Since Jan 25, I have been tidying up my house according to the principles of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I have finished sorting my clothes and my books, though both will need a second pass after I’m done with all the categories. I’ve donated at least 10 tall kitchen bags of clothes, five boxes of shoes, and have about 400 books set aside to donate or sell. This method has already changed my life. Getting ready for work is much easier. My room has a floor! I’m taking proper care of my very nice clothes. I’ve even started reading again. I think my huge collection of to-be-read books was holding me back from reading!
I’ve been working on papers since Feb 16 (but not every day, due to my work schedule) and I think I will be mostly done with papers by tomorrow evening. I have filled our recycle bin to the top twice and filled seven shredder bins so far. I have found a second copy of my son’s birth certificate, a thank you note from a special student, and 40 British pounds, plus two dollars. Tomorrow is the day I toss most, if not all, of my notes and papers from undergrad, which I have never looked at. I’m also tossing my old radio playlists. I don’t know why I kept them. It’s not like I’ll forget how to make a playlist, if I even decided to get back into radio and found a station that allows DJs to make their own playlists. All they do is take up valuable space in my house. I will also sort my military paperwork. Most of that is staying, but that’s just one banker’s box for me and one for my husband (he can sort his own.)
Throughout most of the process, I shook my head at all of the stuff I’ve kept “for no particular reason” (as Marie puts it in her book.) Old magazines, old catalogs, old unsolicited credit card offers. Every bank statement for the past 20 years. I’d file things away and then just forget about it. Forever. No wonder we could never move forward. We were anchored by the past.
The process of going through all these papers is also driving home the importance of getting out of debt. We are never going to be free until we stop chaining ourselves to others because we don’t know how to say no to our wants. Marie Kondo is right, this is life-changing. It has already changed how I shop. No more near-compulsive shopping because I’m lonely or bored. So far, since Jan 25, I have bought: a hardcopy of the book, 3 pairs of pajamas (in size small– I had been wearing my XL ones for far too long and basically tripping over them), and a salt lamp for my headboard. That’s it. I’m being much more careful about what I buy and how I spend money.
If you are interested, please do yourself a favor and get a copy of the book first. You can put yourself on a waiting list at your library, buy a copy online or in a physical bookstore, or get the audiobook from Audible (if you’re not a member yet, you can get a free trial and use this as one of your books!) There are a lot of articles on the Internet because this is the Next Big Craze, but a lot of the articles were written by people who haven’t read the book and don’t understand the method. They just want the hits. For me, though, following this method as faithfully and completely as I can has already changed my life. To the point where the URL of this blog might become obsolete!