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Today’s Word: opportunity

Today’s Word: opportunity

September 30, 2018 =========

☆  opportunity  機会

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An opportunity is a situation in which it is possible for you to do something that you want to do. A great word to end the month! You can think of this in two ways. Firstly, this month has been an opportunity to think about letting things go, and how that can make your life better.

Or maybe you have already begun letting go of things and that has brought new opportunities into your life, because you have more mental and physical space to notice those things.

For me, I have found that when I let go of the things I don’t truly love, then the opportunity forRead more about Today’s Word: opportunity[…]

Today’s Word: hoarder

Today’s Word: hoarder

September 29, 2018 =========

☆  hoarder   溜め込む人

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A hoarder is someone who saves and stores things, often secretly, because they are valuable to them, and they don’t want others to have those things. In Western culture, being a hoarder is actually not that unusual. People buy, and keep, a lot of things that they don’t really need. However, someone who jokingly says, “I’m a bit of a hoarder.” is probably able to throw things away if they really want to.

In 2009, there was an American reality TV show called Hoarders, which showed people who we real hoarders – people who kept so much stuff, a lot of it is just trash they shouldRead more about Today’s Word: hoarder[…]

Today’s Word: joy

Today’s Word: joy

September 28, 2018 =========

☆  joy  喜び

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Joy is a feeling of great happiness. When I first read KonMari’s book, I really loved the idea of organizing by category… however, the idea of holding something to see if it sparked joy seemed a little strange. And honestly, I still haven’t really used this test of joy to help me decide what to throw away and what to keep.

Have you ever tried the “spark joy” test to decide what possessions to keep? Did it work for you? If so, did you get some feeling of joy or was it more of an intellectual thought of joy? I think that is my problem, I focusRead more about Today’s Word: joy[…]

Today’s Word: thrift shop

Today’s Word: thrift shop

September 26, 2018 =========

☆  thrift shop  リサイクルショップ

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In Australia, most thrift shops are actually run by charities, and so the money from sales goes to help others, such as homeless people, children who have lost their families, and even dog shelters (for homeless dogs).

So, when people have things that are in good condition that they no longer use, but don’t want to or don’t have time to sell, they often donate those things to these thrift shops. Interestingly, depending on the location, you can find a real bargain for good quality items. In richer areas for example, you can find brand clothing and bags, and very nice furniture. Whereas, in the lessRead more about Today’s Word: thrift shop[…]

Today’s Word: possessions

Today’s Word: possessions

September 25, 2018 =========

☆  possessions  所有物

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This month’s final question: Do you have too many possessions? Recently, my answer to this is always “YES!!!” I think I have always felt this way, but more so after having kids, because things seem to accumulate much more quickly with kids around! A few years ago, I read a book by Dave Bruno, The 100 Thing Challenge. (It’s in Japanese too, https://preview.tinyurl.com/ycqhwzoa)

In the book, Bruno talks about how he got rid of almost everything he owned, and remade his life. The thing that interested me was about hobbies. He said that he had so many hobbies, but he was too busy taking care of theRead more about Today’s Word: possessions[…]

Today’s Word: desire

Today’s Word: desire

September 24, 2018 =========

☆  desire  望み

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A desire (noun) is a strong wish to do or have something. For example, “She has a strong desire to help and care for people.” It might seem strange to talk about things that you desire when we are on the topic of letting things go, but you could say something like this, “My biggest desire right now is a clutter-free home!”

In fact, this week’s quote is on point for this topic. “The most important things in life aren’t things.” (Anthony J. D’Angelo). In other words, the thing you desire doesn’t actually need to be a physical thing, it could be an emotional state or somethingRead more about Today’s Word: desire[…]

Today’s Word: candid

Today’s Word: candid

September 23, 2018 =========

☆  candid  ありのままの

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When you are candid about something, you speak honestly. I think this week’s quote is very candid. “You don’t need more space, you need less stuff.” (Carrie Higgins). This is so true, and honest, and yet, I think a lot of people would be offended or upset if someone said something so candid to them.

Whenever I hear someone say they are moving house, it is always (OK, 90% of the time) because the “need more space.” I almost fell into that trap last year! We have a 3-bedroom house and a big garden, so we definitely don’t need more space, but it’s easy to think thatRead more about Today’s Word: candid[…]

Today’s Word: difficult

Today’s Word: difficult

September 22, 2018 =========

☆  difficult   難しい

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Something that is difficult is not easy to do, understand, or deal with. So, for this month’s topic, I think a lot of people find that letting things go is difficult, right? Is this true for you? For me, it’s difficult to let go of things that I don’t need if they are still in good condition. I really don’t want to throw anything away into landfill or recycling if someone else can use it, but at the same time, I don’t have much time to spend selling my things.

When I lived in Japan, it was really difficult to get rid of things I no longerRead more about Today’s Word: difficult[…]

Today’s Word: overwhelmed

Today’s Word: overwhelmed

September 21, 2018 =========

☆  overwhelmed  圧倒された

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If something makes you feel overwhelmed, it affects you strongly and you don’t know how to deal with it. You might be overwhelmed by the crowds on the trains in Tokyo. Or overwhelmed by feelings about something that happened to you, either in the present or in the past. And, of course, for this month’s topic, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of things or the amount of clutter you have.

Last week, was the annual event of the Royal Adelaide Show. It is a 10-day event. The main purpose of it is to judge the show animals, but nowadays it’s great fun for everyone, withRead more about Today’s Word: overwhelmed[…]

Today’s Word: transformational

Today’s Word: transformational

September 20, 2018 =========

☆  transformational  転換の

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Something that is transformational is able to produce a big change or improvement in a situation. This week’s useful phrase is, “The KonMari method has been transformational for me.” In this case, the speaker probably had a lot of clutter and things in their house that they didn’t need or love, and following the KonMari method improved their situation greatly.

Have you ever had a transformational experience regarding letting go of things? For me, it was definitely clearing out my mum’s apartment last month. Even though her apartment didn’t look that cluttered and there weren’t things scattered everywhere, when we started going through everything, there was aRead more about Today’s Word: transformational[…]

Today’s Word: scattered

Today’s Word: scattered

September 19, 2018 =========

☆  scattered  散らかった

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Things that are scattered are spread over an area in an untidy or irregular way. In our house, the most common things to find scattered everywhere are toys and soccer balls. I heard a great suggestion about this, and that was to spend five minutes each night collecting the things that are scattered around the house and return them to their correct spot.

The thing is, this sounds so easy to do, and yet… ha ha! With the soccer balls – they are scattered all over the backyard and the sports box is broken so there is nowhere to pack them up. With the toys, I alwaysRead more about Today’s Word: scattered[…]

Today’s Word: inspiring

Today’s Word: inspiring

September 18, 2018 =========

☆  inspiring  元気づける

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Letting go of things and decluttering can be hard work. When I am losing steam and want to give up, I look for something inspiring to keep me motivated. One of my favorite places to find inspiring messages or photographs is on Instagram. I used to like Pinterest too, but that was too much for me! There were too many inspiring photos of ideas on how to declutter, and before-after photos. For me, too much choice is not inspiring, it’s just tiring!

Instead, on Instagram, I follow the hashtag #konmari and so every so often, some inspiring posts (only the really popular ones) come up in myRead more about Today’s Word: inspiring[…]

Today’s Word: life-changing

Today’s Word: life-changing

September 17, 2018 =========

☆  life-changing  人生を変える

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Something that is life-changing has such a strong effect that it changes your life. The word life-changing is probably a famous word now, thanks to the translation of the KonMari book! “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. What do you think about this title? Is it possible that tidying up and decluttering can be life-changing?

I’m not sure, but I think decluttering can definitely be life-changing for many people. Most of the people I know have too much “stuff”, and because of that, we spend too much time looking after our stuff, rather than living life! What a waste!

Many years ago, my brother was living in SanRead more about Today’s Word: life-changing[…]

Today’s Word: discard

Today’s Word: discard

September 16, 2018 =========

☆  discard  捨てる

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If you discard something, you get rid of it because you no longer need or want it. The most common thing we discard is the wrapping or the box that something we bought came in. For example, the shoe box our shoes came in, or the bag our fruit was in.

Recently, I read a book called Waste Not. It was very interesting! The author was trying not to create any trash that needed discarding. A few years ago, she decided to do Plastic Free July (http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/) meaning that during July, she would use NO plastics or as little plastics as possible, so that there was nothingRead more about Today’s Word: discard[…]

Today’s Word: sort

Today’s Word: sort

September 15, 2018 =========

☆  sort  分類する

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To sort something means to separate it into different categories or groups, usually so that you can do different things with them. A common decluttering method is the Four Box method. This is where you find four (large!) boxes and label them: Toss (throw away), Give Away/Sell, Store, and Put Away.

