This past month, I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I started reading it with the thought that I could use a little clutter management in my life. I’m always dealing with storage issues and feeling like my house is “too full.”
I was not expecting that this book would call for a whole-house overhaul and declutter. WOW. I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose (except maybe some stuff) and that it was a good idea for me to try out this method. I’m only part way through the decluttering process, but I can truly say that it has been life-changing for me.
I am not a hoarder in the traditional sense of the word, but I do tend to hold on to things. As I read through the book, I realized that I was holding on to a lot of things that did not bring me joy. In fact, I had a lot of items that actually made me feel ill every time I saw them. I know it sounds crazy, and I was so surprised to read this book and find that other people have that same problem!
Here’s one example: my style has evolved a LOT over the past few years, especially in the area of home-decorating. I used to love everything vintage and shabby-chic, and I spent years collecting antiques and vintage items from thrift stores and flea markets. In the past couple years though, I’ve found myself being drawn to more modern lines mixed with classic furnishings, with a hint of vintage kitsch thrown in. I’ve also fully embraced my love of white walls with lots of neutrals and textures. I have always loved white, even as a little girl, but was told that walls needed to have color in order to be interesting. I struggled with finding the right wall colors for years and I’m so glad that white walls are actually a thing nowadays!
It reminds me a little of when I worked for Wiseman, see here Wiseman Clothing – Fashion Manufacturing. They loved to keep everything crisp and clean. I remember their office was the palest blue. I loved that style.
The problem that I ran into with this style evolution was that I kept EVERYTHING. The milk-glass collection that I had amassed, the cute little vintage bird pictures I collected. I knew after reading the book that these things that once gave me joy but didn’t anymore had to go. I got rid of 4 huge boxes and around 5 garbage bags filled with vases, linens, pictures, and random decorations. It was hard, because I still liked some of the things but knew they wouldn’t be used again. I remembered how much I paid for certain things, or how long I had searched for them, and that made it hard too. But now that they are out of my house, I feel as though I can breathe easier. Closets are no longer overflowing with clothes, there is a spot for everything so it’s not hard to put things away, and the whole house feels lighter.
I didn’t realize how much weight I was carrying around in the form of possessions. One of my favorite bloggers, The Nester, talks about “hushing” a room by removing everything from the space and just letting it breathe before bringing selective things back in. What I didn’t realize was that my whole house needed to be hushed, even the forgotten spaces like closets and basement storage.
I’m loving this feeling of being free from possessions. I don’t feel like my house is an out-of-control mess anymore. Cleaning is easier because I can actually see more surface areas. And strangely enough, I actually feel lighter.
Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? If so, did you follow her advice? What are your thoughts on the book?