Tidying Up – Our Story, part 2

 

dsc08851-2KonMari Insights Blog Series.

 

Keeping that in mind that I needed to still focus on my things, I cleared out the two sheds with my family’s stuff inside. I found the chest and other things that Chris had asked for. I cleaned them up and gave them to him for his birthday.   A year earlier I had cleaned enough junk out to where we could empty out the off site storage and move it into the other two of our sheds.  Now we were down to two sheds and Greg’s office.

I took a break.  I prettied up our bedroom and organized the kitchen.  I tried to figure out how I could get something done about the sheds. Then I came with an idea. For his birthday, I offered to repack one of the sheds and put the contents into plastic totes with identifying labels While, doing that, I would get rid of any trash, that had been packed up in the move. It wasn’t really KonMari, but I felt it was a step.  He would be able to identify where his stuff was. And we would garner more space in the shed.  He agreed. One more area done.

For our anniversary, I offered to paint the office and bring in some more shelves for his books.  It was a week long process, and I had a bunch of binders fall on my head at one point, but it got done. Again, I didn’t throw out anything, except trash.

Here is where we stopped, for about 10 months. Even though I was “done”  with my KonMari adventure, I would still go through and purge more. I think I did this mainly because my criteria for  what sparked joy for me was changing. I found that I had kept things that I loved the look of, but still never wore or never used.  It was an interesting thing to learn: that there were levels of joy. So off they went, thank you and goodbye! My closets were getting emptier. As they emptied, the bare look wasn’t sparking joy, so I would move things around and play with new locations for things but there was still a lot of space.

I thought, “Man, we have all of this stuff in the last shed, and all of this room in the house, it would be great to bring some of it in so Greg could use it.”

Then I thought “ You’re crazy, you’ve emptied the house only to fill it!”

I thought about this for awhile before mentioning it Greg. One, because I had to really believe for myself that this was the next step.  And two, because that shed was literally a solid 12’ x 6’ x 6’ cube of boxes, it was going to be a ton of very hard work.

It was another month before I mentioned it to Greg. I had begun to remember my vision, especially about the part of making this “our” home.  Because he and I didn’t move into this house together, alone, it was never really ours. It was mine, his, my mother’s, my sister’s, my brother in law’s, my nephew’s and a grandmother whom I really had  never liked very much ( but that’s another story). As I removed their “extras” from my home, I found that I really liked being more of a minimalist. Since Greg had already dubbed himself “Mr. Maximus,” we were really a good fit.  Adding his things into the house was the next step.

He was shocked when I told him. “You really want me to bring my stuff in the house?”

“Yes, Sweetie.”

“Wow!”

I was right, this last shed was the toughest.  It took two weeks to get it unloaded.  The backyard looked like cardboard factory. We pulled out lots of boxes filled with board games, action figures, D20 game books, card games, binders, pens, pencils, stickers, cat toys,  and trash.  Mice had gotten into some the boxes, so even things that Greg would have liked to have kept, he tossed right into the trash without second thought.

Greg was awesome. He was brutal. He was ruthless in his sorting.  We had a huge pile of  trash, a huge pile of yard sale stuff, and quite a bit of things to keep. I was amazed and in awe of the results.

He was great about the yard sale.  We both hate holding yard sales, by the way. But we had a few large things we were trying to get rid of, so we thought we would try to lighten the load going to the donation center. Greg came up with the idea for an “almost everything is 25 cent” sale.  It was a hit with the neighbors. Out of 70 plus boxes of stuff, some tools, a non-working car,  we had just 14 boxes left over to take to the thrift shop.

We were exhausted.  We did have a few bumps in the road. We negotiated some things, took some  sanity breaks from each other when it got tough, and hugged each other a lot.  Basically Greg was doing his books, papers, komono, and sentimentals at the same time, so it was emotional. But, it’s done.

Organizing the house has been a little bit of a challenge. We came up with some interesting places for books. Our master bathroom for example, has tons of closet space that was  mostly unused. I rarely even opened  those cabinet doors.  We fit 20 boxes of books into a linen closet that we modified. It may seem like a weird place for books, but it made sense for us.

We are really done, now.

Is it perfect? Not always.  Has Greg tidied  his office? No.  Will he embrace KonMari fully? Who knows.  Are we happy? Absolutely! Do we have a guilt-free home? Almost. That will take some time.  Do things get cluttered? Once in awhile, but it only takes a little time to pick up and cleaning is mostly a breeze.

We also travel more and spend less. We are more united as a couple and talk about everything together. Finding paperwork and bills is simple. I love my clothes closet. It‘s minimalistic, but everything works with each other, and I wear them.

Best of all, I don’t trip on anything anymore.

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