The Art of Discarding
April 15, 2019
Last week, we kicked off Stacie’s Be the Light Campaign and mentioned Marie Kondo and her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”
Marie Kondo states with confidence “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming."
The secret? Start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go. I agree. And this is called the KonMari Method - which promises us we may never return to clutter again.
Why? Kondo explains, when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.
Wow. I could use more of that, how about you?
I also laughed out loud when I read a section that stated: “Storage experts are hoarders.” Kondo says there is a booby trap within the term “storage.” I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped at a Target-like store and bought new bins to put things in to help me feel organized.
Such a quick and convenient way to remove visible clutter. Apparently, it has just made me a closet hoarder because once something ends up in a bin it never seems to make an actual appearance in my life again.
Which is why the life-changing Magic of tidying according to Kondo begins with the act of discarding.
The art of discarding is the only thing that I am going to tackle today since it is at the core of resetting our lives!
Step One: Discard, all at once, intensely and completely.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been going through the act of discarding and have discovered that I am...like I said before...a closet hoarder. I just seem to collect things with the idea that someday that thing will come in handy or I have to keep the said item.
As I got motivated to go through the discarding process, I started with selection criteria to help me decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
The clear and apparent criteria are things like 1) Is it broken or is there missing parts or 2) out-dated but it gets trickier when there is no compelling reason to do so.
It was the KonMari method that really challenged me to take each item in my home and ask: Does this spark joy?
If it does spark joy, keep it. If not, dispose of it.
- Did I find myself wearing clothes that didn’t give me pleasure?
- What books that I continue to stockpile will I ever open again?
- Are the accessories, appliances, dishes, (you name it) that I know I will never use again ever going to bring me a sense of joy again?
The answer was "No" and I found that the majority of the things that I have stored, collected or kept over the years were just things that I thought I was supposed to save. They actually felt more like a weight on my shoulders rather than something joyful.
I know. This is tough. It is human nature to resist discarding or throwing things away. “I might need it later.” “It’s a waste to get rid of it.” “One of my family members may want it someday.”
I also know that we hang on to things, too many things, that represent the past or a loved one. And this is an area where I really had to challenge myself. And here is what Kondo has begun to teach me, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
To get rid of what I don’t need or does not bring me joy any further is neither wasteful or shameful. None of us treasure things that are buried deeply in a drawer, closed away in a storage bin, or we use just because we have.
As a result, a good deal of clutter of mine needed to be tossed or shredded while other things needed to be given away. But as I got started, I realized that I had bags and bags of old documents, broken items, damaged clothing, ragged shoes, old appliances, and outdated electronics. What the heck was I going to do with it all?
I rented a dumpster from Discount Dumpsters.
It is really not that expensive. They will drop it off for a couple of weeks and then pick it up when I am done. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to throw things in it with a resounding ‘clunk’ as it hits bottom. And I am embarrassed to say to you that I literally have it filled (and it is almost ready to be taken away.)
The rest of my cluttered goods are all nicely packed away in plastic storage bins that are going to be donated to Stacie’s Be The Light campaign benefitting Bidwell Riverside that we are running at the store until May 6th.
Please, please consider bringing your unwanted clothing or small household items (sorry, no furniture) to K. Renee over the next couple of weeks. And thank you to all of those that made a drop off last week to get this effort kicked off with a bang! First thing Tuesday morning (after last weeks blog hit), our amazing clients began to show up with donations!
As you go through this process (if you choose) you might discover as I did that there is more joy to be had by giving things away...off to a new better life in the hands of someone who has greater need.
In my humble opinion, Marie Kondo hits the nail on the head with her simple yet profound perspective that our homes and its contents should always spark joy within us. Does yours?
Have a wonderful week and purge on! It feels so good.