By: Cheryl Maguire
I thought I was living a relativity clutter free existence. After reading the book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I came to the conclusion that I’m a hoarder (just one that throws it all neatly in a closet).
After finishing the book, all I saw was clutter everywhere I looked. While reaching for a shirt to get dressed, I noticed clothes I never wear. Opening the desk draw, I noticed unknown items with no recollection of how I acquired it or what its purpose was.
I found myself running the questions from the book in my mind when I looked at everything I owned. “Do I really ever use this? Why am I keeping this? Does this spark joy?” Most of the time my response was, “Um, definitely not since I don’t even know what this is!”
I finally decided I need to declutter the whole house. It took two weeks and I couldn’t believe some of the things I owned. Before I dumped all the items from a drawer on the floor, I often thought “this won’t be too bad,” since I was still under the delusional impression I was organized. Every time I was shocked by the amount of things I owned (and by the way it took hours to clean it and it was too bad).
I found tons of video tapes. I don’t even own a VCR anymore!
And just like she said in the book, I found hundreds of buttons. I never sewed a button on to an outfit in my life; yet for the past 15 years, I saved every button from every outfit which came with a “free” button, and these buttons were in every draw of my house.
In the end, I donated 9 boxes of clothes and household items.
What I Learned
In the days after I decluttered, I had some anxiety filled moments, wondering if maybe I got rid of things I shouldn’t have, but I realized I was okay. I also had difficulty finding things since I reorganized. But in general I felt a huge sense of accomplishment.
This book gave me permission to get rid of things. It made me question the reasons I was keeping them. In the book, she discusses how applying these methods will affect other areas of your life. I did notice that I started to question why I save every credit card statement (especially since it’s online) or if I need to save every picture my kids draw. By not saving everything, I will not have to file it which means more time to focus on other things.
I noticed that now before I purchase something I question, do I really need this? Do I really want this to clutter my house? Does this really spark joy?
Um probably not…