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I still don’t talk to my clothes, but Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Amazon Associate Link), really did change the way I live.
Decluttering can be therapeutic because it allows us to focus on more important things.
Before this book, my attempts at organizing usually resulted in buying a bunch of storage containers, cramming random things into them, and eventually shoving everything back into a drawer or the dark hole in my closet. Instead of focusing on what I wanted to keep–what I truly cherished–my focus was on what I should get rid of.
The heart of Kondo’s approach is this: hold each of your possessions in your hand and answer the simple question, “Does it spark joy?”
When I first read the book several months back, I went on a tirade and touched pretty much everything I own. I realize now that holding onto so many unnecessary items was a burden. Cleaning around them, pushing them to the side to get to other things, and moving them across the country seems a bit silly in hindsight.
And why do we hold onto these things in the first place? Kondo feels there are only two reasons: “an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”
In the book she describes tidying as an “act of restoring balance,” and that’s exactly what it feels like. Over time, we evolve as people and our possessions reflect our changing style and interests. Letting go of unneeded or unwanted items is much easier when we acknowledge they have served their purpose–and, for me, knowing they are being passed on to someone who does want or need them helps too. I’ve also discovered that tidying isn’t just a one-time project; it’s a daily routine, like brushing your teeth.
Tidying falls under the environmental dimension of health because when we feel calm and balanced, we’re more productive. Clutter can be distracting, and some experts even believe the simple act of tidying can help manage stress.
When we declutter our personal spaces, we also declutter our mind.