I have long been a fan of decluttering. Back in the 90s I trained to become a Feng Shui consultant and worked professionally as one for a number of years. In the past decade I have read and implemented many ideas related to minimalism, the joy of “less” and most recently the KonMari method of tidying up.
During this quarantine period, I have done a great deal of cleaning and re-organizing. Lately, I binge watched all of the Marie Kondo episodes on Netflix and became fascinated by the method. Last weekend I started with clothes. It felt great and I love the neat way things are folded now.
I skipped over books – I’m not ready to handle that one yet. Instead, I moved on to paper last weekend and managed to significantly reduce the random paper in my life. I splurged on a shredder and have actually had an enjoyable time shredding old junk – lending both a literal and spiritual dimension to the shredding of stuff related to old, unpleasant parts of my life.
This week, I moved on to the “catch all” category that Marie Kondo calls “Komono.” Essentially, it’s everything that isn’t clothes, books, paper, or sentimental items. Whew! That’s a LARGE amount of junk. Luckily, she recommended subcategories, so I have been taking one manageable subcategory at a time.
My first battle was with DVDs and CDs. Back in the late 90s I wrote a book that had a companion CD. I had a tote filled with about 100 old copies of that CD. I stripped the paper out, removed the CDs and threw them away, and then put all the empty CD cases into a box for donation. I threw in a few old DVDs that I no longer wanted and now have a very manageable, small collection of DVDs and CDs.
Today, I conquered office supplies and in the process significantly streamlined my desk, making it a cleaner and more enjoyable place to sit. I moved on to toiletries – an easy one for someone like me who is bald and doesn’t have any hair care products. I reorganized the bathroom – again into a more enjoyable and cleaner space.
I also went after electronic objects – cords, old electronic items, etc. Another large box of stuff for donation and a few items that I have to figure out how to recycle. But it was liberating to finally clean up and get rid of a bunch of junky old cords that don’t go with anything.
As an ancillary benefit, I decided to vacuum and do a little rearranging of stuff. I put on my “black hat” (a little Feng Shui joke for those who care to look it up) and moved plants around. I changed the orientation of my kitchen table and finally cleaned off the top of my refrigerator. I emptied all the spices out of their various locations in anticipation of working on that tomorrow.
After all of this, I look around and it still feels a little overwhelming. How did I collect so much stuff? I live alone and don’t have many hobbies, so I rarely buy extra stuff. Still, it’s like some mischievous gremlins lurk around at night and multiply my junk.
I bring all of this up because I finally realized that this obsession with decluttering is symptomatic of my mental/emotional/spiritual state right now. I feel so utterly out of control in life that I am grasping at things I can control. I am trying to strip away old layers, junk that no longer serves me, things that drain my energy, objects that get in my way and stop me from feeling as good as I could feel.
I have so much more to do, but now that I have started to have to see it through. My garbage cans are full now, so I have to keep piling up the bags and boxes to wait for the trash to be picked up this week. With every object I either throw away or put in a box/bag for donation I am slowly releasing energy – energy that has blocked me or drained me.
It is rare that I find an upside to this quarantine, but maybe this is one!
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.