When Inspiration Becomes Overwhelm

When Inspiration Becomes Overwhelm

This week’s inspiration is a fake-out. What I thought was going to be an inspirational adventure turned out to be a prelude to overwhelm.

As you know, I have been cleaning up and clearing out my home. In the process, I discovered Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I bought it years ago, but felt no urgent need to read it. I was enjoying my “piles of interests” and they seemed to work for me. Plus, I was in the middle of my manuscript revision and felt no pressing desire for any more life-changing magic that involved tidying up. My editor was providing enough of that!

But after the great success during my cousin Robin’s recent visit, I decided to step up my game and cracked open the book.

Oh my. It seems I have been doing everything wrong!

Forget decluttering one room at a time, doing a little bit every day, or finding storage solutions to assist in the process. We’re supposed to embrace our clutter all at once, everywhere it exists, and “sort by category, not by location,” Kondo contends.

I must admit I’d never thought about organizing quite that way. Yet I wasn’t ready to dump ALL my clothes on the floor (as she suggests), so I thought I’d start small.

With my scissors.

I was amazed with how many scissors I had in my household!

Then it was time for the most important part, according to Kondo. Discarding.

Did I need all these scissors?

No. But I have them in convenient places where I use them: in the kitchen, in my office, beside my bed, at my computer, in my Quiet Time caddy, in my bathroom, with the wrapping paper, in my tool box, on the garage shelf, with my packing tape, with my medical supplies, etc.

Is anything wrong with these scissors?

No. So, should I just throw them out? A perfectly good pair of scissors? Because I have so many?

Then I thought, maybe I should test each one to see which ones are the sharpest and only get rid of the ones that are dull.

Maybe I should donate the dull ones to Goodwill.
Wait, does Goodwill even take scissors?

Or maybe I should just recycle them.
Wait, can you recycle scissors? Are they dangerous to the environment like the plastic straws?

Or maybe I should see if my kids want them. They’re coming in for Labor Day.
Wait, but can you carry scissors on an airplane? On Amtrak?

If not, then would I have to ship them? How much would it cost to ship scissors?
Wait, can you ship scissors?

Oh my goodness, the stress of discarding was starting to mount. Maybe Kondo could offer an idea about how to decide what to discard. I read on.

“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to hold each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’”

Excuse me?

As I pondered my beautiful bouquet of scissors, I decided that they DO spark joy, all of them, in their very convenient scattered places throughout my home.

Overwhelmed with my own mental gymnastics, I quietly closed the tidying book. Kondo had some great points, but I guess my mind just doesn’t operate in clear categories, at least not at this moment in my life.

Perhaps I see too many possibilities.

So I’m back to my one-box-at-a-time, a little-bit-each-day pace. I’ve decided to let those empty shelves continue to inspire me. Indeed, they “spark my joy” by providing evidence of progress and the promise of what they’re open to receive.

How about you? Have you ever experienced an inspiration that became overwhelming? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Although I struggled to implement Kondo’s principles, note she has over 13,000 mostly positive Amazon reviews! (I’m up to 73 reviews, by the way. Thanks to all who have submitted one!)

P.S.S. So honored to be featured and included in the American Library Association conference.

Sign Up Hereif you’d like to receive Thoughtful Thursdays via email.

Order Becky's Book Here