Decluttering my living and digital spaces and sparking joy!
I mentioned in my last post that one of the main reasons I was enticed by Mariana’s YouTube channel, was that her space was so neat and tidy. In contrast, my space is cluttered because I have a lot of my own stuff that I have problems with tossing out. Especially my electronics and the packaging that they came with. Also, stationery that I initially thought I needed but hardly ever use. I want to go paperless at work but if I’m struggling to make the transition at home, then I really don’t see how I can.
I am very bad with clutter on my devices. I keep apps that I may use, when it’s so much easier to discard them and download from the App Store when I really do need them. I have files, research papers, receipts, pictures of receipts, bank statements, lab manuals, and even whole books. Things that I never look at but that I keep for just in case. The majority of my pictures are screenshots. Things I want to use or which act as a reminder for later. There are emails and messages that I never want to read, reminders that I keep postponing. It’s a digital mess. But using the KonMari Method I would like to sort this out.
I first learned about Marie Kondo from Mariana’s YouTube videos. I didn’t pay too much attention to it until I saw Marie Kondo on Netflix (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo).
Marie Kondo uses her tidying method (called the KonMari method – which is just parts of her first and last names put together), to help people reclaim their space and show them how it can help them spark joy at home. Marie uses this term quite often. Spark Joy. I love it. I enjoyed the series so much that I even started adding a few more documentaries on Netflix. Another way to make technology work for me.
I have also purchased her audiobook from the Google Play Store. I find that audiobooks are cheaper there compared to other online stores.
The KonMari Method
The KonMari method is, in my opinion, like a spiritual journey that you go on for tidying. Marie usually starts by greeting the home which has most of her clients in awe. She then asks them to visualize what they want their home to be like in the future. This is the first step in creating a home where you feel at peace and a place that will spark joy for you.
She then continues with the discarding process in order. First, you gather all your clothes and put them in a pile on the ground or on a bed. Seeing how much clothes you actually possess can be an eye-opener for most. You then go through the pile, one item at a time and decide if you want to keep it based on whether it sparks joy. You then thank the clothes that you decide to discard for the role that they played in your life. I really like this.
The clothes that you keep are folded using the KonMari method. They are folded into rectangles and left to stand vertically. This way you can see all your clothes in the drawer. See my video on YouTube demonstrating this here.
You then move on to books. Like the clothes, you put the books in one big pile and then go through them one by one. But first, you need to wake the books by gently tapping them. Items we possess play an important role in our lives, and by respecting them in this way we decide which role they play. Thank the books that you will discard. Even the ones that you haven’t read. Their purpose was to show you what you don’t want to read.
A student for many years now, I have lots of papers. My notes, old assignments and exams, and forms. Then there’s certificates, receipts and other paper I never look at but hold on to, just in case I may need them someday. The thing is that I never actually look at them ever again, they just stay in some kind of folder or envelope and they just stay there forever. Getting rid of these will be easier because I can just scan the important things and get rid of the rest. I think I can display my college certificates on my walls until I get some frames for them.
I had a lot of bronze (10 – 50c) coins that I take out of my wallet and then store in a cup. I emptied the cup then spent these at the vending machine this past month on chocolates and chips. Yippee!!! Who knew decluttering could be so much fun. I took my safety pins and needles to work where I’m currently using these to sew buttons back onto some of the lab coats that we hire out to students.
I have started minimizing my digital waste by getting rid of the apps I no longer use. This is an ongoing process but my devices are already looking and performing better. I also need to delete some of my files and folders. And pictures, I will need to delete a lot of pictures. And also clean my Gmail inbox. I will need to unsubscribe from a lot of emails I get. My Gmail inbox has become somewhat like a repository for junk emails I don’t want to read.
Sentimental items edit this section
I’ve wanted to do something creative with my running medals for a long time now. Something to commemorate my Comrades journey. I ran the Comrades Marathon 7 years ago. I don’t think that the project is ever going to happen. Currently, I keep my medals in an old ice cream tub where I store my cigarettes. I see them on occasion but not enough to warrant a response. Time to let go.
By now you probably aware that I’m a techno junkie. If I’m likely to hoard anything it’s tech. So getting rid of tech that I am not using is very difficult for me. I have a cheap virtual reality headset which brought some joy in the beginning. But not anymore more. I’m thinking of passing this on. Perhaps to a kid. I need to ask his parents first. There are some other tech items that will be hard to get rid of as well. Some I never used and tried to sell. I’m gonna try giving them away now.
Going forward, I think I will be able to live a more minimalistic life. Choosing to only keep items that bring joy into my life and respectfully discarding the rest. To this extent, I am trying to form a habit where I empty my work bag every day and thank the items that I used for the day. This way, I only take with me what I need and each and every item has a place in my home.