“Have you ever tidied madly only to find all too soon your home or workspace is cluttered again?” Marie Kondo asked this question as an introduction to her inspiring book ‘’ The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying’’.
 

And I must confess this is the only thing that is common between the famous Author Marie Kondo and me.  

Last week we saw some slow unlock happening in Pune and I rushed to get books from my regular café bookstore Pagdandi. I was rushing through stacks when I found this amazing book of Marie Kondo ‘’ The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying’’ beckoning at me from the bamboo racks.  Books are always spiritual experiences, I truly believe books come home and they are not bought.  I took this book in hand fondly turned the pages.  It was a paperback and pretty costly. I kept it back because already I purchased “Tamil pulp fiction’’ A book by Pritam Chakravarthy and also  ’’  Whereabouts   ‘’  by  Jhumpa Lahiri.  The small inner voice said ‘’ The book you need right now is the Marie Kondo book’’ We always neglect this voice. So I kept the book back on the shelf and rushed to the auto which was waiting. I felt a tug at my heart, yes ‘’ The life-changing magic of tidying ‘’ was the reason.

 

 

‘’Put your house in order and discover what you really want to do’’

Marie Kondo

Swamiji asked in one of His Discourse ‘’ What is that thought which keeps coming constantly in your mind ?’’

It is decluttering…declutter …declutter. More space… more glittering and gleaming spaces. That is my recurring thought. We know the kind of regular prayers that goes up for sanctions.

I too have them… all those goodies and beautiful things to be granted. But one of my unusual prayers was God please help me make my house clutter-free. Give me the strength to throw all that old and useless stuff cluttering my spaces and bring in the new ( even if that meant putting up a fight or getting a scolding from the hoarders of my house ).  Save me from the mess.

This is true for mental spaces too. Meditation is the only mental decluttering tool. Physical decluttering leads to mental decluttering and vice versa. I went to Amazon and pressed the buy button. And there it was neatly parcelled delivered within two days.

I wrote few lines for my Decluttering idea for the  blog post  and started reading the book. The very same day after my Black lotus Meditation, it was time for The Wisdom read of the day. I got this page to read (quoted below ) from Swamiji. It was Swamiji speaking to me. I was so overwhelmed. I wanted the lines verbatim so I took the screenshots and kept them. I couldn’t immediately sit down and write them, I was so touched by my Guru’s Love. He simply gives His unconditional Love like a Father and Mother and God. This is just one instance where my Guru has guided me like this. I would say He is there in all my everyday experiences. Gently guiding, sometimes keeping silent. Jai Sri Hari.

Let us read this wisdom I got on that day directly from Swamiji which was the topic itself I was planning to work on and write.

Swamiji’s words of wisdom on Clutter:

 
‘’ Let me give you the golden principle, the primordial mantra to stay in the finest of physical, mental, and emotional health. If you adopt what I am going to tell you, you will become a powerful agent –a catalyst in your transformation. At the root of most ailments, diseases and disorder is clutter. Clutter could exist in your physical, mental, or emotional world. Generally speaking clutter in any one world is a strong indication that it also exists in the other two worlds. ‘’

‘’ If you simplify your life, you will feel light and nourished. The easiest way to start simplifying your life is to de-clutter it. Start by cleaning up your physical world. Look around your study, your bedroom, your kitchen, your fridge, and your garage. Get rid of as much stuff as you can and organize the rest. Make it a regular practice. This physical de-cluttering has a subtle effect on your mental state. The more you simplify your outer world, the greater simplicity in the inner world. Use mindfulness and meditation as your tools to clean up your mental and emotional world as well .’’

‘’ If you simplify your life, you will feel light and nourished. The easiest way to start simplifying your life is to de-clutter it. Start by cleaning up your physical world. Look around your study, your bedroom, your kitchen, your fridge, and your garage. Get rid of as much stuff as you can and organize the rest. Make it a regular practice. This physical de-cluttering has a subtle effect on your mental state. The more you simplify your outer world, the greater simplicity in the inner world. Use mindfulness and meditation as your tools to clean up your mental and emotional world as well .’’

   I immediately knew He heard my prayers. I must work on de-cluttering for the simplicity and space I am longing for.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

 ‘’ Before you start, visualize your destination’’

Marie Kondo

Before you start throwing away things you must visualize the ideal lifestyle you are dreaming of. Once you visualize the ideal lifestyle you must start asking the ”Why ?” question repeatedly to get more clarity. I haven’t asked this question why I am longing for clean spaces and more space simply because I can’t find a crisp answer. Or maybe I am too lazy to contemplate as usual.

I directly started de-cluttering my personal spaces and things.  Yes, too much accumulated emotions and stuff. He must be smiling. I am willing to give it a try. Because this is what I want.

Does it spark joy?
 

