What Will Fill The Void of My Decluttered Life?

January 19, 2019 3 min read

1 Comment

I don’t need to have Netflix anymore to know that the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has surged a whole new wave of excitement over the KonMarie stuff cleanse & its “life-changing magic”.

On Instagram stories, in my neighborhood, and blogs across the internet, women and men (though, let’s be frank, the latter are mostly of the indulging-their-significant-other variety) are purging books, refolding clothes, and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” (a fancy version of: do I still want this thing?)

The desire to simplify & subtract seems like a natural reaction response to the rampant materialism & consumption that mark our current cultural era. A counterswing to the flurry of Black Friday, the holidays, and 2-day free shipping.

So, I think it it’s a good thing, unequivocally.

What's not to love about reorienting your surroundings to only reflect what you love, what brings life, what lasts, and what has meaning? I have hitched my horse, professionally, 100% to the idea of products that are a bigger investment, but imbue meaning, are well-loved, and, well... spark joy! (I'm talking kantha quilts: see!)



But, I know that when we create a void, when we remove something, the space doesn’t stay empty. Another thing moves to fill it.  I don’t mean literally, physically… this isn’t a comment on how the junk drawer will be mysteriously bursting again by March! 

If I stop a bad habit, like checking my phone a zillion times a day, what will I do with my time, my hands, my antsy-ness, instead? This is why many smokers who decide to quit start chewing gum, or go for a 5 minute walk during what used to be their smoke break at work. 

Even more abstractly, if I want to be less impatient, or think fewer judgmental thoughts, I need to create a positive resolution to focus on, too: maybe I start a mental bucket list of fun activities to think about when I am stuck in a line or otherwise trying to be patient; maybe decide to say a prayer of gratitude when I am feeling down or frustrated.


 


When we're motivated to simplify, to minimize, to clutter-bust... what do we want to fill that gap? If we don't consider the answer we envision to that question, I guarantee that the space will be filled... just maybe not with the life-giving, joy-sparking stuff we want in it.

So, what are some ideas to think through in refilling the space? 

 

  • Time One of the ideas of minimalism is that there is less to manage, and therefore more time, right? What do I want to do with my newfound time?
    • Creating
    • Relating
    • Problem-Solving
    • Helping
    • Learning
    • Working on a project, new skill, or side business
    • Netflix
    • Scrolling
    • Shopping
    • Praying
    • Exercising
    • Reading

  • Brain & emotional margin Same thing here — the lightness in the space makes room from the constantly looming threat of decision-making, right? With some decluttering, we are making space for ourselves to:
    • Grow
    • Reflect
    • Have unstructured thinking times
    • Ask spiritual questions 
    • Dream about our life
    • Bear new burdens
    • Plan for new clutter ;)

 

What else? Have you successfully decluttered and remained decluttered, in space and/or mind? Thoughts on the list above, or on all the recent KonMarie love?

Share your thoughts & stories in the comments below.


1 Response

Laurie Rodney
Laurie Rodney

January 20, 2019

I am constantly amazed at how a simplified uncluttered environment helps me think more clearly. The process of decluttering is also opening space to make choices about what to allow into my life.

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