declutter your memories – an archive

IMG_6473Katazukete is Japanese and means tidy up! when you translate it at first. The infinitive of this verb is katazukeru and, when you look into this a bit closer, you find out that this word can have a myriad of meanings, amongst them to tidy up, as already mentioned, to to put in orderto settle (a problem) and even to bring something to an end. Only recently I found out from a Japanese friend that it is also used to describe the verb to declutter, so the act of getting rid of items within your own four walls that are no longer (or never have been) of any particular value and are nowadays merely taking up space.  Continue reading “declutter your memories – an archive”

memory archive — day 87

Despite people believing the opposite, I am not a crafty person. Exactly three times per year, I do a crafts activity with the kids: At the very start of the long summer break and for their birthday parties. On the few occasions we manage to make something, I am extremely pleased with myself, more so than the kids who did it (mostly, as I am a little bit of a perfectionist). And this makes me keep our rare crafts projects far longer than anyone even bothers looking at them. For example, this egg carton aquarium was displayed at random locations within the house for 1.5 years.

As much as I’ve gotten used to throwing out clutter by now, I still make sure I re-use parts if possible. So the shells of the aquarium have been kept, naturally.

memory archive — day 85

In hindsight I regret getting rid of this scarf. I had kept it and worn for about nine years for a good reason after all. Looking at the image of its cross pattern now, I realise that it does remind me of Japanese traditional pattern designs; two-tone and minimalistic repetition. So even long before I knew that I’d be going to live in Japan, I was, subconsciously, drawn to the country’s design aesthetics.

memory archive — day 84

Today I’d like to add two items that don’t hold much of a memory at all, rather the opposite. After all most of the clutter people live with fall under this category, I suppose. I found those on top of the bedroom cupboard, covered in dust and completely forgotten. The bag had already started to disintegrate — I only partly blame this on age. Another key reason, I feel, is the extreme conditions of Japanese climate that the bag was exposed to in our hardly heated or cooled bedroom: total dryness in winter vs a very humid and hot summer.

The denim cut-offs left me a bit speechless. No one in the family is any good with crafts, however, keeping small pieces of fabric would only make sense if you were thinking of making anything out of those. For once I can point my finger at another family member though as I am not the one who kept the cut-offs; that I really wouldn’t have even considered.

memory archive — day 83

This Sunday will be Hinamatsuri or Girls’ Day, here in Japan. It takes place every year on March 3rd and is celebrated by families with young daughters, wishing for a healthy and prosperous life for them. Besides the set-up of special dolls at families’ homes there are traditonal foods and beverages that will be consumend. These days all sorts of pink, white and green sweets as well as other treats are being sold in the lead-up to the day. That made me wonder whether the above pictured box of candy that we were given once as a gift (on a different time of the year though) had originally been a Hinamatsuri product. It definitely appealed to my daughter!

If you’d like to, you can find out more about Girls’ Day here.

memory archive — day 82

My daughter came home upset. She’d been at the park where she had been looking for her ski gloves she’d left there. She had found only one (a recurring theme in any household with young children, I suppose!). A bit annoyed I asked her throw the glove away which made her break out in tears. After a while she came over and asked me in a low voice whether I could take a picture of it for my blog. After this process she was happy to let go of the glove. I was amazed that my ‘memory archive’ method seems to work for children as well. This will definitely be useful again in the near future!