If you’ve never read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s time to run to your local library.
No, I'm not a shill for her philosophy. I wasn't hand-picked to write a review or advertise her awesome method. I'm just someone who finally took the plunge and engaged in the process I'd been internally criticizing and doubting for years.
Of all the self-help books I’ve read (and I’ve read more than I’m proud to admit), this is one of the major books that truly impacted the way I live my life. It was so impactful, in fact, that even though my husband and I consider ourselves minimalists, we filled nearly 14 full-size trash bags completely cluttered with stuff to donate and toss.
We engaged in this massive purge about a year ago. Needless to say, tidying up our home has helped me tidy up my life.
I no longer jam-pack my days with mental or physical clutter. You know that saying- take what you need and leave the rest? I’ve been able to actually apply it to my everyday living. I’m able to let go of baggage more freely. I’m able to make room for things, people, and places that cultivate joy.
They say that pain is necessary but suffering is optional, and when it comes to clutter and holding onto baggage that no longer serves you, it can certainly feel toxic and suffocating.
For me, it was not about getting rid of a certain pair of jeans or shoes. It wasn’t about getting rid of an old piece of Tupperware that I never used. It wasn't even about the expired makeup or ill-fitting jacket or old wrappers (does anyone else save old packaging or receipts that they simply don't need)?
Instead, it was about the organic process of honoring what I needed in my life- of giving everything I owned a valuable home (rather than just crumpled up in the back of my closet).
Clutter can be as toxic as it can be addicting. We consume and lose ourselves to it, more obligated by what we want it to provide us rather than what it can provide for us.
Like most things in life, I think we fall in love with the potential for what our things can provide- rather than the feelings they actually evoke. So, we hold onto uselessness.
My husband and I live in a condo that’s less than 1000 square feet. After the ‘purge,’ it felt so overwhelmingly spacious. It still does. We have a spare bedroom that we still struggle to fill and decorate.
If and when we ever move, the process of actually hauling out our stuff will be so simple. We won’t need to deal with additional storage or excessive boxes. We won’t need to live in-between two places because we can’t decide what furniture to keep and what furniture to discard.
We’ll be surrounded by joy- the way that we like it to be- the way the KonMari method helped us achieve.