Sunday, March 25, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 25 + KonMari Method Sparking Joy and Sparking Sorrow

This 25th day of the 30-Day Minimalism Game was an easy one, especially as I earmarked the 25 things I was getting rid of on this day of the challenge on one of the first days of the game.

For today...

Day 25

For today's challenge I'm getting rid of the last 25 of my/our plastic hangers (a.k.a. giving away). We had them for years, these pink ones were mine (light pink for clothes, darker pink for outerwear and sailing gear). They served me well but I wanted something less bulky, less colorful, more me. I have that now. And unless the hangers we have break or become damaged in some way or my life changes radically, they will be our hangers for life.

And as it was such an "easy" day and I have little to say about what I'm purging, I thought I'd chat about another decluttering method that appears to be quite popular.

The KonMari Method...

I first learned about this from watching YouTube videos this past February. I had never heard of this -  aside from a book on the psychology of stuff and The Minimalist's film, I hadn't really been on top of these ideas/trends/fads in this area for some time.

But it seemed like an interesting way of thinking about your things so that you could get rid of them - even if it didn't quite apply to me at my stage in my journey. And so I bought the eBook...

...and I haven't been able to make it to the end (unlike goodbye, things by Fumio Sasaki which I loved and found had quite a lot of valuable ideas and food for thought).

The KonMari Method just doesn't gel for me - or at least reading about it. I think it's perhaps the concept of "sparking joy" that doesn't resonate.

Watching the videos I see how people apply the Method itself to what works for them, changing it in subtle (or not so subtle) ways - which is wonderful as whatever works to give people the life they want is always a plus, though the changes in the Method sort of make it not the Method. As the KonMari Method seems pretty rigid.

While I do love the idea of categories - that makes a lot of sense to me - I, like a few others I'd seen on video, wish she'd broken down some of those other categories into subcategories as I have little in the way of clothes and books and other household items, and a lot in the way of paperwork and keepsakes.

And while I do think there are very interesting and valid points in what I had read of the book, I can't seem to move past the "sparking joy" idea which seems to be at the forefront.

I often mistakenly say I "love" my possessions, but what I really mean by that is that I enjoy having them around as they are useful and they don't bother me (and some of them even look nice). But I only really love the people and beings in my life (and occasionally myself). I don't love stuff.

And so I don't like the idea that I should be deriving any type of happiness from my things or relying on my things to spark happiness, as that will make me form a stronger attachment to them. Therefore if and when they do get taken, destroyed, or I have to part with them, it will spark sorrow.

I am not striving to be a minimalist who has the fewest amount of things they possibly can (at least not at this time in my life). And I do want the things that surround me to be useful, hopefully beautiful, well-crafted, and perhaps sustainable. But I want them to just be the things that get me through my days in as simple a way as possible.

I want my joy to come from my experiences. I want my joy to come from the people and beings in my life and those I encounter on my life's journey.

If I pick up each item, make myself connect to it, treat it in a way with respect, then it gains importance in a way that might not be healthy. What if I do tear a hole in my shirt when on a sailing adventure? Does that mean I'm not being respectful of it? Or if I don't take the time to fold it in just the right way - should I feel guilty for causing it stress?

I understand that if you treat your things well, they will treat you well. But if caring for your things becomes stressful, is it worth it? Or if you won't let someone do the laundry when you're feeling ill because they'll do it wrong, is it worth it? Or if you won't let someone use something because you're so concerned with its potential for damage and it causes you and that other person unhappiness is it worth it?

I say no. And, for me, by revering my things, treating them in the ways suggested in the book, attaching emotion to them, will lead down this path I had already been down before.

If something can spark joy, it can turn around and spark sorrow and spark anger. So while I will appreciate my things, care for them as best as I can, they will always be labeled as "just stuff" - important for my comfort but not important enough to risk my life over if they were threatened by fire, flood, theft, etc.

To be continued...

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