Four years of living outside the US of A will help when evaluating the importance of material possessions. This may be where the Tiny House initiative took shape. I can concede a tiny house is taking drastic measures, but believe a real need exists for living within our means, down-sizing, and taking inventory of what we need vs. want. I do not classify as a minimalist, and minimalism may not be the end-all answer to many people’s ownership obsessions.
I am only in the first stages of reeducating and relearning so I borrowed Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up from the town’s public library. It’s a nice perk to returning to the States to have books, e-materials, audiobooks, and magazines at my fingertips.
A fair amount of buzz surrounds the KonMari method, or the “Does this bring you joy?” method of decluttering. The item in question could be a scarf, blouse, sweater, book, or even a sock. Her method requires detaching the emotion associated with the black dress shoved at the back of your closet, and realizing you held onto that LBD for so long because a colleague, coworker, spouse, or relative said you looked great in it, regardless of how you felt while donning it.
I liked how her approach makes you aware of how much attachment we have to things, merely because we do not know how to disassociate need from want. It’s like when customers at my retail job said they needed a decaf cappuccino. Really?
Nuance is everything and Kondo’s guide to decluttering has it all: she advises tidying in category-to-category stages, folding clothing in half to display in drawers, hanging as little as possible, keeping belongings you love and parting ways with those you only like.
She also does not belittle readers for impulse buys, explaining the item already fulfilled its purpose by bringing you instantaneous joy when purchased. I felt conflicted here, as far as trying to steer the boat towards a minimalist approach, however I can agree to disagree. There are different ways to bring joy; much like every word or situation in existence, joy is subjectively interpreted. Joy is found in the eye of the beholder, so to speak.
Q: Are you interested in owning items that merely spark joy? What are some methods you use to “tidy up?”