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KonMari and Closure (Or The Absence Thereof)

Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Dave!At the end of 2018 my mom's post office box expired and I closed it out. I had kept it open for six months so I could be sure to get all her remaining bills paid. Also to find out who hadn't heard she had died and was still sending her cards and letters and such. All she's getting now is mail from places like Degree of Honor and AARP Life Insurance. I have been marking up their crap "DECEASED - RETURN TO SENDER" for months, but they won't stop sending. I've even called them and sent them letters (strange they don't have email) but AARP Life Insurance is still mailing her every damn week. No exaggeration. EVERY WEEK! How the fuck can they afford that postage bill?

Anyway...

For some reason I thought that shutting down a PO Box would act as some kind of closure.

Of course it wasn't.

I've gotten rid of her clothes. I've gotten rid of her furniture. Heck, I've gotten rid of most of her possessions.* None of that worked. How stupid was I to think that letting go of a frickin' PO Box go was going to be any different? I dunno. Maybe I was just being optimistic. Or naive.

There will probably never be closure when your mom dies. Even if you weren't as fantastically close to her as I was.

But, alas...

Last night when I was burning through episodes of Schitt's Creek in an attempt to get caught up before the fifth season starts in a couple weeks, I noted that Marie Kodo has a new show on Netflix!

For those not in the know, Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizational consultant who developed the "KonMari Method" of tidying your home. I discovered her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up before I bought my new place. I used her methods once with my possessions before moving in. Then let things settle for a year before using her method once more to sort through my mother's things, simplify my life, and declutter my new home. It's a magical process that's difficult to explain to people who have not studied it or seen it in action. It's essentially forming a relationship with your stuff and only surrounding yourself with things that "spark joy."

KonMari The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Book

KonMari changed my life.

My garage, for example, used to be a heinous mess with crap stacked to the rafters. I couldn't even park in it, things were such a mess. After KonMari, I was able to get rid of 2/3 of my junk. A huge amount of that being travel souvenirs that were never organized and just tossed into boxes. But not anymore...

KonMari Organization

KonMari Organization

On the left is my wood supply, all organized and easy to get to. Next to that in the middle of the shelf is seven plastic bins for my souvenirs (I've since bough two more for a total of nine). Originally my souvenirs were in 22 massive boxes. Most of it was stuff I didn't even care about, so KonMari made it easy to pare down to a much more manageable level, all organized by country and stored vertically for easy access. The only other things I kept were my Hard Rock T-shirt collection, some of my mom's Christmas decorations, touch-up paint for the interior and exterior of my home (with paint supplies), winter tires, plus extra bathroom tiles and extra hardwood planks in case I need to replace anything. There's also some LEGO sets I'm keeping for my grand-nephew when he gets older. Everything else? Gone. Donated or trashed.

My biggest tidy improvement in my garage was going all KonMari on my tool collection. For the longest time they were just stacked in boxes. This did not spark joy. Eventually I found that having them all hanging on a wall so I could find them is the best way for me...

KonMari Organization

Kondo-san's Netflix show is a total of eight episodes.** They are entertaining and insightful, but I don't know how helpful they would be if you hadn't read her book. At best they just show you the process in action...

I didn't learn anything new from the show, but I did enjoy watching them (Marie Kondo is ten tons of adorable in a tiny package). If you're in need of tidying your home, check out the show and see if her book might be for you.

And now back to Schitt's Creek. I should be able to watch a couple more episodes before I have to go to work.

   
*I still have some of mom's collectibles I need to try and sell. I am sooooo not looking forward to that. But, what else is there? leave them boxed up in the garage until I die and somebody else has to deal with it? Better to get rid of it all now while I can. Another goal for 2019 to add to the list.

**Interesting to note that the seventh episode of Tidying Up has the song A Home to Come To over the closing credits which is from the No. 6 album on my Best Music of 2018 list. How is it that Silhouettes can have their music popping up all over and still be a mystery band you can barely find?

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Comments

  1. Leah says:

    I’ve read the book and KonMaried my clothes more than once, but moving on to the other areas are nearly impossible for me. I think what was good about the show is how they show the day of the process the video was taken in the upper right corner. You see that it’s not done in a weekend and she praises people who don’t have minimilist homes devoid of personal touches.

    I think it’s motivating to see it take so much time and effort. See other people struggle – instead of just feeling bad that I’m bad at it.

    • Dave2 says:

      It was (and is) a big struggle for me as well. Especially the second time when it was mostly my mom’s stuff that I was going through. Ultimately I found that very few items of my mother’s were “sparking joy”… I was just clinging to them as souvenirs of who she had been. Once I realized that my travel photos were how I’d rather remember her, it was easy to jettison almost everything.

      With me, timing has never been immediate or all at once. My work doesn’t really allow for that. Instead I approach KonMari as a practice rather than an event. I still use the method of piling everything though. That’s essential. I’m lucky my new home has spare rooms where I can do that. I took a day off for my tool wall and did it over a 3-day weekend, working 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours later in the day. The souvenirs were done over a month’s time on Sundays only. The rest of my garage was strictly a “When I Have Time” project. That’s against the KonMari ideal of setting a time-frame, but it’s all I could manage. Still worked for me though!

      When I did KonMari on my clothes, it was pretty simple, though I don’t like her mandate of folding everything. I have two drawers of T-shirts folded and a drawer for underwear which I prefer to just dump in unsorted… everything else is hung. But I did build some nice closet built-ins to better KonMari my jeans collection, and it’s been working well for me great…

      The kitchen is where I thought KonMari was the most help. All my mom’s pots and pans that I never use… mostly because they’re scratched or chipped or old or otherwise not fun to cook with… were tossed. Instead I mapped out exactly what I NEEDED, bought/kept it, then got rid of absolutely everything else. My cabinets went from being overstuffed to mostly empty, yet I haven’t suffered a bit. Such a great process.

      And so… you’re not alone. It’s tough. But the end-result is worth it. At least it was to me!

  2. Dan says:

    Who makes those shelving?

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