“Let it gooo, let it gooohooo!” (Nope, this post is not about Frozen)

by LP

Earlier today I finished the book everybody everywhere is reading or has already read: “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. As I am one of these people who seems to be incapable of not be surrounded by Crap I was very interested in the what and the how. Although in the last 15 years I have managed to downsize from “half a step removed from a complete trash heap” to “still on the messy side, but livable” and managed to keep it that way by throwing things out on a regular basis, I would really like to get to a point where I don’t have to do this anymore.

According to the book, this is possible. I must say that at first I wasn’t entirely convinced. Some of the things she advises, like throwing away all paperwork like bank statements and pay slips, are just not practical here in The Netherlands where you’re supposed to keep them for at least three years/you are required to show them if you want to receive unemployment benefits, grants, study loans, or if you want to rent/buy a house. Other things are honestly too involved for me: I am really sorry, but I am not going to spend the rest of my life taking EVERYTHING out of my bag every day, put it in a box and then put stuff back in the next day. Sure, it’s only 10 minutes each day, but I am quite sure that when I’m on my death bed I won’t be thinking: “I wished I had unpacked my bag every day”. Or maybe I will, but I’m just going to take the chance. #livingontheedge

What did strike a chord felt like a punch in the face was the following quote:

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future”.

“An attachment to the past or a fear for the future”… File under: the essence of my being, in 11 words. And indeed, many of the things that have long served their purpose, but that I haven’t managed to get rid of until now are things that remind me of what I used to be (or worse: could/should have been, but didn’t get to be) or things that I’m saving because “you never know”. Ouch.

So the first thing (well, apart from taking my bank statements to the unemployment office) I will be doing After My Studies is go through all my stuff Konmari style. It’s going to take quite a while and will probably not be very pleasant, but I am quite looking forward to no longer being surrounded by stuff that indicate I’m stuck somewhere attached to the past, fearing the future.