I have an affliction with, perhaps even an addiction to, decluttering. It started with a Feng Shui class I randomly registered for with my mom one weekend she was in Denver. It was cemented once I read, Move Your Things, Change Your Life.
The Chinese philosophy on Feng Shui tells us the arrangement of your belongings in your home (car, office, garage, yard) can either support you or work against you. The Chinese believe the ideal arrangement of your space will allow the chi (or energy) to flow easily, which then allow your life to flow easily.
The first step of Feng Shui is taking a look at your clutter. Clutter being stuff you don’t want, need, use, or even like, that mucks up the flow of chi.
So I started looking at my “stuff” that made me feel tired, bored or uninspired. The stuff I didn’t use, thought I would use but never did, or had no desire to use but for reasons beyond earthly comprehension kept, stored and continually moved every time I did. I framed this process in my head as only keeping things “I loved dearly or used yearly.”
I recently finished, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Kondo’s spin decluttering is to only keep items that “spark joy”.
Some of my favorite tips from Marie Kondo’s proprietary KonMari method include: when decluttering you should do so “by category, not location”. For example, you should look at all of your gardening tools, all of your sports equipment or all of your hair products – regardless of where they are all located – all in one decluttering go. This approach will help you get a full picture of all the stuff you have in each category and help you better decide what to keep and what to donate, recycle or give the heave ho.
Another of Marie Kondo gem is regarding the order of how you should declutter. According to Kondo, you should start with clothing, then books, move on to papers, then miscellaneous (kitchen equipment, electronics, etc) and finally photos and sentimental things.
Her advice is easy to follow and as she claims (and as the 2 million people who have bought her book likely attest) life-changing. She also has some wonderful quotes throughout the book. Here are 10 of my favorites: