Tidying Up

 l love the word tidying. It sounds so cute, so benign, so Goldilocks-ish.  It is a word that explains what you want to accomplish and how you go about it.  It evokes an activity that is not too strenuous nor too ineffective.  It is just right. 

There was a very interesting article in The New York Times Magazine about the author, Marie Kondo and her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".   Seems that Ms. Kondo has quite a following of people who swear by her methods.  Her whole premise is that the items in your household and eventually in one's life should bring you joy. 

Like so many ideas that abound, this is nothing new.  As I have posted before, the 18th Century English textile designer William Morris felt that one should have only beautiful and useful items in one's home.  Basically, only have things which bring you joy.   It makes sense that in order to appreciate those beautiful and useful things you have to be able to see and find them.  In essence, have a neat and tidy place.  But as with all things that seem simple, it is very hard to achieve. 

There are a myriad of books on the market about getting organized. There are a ton of organizational tools and systems. They all are a means to the end- getting rid of items in your life that take up valuable space, time and resources. What isn't necessarily mentioned in any of these processes is that in order to get rid of anything you have to sacrifice it.  You have to make a choice to remove the said item from your midst. I think there is the rub.  We cling to our things. We want it all. Even if something is not useful or beneficial we still want it around, "just in case." 

It is not only physical items.  We hold on to emotional baggage and mental images that only clutter our lives. For nothing less than to show that we have/had something-an emotional draining relationship, a self-pity party or a poorly acted upon decision.  It is almost as if we have to tightly grasp these situations to prove that we exist.   Even if it was/is harmful to our psyche, it was/is something nonetheless. 

I know for me, it is until things get to the point that I cannot stand the clutter that I will then be ruthless.  It is then that I say, "this needs to go".  Of course, everyone in our household has a different tolerance point of when things need to go and there too can be the rub. 

That's why I like the word tidy.  It seems doable.  I can work on the emotional, relational, and physical stuff that is cluttering my life. I don't have to do it all in one day.  Tidying seems to be a word that is done in smaller increments. I think, "I can talk to that person and straighten out one of our issues."  "I can let go and remove the worry scenario replaying in my mind." "I can tidy my office today and start on the corner of my basement tomorrow."

What about you?  Do you have a tidy life?  What do you do when things get messy? Does the clutter bother you?  At what point do you say, "this needs to go"?  Do you even notice clutter in your life? What is your method for tidying up?