I have fifteen days left in London. That means I would have lived in this vibrant, dynamic, at times depressing city for a year and twenty-five days. There is no point in counting the days. I did it anyway. Even the tiniest detail about something you care about matters.
I came across a blog post on Medium a few weeks ago and the author talked about how much he enjoyed this book, which really helps him to put his house and life in order. It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Funny how you can make tidying up other people’s houses into a consulting business. I was curious, but more importantly I needed help. So it’s not a surprise that I started reading the book. I rarely say no to anything ‘magic’.
I’ve always been moving for the past eight years. Started with two giant overweight suitcases when I left home at the age of fifteen. My parents still had to send me a few other packages after that. Once college life was over, I was left with two ‘just-the-right-weight-for-me’ suitcases, and no extra packages. A huge improvement.
After reading Kondo’s book, nothing extraordinary happened. I do not own a house with an overloaded bookshelf or 50 toilet paper rolls in the storage. Neither do I have a family with children’s toys lying everywhere from the front door to the kitchen sink. Everything I own fits in two suitcases, remember? However, what hit me was Kondo’s perspective on discarding what already served its purpose and keeping things that truly spark joy. So I decided to apply her method and after one day of work, everything I want to keep lies neatly in one suitcase. ONE suitcase!!?
While I was tidying up my things, I learned to tidy up my life and my relationships with people. In a way, it was a ceremony, a ritual that must be carried out.
So one by one, I let thing go, with gratitude.
It is a painful but necessary act of cleaning up the past so I will have rooms for the future. It is a belief that better things are waiting for me. It is a manifestation of how much I’ve accomplished and overcome. It is my first step into the next chapter. London and the people in it have touched me, challenged me, broke me, but also picked me up and pushed me forward. Now that the purpose is fulfilled, it is time to focus on what brings me the most joy.
Human beings can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time… The only tasks that you will need to continue for the rest of your life are those of choosing what to keep and what to discard and of caring for the things you decide to keep… Life truly begins after you put your house in order. - Marie Kondo