This should not be such a difficult, torturous, agonizing, vexing question... I guess it's just me? A testament to the inner turmoil and furry, fuzziness? If I knew myself and wasn't so conflicted, it would be easy to answer this question? I'm just guessing...
Back to Anne Cushman's article in Tricycle (Spring 2005). The book she's referring to, in the article, was written by Karen Kingston (Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui) and published in 1999 (according to Amazon). The book recommends asking the following three questions regarding each item as you sort...
I find this particularly interesting because there is a recent author whose book has gone "viral" "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Now her latest book is "Spark Joy." What I find so curious is that the basic concept is exactly the same as Kingston's book and probably countless others along the way. Slightly different words with variable practices and processes to arrive at the same end goal... Joy - Love - Lifted Spirits and de-cluttered spaces and minds. (Side note... book wise, it's a new generation with a different jargon... note to self, research how often the same books present with only slightly different advice on similar subjects.. maybe some are due that I know something about =.)
For me, as I'm noticing, there's a distinct theme... it comes down to awareness first and foremost. Maybe that's obvious to everyone else and they just "get it" and move on. For me it's an ongoing, never ending awakening. The proverbial onion peeling over and over. Awareness of the circumstances presented by the senses and then the resulting feelings available due to the perspective on the circumstances. You can, and many people are, totally happy in a cluttered space... mad scientists and all. They're happy because their perspective on the stuff allows for joy... good for them! I have no need or desire to take their stuff away to make them happy based on some socially acceptable, cultural fascination with organization. Who am I to judge? I know what works for me and, personally, I'm mildly disorganized. I'd be a mess if I was worried about everything being perfectly in it's place all the time. Life's too short.
What I do notice is that people are frequently unaware that their clutter is costing them time or causing some mental turmoil, restlessness, upheaval or mild annoyance. Step one be aware, then comes that action step... what to do about it? Awareness level number two... what to do with it and/or why are you holding on to it?
In the article Anne realizes that "It's not the things themselves that I cling to, but the memories that swirl around them." For Anne it eventually comes down to a shift in perspective which provides guidance and motivation... "On a deeper level, it's about balancing the twin poles of spiritual life: cherishing life and holding it sacred, while knowing that it will pass away. It's about learning to care for the things and people that are precious to me - and, when it's time, freely letting them go... The joy comes not from trying to keep things forever, but from keeping them well... "
I found this inspiring because it is so eloquently and thoughtfully expressed. It assisted me in clarifying my function as a professional organizer which is NOT to inflict some pre-determined culturally acceptable way of being or lay down the law of some best practices and perfected procedures. It's really to serve as a guide on a journey of awareness. Allowing the client to discover their attachments, breakthroughs, and perspectives all along the way. Sweet! Thanks Anne Cushman and Karen Kingston.
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!