LET'S face it, some might think my collecting habits almost cross the divide into hoarding territory. Now, whilst it is improbable that I'll be invited to open my house to the camera crew of Hoarders - on some days I feel like I'm getting close.
That is, until I was introduced to the delightful Queen of Decluttering, the Goddess of Tidy, the Supernanny of Spick and Span: Marie Kondo. Oh Ms Kondo. I am putty in your hands lady. Sign me up to the Clean-freak Cult and teach me the ways of the UberNeat.
Marie Kondo (or KonMari as she prefers) has penned a world wide bestseller on tidying - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Her theory is to go through all your stuff, piece by piece and consider each piece individually and ask yourself - "does it bring me joy?" If the answer is yes, it's a keeper, if the answer is "well.... it used to ..." then it's time to thank the item, and discard it, (op shop, or bin, the choice is yours).
I have decided to Kondo my life. Well.... bits of my life. (I'm trying KonMari... really I am!) I decided a great place to start would be my shoes. (Eeek!)
Some were easy to toss... (Lilac, metallic, toe-strap, wedges from 1999, I'm lookin' at you.) This particular farewell was a quick, "Yep, you were fun, thank you" and a toss into the bag, no backwards glances. Others had me reaching for tissues as I gave favourite slingbacks a long embrace before whispering goodbye. The never-quite-fit-me, but freaking awesome Shellys I bought in London last millenium. (Star shaped heels, sooo fun - bye-bye!) And the huuuge cherry red platform boots that I actually wore in public (ahem... recently...) well, we hugged it out and remembered the good times, then bode a fond farewell.
And then I faced my hardest task.
My first pair of cowboy boots.
(Yes, that says 'first'... Yes. There has been more than one pair of cowboy boots in my life.... Three, actually, but who's counting?)
My first pair of cowboy boots is akin to a first love. My first pair of cowboy boots brought me SO MUCH JOY! I remember the day I bought them. I was 16. (For those playing at home that particular pair of cowboy boots is now a quarter of a century old.)
I wore these boots to concerts (all the awesome ones... Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard, Aerosmith... It was the 80s ok? Hair metal was my thing... no judgement please).
I moved out of home with them. They took me to Uni. I featured them in a university photography assignment. The assignment was to 'Photograph something that is special to you' - Awww.
To put this into perspective, some people took portraits of their grandparents...
I wore my boots to gigs, and pubs, and gigs, and pubs, and concerts, and pubs, and gigs. I wore them to weddings. I wore them to job interviews, I wore them to the beach (thongs?! Pfft, which self-respecting rock chick wears thongs??) In these boots I've bushwalked, scaled fences, rock climbed, and run from trouble. I've worn through the soles numerous times, I have obliterated the heels, which have been reconstructed Six-Million-Dollar-Man-like with automotive body filler.
I have not worn these cherished boots since my early 20s. But I have dragged them around the country, with every move, every new job, every new address, they have been with me in a box. My awesome old cowboy boots. Untouchable.
Kondo would very much like me to reverently thank these musty old boots, full of stories and character. She would like me to bow deeply, embrace them, and send them on to a new life. To a life perhaps in a poster plastered bedroom of a sixteen year old girl full of ideas and potential and future adventures. But what if she took them to a One Direction concert? Or a Bieber concert? Or worse, (maybe not worse...) painted them neon green and made them into some hideous DIY 'art' and stuck it on the wall?
No No NO!
KonMari I have failed you. I can not say goodbye to these boots. After 25 years they still bring me joy. Even if it is from deep within my wardrobe. I think I'll bring them out this winter. And see where they take me next.
Do you have anything in your wardrobe you just can't say goodbye to? Come on, 'fess up - it's ok, I totally understand (and so does the purple velvet dress I'm also hanging onto... shhhh don't tell KonMari.)
- Kathy. x