Out with the old (and actually I don't need anything new) - The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up

We are all hoarders, according to a crime scene investigator I know. He always laughs when a show like CSI depicts a victim's home with a few garments hanging evenly spaced in a closet. Every house he has ever been in is stuffed to the rafters, making it much more difficult than it is on TV to figure out what is a clue and what is just part of the mountain of things.

So I had been hearing about this book:

and decided to give it a try. I have read many books about organizing your stuff or sorting your stuff. I even own some. Many of them say you should ask yourself a series of questions: is something useful, beautiful, etc. Or I remember one piece of advice I've tried off and on for years - get rid of five things every day.

Basically what Marie Kondo says is you should get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy." And not to do it piecemeal.  Instead, you should pull out everything you own in a particular category, like clothes or books, spread it on the floor, then pick up each item and see if it sparks joy. If it doesn't, off it goes. She also has some whimsical ideas: clothes should be hung up if they are "happier" that way, socks should never be balled up because they deserve to relax.

For whatever reason, this book really clicked with me. I stopped listening to the voices that always say:

  • You might use that one day.  (But you've had it for years, and haven't.)

  • That looked really cute in the catalog. (But not so cute on.)

  • That cost a lot. (But you don't like it.)

  • If that fit better, it would be amazing.  (But it doesn't.)

Clothes that belonged to my mom but that aren't to my taste, a rice cooker I haven't used in ten years, two of three nearly identical sweaters - none of them sparked joy. I put two dozen items up on ebay. I gave two bags of clothes to a friend (with instructions to pass on to GoodWill if they were not to her  or her daughter's taste). Today we are bringing well over a dozen bags to ARC (formerly Association for Retarded Citizens - my husband has been a volunteer "buddy" for years).

One thing that made it easier is that I left my day job seven years ago, and I have a pretty good idea of what I have worn/used/acquired since then. It's just freeing to have more space and less stuff. I'm sure there are many more things I can get rid of, and I'm energized by that idea.

Photo Dec 24, 5 36 23 PM2014-12-27 14.03.51
I think there's a lot of power in doing it all at once. You've already ripped off the bandaid, so the pain is less. And yes, I sorted a bunch last year. Part of my motivation is remembering standing in my mom's house and looking at all of my parent's STUFF and just feeling overwhelmed.
after I cleaned out my parent's house I went through a big clean out because I didn't want to do that to my kids! It was overwhelming. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor with a salt shaker knowing the pepper broke years ago and wondering why we all hold on to these things and how hard it is to say goodbye to the memories attached to stuff.... then I tossed it.
I hear you
I still have my parent's salt and pepper shakers, even though I never use them and the metal caps are dented.
Go April!
I started this with the kitchen cupboards and it has lead to better cooking, more cooking and a peace away from the kitchen clutter.
It is great to tidy up!
Re: Go April!
I started with clothes. What I need to do is go through food. We were poor growing up and sometimes didn't have much food. Now I'm a hoarder. There are times I don't even like to eat food because then it will be gone. Which is so crazy. I need to go through and admit that I will never eat certain foods and toss them and be okay with it.