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. 

For quite a while I had troubles memorising the word katazukeru. I wonder, what if this, subconsciously, might have been connected to my struggles of parting ways with belongings that are no longer in use; to declutter? Even before coming to live in the ‘tidy’ country, that is Japan, I was fully sold on the idea how decluttering your home can free up your mind. I do love a tidy and minimal space. It relaxes me and makes me feel in control of things (aka my life).

The idea behind starting this blog was to tackle my inability of parting ways with unnecessary belongings. I am fully aware of the reason behind all of this. For as long as I can remember, I do want to hold on to items that carry a certain emotional value; items connected to meaningful events or situations from my past. I do have a fear that by letting go of these belongings, I will lose the memories connected to them. However, what happens instead is that those items are slowly taking over the space of my home – their memories quickly fading anyway. The idea I came up with to solve this dilemma is to start an online archive of the unneeded belongings that I will say goodbye to. I will take a picture of each item and will archive it on my blog together with a little story, explaining the importance it had to me. It is a pure experiment which might lead to nothing, however, if it goes well it might help me to relax about getting rid of things.

By the way, I am not planning to take this archive too seriously. Often what seemed to be so important and serious back then, turns out to be quite comical looking at it in the present. You wonder why the object ever could be treated in such high regards.

I will also add items to the archive that have been of more recent use. Mainly things related to the kids that I do need to part of even it reminds me of something hilarious they did/said or didn’t do.

So, as of 29th January 2018, I will force myself to choose a random item of my household to say goodbye to each day. To make the parting easier, I will keep its little story alive in my memory archive. I’m curious to find out whether this process will help me achieve the more simplistic home that I’ve been craving for.

Hajimemashou – Let’s start!
Addendum: After 100 entries I decided to end the memory archive project (at least for the time being as my daughter still asks me to add things to my blog when I plan to give away some of her items). If you are interested to find out how it all began click here, however, if you prefer to read whether the project succeeded go here. In any case, I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences.