How to see things more clearly
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I’ve always teased my brother in law about his t-shirt wearing. Every week he wears the same couple of shirts on rotation for months at a time.
He isn’t lacking in the t-shirt department either. He has stacks. I know, I’ve give him a few! But he always grabs the top one from the pile resulting in the same look week in week out, until he flips over the pile and starts the process from the bottom.
Not being able to see more than one layer down in your clothes drawer is a common problem. I know, because I’ve been asking to see everyone’s clothes drawers recently and they all look much the same; piles of shirts, pants and shorts stacked on top of each other, neatly or otherwise.
But there is a better way to fold your clothes and this one allows you to see your stuff more clearly.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I’d come across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on the interwebs a few months ago. Although I was interested, I didn’t do much about it, figuring I wouldn’t get anything life changing from the book since I was already pretty good at tidying up.
I’d also read a few reviews suggesting that the entire premise of the book could be summed up as ‘discard stuff that doesn’t bring you joy’.
It wasn’t until the slender volume caught my eye on the returns trolley at the library that I decided fate must have brought us together. Grabbing it off the trolley I realised I hadn’t brought my library card or any id.
Thankfully my friends came to the rescue, all the while sniggering at the fact that it was them who could use the advice not me. Having said that, they didn’t appreciate it when I read passages to them aloud to help them in their tiding challenges.
Which is an interesting point; we are drawn to what we have an interest in already.
Essentially books like these are preaching to the converted. When we select what we read or watch it’s based on what affirms our point of view. It can deepen our understanding or present a new way of seeing, but rarely would a book or documentary be the catalyst for big changes. Generally, humans need crisis for that to happen.
Yes, the premise of the book is simple; ‘discard stuff that doesn’t bring you joy’. If you can take that and run with it to its’ natural conclusion, then the book probably isn’t worth your time.
But if you adopt that philosophy and get stuck when you come across a shirt you used to like but don’t wear anymore or a book you bought last year, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet, then getting your hands on a copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is worth it.
That way you understand the reasoning behind the premise and are free to choose how you take action.
Initially I chose to ignore the advice on how to fold clothes. As a self-professed minimalist, I felt my cupboards were fine just the way they were. Then on a whim I tried it anyway and it’s been eye opening.
I’m not a minimalist. Despite the frequent conviction that I don’t have anything to wear, I have a lot of clothes. I can see this now. And I’ve realised that there are two ways of seeing.
Two Ways of Seeing
You see things both with your eyes and your heart. The contents of your closet physically exist and when you open the door you can see with your eyes what’s in there. Well, if it’s tidy enough.
The contents of your heart encompass your life situation; your family, friends, the satisfaction you get from work, the things you enjoy doing in your spare time. These are trickier to see, because you need to bring them to mind and acknowledge them.
Seeing is essential to financial freedom. In order to achieve it, you need to make choices about how you spend your money.
Just like in your clothes drawer, if you can’t see the next layer down you will be tempted to keep on buying.
If your cupboards are in chaos and you can’t see what you have, then it’s time to get your house in order.
That’s where The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up comes in. First you surround yourself with the things you truly love and you are able to see that you have enough.
- Get your house in order. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends handling each item to get an appreciation of how you feel about it and recognise all the stuff that you have.
- Refold your clothes so that you can see what you own. Be warned, once you start you might find it’s a bit addictive and you just want to keep going.
- To start seeing with your heart, not just your eyes, start a gratitude practice.
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