.Tidying Up This Mess.

It seems that everybody in this world watches the newly aired NetFlix show “Tyding up with Mari Kondo”.

I watched one or two episodes but became quickly annoyed by high-pitched seemingly set-up welcome ceremonies whenever Kondo walked into a house. It all feels too staged to me. I also cannot deal with her somewhat stubborn insistance that things have feelings. My Canada Goose Coat better keeps me warm here in Canada! Thank you, coat! I hope I don’t hurt your feelings when it is minus 25 Celsius. I choose a minimalistic lifestyle because it is a good tool to make life cheaper and easier for my son and I and to show him different values in life. My apartment is usually always pretty organized and clean. Growing up I have been taught that a house should always be in a stage that people can come over anytime and feel comfortable; meaning a visitor does not stick to things, can sit everywhere or can take a shower if necessary. I realize, however, that cleanliness of your house all depends on who you are and what your comfort level is. But I think it is just reasonable to offer a cup of coffee out of a clean cup.

Maybe you need some help cleaning without necessarily using the Mari-Kondo method who recommends “treating your bras like royalty” and refers to tidying up as a “once-in-a-lifetime special event”. I rather use common sense, which may be even crazier. Overall, I don’t want to create a personality disorder in motion.

I have read once that how your home looks directly reflects what is going on in your head. Some have the misconception that being tidy is a somewhat innate skill, however, cleaning does not come naturally to everyone because it is not a skill but rather a mindset. Start by tidying a bit every day. Put the things you used back right away. Throw away the obvious trash. If it smells and looks bad, it obviously does not spark joy but rather disgust. Get rid of your (Canadian) seasonal depression nest and remove empty beer and wine bottles. Maybe it is a good idea for you to start seeking help if wine, beer bottles, and empty food containers are in places where it is not acceptable; like all over the floor in your house for example.

A couple of weeks ago, I overheard a man telling his friend: “But it is just stuff!” I found out that “the friend’s” house burnt down to the ground. It was just a faulty living room fan that sparked a fire during the day while he was at work. My question is, how do you measure what your stuff means to you, especially in a moment like that? We never know when/if we lose everything and have to start from scratch. It may be even a good thing. Don’t burn your house down now! I just want to give some food for thought to get rid of accumulated and unnecessary junk and how I did it without preaching that you can only achieve the best version of you if your house is uncluttered like an art gallery of “white-everything”. It is also not a thing to maintain a sleek, spare home by throwing out everything you own, painting your walls in “White Dove” and sitting on the floor thanking your tiny table that you have left which holds your one plate to eat.

So, what to do with all this? Doesn’t this clutter-free existence exert a constant pressure that is oppressive in its own way? What really happens is that we all swim up a stream of things for our entire life. Our mind is filled with clutter. New things come and go and they rarely bring us long-term satisfaction but are rather exhausting. Why? Because it is not only our stuff that makes us anxious. It is also our phone and the thousand messages we receive every day to like, listen, follow, react, dislike, subscribe, retweet, insta-like, join, forward and consume. We are constantly threatened with interruptions and every moment is easily erased or subsumed by some more important message or video. Sadly to say, we live in a world of past and future clutter. We are so filled up with noise and interruptions, that it is difficult to be here, now. Things don’t just spark joy but also anxiety. My computer reminds me that deadlines are approaching, the news remind me that the world is soon coming to an end, the online school alert reminds me that I have to pay the fee for my son’s field trip and also to return his library books. Can I step away from this digital pandemonium? Nope.

Can I spark joy all by myself? Do I remember how that feels? A friend told me that “All of heaven is within you and nothing lasts. Just when you start to get comfortable, things change or you may even die. And if you do, maybe only one or two things of what you left behind are important to someone else when you are gone.” Now, here you are with all your possesions. Do the things you own define who you are? Do they make you a better person? I don’t think so. Overall, we don’t need more stuff. Before purchasing more, we should rather work with what we have instead. You don’t need more than this. Now go and light your white soy candle or open a window to let in some fresh air.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.