With all of the free time I seem to have lately, my husband and I have been slowly trying to clean out different parts of our home. Feeling overwhelmed with the task, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and binge watched her shows on Netflix. (I never realized how entertaining it could be to watch other people work, while I sipped coffee!)
Feeling prepared, I began with my dresser. I touched each item and asked myself if it “sparked joy.” I sorted the items into 3 piles, just as she instructs: Keep, Throw, Give.
If you noticed, I did not include a pile for Sell.
Several years ago, my husband and I came to the difficult realization that Yard Sales/Garage Sales/Tag Sales are not worth the time and effort. It may have something to do with the fact that I insisted on holding one on a day that forecasted rain. Everything we were selling got incredibly wet and we had to leave it in our garage for days before we could donate it.
Or maybe it was because I sold my daughter’s favorite Barney the dinosaur stuffed animal to a woman who said that Sophie would love it. Imagine my surprise when I went for a walk later that week and spied Barney in this woman’s backyard. It turned out that Sophie was a chihuahua and Barney ended up in shreds. I am still traumatized by this decision.
If only I had been as smart as Rose Nylund, then Barney would still be in one piece.
If you have never read Marie Kondo’s book or watched her show, you may be wondering about the whole “sparking joy” thing. I have to be honest and tell you that it is truly life changing.
Let me give you an example. When holding up a t-shirt that I got as a souvenir from a trip a few years ago, I noticed that it had a few stains on it. I had other mementos from the trip, so I was able to say “thank you” to my shirt and put it in the throw pile. Done. Next item.
Now for someone who is not as sentimental as I am, this may appear laughable. That’s okay. You can laugh. In fact, my husband and I did too the first several times we went through this process. But the truth is, many of us tend to hold onto things for the memory, not for the necessity of the item. Once we can acknowledge another way to honor the memory, we can let go of objects that get in our way of having order in our homes and lives.
Clothes are easy for me to make this decision.
Books are not. I feel joy when I pick up every book. So, I decided that I would limit the books that I keep to one book shelf. Only the books that I truly want to read again because they will “spark joy” will be put back on the shelves. All of the rest will be donated so someone else can have the opportunity to “spark joy”. I reasoned that if I really wanted to read it again, I could always borrow it from the library.
But my children’s books, that is another story. I can remember where I was when I read it. I can remember how many times I read it. I can recite lines from it. I consider myself a work in progress in this area. So, I put all of my children’s favorite books into a box labeled KEEP and stored them away for future grandchildren.
Sometimes, memories from the past are important enough that they should be become a traditions in the future.
Have you ever tried Marie Kondo’s method? Do have a hard time getting rid of items? Are you a book hoarder too?