I don’t really like endings of things.
Well most things.
I don’t mind when the holidays are over and I get to put everything away and the house seems huge. But other things? Like the end of vacations? or the goal that you wait and wait and wait for and it’s done and you’re left with now what? I’m not as keen on those.
And then here we are at the supposed end of our six week tidying up letting-go challenge and I’m realizing that it is not the end but the beginning. I know, a cliche line used over and over and over again, but in this case it’s the truth. Here’s why:
It would be incredibly easy to revert back to the clinging parts that I had. It would be easy to start to store a whole bunch of stuff and let the stuff dictate the happiness. This act of letting go – mentally and physically – takes a commitment to recognizing what we allow in our lives.
As you know, I started this with great fear. And this fear was rooted in almost twenty years of living with very little with regards to money. I lived those years with such deep fear – of the times when utilities would be turned off or there wasn’t money for food or for schoolbooks and so forth – so instead of letting go of things I instead kept them out of fear that I couldn’t replace them. So I had to confront that these six weeks. Especially when I went through all of my old homeschool books – that was by far, the hardest part, and in fact, I’m still not done. I think I know and remember how hard it was to acquire them all coupled with memories of a life that has since faded.
But I pushed through. I didn’t want fear to overtake progress. And I want that for you too. I want you to be able to look at all the things in your home and to be able to realize that the more we have the more we manage and the more we manage the more time we devote and the more time we devote to all of that whittles away at the time we have for happiness.
Decluttering is really a stripping of labels and baggage and allows for us space to catch our breath and breathe again.
And don’t we all want that moment? That inhale into life where we wake knowing our plate is full but that there is just less for us to move through?
So if you’ve been journeying along with me you too, have probably had some breakthroughs. Next week I’m going to be sharing some “testimonies” from others (if you’d like to add yours please leave in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and their results – to encourage. Don’t compare how much they have finished – just learn from each other. In fact, in life, that’s what I want you to remember. You may look at what I’ve done or others and try to use it as a measuring stick for your own success but that is discounting your story and everyone else’s journeys.
When we can allow ourselves to be comfortable in not comparing, but rather in learning, that too opens our eyes to more opportunities in our own life.
Take pride, my friend, in you.
Your journey. All the steps you’ve done. It all matters.
And with that – the “official” end of the tidying-up letting go challenge hits us. But, I think we all know – it’s not over. I’m going to post an update at least once a month for all of you who want to keep going – or who need the reminder.
Some totals for you.
28 bags of clothing/linens
2 bags of bath products
25 bags of books (and counting and remember I homeschooled)
6 bags of kitchen items
1 bag of donated (And still good) food
4 bags of stuff
And I haven’t even really tackled the garage or the laundry/storage room with the games.
Oh yes, and give yourself grace to give this time. I’ve had sick kids, travel, birthdays (ahem mine – here are my thoughts about turning 41) and more.
Love you guys.
2. Write down the project areas you have yet to tackle and set a goal to complete them.
3. Check in with your friend who is doing this with you and compare notes.
4. Figure out your new emotion regarding this – like my fear has been replaced with freedom. (I know, again, cliche, but man it’s the truth)
5. Share with me how many bags you’ve donated.
6. Make it a goal to “check” areas at least once a month.
7. And finally, adopt the “does this spark joy?” mantra to not just stuff but all areas of life – relationships, commitments, vacations, work and so forth. I think we’re all going to be surprised at just how much this Konmari method opens the door for happiness.
I guess this is it.
For the time being.
Doing stop making room for joy, my friends.
If you’re interested in the other weeks here they are:
Intro: The Tidying-Up Letting Go Challenge
Week1: Why Don’t You Just Start?
Week2: How to Survive the Clothing Purge (20 Ways)
Week3: Konmari Hack Your Life
Week4: Letting Go Takes Work
Week5: 10 Things to Let Go of Today