My Konmari Vision

I am pretty proud of myself.  It is Xmas Eve, and even though there are still presents to be wrapped and stuff to be baked, I am sitting here writing about my Konmari Vision!  My toddler has been sick since Monday and very clingy.  I have had precious little time to myself over the last few days and haven’t felt tip-top myself.  So in order to make it through the rest of today, when we will go to my lovely in-laws who are stressed out about a family situation and are just generally in need of patience, I am taking time to type up what I have so far.

I am in this great FB group for Konmari.  It’s a small one, with a focus of how Konmari and chronic health challenges interplay.  My own health challenges have somewhat abated, which I am thankful for, and which also makes me feel like somewhat of an imposter in the group.  However, with any hormonal change I could be back in the same boat so I am staying in order to help take good care of myself.  I think it’s what any of the ladies in the group would want for themselves as well.


Haha, here I am resuming this post on December 26.  I have found something that takes a lot of frustration out of my life, and that is parking my computer in the craft room instead of in the dining room where it can sing its siren song at all hours.  But that’s an aside.  Back to the Konmari vision!

So the fabulous FB group I mentioned above has a weekly thread that’s taken me a while to understand.  It is a check in about how we can live our Konmari visions NOW, not when we are done KMing.  Given the health challenges of the members in the group (and life in general), the process doesn’t always move along as quickly as presented in the book.  Finally I decided to dig into my personal vision.

I did three things to get some idea of my vision, two from the book (page 36) and one from member Diana from the above-mentioned group.

  1. Wrote about what my house would look like ideally, and how I would feel. (per book)
  2. Pulled out the themes and then asked “why?” over and over. (per book)
  3. Also sat back in the recliner, closed my eyes and pictured my day in my ideal home.  It was hard without a guided meditation/visualization to listen to, but I did get some useful information. (from Diana)

From the free-write, what I felt came out the most was:

  • clear surfaces (mentioned several times)
  • the house to feel like “a supportive friend,” a place that is sometimes “quiet” (in the sense of not screaming obligations at me – clean me! put me away! you didn’t finish me yet!) so I can enjoy my husband and son, do other projects without guilt, and just simply relax
  • Putting away ongoing projects neatly and out of sight/stored attractively in order to easily come back to them later
  • Being able to invite friends and family over on a whim
  • Being able to walk through the house unobstructed
  • No piles
  • Fresh smell (this one surprised me)
  • Decor we both like

Then I pulled out what felt like the three strongest themes and asked myself “why” until I felt I got the root of the statement.

  • “I want the house to feel like a supportive friend.”  I won’t outline all my thinking, but it came down to wanting control of my time and my life – not simply spending it in the whirlwind of STUFF and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
  • “I want clear surfaces.”  I feel a lot calmer.  Ultimately, I feel empowered and free.  If I want to do any project, I can!  Because the cleaning is already done.  If I want to use that space or another, I don’t have to clean it first.
  • “I want to be able to invite friends or family over on short notice.”  In the end, so my attention can be fully on the people I’m with (versus going out to restaurants, wrestling wiggly child, spending money, feeling as if you can only stay for a certain amount of time, etc.).

Lastly, I sat and tried to picture my day in my Konmari utopia.  I didn’t get a lot of images other – was hard to focus, did do this part on Xmas Eve and my mind was elsewhere – but I did see:

  • An unhurried morning routine.  I got up, was able to make breakfast, strolled to work unruffled.
  • Then I got glimpses of what I would do if I didn’t have to be allllllllllways working on our house.  I got images of being outside – hiking, and also in a canoe with my husband.  We have not done either of these things in a few years – since our baby came, but also since we started our basement project.

So I learned a number of very useful things through this exploration about how I can live my Konmari vision NOW, just like the thread on FB asks us to think about.

