No.3

Why did I experience rebound after my KonMari effort?

The answer is simple… I didn’t really complete the task.

My excuses were “It will be a lot easier to complete the KonMari when you are living alone. You can’t keep discarding other people’s stuff. (though I admitted I did throw away some of my family members’ stuff.)”

But when I re-think about it. There’s no one else to blame but me. I cheated. My hoarding self couldn’t discard something that didn’t really spark joy but cost me lots of money to get. I couldn’t seem to part with the things I collected and told myself that they sparked joy, well… more or less…

After the rebound, I still followed some of Marie’s advices for tidying up. They are very practical and always give me sense of accomplishment when I see my tidy space.

***

What trigger me to start reducing again is a documentary I came across on Netflix. It’s called Minimalism, A documentary about the important things. Well, I didn’t pay much attention when I first watched it. I was busy tidying up my work table when I kept the programme on as a background music. Strange thing was I decided that I wanted to watch it again when my husband and I couldn’t find a programme to watch together on Netflix. This time I paid more attention. I thought about what they said and how I (the born-to-be maximalist) too could start to change.

I was so impressed with what sociologist Juliet Schor said, “We are too materialistic in the everyday sense of the word, and we are not at all materialistic enough in the true sense of the word. We need to be true materialists, like really care about the materiality of goods.”

Wow, I never thought about that.

There are many more thought provoking quotes from this documentary and they are very inspiring. It’s very refreshing to know that there’s a way to freedom.

 

 

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No.2

Re-think, reduce, refresh

When you are surrounded by things that are supposed to give you comfort, happiness, condifidence, and freedom but they fail to live up to their promises, what should you do?

The thought never ever crossed my mind.

What I did was buy more and ditched the old stuff. There must be something out there in this universe to be the ‘right’ thing. Even when I got that ‘right’ thing, it only seemed ‘right’ at the beginning and many right things I had ended up in the donation box.

Why? The craving was endless. There are always newer stuff, prettier style, cheaper option, more interesting functions and so on. And suddenly my 2-stories house became too small.

I was unhappy.

I was tired of taking care of all my stuff. The things I had became my boss. “Hey, look I’m covered in dirt. You have to clean me now!”, said my photo albums. “Why don’t you wear me more often, my battery is dying!”, came a little voice from my automatic watch. “I need new home. This damp room is causing disgusting mold on my body”, screamed by book collections. I felt like I was going crazy with all these little noises. At one time, I wished there were 48 hours in a day so that I could spend time taking care of my family and my possessions.

One day, I came across a clean-looking book displaying near the till at Asiabooks. It’s written by a Japanese “decluttering professional”, Marie Kondo. I was crazy about Japanese stuff then so I gave it a try. OK, I admitted that I judged the book by its cover and this time it worked for me. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has become my all time favourite. It changed my perspective. It was fun to read and it was easy to follow KonMari’s steps.

I had a chance to re-think about my possessions for the very first time.

 

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It took me a lot of courage and energy to ditch the things I never ever thought I could part with. I gave away my expensive bags, my clothes, my soft toys, my CDs and DVDs, old birthday cards, gifts etc. The stuff I said goodbye to could fill up a pick-up van.

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It’s very refreshing to see my decluttered room and have some space to breathe. It felt fantastic.

***

However, as it’s well said in the poem “the road to success is not straight”. I later experienced what KonMari called a “rebound”.

 

 

 

less is more (than i can imagine)

No.1

I’ve been a maximalist all my life. I’ve thousands of “beautiful” and “useful” things around me and I’m not happy. I always seek for more beautiful things…things to make my life perfect…things to quench my thrist for exemplary lifestyle…things that help portraying who I am…or things that I bought just for the sake of going shopping.

I’ve been accumulating the “beautiful” trash.

I’ve been silly and blind.

***

I was born on Christmas day, the seasons of giving (physical things, in my opinion). When I was a kid, I received plenty of gifts on my birthday and people always said I was so lucky to be born on this special day. We were not rich but my parents made sure we had special day filled with cake, feast and friends. When I think about my birthday, I think about getting more gifts. I even counted how many gifts I got and compared them with previous years. When I learnt that there were less gifts, I felt miserable. I was that stupid. When I look back now, I don’t even remember any particular gift but faintly remember its atmosphere…the joy of being with good company. That’s a precious memory, not a physical stuff.