Teri Vance: Looking for ‘spark’ to tidy up
Sometime over the last couple of weeks, the mountain of clothing piling precariously at the top of my closet finally gave way to an avalanche, nearly burying me in the process.
I’m lucky to be alive.
My husband, however, didn’t see it that way.
Rather than rejoicing in my survival, my husband was annoyed, finally asking me, “When are you going to clean up that pile of clothes?”
I said I’d be more than happy to clean up the clothes if I wasn’t so busy cleaning everything else, as he’d been shirking in that department.
He didn’t agree with that assessment.
And it continued until it got to the current point where I can’t — for the sake of my pride — touch the clothes. He can’t — for the sake of his safety — mention the clothes.
I get this isn’t healthy — not for life in general or for our marriage. But I’m not sure exactly how to approach it.
As is characteristic with avalanches, this problem didn’t occur overnight; rather, it built up over time. I can’t quite reach the shelf where I store the clothes, so as they’ve accumulated, all order has been lost.
It’s more than just cleaning up the pile, it’s going to require a new system. Gary has offered to help create one (and, if I’m being honest, he’s much better at that kind of stuff than I am. But I’m not quite ready to be honest).
Everyone is talking about Marie Kondo and her new show on Netflix, “Tidying Up,” where she helps people declutter their lives and, in turn, find joy. It’s based on her book called, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
I don’t know about you, but I could really use some life-changing magic.
She recommends taking all the clothes out of your closet and putting them on the bed, going through all of them and keeping only the items that “spark joy.”
Sounds easy enough. But I’ve lived for weeks with a pile of clothes on the floor of my closet, so it’s reasonable I could find a way to survive with that same pile on my bed. I’m not sure my marriage would survive though.
My friend Lisa Kornze offered a solution.
“I recommend taking all those clothes to a room that they don’t belong in for sorting,” she said. “I just did my boys’ room last weekend this way and it was so much easier than when I’ve done my closet pile on my bed.”
Amie Miller said she read Kondo’s book years ago and had gone through the process then, but is ready to do it again.
“A lot of people are upset or making fun of the way she tells them to toss it if it doesn’t spark joy, but it’s worth it,” she said. “It is absolutely worth figuring out that you don’t really need all the things around you if they aren’t making you happy or helping you in a real way.”
That pile at the bottom of my closet definitely isn’t making me happy or helping me.
I think it’s time to give in, time to let go of my messy stubbornness so I can attack the real clutter.