“Stuff.” The things, items, personal treasures, finds, gadgets, acccessories that make our lives a little more fun. Until they don’t. Until they become overwhelming, distracting, unnecessary. What then? I recently re-read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” If you’re not in the mood to make drastic changes, I wouldn’t recommend it. But when you are ready – grab the book and .pay attention.
The premise is simple. Discard everything that doesn’t bring you joy. Kondo recommends that you set aside at least a day to dig in. Don’t “tidy” by room, instead think about your things in categories, ie, clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, and sentimental items. This makes sense. You have clothes in the bedroom, hallway closet, basement, and more. So the only way to know exactly what you have is to bring them all together.
Next, hold and touch every item in order to determine whether it really brings you joy. Only keep those items that you LOVE – not the items you think you will need in the future; the unwanted gift; the item that never fit; or the book you’ve read and will never read again. Don’t feel guilty. Many items have already served a purpose for you. Feel free to purge, discard, and de-clutter!
Kondo also recommends that you start with the items that hold the least emotional value, like clothes. It’s much easier to discard an old college sweatshirt than a childhood photo. Then move to books, then paper items. As you exercise your decisive muscles you will eventually be able to tackle the sentimental items.
I recommend this book if you are ready for a major change in your living space. After you’ve done this life-changing de-clutter, you will be ready to display and store your truly loved items with creativity and personality. We’ll show you how to do that in Part II…