The symbolism behind removing labels

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I was having a pedicure the other day and my eyes fell upon the bin in the corner. It still had the label on it, one of those ones with a bar code and a handy image of a bin in action in an office space. My initial reaction was ‘why wouldn’t you just remove the label before putting the bin to work?’ and I immediately ran through how easy it is to get those things off with a little tea tree oil.

Further thinking on the bin’s predicament (not much else to do really while my toes were being pampered and primed) made me consider the effect it had had on me. I felt like the presentation of the spa had slipped; there was a rushing feeling around it which cheapened the spa design and feel. The bin didn’t feel like a part of the spa, it felt like it still belonged somewhere like Big W and the information contained on the label was rather distracting.

As Marie Kondo states in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, which I reviewed a month ago,”by eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.” Removing the printed labels off of supportive items (bins, plastic tubs and other storage devices), allows these items to work seamlessly with the space around them rather than ambushing users with redundant visual information.

The same goes for removing tags from new clothes. When I buy a new item I remove the tag immediately and find a place for it alongside my other clothes, this act, as Kondo points out, ‘welcomes the item into your home’. The intention is there that they will become a part of your life and space. I find it incredible that people have items in their wardrobe that have never been worn AND still have the tags attached. The fact that those tags are still attached makes me question whether those clothes ever had a chance to become a part of a wardrobe’s rotation. As Kondo says “in order for your clothes to make the transition from store products to personal possessions, you need to perform the ritual of cutting the “umbilical cord” that links them to the shop”.

So go on, perform the ritual, help your purchases feel at ease and encourage them to be a part of your space and life.

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