This year, we’ve been combing through our belongings and really ridding ourselves if anything unnecessary to our lives. Extra clothing, toys, items in storage, papers, books, etc. I’ve been working at this for a few years now but only in small spurts but continually not feeling like it’s making a big enough dent. So the most recent process has felt promising in the pursuit of not overwhelming our lives with material stuff!!
One book I picked up to assist me in this all is about the KonMari method of organizing. It’s a really (really!) easy read and below are some simple tips I appreciated. While I’m not convinced about every method she uses (for example, verbally addressing your material items and thanking them), I do appreciate the goals behind the practices. For example, the task i mentioned is aimed at helping you practice thankfulness towards your “stuffs” and instead of thanking my clothing, I did end up praying thank you for it which did seem important.
The sheer amount of things that we touch, use, purchase, digest, etc seems insurmountable, and the quickness with which it accumulates, impossible. I do feel a huge amount of freedom with the things we’ve purged and given away. Number two was especially helpful for the keepsakes.. While there are more things to give away, the process so far has been wonderful!
1. If it doesn’t bring you joy, or spark joy for you, you don’t need it. She suggests that there’s no reason to continue storing/owning anything that doesn’t provide you with this sentiment.
2. Things that are half used are just that and have served their purpose! Express gratitude and move on. Those old keepsakes? If they’re not bringing you joy anymore, consider their job done and enjoy the extra space.
3. Lay out everything of one category of sorting. If t-shirts, find every last one. If books, get them down off the shelves. Don’t move room to room, make sure everything is in front of you to see so you tackle it at once.
“By collecting things in one spot, you can compare items that are similar in design, making it easier to decide whether you want to keep them.”
4. Papers? Trash them! Statements, product information, etc. She suggests that anything you’ll end up needing can be accessed online or calling the manufacturer. I’ve wanted to be truly paperless for awhile so this definitely was my motivator to actually attempt it!
5. It’s all about perspective—we’re deciding what’s worthy of keeping rather than getting rid of everything. She expresses that focusing “solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness” and that “we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”
I’m not entirely finished with this process but it has influenced a good amount of my decision making with my purging over the last month and I’ve felt so FREE. I think it realigned my choices and how I apply my emotions to certain items. Usually I am sentimental with certain things; I think about how I’ll want to show it to my grandkids.. but I end up literally just storing it and they are things that don’t cause me joy.
That’s what was so influential about her idea that things serve a purpose for a certain amount of time, then their time is complete. I was able to just be thankful for many things (some brand new that I was hanging onto) and just let them go. Maybe I could have attempted to sell some, or used them one day, but in the long run, it felt so great to just be freed up of them all and hope that they serve somebody else well 🙂
Author: Marie Kondo
Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing