It’s that time again! Book club has arrived. This time I’m calling upon a slightly older read. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up writen by Marie Kondo came out a few years ago and has been a best seller, enjoyed by many. I finally got around to reading it only a few months ago and in the end it actually was worth the hype.
What Marie is asking us all to do here is basically throw away all our sh*t. Pardon my semi-french here, but the book is really discussing how much of our stuff is useless, takes up space, clutters our rooms and makes us unhappy.
All this clutter in drawers, closets, cabinets, spare rooms, all over the place create a feeling. So, what she does is have her clients get rid of it. If it doesn’t actively make you happy when you pick it up, then you don’t need it.
How many things do you hang on to because you might mayyybe possiblyyy wear that one shirt or pair of pants that never really fit right to begin with and doesn’t go with anything, and you don’t all the way hate, so you might as well just keep it in there, in case, someday… or whatever icky feeling you have about. Let. It. Go.
This is a very old zen teaching of feng shui and clearing out clutter to let the energy of a room flow properly and be pleasant, uplifting and easy peaceful to be in. American culture isn’t like this very much. I feel like we’re a hoarding culture. What do you think? I know I have a mild tendency toward it. It feels scrappy and practical. What if I do need it some day, then it will be right there.
So this was tough for me and I didn’t do it as extremely as maybe Marie would have liked, but I did let go of a ton of bags of stuff that I just don’t ever use. If I had to live out of a back pack for the next year (or three backpacks) would I take it with me? That’s the question I asked and let the answer flow from there. Does this make me feel happy? Old? Dull? Excited? Comfy? Whatever it was and if it was positive keep it. If not really, and I didn’t wear or use it in the last year then I probably let it go.
It was weirdly hard and I had some tiny regrets right away. But a few months out, I forget most of the items and I feel slightly less stressed. It’s like lifting a burden which might sound nuts, having things is something to be grateful for. But really, just having the right things is what we should be shooting for. That feels balanced and good, to me.
I’ve still got more to go I think, but I’m happy to have purged a good number of items that were of course donated. And I’m happy to think of another person who needs and loves that sweater that looked kinda shmeh on me but was in the perfect shade of pink getting some wonderful use my another lady or girl who loves it. It might have even been a Christmas present. Who knows, but I like positive daydreams, so I’m going with it.
Have you read this yet? Did you give it a try? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our other books in the book club by clicking on the Inspiration tab above or just head right in our Shop‘s bookshelf and feel free to join with your thoughts on those anytime.
Oh, and if you’d like some journaling help to make this major zen clean up happen, Marie also has a personal journal to accompany her book that give specific exercises, quotes, and so on. Sometimes those things help me more than the real book because I treat the assignments like school homework instead of just a general concept essay of how I should be living. Check it out and see what works for you. Then let us know about it. 🙂