As you are cleaning up your house or apartment or even just one room, you sort everything into one of these four boxes. Don’t need it? Toss or Sell box. Need it sometimes, but not very often, put t in the Store box (for storage.) Use it regularly, then put it away (or in the washingRead more about Today’s Word: sort[…]

Today’s Word: toss

Today’s Word: toss

September 14, 2018 =========

☆  toss  投げる

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OK, so I think the translation might be a little strange for this month’s topic, right? Toss, definitely can be translated as “nageru” meaning to throw something in a careless way. However, in the topic of Letting Go, we are really talking about tossing something in the trash. Perhaps the translation is different? What do you think?

In any case, when you toss something out, you throw it away. You let it go, put it in the trash, and say goodbye to it forever! When we were clearing out my mum’s apartment, we certainly tossed a LOT into the trash. At first, I was devastated for theRead more about Today’s Word: toss[…]

Today’s Word: spur

Today’s Word: spur

September 13, 2018 =========

☆  spur  拍車をかける

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If something spurs you to do another thing, it encourages you to do it. For example, if you don’t like your job, it might spur you into finding a new one. If you see your friend’s travel photos on Instagram, it might spur you to decide to take an overseas trip this summer.

Talking of letting go, my mum’s death and clearing out her apartment spurred me to clear out my own house. Each day I would go to her house and help my siblings clear out her things, and then when I came home, even though I was physically and emotionally exhausted, I was spurred onRead more about Today’s Word: spur[…]

Today’s Word: visualize

Today’s Word: visualize

September 12, 2018 =========

☆  visualize  見える化する

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If you visualize something, you imagine what it is like by forming a mental picture of it. I think pretty much every decluttering book I’ve ever read has talked about visualizing your perfect room or house. What would your room or house look like if it were perfect for you, clutter free in the way that you want it to be? Apparently, if you can visualize your goal, then you will stay motivated to reach it.

What do you think about this idea? Are you able to visualize your goal, for example of a clutter-free home, or of being a confident English speaker? For me, it’s hardRead more about Today’s Word: visualize[…]

Today’s Word: tolerate

Today’s Word: tolerate

September 11, 2018 =========

☆  tolerate  大目に見る

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If you can tolerate something unpleasant or painful, it means you are able to bear it or put up with it. For some people, tolerating clutter is easy. They just don’t really “see” it. Of course, the clutter is there, but they are able to ignore it. For me, I can’t tolerate clutter at all. For a few days, it’s OK, but eventually I feel that I really “need” to clean up the mess.

If you check psychology research and Freud, there is a lot of information about clutter, and whether or not we can tolerate it. For example, if you have stuff on the floor andRead more about Today’s Word: tolerate[…]

Today’s Word: accumulate

Today’s Word: accumulate

September 10, 2018    =========

☆  accumulate  溜める

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This week’s useful phrase is, “It’s amazing how quickly we accumulate stuff.” I think I would change that to say, it’s sad, shocking, or ridiculous! When we moved from Tokyo to Australia, we decreased our belongings substantially. But now, after just six years we have accumulated so much again.

My mum moved into her apartment about five years ago, after my dad got sick and had to go to hospital. We sold so many things for her, so that she could downsize. And yet, in just five years, she had accumulated almost the same amount, maybe even more! How??!

The thing is, though, unfortunately, accumulating stuff isRead more about Today’s Word: accumulate[…]

Today’s Word: order

Today’s Word: order

September 9, 2018   =========

☆  order  整頓

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When something is in order, everything is in the correct or expected place. I must admit, having my house in order is one of my favorite things! Unfortunately, with kids in the house, it rarely happens! In fact, the only time it is in order is if they are at school or in bed! Ha ha!

After clearing out my mum’s apartment, I realized that she had no order in her house at all. It must have been terribly difficult for her to find the things she wanted or needed. I think the main reason was because she actually had too many things, so it wasRead more about Today’s Word: order[…]

Today’s Word: category

Today’s Word: category

September 8, 2018      =========

☆  category  カテゴリー

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If you divide things into a category, you divide them into groups that are similar in some way. As I’m sure you know, the KonMari method divides our things into categories so that we can sort through them in the best order. She uses categories like clothing, books, papers and sentimental items.

