“The things you own, own you.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Almost everyone has too much stuff.
Whether you share a bedroom or own several houses, the odds are that you own a lot more stuff than you should and your life would be much better if you didn’t.
Not too long ago I read the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo.
This doesn’t sound like the typical type of book I would read. I read mostly psychology, business, philosophy, self-improvement, psychology, spiritual and the occasional spy novel. This book sounds more like a book for Susie Homemaker than for an adventurous guy looking to lead an interesting life. With that being said, I found the book extremely valuable and definitely worth the read.
Marie’s biggest passion in life is “tidying”. Ever since she was a kid she was obsessed with organization and straightening things up. When other children were on the playground at recess she was tidying the classroom. At home she could not help herself from cleaning her entire family’s house. Over the years she has mastered the art of organizing and simplifying people’s lives.
I found the energy of her obsession with tidying flow through the pages into my own life. I consider myself fairly organized and look to regularly discard or sell things that I don’t need in order to reduce clutter. During and after reading her book I found myself throwing out at least 10 full-sized garbage bags full of stuff. I haven’t missed any of it since then and feel much better about my living space.
Probably the top principle of the book is to hold something in your hand and ask yourself if it gives you joy. If it doesn’t you should get rid of it.
Marie is also not a fan of hoarding paperwork. Many people hold onto old electronics manuals that they will never use and keep records that aren’t necessary or can easily be found online. I found this to be true and threw out many stacks of papers.
Marie also makes a good point with old photographs. People may take hundreds of photos on a vacation, but never really look at any of them. She suggests instead saving five or so of them that you can look at regularly. Choose the five that bring you the most joy and best represent the trip. This will prevent them from getting lost among all of the others.
She has tons of other valuable points in her book and at 226 pages it is an easy read.
It’s amazing how much lighter you feel after de-cluttering your life. You are able to think more clearly, find things when you need them and are surrounded by those few items that truly bring you the most joy.
It is much easier to live a most interesting life without being weighed down by too much stuff.
Clutter is never interesting. Clear out the unnecessary to make room for more adventure in your life.
Til next time,