By Ken DeLaat
“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”- Marie Kondo
Being admittedly a bit of a pack rat (nicer name for hoarder despite the rodent reference) my area of the house known as the office (and the heartbeat of N3 World Headquarters) has collected a significant amount of memorabilia, a ton of papers, folders, books, and assorted flash drives cds with no identification, as well as things like telescopes (3), tool sets (4) with things like screwdrivers and wrenches all brand new and still in their cases (presents from people who either don’t know me or know me well and find humor in the gesture), some chaotically categorized vintage baseball cards, a flag, a mannequin and other items too numerous to list.
It’s not the well placed disarray like the office of Rich Wheater where one begins to feel a bit of a sense of order in the disorder. Like a Picasso that begins to make more sense the longer you look at it.
No, this one is an outright omnishambles. A level of disorganization so thorough that it could nearly be labeled an art form.
Do I love it? No. Not always. It works for me until confronted with the need to amp up organizational skills to a new level and lately this need has seemed to be in waxing mode.
Has anything been done to change it?
Oh, there’s been some weak chatter to LSC Lil about ‘getting to it soon’ but it falls on deaf ears since that phrase ranks with a parent’s ‘maybe’ in the realm of possible follow through.
Thus far? A half hearted peek through the occasional box of stuff with a tossaway or two. Nothing of significance.
Then Marie came into our lives.
Lil had long planned to go through the house soon after her retirement and once we returned from a bit of a celebratory vaca, she embarked on the task like the nurse she has always been, with perseverance, resilience and a steadfast sense of duty.
Then she heard about Marie and began watching the series ‘just to get some hints’.
If you’ve heard anything about Marie Kondo who has seemed to ignite a minimalist craze or maybe read the column by our Ms. Wirts a while back you know that one of her concepts is to make a decision to keep or pitch based on whether or not the item sparks joy, correct?
We apparently had a bit of joyless stuff lying about since a mountain of material has been purged or put aside for what could be our part of the mother of all garage sale seasons given the immense popularity of Ms. Kondo.
As far as the office?
I’ve agreed to incorporate some of the methodology of decluttering.
It seems there are a lot of things that bring me joy.
On the desk one finds old toys scattered about along with a baseball or two, a plastic flute, a couple of small board games, a hat and a can of pink salmon (gift from my sister- a long story), among a sea of other items. They each help to lighten my mood when sitting with a bad case of writer's block. I could likely get rid of the salmon but according to the date on the can it’s still good until 2020 and each baseball has a particular feel when being gripped and I like both. And the flute? Well, one should never be far from some semblance of music making capability. The games I discovered can be played alone if necessary, though some are more challenging than others, and ...well….
You see what I mean?
Also, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand books lying about down here. Though I will never, ever, ever, read most of them and know for a fact deep in my heart that I will not read them, I will endure significant personal dissension when attempting to expurgate them from my reach and will find myself leafing through a couple of pages as if that alone was justification for keeping it.
And so the task at hand over the next few weeks will be slim down the office enough to make it manageable (and possibly even find sitting room for the occasional guest).
And it’s all because of Marie.
As for Lil?
The Marie thing is working for her. She has whittled down kitchen supplies, redone the filing system, torn through cabinets finding long forgotten and heretofore unused items that will be moving on and has progressed toward the clothes laden closet we share.
I only hope that during those recent long stares she casts in my direction she concludes that I still spark some joy in her life.
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