When I first started my tidying journey, I thought one big weekend was going to be the start and end of minimizing my belongings and maximizing joy. Even typing this out, I realize now how silly it was to think it so simple. It's like the curse of the "final" delivery file, leaving you with a submission titled comission_v02_edit03_finalthistime_SUBMITTED.png.
The reality has been much more gradual. I tend to fixate on instant gratification: one day shipping, instantly finding a buyer for furniture I'm selling, getting a reply email 5 minutes after it's sent. Through the process of tidying I'm learning yet again how to be a Work in Progress and have peace with the state of my home. I'm in a constant state of refining what criteria I use to discard and keep possessions. Each time I discard, it becomes easier to identify what is important.
I used my newfound joy-detection from Marie Kondo to go through my closet and discard anything that didn't spark joy when I hold it or tried it on. At least, I thought I discarded "anything." I filled up 2 garbage bags full of clothes to donate, and felt that now I finally had my ideal, lightweight closet. I looked at it with satisfaction. At that point, I still had two under-bed storage containers full of costumes and seasonal clothing, not to mention another bag full of bathing suits. I tried to put those out of my mind, since they were out of sight in any case.
In clothes-tidying round 2, I immediately attacked all of the items I'd been ruminating on during the weekdays. There were tops I decided to hold onto that I changed my mind on. I tried to remember the last time I wore any of my skirts. With a freshly fiery determination, I bagged another whole pile of clothes and felt satisfied yet again. Now I'm done.
At this point I'd started reading Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki and my discarding criteria was turned on its head yet again. I had a new ideal: I only wanted to see things I felt good in and enjoyed wearing inside my closet. In addition, I decided to take Marie Kondo's advice and get rid of seasonal clothing storage -- EVERYTHING was going in the closet. I sat on the floor, surrounded by various sweaters and Halloween costumes I'd been hesitant to part with, and steeled myself yet again for a more brutal takedown. I saved all but two of my most re-wearable costumes and discarded bikinis since I now prefer one-piece suits. I kept only my favorite sweaters since I get to wear them 10 days out of the year. Success! I was finally done!
Goodbye Things was still gnawing away at me. I sorted through my desk materials and get brutally honest with myself about folders and clipboards and extra never-used pens. The result was four newly empty plastic drawers. Could I fit all of the clothes from our dresser into the closet if I use those drawers?
It was worth a try. I rearranged, which is my favorite part of tidying, since it's like puzzle solving to find the right way to make things fit. I'm finding that the puzzles get easier the more I minimize. Not only could I fit David and I's clothes in the closet, but I could fit our laundry basket in there as well. This was a huge and exciting change, since getting rid of our dresser would mean much more room and ease of movement in our bedroom.
I donated even more clothes and I was able to move my meds and makeup boxes into my side of the closet on top of my clothing bins. It's now a one stop shop for all of my morning needs.
And the weird and cool thing is, as always, I can't really remember what I've discarded now. I know there were many objects and many items of clothing. I feel like their weight has left me, and the memory of the guilt and dust they collected has gone with it.
Will I probably always think I'm done, that I've reached the final stage of my home? Most likely. Little by little that stubborn need for final-ness is fading away, and I hope I can find more joy in the Now that is my house, instead of the ideal I hope it'll become.