I’ve known this day was coming for a long time. Mom has been talking about moving for months, and if I’m honest, years. To tell you the truth, I have secretly thought they were just words. The secret desires of a woman who is journeying into the sunset of her golden years and it wouldn’t really happen. And then my eldest brother moved. That’s when the fire was really lit underneath her goal and she secretly began packing things, giving some of her things away to friends in the building and deciding what she would take, what would come to my house and what would be recycled or thrown away. She had quite a lot she planned to donate but that all changed with isolation and quarantine adjusting how we are able to dispense of unnecessary items.
Well, this week is “moving week” and there’s a lot going on in my life. My babies are teething – one is cutting tooth number five and six, the other is cutting tooth number seven and eight so lots of fussing and extra attention required. I have hurt my wrist which is affecting everything, even my ability to type. Changing diapers is one of the most painful tasks I can think of doing, aside from changing the boy’s clothes. And then I needed to make room for Mom’s things that I have inherited with her move. My five year old commented that I “cleaned up the dining room nicely” as he skipped around the emptier room. By the end afternoon, the room was piled high with boxes, furniture, shelves and miscellaneous items. I took a look at the humungous task I’m faced with over the next weeks – unpacking and sorting through what I will keep and what will be donated, given away, recycled and thrown out – and I feel overwhelmed. I immediately turned to Netflix, remembering they have a series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She could be my saving grace.
She has strategies to help people declutter their houses so that their dwelling place feels like a home when they have tidied up. When I see the clutter people are living in, I don’t feel so terrible about how my house looks, especially because I know it’s temporary. But when Marie sees the clutter, she gasps in delight. “I love mess!” she confides as she smiles and starts organizing with her eyes.
Her strategy for helping people find success in tidying their homes and keeping it clean is to give them practical guidelines they can use to regain order and maintain it thereafter. She says to start with your clothes. Put all of your clothing in one big pile and then pick up each item and hold it in your hands. If the garment brings you joy, and you’ll wear it, keep it. If you have no emotional attachment to it, thank the garment as gratitude is important in life. Then set it aside in a ‘discard’ pile. Next, she has a specific way of folding items of clothing so they are neat and tidy. When you open your dresser drawer, you can clearly see what is in your drawer and choose what you need to.
Next she moves people into the kitchen, the garage, the dining room and those drawers where we squirrel away items that become more out of sight, out of mind. We forget to go back and tidy those drawers up. Finally she focuses on sentimental items. Those things we all hold onto because of the memories and emotions attached to the item.
Overall, from the people Marie helps on the show, this is a difficult task to go through. Each of the people commented on how exhausted they were but also how happy they felt. And all of them said how the weight had been lifted off of their shoulders and their house felt like a welcoming home now.
This is giving me incentive to tackle the second home that has just taken up room in the house. I’m sure the boxes and things won’t stick around for long but I did need some inspiration to start the task at hand. So, while Mom declutters and simplifies her life, I’ll be putting order to the items she’s left behind. Hopefully she doesn’t decide she wanted something because I think I’m going to be really critical about what I keep! A simplified, tidy house looks amazing!
Have a great week, everyone.