Decluttering my way through life
From time to time I fall prey to an insane reorganizing and decluttering attack. Or -as the fashionable peeps call it nowadays-: I suddenly find myself Marie Kondo-ing my home. A new verb and activity, named after the immensely popular Japanese declutter-and-reorganize guru. I can’t claim that you heard it here first, but at least you heard it here;-).
No matter how many garbage bags filled with clothes, books and whatever stuff I drag out of my woman-cave, my house roughly looks the same. I don’t suddenly have lots of empty shelves or cabinets. It’s a mystery. Or izzit?
So what does that tell
you me? That I’m a crazy hoarder? Or that I’m a great organizer? I say the latter. A drawer can appear to be full. Give me a box with ‘stuff’ and I will fit that into that already full drawer. No sweat. Easy peasy.
So far this intro leading up to my trip down memory lane.
Trip down memory lane
About a month ago I suddenly found myself grabbing photo albums and scrapbooks . I sat on my couch for 4 days, buried under a pile of albums, sifting through them. Every page and every picture went through my hands.
From one moment to another they weighed on me. I have no children. Who’s ever gonna have a look at them? Why hang on to them?
What would my psycho-analyst have to say about that?! If I had one, that is…
“Oh dear, you are suffering from acute depression during which nothing matters to you any more!” Or: “Wow, good for you! You are practicing detachment. Enlightenment. So very Zen of you!”
Nah, I think she would just say : “Aha, you read Marie Kondo too! Isn’t she awesome?! I just folded all my T-shirts into small packages. High Five!”
The pain and relief of letting go
Anyhow, I went through about 20 albums. (Yes, I have dozens and dozens of them)
Threw out complete albums. Straight from the shelf into a garbage bag. Well, almost… I kept some pictures and pages here and there.
Did it hurt? Yes, a little. For sure. Letting go is not always easy.
Taking digital pics of (some of) the pics helped ease the pain and smoothed the process. Not the best way (’cause low quality), but easy and fast. The alternative would be to scan each and every picture. Or have your personal assistent do that for ya… If only I had one;-).
The process was unsettling, because, well… you are confronted with a ton of memories. People that died, exes that you once loved but now hate, beloved pets who are in cat or dog heaven….
So after those 20 albums I had to stop. For now. But overall it felt good!
Selfies from the past
Ok, technically only some are selfies, while most are pictures of me, taken by others. I say potato..potato…
Let me share a bit about myself via these (-poor quality, sorry-) pics:
For a long time both me and my hair were short
- Until I was around 15 years old, I always was the smallest girl in my class. My natural hair color is dark-blond (or pepper-and-salt) and I was not allowed to have long hair. The other girl with short hair was my friend and neighbor. We are still friends, but I am a head taller than her now;-). Look at these pictures, taken a few months ago.
- That same friend is standing on the left in this picture. My (slightly younger, but wayyyy taller) cousin stands on my right. We were celebrating the yearly Carnival.
- When I turned 15 I was finally allowed to grow my hair. I was thrilled about that!
- I started bleaching my hair a tiny bit.
- Here I did all that unruly hair in a tight bun to please my parents. NOT a good idea! Ugly. The Dalmatian, named Bas, officially belonged to my brother, but was my first puppy-love. I adored that dog!
- My hair is getting longer. Wearing a BoHo-kinda look similar to what I wear nowadays. The circle of trends in fashion.
Longer hair, puppy love and hippie style
7. My first own puppy. A cute but wild thing, that I had to give up (to a good owner, no worries) after three months. I simply was incapable of disciplining a dog at that point in my life. Where were you Cesar, dog whisperer, when I needed you?!
8. Long, blond hair. I had no idea at the time that you are not supposed to brush or comb your curls, resulting in either the notorious ‘pyramid-hair’ look or simply a thick blanket of hair.
9. That time when I thought I needed a perm. On top of my already curly hair. I say: SHEEP!:-( What was I thinking???
10. Hippie look, with vintage fur coat. What did I tell you? Trends in fashion come back and again and again…. And yes, of course there is a doggie at my feet (belonging to the photographer). If you hang with me, you may see me at the feet of random doggies even more than the other way round. I know, Cesar the dog whisperer would so not approve!
A dog-loving skinny girl with very blond hair and a boho look
11. and 12. I was very skinny until the age of 25. From then onwards my weight went up and down. From the age of 40 I had to start dieting on and of to keep things under control.
Short haired girl with short haired cats
13 to 20: them days in which I thought I could get away with short(-ish) hair. Note to self: DON’T! I had my hair pretty blond during those days. Up to almost white, as in picture 20. I still love very blond hair. If it were not so damaging to my hair and if the outgrowth would not be such a bother, I would immediately make my hair 5 shades blonder.
On picture 15 you see one of my first cats. I think I had six cats over time, always two at the same time and always european short hair. With my current nomad life, alas no pets for me:-(. Very sad. But the right decision.
A look that is so not me: formal jackets
21 to 26: when I worked in a big organization, I often wore suits, or at least jackets. I owned many of them. But jackets make me bulky and look formal. And I hate how they feel on my shoulders. So as soon as that job ended, I threw out almost all of my jackets. Yay!
22. With my nephew. He has his own family now. Time flies! Another ‘before-the-nosejob’ picture.
23. At least I combined my jacket with jeans, jeans shirt plus a leather tie for a less formal look.
I wore a lot of black and grey during my corporate years, as you can see.
And the last batch
31. Quite a misfit, right? Me in my most alternative period, in the classic house of my parents. Clash!
32. Holding a magnum bottle with my mum and my niece.
33. Dancing tango in Buenos Aires. I was clearly having a skinny period at that time;-).
34., 35., 36. : I always loved pastels and soft fabrics. Still do.
Pictures 31, 35 and 36 are pre-nosejob.
Happening now: we are moving!
Back to the present. We are moving (to a higher floor and a bigger apartment), so there are boxes to be packed. More about our new home soon.
Do you keep a lot of physical momentos, like photos and scrapbooks? What do they mean to you? Are you a Marie Kondo adept? (I’m not, by the way. I’m already pretty Marie Kondo-ish by nature.) How did she inspire you? What do you do different after reading her book?