Designing My World

I started reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, and, as I expected, I’m loving it. But, a lot of what I didn’t expect is being stirred up in me, too. The approach to home being just as important as what we eat or wear has always made sense to me. The effect that your space has upon your life, and the way our things reflect who we are are both ideas that I have routinely talked about. And as cathartic as I find decluttering and throwing things away, I was really quite excited to start ruthlessly getting rid of things. But what I didn’t expect was how much this book would make me evaluate my life.
 
Part of the KonMari method is imagining the life you want in very concrete terms. An example the book gives is a woman who describes the life she wants as “feminine”, with a pink bedspread, a white lamp, aromatherapy baths and yoga after dinner. That concrete picture becomes quite important to shaping the next steps of creating space for that life. And while that urge to create a space for life and joy was why I bought the book in the first place, I realized I didn’t have a picture in my brain of how I want things to be. I have broad terms of the life I want: family-oriented, joyful, spiritual, soft. But I can’t even identify a style of my own.
 
For most of my life, the things I owned were either tightly controlled by authoritarian parents, or they were cheap, functional possessions that we found to make do in the depths of poverty. As a child, I was not allowed to decorate my room in any other way than how my father chose, so I really didn’t develop a taste for what I like. And then when I moved out and got married, we couldn’t afford much. So our house is filled with ugly couches we found on the side of the road, cheap bookshelves to hold the few precious books we own, and kitchen items we’ve collected piece by piece over the years. The house doesn’t have a cohesive style at all. Heck, the only room that really looks like it was planned in any way is the baby’s room. Don’t get me wrong; I adore this house. And we have had a lot of fun finding creative solutions to make our house warm and hospitable. But, after reading some of this book, I realize if I was set loose in IKEA with a blank check, I would be unable to tell you what my style is like, or pick a group of things that went together in a way that I think would look nice in my home.
 
So I’m doing a lot of contemplating what’s important to me, what activities I’d like to make space for, what kind of life I want. I’m poking around on Pinterest, seeing what I like, trying to do some creative imagining about what this home could say about me. And then I’ll continue with the book and throw things away and do all that delicious decluttering. But for now, it’s time to design my world. 

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