I have not yet read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I have long known of the idea that you purge your life of whatever does not “spark joy.” That idea never profoundly resonated with me – until recently. (Side note: I have since checked out the e-book of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from my library, and will begin reading it after this post has been published.)
Last month I moved back in with my parents, to finish my degree at my local community college and online. It will save both my parents and myself money in the long run. Over the years, I have tried to minimize the amount of stuff that I own, because clutter not only makes me anxious, but also makes me feel selfish, ungrateful, and wasteful. When I was unpacking my college things and assimilating into my tiny childhood bedroom, the amount of stuff that I owned overwhelmed me.
So, as I went through my things, I thought to myself, “Does this spark joy? Or, does it fulfill a need?” If I answered negatively to both questions, out it went. I rid myself of quite a large box of stuff, and about a quarter of my wardrobe (shoes included). I sent my clothes, shoes, and accessories to Thredup, because they either give you a credit on their site for what they’ve sold, or donate what they don’t sell. Either way, the stuff is out of my life. The credit is just a bonus.
That was cathartic! And I had only gone through the things I’d brought back from North Carolina. A week or so went by before I was itching to do it again. I went through my bedroom this time, every nook and cranny that I have avoided since the age of eight included. I cleaned out the unused and/or old makeup in my vanity, the tchotchkes in and on my desk and bookshelf, and went through my tiny (but technically walk-in) closet. It was mostly paper and garbage, so they went in the recycling and trash, respectively. I tackled my wardrobe again, and got rid of almost half the clothes left from the first purge. The next week, I took down about half the things hanging on my bedroom walls.
It’s amazing, how much better I feel now that I own so much less. When I had too many things (though I definitely still do), I felt like they were a weight over my head and on my shoulders that blocked out the light. I feel light and bright and freer now. It’s easier to keep my things tidy and clean when there’s less of them, and to know where everything can be found. I can’t wait to see what I’ll do after I’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.