Several people close to us started talking about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And like a virus, it was contagious. I bought the audio version and read it in a week, and since then, well, I’ve purged half the house. Mr. Right has purged the other half.
Wrenn is lucky we kept her and all those toys of hers (although a few have since disappeared).
Here’s my thoughts on the book:
1. Cleaning out my closet – REALLY CLEANING IT OUT – as in, getting rid of more than half my things, has been so freeing. I am pretty scatterbrained and naturally messy, and I spend half my day trying to find something I’ve misplaced. So, when I decided to look through my closet and adopt the KonMari method of keeping only things that “spark joy,” well, there went all those clothes I’ve been keeping because I might someday need them, or used to love but have since seen very little wear, and all that was left were the items I love the most. I can now go in my closet and every single item makes me feel good when I put it on – which makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. I think I had five white cami’s – but I only like to wear one of them. So, that’s the one I kept. Half my socks had holes, and I rarely wear socks anyway. I found a swimsuit I had forgotten about that I LOVE (because it was hidden between all the clothes I never wear). Now, everything in my closet has a place. The lack of clutter has done wonders for my eyes and my mind. I even added a few framed photos to make my closet another “happy place.”
And, several weeks later, it’s still clean. That, my friends, is a miracle.
2. The book gave me permission to get rid of things I’ve kept all these years, just because. Because someone gave it to me as a gift. Because it was expensive. Because I liked it before, so now it feels weird to get rid of it. Because I “should” have it. Because what if I needed it again at some far away time in the future? Maybe. Y’all – I just LET MY THINGS GO.
3. The book is a little weird on the spiritual side. The author thinks her possessions have souls, and if you get rid of a shirt, it will find its way back to you as a sock. Lord help me if my old air cast finds it way back to me. I don’t endorse the spiritual side of the book, but I do think the concept of decluttering fits well into a Christian worldview. My possessions don’t own me. They don’t control me. I won’t be ruled by them. And so, by simplifying my stuff, I free up time to enjoy more important things – like living. Having less clutter is calming for my brain and for my spirit.
4. I really love giving things away. I hate hosting garage sales. HATE THEM. Instead, I have been having a “reverse garage sale” – leaving baskets of items on my front porch and encouraging friends and neighbors to pick through them and take whatever they need, and then donating the rest. It is SO FUN. I love the thought of a dear friend getting to enjoy a small blessing from us (or our youth group at church enjoying a box full of Christian books – for free). Giving things away is so much more fun than letting things collect dust in closets.
5. Simplifying is going to take awhile. Mr. Right and I have been purging with the KonMari method for about a month, and so far, we’ve hit: my side of the closet/drawers, the kitchen, my books, our bathroom drawers/cabinets, the garage (y’all – several neighbors wondered where I was because my car FIT IN THE GARAGE for the first time in years), Will’s tools, the spare bedroom’s closet (mostly gifts/wrapping/storage), and our serving ware (placemats, etc.). I’ve decided we’re naturally going to have more cooking/entertaining items than most, since that’s something we LOVE and do so regularly. And that’s okay. It’s all about finding what fits with your family’s priorities.
Simplifying our life has been something that has been a huge focus for us this year. We had already simplified our schedule, focusing on creating margin to make ourselves available to love on people that God brings our way. I have tried to simplify my expectations for myself, as a wife and mom, and focus on doing things that bring health to all of us. And now, it’s another step in the process to simplify the junk that we’ve had to manage – junk that requires energy and time and money – and just letting it go. For me… it makes total sense.
So… who’s with me? Let me know what area you are working on simplifying. I’d love to know I’m not the only one!