I can no longer fit the freshly-laundered clothes back into our wardrobe. It was as if the clothes grew in size while we were away. Ever since we got married, we have been shuttling between two homes – his parents and mine – at least once a year. Before that we have been living everywhere else but at our respective homes on and off for the past five years, so we try to pare our things down to a minimum. We still manage to have tons of stuff, multiplied by two, and then some.

I also have a problem that some ladies might dream to have. I can still fit into clothes that I bought when I was 14. Thirteen years later, I have grown half a size and 2 inches taller, so all those cheesy unflattering but still wearable clothes that I wouldn’t be caught dead in outside my home have become my ‘casual lounge wear’, aka clothing clutter. My parents have also brought me and my sisters up to be thrifty, and being the second child meant that I usually received – with little complaints – hand-me-downs. Since young, I have no strong itch to go shopping all the time for shiny new things to wear, but neither do I have that kick in the butt to throw things out either. After all, everything is still ‘usable’ and ‘wearable’. Yet I use them so reluctantly and often cringed while doing so. My tastes have obviously changed for the better, and I do buy a thing or two to update my wardrobe every year, so over the years, I have started to accumulate much  clothing. I wish I could say “I’m too big for that now” and send them straight to junk hell, but my inner thrifty self is dying a little bit inside every time I contemplate that.

Is this an acceptable way of living? I’d like to think so, but I am physically and spiritually stifled. I like to write but no words flowed. I enjoy painting but my energies seemed to be blocked. Technically I have everything I need. Maybe too many things. The clutter is driving me jamming mad. Plus , the clothes flowed at my feet. (A First World problem, you say. Yes indeed! Feel free to call me out when you manage to live without buying anything yourself.)

Alarm bells shrieked in my head. It became critical. So I went to my older sister, who prays at the altar of the Konmari Method, for some divine intervention.

So here I go. I breathe. Think… JOY. (Not Jennifer Lawrence, the other joy.) Play some music. (Something badass and metal.) Have a conversation with my things. Then kick that consumerist-driven, cluttered life to the bloody curb.

January is always a glorious time when the motivation to follow New Year’s resolutions run high, so it’s a fitting time to begin. Plus, letting go of useless things makes me free more ‘lightweight’ and pushes me to live a less material-driven life, leading me towards a more nomad-oriented lifestyle that I am working to achieve. No need for all that “Into the Wild’ dramatics (yet). I believe a nomadic kind of thinking begins at home. And for me it begins now.

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