Finished, But Not Quite

I think I have officially finished the big life-changing clear out that began back in May. Well, at least I have checked off all the main boxes on my original list. But I do feel like I'm not quite done.

Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, has certainly been just that (which is much fodder for another post). And I am now curious to see at what point my level of possessions "clicks", as she discusses. This is essentially an equilibrium point of the number of belongings with which you feel at ease. I assume now after the initial cull is done, I can begin the process of tweaking here and there to find out where this set point lies. 

And that is good, because there are three specific reasons I don't feel completely finished. 

The first is that when it comes to sentimental items, particularly the letters and photos, I still think I kept too many. I whittled the letters/cards down from over six shoe boxes to three and I categorized and shifted through countless photos, ending up with four shoe boxes of discards and rejects. I am planning to make new photo albums with the remaining pictures -- a much more slimmed-down and edited version of my life story to remember now. 

With clothes and other less personal items, I was ready to send discarded things out to the rubbish bins or charity shop straight away. Not so with the photos and personal correspondence. I need more time to read through the letters and start to make albums of the photos, in order to decide where I am comfortable. And being an incredibly sentimental people-person, despite my brash blog post Burn 'Em?, I am no where near ready to set flames to my discarded letters. This might take me a while. 

The second reason is I haven't even really begun to read the pile of papers of my early writing. Or the diaries. I have no idea how much of that I will end up saving and in what form. But that is a project that will not take a few hours or even a weekend. And I am looking forward to the process -- and you should as well, considering the positive reaction I received from my brother and sister-in-law at my debut reading of "Thunder Under the Sun," a novel I started that sounds incredibly similarly to a V.C. Andrews book (remember Flowers in the Attic?). I promised them I would serialize it on the blog. I am currently working up the nerve. 

There's yet another reason: the electronic cull awaits. In this day and age I cannot just clear out the physical stuff and ignore the mess that awaits on all my electronic devices. Now that would be sloppy. (Kondo doesn't discuss this in the book, so I guess I'm on my own here, although a friend forwarded me her list, so I will try to use that as a guide.)

But the good news is I believe I've succeeded in the main task set out in Kondo's book: to clear out all my possessions in less than six months. The point of this is to feel a monumental shift in attitude to belongings. And the peripheral benefits of this are already clear. Not only is there the weird, added bonus of finding it incredibly easy to be neat -- something that has eluded me throughout my life -- but I am also gaining a better sense of who I am and what's important to me in life. 

(I know, no one believes I'm not a neat person. It's one of my two best kept secrets. The other one is that I am a bad speller. Just ask my Mom, she will confirm.)

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