I recently picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up . A few pages in I realized that the Japenese Art of Decluttering and Organizing was going to involve a lot of throwing things away (giving to goodwill/thrift stores or having a garage sale.)
I whizzed through most of the book on a Sunday afternoon and with the inspiration fresh in my mind I applied the concepts in her book to my closet and dresser straight away. In her book Kondo emphasizes that to declutter your belongings you need to hold each item and ask yourself “Does this item give me joy?” If it does you are free to keep it. If it does not you thank the item for its use and let it go. Kondo’s methods really seemed to work awesome for going through the clothes in my closet and I quickly amassed a Black Trash bag full of discards and gained lots of space in both my dresser and closet. (She also teaches you how to fold your clothes in a way that everything magically takes up less space in the dresser).
Kondo recommends applying her method immediately throughout your whole home as quickly as possible (as in get it done in a day). While this would be ideal, I don’t think Kondo had a very busy toddler running around her home when she was employing her methods and as I do, I knew that getting it done in a day (or even a week) was not going to fit into my lifestyle. Also, I’m just not always that great at following rules, I like to take an idea and run with it in a way that suits me. I do recommend reading her book, her ideas for really decluttering are fantastic and I hope to get all the nitty gritty done soon so I can stop trying to organize and get back to living. . .
I’ve been slowly plugging away at one area at a time, a few hours at a time and let me tell you, it feels wonderful. I’ve cleaned out closets, bookshelves, kitchen storage, bathroom storage, and some paper files and although I still have a ways to go before I will be satisfied that I am finished, Kondo’s methods is really lightening the load of “stuff” that we had accumulated. A lot of things have found their way to the trash or the burn pile and I currently have two large boxes and another black trash bag of items that need to make their way to the thrift store, but already I feel quite a bit lighter than I did just a few weeks ago.
It’s amazing how freeing it is to say goodbye to things that no longer serve a purpose. Things that we aren’t even sure why we keep. It’s not easy, but the liberation from stuff makes your soul soar just a little higher and as we clean the clutter out of the homestead I feel we are moving one step closer to living the simple life we dream of.