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.

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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!