Marie Kondo is a name that is familiar with a lot of people. Marie wrote a popular little book called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I first came upon this book while shopping at Urban Outfitters. It caught my eye because I have always struggled keeping my place clean and I don’t know why. I just thought I was too lazy.
Months later, I decided to buy the book and give it a shot. I didn’t read it for a good while, but had already understood the concept of this “art of decluttering,” as I had begun the task of removing from my house what doesn’t bring me joy. I knew I would have some tough categories to go through, that which I saved until after I read my book.
The book came with me on vacation and managed to read it within the first few days. In my mind, while thousands of miles away, I was already purging my possessions. I just had to get home to put them in a box.
It has been about 6 months since I started and I have already donated about 30 boxes of things that I no longer need. One thing I didn’t like so much about the book was that Marie said to throw things out, instead of donating them. Since I am limiting my waste, I couldn’t imagine throwing away 30 boxes of usable things into the trash. This would include clothes, CD’s, dishes, etc. The rest of the stuff was either recycled, and a few items given away to friends.
When you remove so much stuff from your home something shifts in your mind. I don’t want to refill my house with stuff anymore so shopping doesn’t have the same thrill. I don’t have the compulsion to buy or spend money. Of the things I do need, I try to buy second hand, try to mend that which I already have, or I just go without. I also don’t see the need to holding on to things that I may need in the future.
I have not yet gotten to the organization part as I am still working on a few of the difficult categories of the purging process. I have a box of sentimental items I want to reduce to half and for some odd reason, I can’t quite part with a box of stuffed animals and beanie babies. I also have a box of glass cat statues. When I was younger, my mom and I would go to rummage sales. Every time I would see a cat figurine I would have to buy it. It didn’t matter what it looked like. I felt like if I purchased it, I would love it and make it feel special. I know it will be fun opening that box and taking out all of the figurines I have collected over the decades but I do not know if I can make myself get rid of them.
I think there definitely is truth to the book being magic. It has helped me helped me see things as objects, not as things that contain my memories. I hold the memories in my mind, not the object.
Cleaning even is less of a task now.
The true joy to me is being able to walk into my house and see that everything has it’s spot. To see that all of my hard work has paid off by additional time given back to me instead of on cleaning. More time that I can spend doing the things that I love to do.