I love the idea of sorting through things by category, because then you are finished, right? But each time I try, I can never actually finish – when I did the clothing category, there were always things in the washing basket, or the clothes I was wearing, or winter clothes that were packed away.Read more about Today’s Word: category[…]

Today’s Word: destination

Today’s Word: destination

September 7, 2018 =========

☆  destination  目的地

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When we talk about our destination, of course we usually mean the place where we are going, the city or country for example. However, we can also use the word destination to talk about the end of our journey, or our goal. In this situation, the word destination means the place you want to arrive at emotionally or physically, in your world.

So, when you think about letting go, and decluttering, what is your destination? Where do you want to be when you are finished? This might mean an actual change in location, such as moving house. Or more simply, just a clean house, clutter free,Read more about Today’s Word: destination[…]

Today’s Word: method

Today’s Word: method

September 6, 2018 =========

☆  method  方法

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This week’s useful phrase is, “I love the KonMari method, have you heard of it?” I’m guessing that in Japan, everyone has heard of it, but in Australia, even though the English translation is a best-seller, not everyone has heard of her method.

For decluttering, I think that is one of the trickiest things – choosing a method to use. The 5-minutes a day method. The one item a day method for 365 days. The closet hanger method (when you turn all your coat hangers around to one direction, and then if you wear the clothes, you put the hanger back to the other direction. The youRead more about Today’s Word: method[…]

Today’s Word: restlessness

Today’s Word: restlessness

September 5, 2018 =========

☆  restlessness   落ち着かないこと

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A feeling of restlessness means that you can’t relax, and you feel jumpy, nervous, or unsettled. Interestingly, if you look on Google for example sentences, you’ll find a lot of sentences about “the restlessness of the tribes” or “the religious followers were experiencing a restlessness like never before.” In other words, it seems like a formal word, used in novels or even non-fiction and news reports.

However, you can use it just to describe your own feelings of not being able to relax. Here are some ways:

I just have a feeling of restlessness, that I can’t shake. (shake – get rid of)
I don’t know why he experiencesRead more about Today’s Word: restlessness[…]

Today’s Word: clutter

Today’s Word: clutter

September 4, 2018 =========

☆  clutter  ガラクタ

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Have you ever tried to get rid of clutter? I have, many times! Unfortunately, it always comes I really loved the KonMari method of getting rid of clutter, by asking the question of whether you want to keep it, rather than whether you want to throw it away.

However, when I was dealing with my mum’s clutter it was much easier. “Does anyone want this?” Yes – they got to keep it. No? Then it went for sale or to a charity shop.

Have you ever heard of “dostanding”? It’s a Swedish word, mixing the words “death” and “cleaning” and it’s the idea of getting rid of clutterRead more about Today’s Word: clutter[…]

Today’s Word: breaking point

Today’s Word: breaking point

September 3, 2018     =========

☆  breaking point  限界

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Another interesting thing that has shown up for me this past few months, has been how strong we can be even when we think we are not. With a young baby and breaking my ankle in February, I thought I had reached my breaking point, but somehow, I kept on with everything (with a LOT of help from my family, of course, thanks guys!)

And then, it was winter – I dislike winter – a lot! It’s so cold here, and the houses are not made for winter, they are made for summer, so they stay cool (well actually, cold) all year round. So, IRead more about Today’s Word: breaking point[…]

Today’s Word: focus

Today’s Word: focus

September 2, 2018      =========

☆  focus  集中する

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If you focus on something, you pay attention to it, you concentrate on it, or deal with, rather than dealing with other topics. For example, this past month, my siblings and I have been focused on clearing out my mum’s apartment and selling off the items we no longer needed that weren’t sentimental.

There was a lot to sort through, and it required us to focus on it almost 24-7. Strangely though, it was good to be focusing on something other than feeling sad and grieving. Interestingly, my mother had been trying to clear out a lot of stuff, but she couldn’t really focus on it,Read more about Today’s Word: focus[…]

Today’s Word: grieve

Today’s Word: grieve

September 1, 2018     =========

☆  grieve  ひどく悲しむ

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Well, I certainly didn’t imagine last year when we were creating the Eigo Techo for 2018, that I would actually be grieving my mum at this time! The word grieve is usually used to talk about feeling very sad about something – especially the death of someone or something, such as a pet. Also, when decluttering, and letting go of things, sometimes you need to grieve that loss. You might also grieve the loss of a job or opportunity, but in that case, it would be more usual to say you are feeling upset rather than say you are grieving. 

This month’s topic is “The Art of LettingRead more about Today’s Word: grieve[…]