Week 42: Tidying Up

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Week 42 has been very productive and this might be a great turning point for me, or a starting point.

My achievements in Week 42:

  • Completed a draft of my data analysis for the preliminary data, which looks a rich resource!
  • Added a table of prospective participants and the amount of data and some descriptions of the context in the methodology section, which can be used an important basis for my next fieldwork
  • Made a decision to improve my eating habits, lose weight and undertake ‘Dan Sha Ri (Refuse – Throw away – Separate)’ in my house – I have lost 1kg and disposed of dozens of stuff

Conducted a deep clean of the house was a much-needed event. I am writing this after disposing of a bunch of stuff and cleaning the house, and feeling really good about it!

The concept of tidying up, Dan Sha Ri proposed by Hideko Yamashita, has been well-known in Japan since 2010. I had not read the book until recently, but had been following the tidying up method proposed by another author, Marie Kondo. I liked her first book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. These two authors published their first books in the same year 2010.

Marie Kondo’s method is much simpler: ‘tidying is a special event. Don’t do it every day’. She calls this as ‘a tidying marathon’. The selection criterion of her method when it comes to throwing things out is taking each item in your hand and asking yourself ‘does it spark joy?’ If it does, keep it; if not, dispose of it.

I was not really interested in the concept of Dan Sha Ri until I read the book last week, because I had thought that it would be something similar to ‘spark joy’ and the three letters that Dan Sha Ri discusses are enough to make an educated guess at what the book was about. But what was remarkable for me was that Dan Sha Ri focuses on the ‘relationship’ between possessions and a possessor, drawing on yoga’s philosophy (Dan-Sha-Ri, Refuse – Throw away – Separate). This website explains Dan Sha Ri very well.

Hideko Yamashita proposed ‘the rule of 7:5:1’, which sets three criteria for cleaning up:

  1. If items are in invisible storage (inside of a closet, drawer, etc.), discard items until you secure 30% of the space
  2. If items are in a visible shelf (cupboards, etc.), discard items until you secure 50% of space
  3. For a display shelf (such as ornamental objects), restrict objects to occupy 10% of the space

In 2016, Hideko Yamashita mentioned that she distinguished Dan Sha Ri as not minimalist. She did not consider Dan Sha Ri as ‘I do not need stuff anymore’ or only having a ‘few things at home’. Instead, Dan Sha Ri is something that is constantly aware of the quantity of the material possessions and the balance between excess and deficiency of them. I think that some (beginner) minimalists also share such a relationship with personal items – your perception on who you are is constantly manifested by the things you actually use.

My goals for Week 43:

  • Have an in-depth discussion regarding the methodology, referring to the analysis of preliminary data
  • Reading and editing for the contextualization section
  • Lose 0.5kg

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