A Place for Everything: The Overhaul

Hello Readers!  I’m sure by now you have heard of the latest craze for households: the konmari system of decluttering.  While I’m not completely familiar with this exact system, I am a huge advocate of decluttering and cleaning out in general.  And so, since I’ve set a goal to do a complete overhaul of our home this year, I thought I would spent some time talking about the overhaul.

If you follow the Konmari system, then you’re already on your way to doing an overhaul.  If not, then I can offer you a little background on it and on doing something similar in your own home.  First of all, the Konmari system, created by Marie Kondo, is based on the Japanese system of decluttering and minimalism.  Of course, Japan is a small country with a lot of people, and as a result their society is big on minimalism.  They like to only keep what brings them joy.  And so they often get rid of what doesn’t bring joy to their lives.

In the United States, however, we often judge people by their belongings.  Stuff, in general, is often seen as a status symbol: the more you have the richer you must be.  But, the Konmari system has become big news in our society for a reason.  First of all, I don’t know too many people with a lot of stuff that are truly happy.  And that’s the trending feeling lately: stuff doesn’t make you happy as we once believed.

For me, personally, the overhaul and the decision to clean out our clutter comes after experiencing the aftermath of having too much.  My parents moved into their most recent home when I was in my early twenties for one main reason: the large 4 car, 20 ft. ceilings shop on the property.  Ever the tool guy and former building contractor, my dad fell in love with the shop.  And over the years, he made the shop his haven, his domain, and his pet project.  In other words, he went crazy with tools and what have you.

And then he was gone.  Very suddenly.  One minute he was talking to my mom about her trip and the next he was gone.  He quite literally dropped dead, leaving behind my stunned mother and two shell shocked daughters.  And a shop filled to the brim with tools and equipment and things that I still scratch my head about.  My mother has spent over a year trying to sort through everything and sell it or give it away (the boat was given to a family friend, the RV camper to my sister, and the truck to another family friend).  And yet, even a year and a half later, she still has a half full shop of tools and equipment.

To add to that, she’s in the process of building a home in our area with the hope of moving in the next couple of years.  So not only does she have a shop to empty but she also has a house to prepare for a move.  And a lot of decluttering to do.  Both my sister and I have been helping her with all of this for over a year now.  And let me tell you: it’s a lot of work!  Just when I feel like we’ve gotten close to the end we discover more.

Now, my mom isn’t a pack rat, but she is a shopaholic at best.  And she has been known to resort to retail therapy in tough times.  Unexpectedly losing your partner midsentence can be classified as a tough time, I would think.  So, her compulsive shopping has taken over, which has resulted in not just a lot of stuff in her home but also in ours as she has been spending huge amounts of money on everyone.  No matter what my sister and I say to her, we often wind up frustrated as we try to find room for the excess from “Grandma” in our homes.

So, the entire ordeal has left me desperate to overhaul our home.  I have two families constantly spoiling our son Sean, and our home can barely take what we have anymore.  Aside from always feeling frazzled over the stuff everywhere, I also am very conscientious of what I leave behind.  I don’t want our son Sean to look back at his childhood and say “man!  My mom had way too much stuff!” like I sometimes do.  I don’t want him to remember the stuff in the house; I want him to remember the family and the home we have.

But I also don’t want to leave a disaster for him.  As morbid as it sounds, my father’s unexpected death has brought my own legacy to my mind.  I was scarred by it, mainly because I was the first to learn about it because I had called the moment he passed when everyone was still in shock over the ordeal.  It scarred me.  And what I’ve learned is that people don’t always leave their affairs in order.  In fact, we don’t know when our time on Earth is done.  I would rather my own family be able to grieve my passing without having to weed through the junk for years as well.

So, a large part of my overhaul is related to my own encounters with settling affairs of someone who has passed.  As such, I have already begun on my own overhaul project, starting with my Dining Room, primarily my “office” space.  And it feels fantastic to begin making a difference in my home.  While it will take me a year to complete this project, I am excited to see the changes already being made in our home!

Until next time,

-BBM

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