  • I can work to keep the most frequently used surfaces clear:  at a minimum – the dining room table and buffet, kitchen counters, mail station, top of my dresser and top of baby’s dresser clear.  That would contribute tremendously to my sense of calm at home.  And to do it, I will have to KM some stuff.  A lot of what ends up on these surfaces are items that don’t have a home.  Do we really need them, then?
  • I can do some things to help it smell fresh.  I don’t like commercial/synthetic air fresheners, but I can mop, and put out natural scents (stovetop air fresheners like orange peels, vanilla, etc. – tons on Pinterest), and use tea tree oil in the diaper pail to help the place smell fresher.  I can enable DH to keep up with the vacuuming.  He loves it, and I do not, but with our toddler underfoot, he doesn’t get as much vacuuming done as he would like.  Further KMing will help in this area, because when there isn’t sh*t to vacuum around, we can vacuum more thoroughly.  Also, then the dog won’t lay on and stink up everything (couch blankets, clean laundry that doesn’t get folded fast enough, etc.).  I can try to bathe dog more often, but unlikely to happen, especially in winter.
  • I can put away projects that are partially finished.  I have plenty of folders and clear envelopes for paperworky projects.  I have some storage boxes in my scrapbooking stuff that could help.
  • I can put on a timer when I start to clean.  When I’ve put in a certain amount of time, that can be good enough for now.  I tend to start and get so overwhelmed that I can’t do it all.  I can NEVER do it all at once.  At first I also had that I WILL never be able to do it all at once, but I deleted it.  Maybe with Konmari I will.  But not yet – so I need to have some mental tricks to allow myself the grace, relaxation and enjoyment of life NOW as well as later.
  • Recommit to KM!  This exercise was useful to help me see how KMing is the portal to all this goodness.  While I can make some of it happen now, it will require effort and focus and mental expenditure.  Hopefully once KMing is complete it will just come naturally.  Keep an eye on the prize!

Daring Greatly

change of direction

So, I think it’s time for a change of direction with this blog.  I started it back in the summer of 2013, wanted a theme, etc., but the themed blog thing has really never worked well for me.  It feels like way too much pressure, and then when I want to write about something that’s not on the theme, I don’t do it, because it doesn’t fit.  Then I start to feel bad that I’m not “keeping up” with the blog (like there are blog police or something).  I don’t want to burden forum friends with my copious musings, so I don’t put them there.  I don’t keep a journal.  It’s just all stuck up in my head, and is all too segmented.  But my thoughts don’t fit into neat little boxes – I suppose no one’s do.

I think it helps to let go of the idea that any and every blog I start must make money.  I can just have a blog.  That’s ok.  Honestly.  It doesn’t have to be a gateway to a business.  I’d like to have my own business, and I’d like to blog about it.  But the blog doesn’t have to BE the business.  That’s one thing I’ve learned – the publishing schedule required to build an readership, well, it’s not really for me.  Or maybe when I open up and allow myself to truly post whatever I need to get out there, it will be for me.  And then there won’t be a discernable theme so people know if they are a kindred or not.  Uffda.  So anyway, blog baggage, setting you aside.

So that’s it.  THIS is going to be my blog, and ok, I’ll keep up Twin Cities Gluten Free as well, since it’s pretty well developed already, though it has a paltry readership.  But my green/frugal blog?  Bye bye.  The blog about personal explorations?  Bye bye.  Come into the fold of wonder, greenness/frugality/personal growth.  You are going to live here now.  And it might even become a bit of mommy blog, too.  That’s the most terrifying part.  Mommy blogs are polarizing!!  Even if someone’s just talking about their own personal experience as a mom!

So that’s the segue into the title of the post.  I have been reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, where she explores vulnerability and how we must be able to feel and display it, no matter how much it sucks.  Her two TED talks hooked me, and the book has me thinking about vulnerability every time I pick it up (usually before bed, hmmm, perhaps not the best choice . . . ).  Which brings me to my fave, fave, fave blogs . . . Organized Chaos and Bill, Miss and Brood and Puttylike (where I was inspired by a recent post to make this change here).  I have many others that I like pretty dang well, but these three are the READ-EVERY-SINGLE-POST blogs in my feed reader.  And you know why?  Because all of the authors are vulnerable.  They put it out there – not to whine, not to impress, just to be themselves and to be frank about where they are at with life at the moment.  But it’s not just that.  It’s about recognizing where they are at, but then what the next step is or what the lesson is from having been in that place, even if it’s still becoming clear.  I would like to be able to be like that, both in the blogosphere and in real life.  So Brené has me working on it.  🙂

But it scares the shit out of me, so we’ll see how it goes . . . 🙂

Baby steps . . . baby steps . . . at least this blog is reclaimed now, and the intention set.  Feels good.