Jan 05

Happy New, Decluttered Year!

Happy new year 2016! Last year, I made lots of strides in freeing my home and life from lots of clutter. It started with a simple desire to clear out a few things. I revisited Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston, an old book on clearing clutter that had inspired me previously. It makes some pretty compelling arguments for letting go without guilt.This helped me get started. And a few quick google searches also revealed that decluttering was in the air, spurred on by Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I immediately started reading about it almost compulsively and ordered her book from Amazon.

Her simple ideas, philosophies and concepts made it easier to declutter even some of the most stubborn items. For a number of reasons, I could never seem to let go of certain things. Looking back, I can remember feeling remorse for getting rid of toys I had outgrown as a child. Fast forward to Toy Story many years later, I was happy to learn I was not alone in ascribing feelings and emotions to my toys. Oddly enough, Kondo addresses this very issue in her book. She encourages her readers to express gratitude when releasing objects from the home.

She even helped me purge many of my beloved books. My collection was pretty extensive. I take that back, it was RIDICULOUS. I once thought it would be fun to have my own personal library, and had a great time collecting books at used book sales. What I hadn’t considered was the effort involved in maintaining so many titles. Like moths to the flame, dust is hopelessly drawn to books. And, after a while, their presence became physically heavy. At one point, I had a second story apartment and the tenant who lived below expressed concern about the ceiling crashing through. I admit, a few of the shelves were buckling beneath the weight of my books. She was a tad dramatic, but yeah, we had that conversation.

This heaviness also makes moving a back breaking effort. In short, my many books came with unexpected costs. I reasoned that there are a number of beautiful, well-cared for libraries that I can visit anytime I want to enjoy books without the costs of upkeep.

It felt so good to take control of my life inventory that I started assessing and editing other aspects of my life as well. This resulted in recycling lots of tempting extras that were keeping me from some of the most important people, animals, experiences and goals in my life. I could see things more clearly once I removed all of the distractions. I never knew letting go could feel so good.

Despite all of my progress, I still have a long way to go. This year, I am going to be blogging about my continued efforts to simplify my home, career, and overall life. I keep learning, and I’d like to share some of my insights along the way with others who are also looking to gain some independence from the many things in their life that simple don’t suit them anymore.

Cheers, and Happy New Year! jt

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