This is the most important question in The Kon Marie method of banishing clutter and making our spaces free.  You can easily throw things which outdated and broken, but sometimes you don’t find an actual reason why you should discard them. In this situation take  that object in your hand and ask this question’’ Does it spark any joy ?’’ If the answer is ‘’No’’ discard it immediately. This way you will soon surround yourself with spaces with things you love.

Old Bags, they are never empty.
 

The first things I attacked were two old handbags. They were hanging there on clothes stand for many months just getting fat day by day causing me confusion every time I looked at them. Throw or not to throw?

I cannot give away these bags because their bellies were loaded with mysterious stuff. First I need to check their contents. I upturned the bags and emptied their contents on my bed. Out came… Komono.

( Don’t worry. Komono is the Japanese name for Miscellaneous things. )

The things you were holding on to…a neat bunch of safety pins, the needle, and thread, the sticker bindis, the unused shoppers stop gift vouchers which are already outdated by two years, small shampoo bottle, the cherry red organic lipstick (there you were hiding, I got another one ) two dozen green and golden tinted glass bangles, the red and white lac bangles, combs…. . Remnants from travels like wet tissues, strips of crocins, balms, cotton balls….

Souvenirs, trinkets, bracelets…seashells, beach sand, plastic frangipani flower clips ( a reminder of Bali, the little girl who sold them near the Pura Tanah Lot . I will keep it )  round pebbles ( round pebble collected for using it for mindfulness it is for keeps . Yeah it brings joy to me, how I collected it from the riverside in Scotland. )

Before the attachment behind every Komono gripped me I emptied the contents into a collection bag and gave the big yellow bag to Rupa and the red one to Anita.

The next day morning Anita came to work with a song in her heart. She did a small jig and said  ‘’tumra bag mereko bahut pasand aya. Mera marad ne bhi bola bahut accha hai. Mere ko koi nai deta isa bag’’ . Wow !! She is celebrating my old handbag. I wasn’t expecting this reaction at all. Even if you give something new or something precious people rarely appreciate it. A bag that was clutter for me became an object of intense joy for my maid.

With old bags gone, the bags I regularly used and loved found some space to belong.

 Next was the old stock of clothes piled into my Son’s wardrobe. A quiet boy he never objected to my keeping (stuffing )all my stuff into his cupboard when he returned home after his higher studies two years back. He kept many of his belongings on the floor.  I felt remorse. How rude I was in not giving him enough space in his room. I decluttered the wardrobe without mercy. When he saw space in his wardrobe he felt so grateful.

Lakshmy Bai loved the old clothes, pillow covers, tops, and bedsheets. She also took home the piled-up tins and cans from the kitchen decluttering. I could see my storage spaces breathing freshness.  True Joy!

 

The toughest was the darkest corner under the ironing table. Well, I cannot explain in words about this corner. Into that small corner space under the staircase went big rice storage tins, newspapers, photography props, a chappal stand, and an ironing stand. It also stored footballs and cricket bats, tripods, paper rolls, huge collection of grocery bags. I don’t know that space must have been begging for air so long! When the old and unkempt newspaper came out from an inner secret shelf I felt like crying. What a mess! Everything was pulled out to the middle of the room and  I sat on the floor with determination clearing clutter like possessed.  It was like waging war against clutter. Once it was done dark corner turned into a  neat space which was breathing and space started to hold some light.  It was my daughter’s turn to give me a huge compliment. She said ‘’ I have never seen the space under the ironing table so clean’’.

Now you will wonder why I allowed so much clutter in the first place. I was always decluttering mildly and every time the clutter rebounded with a vengeance. This time I was fully determined and also equipped with the Kon Marie technique.

It is still a work in progress… I know spaces are clearing with The Blessing of my Guru. Jai Sri Hari.

A short note on Author Marie Kondo:

Marie Kondo is Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner.

Marie Kondo ( Kon Mari ) started reading the housewives ’ magazine from the age of 5 and loved the order and beauty of organized spaces as she found in them. At the age of 15, she started studying the art seriously and experimented in her bedroom first and slowly working the magic in her sibling’s rooms. Now she successfully runs a business in Tokyo helping clients to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of beauty, peace, and inspiration.

Some De-Cluttering Tips Kon Mari Method :
 

1.Collect the items by category, spread them out in one spot, and hold them in your hand to make your decision. Ask this question ‘’Does it spark joy ?’’Choose those things that spark joy when you touch them.

2. Start with clothes, then books, documents, komono, and finally keepsakes or sentimental items.

3. Arrange your clothes so that they ‘rise to the right’. Hang heavy items on the left side and light items on the right. As you move towards the right side of the hanging space the length of the clothing grows shorter, material thinner, and color lighter.

4. Empty your bag every day.

5.Discard first store later

6.Pursue ultimate simplicity

7.  Don’t be distracted by the thoughts of being wasteful

8. Appreciate your possessions as if they were alive. Express your appreciation for every item that supported you during the day.

9. Being surrounded by things that bring joy makes you happy.

 Resource Links :

here 

The Black Lotus App 

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Surekha Chandrasekhar

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