We’re through our last week of summer vacation. School starts in the morning.
Ava starts kindergarten in about 12 hours. We got to find out Ava’s teacher Thursday. She’s ecstatic that she will have the same teacher that Gracie had for kindergarten. She has been quivering with excitement a lot these days.
I’ve been mostly unfazed with this kindergarten beginning. Ava is excited. She went to preschool three days a week for the last two years. It feels good and right…and yet…The wistfulness hit this week. I keep having those moments where I want to cry that she’s starting school. I love her school, and the secretary at her school, and her teacher. And all of those aspects are known this time around. It doesn’t feel scary like it did with Gracie.
I know she will be adored and appreciated and seen. It just leaves my throat feeling a little tight and my heart pumping fast.
Anyway, on to other subjects that don’t make my eyes feel prickly with tears…
This week we pulled together all of the children’s craft supplies and started to konmari them. I’m loving so much about the process. Above you can see Ava focusing on a book from the last category that we did.
Here she has decided that she has finished with the item, but we’re going to keep it for the boys since it’s a book that helped her learn to read.
This method is forcing me to go through and touch every item in the house multiple times….and I know that sounds maddening…but it’s not. It’s just mindful. I know where things are better than I have in years. As I am getting into a rhythm of going through each sub-category of “komono”, which is Marie Kondo’s term for miscellaneous items, I’m starting to really understand the process in my bones. I’ve gone through the dressers that hold our games and various craft supplies, and well, let’s just face it, it was a lot of just plain junk and trash that I’d stored in a drawer. And as I go through I am making little boxes of game pieces so that when we go through the games and puzzles, I’ll be able to put all of them away at once (or donate games with all of their pieces included).
You may be asking yourself why anyone would need to touch all of their possessions multiple times or go through the process of pulling it together and then culling the items one at a time. And I used to be like you. That used to not make sense to me at all. I would just go through a drawer or organize a closet. But, I’m learning that I’m a person who does not naturally have the right amount of stuff for the space that I have. I need the visual of seeing all of the like items that I have, and somehow the process of asking myself if the items spark joy helps me keep just what I need, and can take care of….at least I’m hoping it does….I’m only partially through this.
Almost all of my books now fit onto a single shelf (that’s only my personal books…everybody else has books too…and you can see a small fraction of Tommy’s books above mine on the shelf). There are still a few cookbooks out in the dining room, and I have a few essential lactation books on another shelf…but the rest I let go. Someone else can read them, because I’ve finished with them. I’ll be bringing a box or two to see if some friends want some old breastfeeding books and materials that maybe aren’t the most up to date, but still have lots of good information in them. I couldn’t bear the thought of them being thrown into a dumpster if an employee of the thrift store didn’t know what they were….so hopefully I’ll find a home for them…or actually as I’m typing this I’m realizing that if no one wants them, there might be a reason. It’s the same reason that I have for getting rid of them. They’re outdated. I don’t want outdated materials cluttering up the space that I have for the most cutting edge information, and the truth of the matter is that I only keep a few updated, extensive texts. The rest can be found on the internet.
We’re nearly a third of the way through our entire house with the konmari method. Actually I don’t know that that’s exactly true, because we’re going through in categories (like she recommends, and it’s hard to know if I’ve actually gone through a third of our possessions…It feels like it though. The process is intense, and it could feel overwhelming if it weren’t so zen to just go through it at a leisurely pace. Usually it takes me about two days to go through a large category like books, or only one day to go through a small one. I bet it will take less time as we continue on and are storing more categories of possessions together.
Craft supplies for the children has been this week’s task (we’re doing things a little more slowly now that we’re trying to soak in the last few days of summer). Anyway, craft supplies is a big category because we seem to have been operating under the idea that every room needed a bit of craft supplies. Also in the girls’ room, we’d only gone through the girls’ book shelf and dressers so far, so we delved into the toy bins and shelves and toy box to get out every last craft supply. At the bottom of the toy box was the requisite dust, grime, feathers, spare change and crayons. We pulled everything out and wiped down the inside of the toy box.
Every time we go on to a new category and I open an area and pull everything out to sort my category, one tiny corner or drawer gets a deep clean. I just love that part. I feel like I’m spring cleaning, only without the overwhelming aspect of trying to get it all done in a day or a week or whatever (for the record, I don’t know that I’ve ever completely spring cleaned my house). So now with the toy box and shelves getting wiped down today, there are only a couple of tubs of miscellany that haven’t actually gotten wiped down.
One category that I’m looking forward to doing, but haven’t gotten to yet is medicines and medicinals. We seem to store these all over the place too. And it is crazy annoying to look for the thermometer in the middle of the night. Or go searching for the tylenol. Or the eucalyptus oil. We have a great assortment of naturopathic, homeopathic, allopathic, and herbal medicines…and they don’t fit in a single spot…so I’m wondering how that’s going to sort itself out….but it’s been a natural process thus far. Maybe that will be my next category.
If you’d like to read more about our journey with the konmari method, feel free to check out my previous posts on the subject.
Anyhow, how are your decluttering pursuits going? I know several of you have been working on decluttering journeys of your own.