A best mate lent me a book called ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up. The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing’ by Marie Kondo.
Wow. Whilst I think the author is a different kind of declutter hard-core I will never be, the book is incredibly motivating. She has a simple edge that a lot of other decluttering advisors don’t – her idea is to simply discard anything that doesn’t spark joy. A lot of declutter experts tell you to throw something out if you haven’t used it in xyz years or get rid of the things you no longer use / like. Marie uses the idea of simply keeping the things that bring you joy. The end result should be a house with only items that bring you happiness. Perfect.
There have been a few sections in the book so far that have struck a cord with me. I have issues with throwing out gifts that I have been given – even if they were 20yrs ago. Even if they no longer bring me happiness. Its a guilt thing. Marie says about gifts in her book:
‘‘The true purpose of a gift is to be received. Presents are not ‘things’ but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it’. .
She also mentions that the giver would not want you to hold onto something out of obligation or guilt. Makes perfect sense. This part alone enabled me to give a stack of things to the op shop I had received years and years ago that I had put away & kept. I now feel really good about it. They had given me joy at a time when their purpose was to do so, now I can pass them along. Maybe it will bring someone else joy from the op shop.
The other clutter issue I have is keeping old mementos. While I will always have a big box with some items I cant bear to throw out, there were a lot of things that I had kept around the house because they had always been in my life. Another great quote was:
‘It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past’.
So even though I am only around 2/3 of the way through the book, I have been on a decluttering frenzy. When I have decluttered in the past I haven’t got rid of nearly 2% of the stuff I am throwing away or giving to the op shop now. Things I thought I would never get rid of are now gone. And it feels great. I am starting to look at clear surfaces & open spaces. I want everything to have a place and anything to be easily found when needed. I still have a lot to go, but the motivation is most certainly now there to finish 🙂