If you’ve ever stopped in to read my blog, you might have noticed that I have an easier time than most getting rid of unwanted stuff in my life. This hasn’t always been the case, however. Back in my single days, I distinctly recall schlepping a box of mementos from one tiny apartment to the next. Somewhere along the way I realized how futile this was, and I began to toss away stuff that didn’t elicit joy in my life.
I guess that’s why I felt such a profound appreciation for Marie Kondo’s decluttering methods. I recently finished her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and learned some lessons I think would benefit us all (I, too, needed these reminders!). Also notice the tabs in my library book (NERD ALERT! Does anyone else add stickies when they read?).
- Know the sequence for optimal decluttering: clothes first, followed by books, papers, kimono or miscellany, and (finally) mementos
- Don’t let your family see what you are doing. Of all the lessons in this book, I took this one to heart especially because I tend to hold on to things that were gifted to me by family… perhaps out of a sense of obligation?*
- Arrange clothes so they rise to the right, by hanging heavy items on the left side of the closet and light items to the right—this is actually supposed to create a sense of peace and helps to reduce overwhelm when you stare into your closet in the morning
- Empty everything and take care of sorting in one fell swoop (that means going under the bed, looking in sock draws, emptying ALL closets, etc.). Taking everything out allows you to see the scope of what you own
- Touch each item to determine whether it brings joy; if yes, add to keep pile, if no, donate or discard
*We have the tendency to hold on to things we receive from friends or family members but they don’t bring us joy. This is often why younger siblings are saddled with the responsibility of a closet full of things they don’t need/want—they are hand-me-downs they feel guilty to toss. Marie explains that this is a great opportunity to thank the item for coming into our life before we send it on it’s next journey. And isn’t that just a much nicer way of looking at it?
What have you been reading lately? And yes, reading books about decluttering truly makes me THIS happy. Ha!