Getting Rid of Stuff

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

I have to admit I’m a stuff collector. That’s right. I save those pretty shopping bags, colorful boxes, years worth of credit card statements, warranty books, my school reunion guest list and the menus from those nights with the receipts! Why? Just in case, of course. Every once in a while, I take hold and purge, so my stash doesn’t become too big to handle. But now I’ve found a great book that encourages me even further. After reading each chapter, I hightailed it straight to a stash in a different room. You see, no thinking was needed. I instinctively knew what had to go. I asked myself, “Does it spark joy?” and “Do I really need this?” The answer, of course, was no. Out it went.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is very different from any other book I’ve read on the subject. The author has voice and heart. This is what touched me in a very different way. Just in case and sentimentality offer few excuses. A minimalistic home environment creates peace which fosters creativity and productivity. See how this works?

Here are some of Marie Kondo’s guidelines:                                                                                       * Purge before you organize                                                                                                                      * Ask, “Does it spark joy?”  and “Do I really need this?”                                                                                                             *Sort by category, not location                                                                                                                   *Tidying up is a special event, not a daily chore                                                                                 *Discard all at once, intensely and completely and in the right order – tops, bottoms, clothes that must be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, special event or seasonal clothes, shoes                                                                                                                                               * Don’t let your family rummage through your discard pile. It’s your stuff. YOU discard it or YOU keep it. Period.                                                                                                                              * Fold things as small as you can and store them standing up with lighter colors in front                                                                                                                                    * Use storage boxes and dividers in the drawers and closets                                                           * Categorize, then hang your clothes with the longer items to the right in the closet                                                                                                                                                   * Don’t ball up your socks or pantyhose – this stresses them out                                                                                               * Designate a place for each thing and put it there every day after use                                                * Prioritize what’s at eye level and arm’s reach                                                                                              * Thank your clothing and possessions for the good service they’ve given you before you store them away                                                                                                                                           * Greet your home with love as you enter it every day                                                                        * Recognize that your living space affects your body                                                                           * Accept the principles of Feng Shui as they create a balanced, peaceful environment

We can see this is not so hard to do. I’ve been purging my ancient credit card statements, unbarring my poor stressed out socks and pantyhose ( ouch), using the color gradation system in my drawers and closets, discarded old books and magazines which I kept for reference and for borrowing ( which never happened because I forgot I had them) and got rid of some unusual nail polish colors, like mint green, which is not my style and will never be used again. To be honest, I’m struggling with the storing vertically thing. I like looking at the front of my clothes. That’s how I tell one top or sweater from the other. I’m not giving up yet. Some self-improvement projects take longer than others. Right?

Get a big box of heavy-duty plastic trash bags, and purge away. You might want to donate your clothing, books, sports equipment. This process doesn’t imply that your possessions are of no value, just that they have no value in your life now or in the foreseeable future. Do this without guilt. You had the best intentions, now it’s time to send it all off to someones else who will need or love it. Good luck.

Please let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week’s blog post: Precocious Puberty- Bodies Developing Before Emotions

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