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.
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.
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”.