Tidying Up

Guys, I'm obsessed with this book and I'd like to discuss.

I don't know if I'm alone in this but I spend really a lot of time thinking about my relationship to stuff. I wonder constantly if I have too much stuff, or maybe the wrong kind of stuff. I worry that too much of my time is spent moving things around, organizing things, washing things, buying and returning things, and then of course looking for more things.

I feel guilty constantly about the things I do buy but I'm also occasionally ashamed of myself for the things I don't have (professional wardrobe, living room furniture, a functional umbrella). I agonize over most purchases, even pretty small ones, but I also hate shopping so sometimes I buy something I don't love just to put myself out of my shopping misery. I hate the idea of having something just to have it but I also want to acknowledge that some things are wonderful and really worth having (moccasins in winter! A raincoat!) I actually did agonize over buying a rain coat for probably two years and then it took me a further two years to treat myself to some waterproof shoes which, let it be said, are a real game changer. Also I feel more British having a pair of Wellies. Obviously.

I think then my struggle is this, even though I don't shop much, I have a tremendously hard time getting rid of things which means I still have more STUFF than I want to have. This is primarily because I hate to be wasteful but also because I can be a bit sentimental about my possessions. For instance,  I have kept basically every purse I've bought in the past 12 years. In most cases this is because there is nothing wrong with the purse exactly so I feel bad discarding it, but in other cases this is because the purse is now so truly ridiculous that it seems like I should save it forever as a little reminder of just how bad my fashion sense was in college (so very bad). And of course if something can't be given to goodwill or recycled in another way then forget about it because sending things off to a landfill has always felt nearly impossible to me.

Enter the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I saw this book recommended everywhere and decided to give it a read because it sounded just silly enough to be a self help book which would actually appeal to me. You can read a NY Times article about the book here if you're not already familiar but basically Marie Kondo, the author, says in order have a tidy space you should pare down and then put everything in it's designated place. But really the emphasis is on purging. What I love about the book is that she's suggesting something really simple: Only keep the things you love and get rid of the rest, but the way she talks about the process has helped me part with so many things I'd previously been unable to get rid of. The idea is you go through all of your stuff category by category (books, clothes, household items, etc.) and hold each individual thing to see what sparks joy. If it doesn't then you get rid of it. So obviously this is a little silly but I LOVE it!

While I'm not following her system exactly, I feel like I've gotten a lot out of the book because I'm getting rid of so much stuff. Where the book really succeeds for me at least is that it teaches you how to part with things without feeling guilty. Here's how it works: You thank the thing for it's service and then say goodbye. Voila! Even if you never wore a sweater that you paid good money for, you're still allowed to get rid of it without any guilt. Even if it was a thoughtful gift someone brought you from vacation, or a book you've been meaning to read forever you're still allowed to get rid of it. You just thank it and send it on its way.  So liberating right? I've been purging left and right and feeling so productive because of it. She also says in the book to throw out all of your buttons because you'll never use them, and to get rid of all paperwork because there is nothing more annoying that paper. So right on both counts. So that's what's new at Highclere these days. Mike and Kerry are making lots of jokes about what sparks joy and I'm trying to talk them into getting rid of all of their possessions.

Twitter FaceBook

Pin It

No Response to "Tidying Up"

Post a Comment

Hitherto All rights reserved © Blog Milk Design - Powered by Blogger