I’ve been messy my whole life. Growing up not a day went by that I didn’t get an earful from my mom about my room. She told me I was like a snake molting its skin, you could see the trail of clothes along with my floor from when I undressed. While I’ve gotten a bit more organized over the years, I’m far from what I would consider minimalist. I’ve got stuff, lots of stuff. The sheer size of the number of things I’ve acquired over the years is jarring, to say the least. So when the opportunity arose to write this article, I thought “maybe I can finally get my life together.”
“…the number of things I’ve acquired over the years is jarring, to say the least.”
I’m sure many of you have heard about the genius Marie Kondo, the now famous organizational mastermind. I first found out about her after watching the new Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Using her methods, I started what seemed impossible, cleaning my room. I went through all of my things, I cleaned out my closet, my drawers, my desk, and I ended up with a massive pile in the middle of my bedroom. The next step was to go through each item, one at a time, and decide if it “sparked joy.” At first, it felt awkward and slow, but as I stopped thinking about how weird I was for doing this and started to really think about what I wanted in my life, it became easier to discern what really sparked joy for me. I’m not going to bore you with the gritty details, the procrastinating, getting sidetracked because of the memories that were attached to certain items, or the indecisiveness when it came to actually tossing things out. Just know it took a long time and it wasn’t easy, but by the end, my pile had shrunk significantly. I felt like I’d accomplished something actually productive and bettered my life. I went to bed feeling good about myself.
Then my life happened, I had days where I felt too tired to tidy up, or when I didn’t necessarily have time to clean up little clutters. Sometimes life can feel like a whirlwind where everything is rushing around you and you have to run to keep up, by the time you stop to catch your breath you hardly recognize how you got there. A couple of weeks passed and I somehow found myself in the same mess as before. My messiness was my autopilot setting, two decades worth of habits had overridden any advice Marie had bestowed upon me. It’s rough feeling like you’ve failed at something, especially when it seems simple like staying clean. When I finally mustered the motivation to try again, I found it much easier. The process is set up to make it easier on you if you “fail” and what I realized is that there isn’t really a failure, it’s more of a stumble. Being a messy person seems inevitable until you realize that becoming organized isn’t something you do once, it’s a lifestyle change and it isn’t always easy. While I wouldn’t consider myself someone who isn’t messy just yet, I am well on my way. So if you’re a messy person that’s reading this, know that you’re not alone, we’re still out here making messes and cleaning up after them as we go.