Summer has been coming along. Jack (5.5) had a week of camp that he liked. He slowed down on reading a bit; he is over 60 lessons through 100 Easy Lessons and no longer asks to do it every night. According to unschooling principles, he will do it when he is interested in improving his skills. Elazar (8) is going to camp in the afternoons, skipping the morning (davening/learning). Chana and I are enjoying chemistry in the morning and continuing with Sefer Devarim at other times in the day. She also takes Japanese and violin. I have a meeting next week with the principal to discuss what classes she'll be taking in the high school I teach at.
Yesterday, I finally got up the stamina to konmari my clothing. It's a method of decluttering. I have been fighting the tendency to hoard for over a decade, and I think I really turned a corner when I hired organizers before Aharon was born (about 5 years ago). I learned things like "things shouldn't fall out when you open the door." Perhaps that's obvious. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of "when you look, be able to see at a glance everything that is there."
One of the things I thought was that decluttering is a constant process. Like being tidy or being neat or being clean (none of which things I am, especially), it needs constant vigilance and work. I learned a lot from flylady, but she has morning routines and evening routines and daily routines and weekly routines. It has been a constant struggle to get myself into habits of daily straightening. Or even to figure out what daily straightening looks like.
A big piece is decluttering. The fewer objects there are, the easier it is to clean up. Things are less overwhelming. I have embraced decluttering (though I'm not very good at it yet) and the principles of minimalism.
I began to understand that decluttering and tidying have the same problem. You have to always be doing them. I'd rather sit down and relax or read. People who are tidy are often doing a bit of tidying. I'm chilling instead.
But then konmari's book says that if you do her method once and thoroughly, you never go back. You don't revert. You don't need to declutter every few months. You do it all and are so swept away with the joy of
a) being surrounded only by things that you love and spark joy and
b) the extremely easy way to put everything away because there aren't so many things and it is obvious where they go and simple to put them there
that you never go back.
Intriguing. Can you imagine Pesach cleaning in that type of situation? Can you imagine living like that?
But implementing it is challenging. All sorts of psychological issues crop up. What is emotionally preventing me from removing things in my life that don't spark joy?
I did clothing yesterday. I cheated and put some of the clothing that I wear to work but don't spark joy in the back of my closet. If I get through September and October and don't use them, then hopefully I'll be able to let them go.
After I did it, I asked myself questions such as:
Why do I have the boys' summer clothing in two bins, when I also have two dressers for them? And why do I have a third bin with future winter clothes? What in the WORLD can possibly be in those two dressers?
(Don't get me wrong. I adore the simplicity of bins. Wash the clothes and dump them in the bins. T-shirts and shorts for Elazar in one bin, and for Jack and Aharon in the other. No folding. If they dump it, very easy to cleanup. So then the question is what are the dressers for? Storing things I don't use???)
After clothing comes books in the konmari method. And this gets me back to one of my conflicts about homeschooling and decluttering.
But it's time to wake up Chana and do chemistry. I'll write part II later.