I created this image to visually explain how I’m feeling while in the process of tidying. The left side is my brain before decluttering. The right side is where I hope to be after tidying and organizing my belongings.
Having been city-dwellers in the past, we knew that our decision to come back to New York City would mean getting rid of nearly everything in our large, Southern home. We gladly accepted the challenge. This summer we sold or donated about 75% of our belongings. I wouldn’t say I’ve become a minimalist (although I enjoy listening to The Minimalist Podcast), but discarding these material things sparked something in me!
In a quest to organize our new, miniature space more efficiently, I discovered this book by Marie Kondo that challenged me to go even further with decluttering. By keeping only items that “Spark Joy”, I went from discarding based on what I felt I didn’t need, to discarding based on what I wanted to keep.
The top 2 takeaways for me were:
1) to give attention to each item one by one and
2) to only keep items that make me happy.
This slight change in thinking made a huge difference in my recurring choice on what to keep and what to throw or give away.
So I’m following the KonMarie method with a few modifications since I find it odd to say, “thank you” to every inanimate object that I decide to discard. 🙂
I’m getting started with the first three categories: clothing, books and papers; so far, I feel lighter and more focused. As an avid CD collector, I never thought that I would be able to part with the CD collection that I began accumulating in middle school starting with Usher’s debut album “Usher” and Hi-Five. Or the massive book collection that included every single book I’d ever purchased or that was given to me since high school (even old college textbooks.)
Overall, I’ve been cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the things I own.
Digital clutter is another story, but one day I hope to begin unraveling that too.
Discarded bags of clothing after Day 1 of tidying
Lots of very old papers to throw out after Day 2 of tidying
Mountain of books to sort through.
Update: I’ve published a follow-up post that shares Part 4, organizing Komono items. You can read about it here.