The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I think you are doing a beautiful job

In “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” Marie Kondo offers us a reliable method for eliminating clutter (read stress) from our lives. She suggests we go through all the items in our homes, and then stop and ask ourselves one very basic question: “Does this item bring me joy?”

If it does, we keep it; if it doesn’t, we discard it.

On the whole, I would say this is a useful technique. There’s a huge amount of stuff we don’t want, and never use. So, clearly, all these things aren’t bringing us much joy.

The Dilemma

But sometimes it’s a challenging process to work through. Not everything is easy, straightforward, or clear cut. For instance, we stumble when confronted with dilemmas like:

Perhaps this tattered item doesn’t really bring me joy, but my daughter bought it for me when she eight years old.”

Or, “I know these bathroom scales aren’t going to bring me joy but, still, it might be better if I hang on to them.”

That kind of thing.

Yet, its international fame seems to indicate the book resonates, on some level, with a number of us. At least when it comes to physical clutter …

But there are other kinds of clutter that can weigh us down as well. And perhaps it’s fair to argue they’re a greater source of stress.

This is a more resistant clutter that is harder to sift through. And it’s certainly the kind that is harder to discard.

What Are we Referring to Here?

The emotional clutter we keep trying to push down – but which continues to spill over – and wreak havoc in our lives. All the bad experiences. The unwanted memories. The rejections, hurts, betrayals. All the traumas, wounds and scars.

What to do about it?

Of course, we’d love it to be gone, for it’s not a source of joy. Yet ditching it is hard; it can feel impossible.

So, perhaps, all we can do is to cut ourselves some slack. And remind ourselves, again, that some things in life are hard.

Yes, working through this stuff is like walking through quicksand.

And, despite what we might wish, it’s a lot more challenging than answering the question: “Does this sweater bring me joy?”

6 thoughts on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  1. I did the whole process of Marie Kondo, twice! It really set somethings in motion and I discarded a lot more than ‘just’ stuff but also a lot of stuff. It is a good method so recognize what is useful to us now. I start to leave some old pattern behind together with the old sweaters but also some dreams and hopes. I think you wrote it down very good in your post, I like the method of keeping what brings us joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting 🙂 I think that often as we discard physical stuff we gain a degree of emotional freedom too. Somehow we feel lighter. Less bogged down. It’s great you found you were able to leave old patterns, and even hopes and dreams that were, perhaps, redundant at this stage of life. Thanks for reading, and for the inspiring comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for this post! Very insightful and engaging! And So true about the emotional clutter! Also, toxic people in your life can also be emotional clutter. I’m definitely ordering this book!


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