Imagine your ideal lifestyle: the second basic requirement

One of my best friends says that his ideal lifestyle would be to win the lottery, sign up for periodic payouts on his winnings and stop working.

It is lovely indeed to think of being free of wage/salary slavery.  I asked him what he would do with his time.  There was a vague idea about spending the next decade catching up on his reading  with his days punctuated by a bit of fine dining…

Another friend works hard to secure her financial future. While she regularly formulates or revises a plan A and a plan B, she once told me that plan Z is to buy a lottery ticket every month.

“Imagine your ideal lifestyle” is the second rule of Marie Kondo’s Six Basic Rules for Japanese-Style Tidying Up. She goes on to suggest that one spend time imagining the kind of house one would like to have and the kind of life one would like in that house.

In “Building Peaceable Habitation” I wrote about how my husband and I took time to imagine the purpose for each room of our house, then applied that vision to carry us through the tedium of moving mountains of accumulated stuff which cluttered those rooms.   We weren’t consciously following Kondo’s program, but in taking the time to consider this bigger picture, we avoided working at cross-purposes or discarding each other’s prized stuff.

Clearing away decades of clutter from my new husband’s house was the second part of the task of building our home together.

In order to get to that part of the task, first I had to severely pare down my own pile of possessions, to make hard and fast, item-by-item decisions about what was to follow me across the Great Plains, a desert and two mountain ranges to get to our new home.

My commitment to do the decluttering was cemented to my fundamental commitment to our marriage with our accompanying decision to relocate to my husband’s house.

Space constraints, the cost of the move, and the contracted pick-up date for my stuff were huge spurs to organized action.   But to make each decision about what to bring and what to leave behind I needed a clear mental picture about what my ideal retirement lifestyle would include.

It turns out that it is not just things that we leave behind, but old lifestyles.

In posts to come, I’ll bring stories about lifestyle changes, and stuff that has flowed into and out of my homes as a result. Maybe there’ll even be a practical hint or two.

Author: American Declutterer

I've had three careers, moved among thirteen states, and cleared four houses after loved ones moved on. Sometimes you just have to look at all the stuff and laugh. Then get back to discarding.

3 thoughts on “Imagine your ideal lifestyle: the second basic requirement”

    1. Judi: I started writing about our move and the decluttering in Facebook posts last summer, partly to keep folks at the two ends of the trip up to date on when to expect us to be where and the whats and whys of the process. It turned out that a number of my friends were also moving house and a different number were dealing with various other house-emptying situations. I received so many messages of gratitude for my stories, affirmations that their processes had been made easier by the sense of community my post built, along with various suggestions that I “write a book” that I decided to do something about it. This blog is the result. I’m also learning how to blog by writing it.


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