Why I’m Throwing Out [Practically] Everything I Own

I have moved – brace yourself – 13 times in 11 years. That is not an exaggeration. I’m exhausted just thinking about all of those moving days.

As I’m sure you can all relate, moving comes with evaluating your stuff. Well, unless you’re me. In that case, you throw all of your stuff in boxes and tell yourself you’ll go through it when you get settled. No longer, I say! Today’s the day!

My husband and I recently read ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘ by Marie Kondo. You’ve probably heard of it. Or, if you aren’t familiar with the book, you’ve probably heard of “Konmari” – the technique discussed in the book. The book has been published for a little over a year now, but I am just getting myself involved.

life-changing

My husband and I typically do a good spring cleaning each year, but this is different.

While I absolutely, one million percent recommend that EVERYONE read this book, I’ll briefly describe what you’ll find in the book:

Throw. It. Out.

Konmari encourages you to sort through every item you own – clothing, cook books, photos, toys, home decor… everything. You are instructed to physically hold each item in your hands and ask yourself, “Does this ___ bring me joy?” (AKA – Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I even like it?)

This probably sounds silly, but it’s been making perfect sense. I have stored hundreds of clothing items throughout my house that I no longer wear – and haven’t worn in at least 4 years. I have refused to get rid of them because they either hold some sort of sentimental value to me or I am hoping to one day fit back into them. As I went through them all and tried them back on, I realized a few things. One, they are no longer my style (did I really wear such a short dress to a wedding?? Yeesh.) Two, they were cheap to begin with – so they haven’t held up so well over time. Three, I’ve gotten along just fine in life having not worn this item for years! I haven’t missed it! Konmari practice tells me to thank the item for its service and be done with it.

The feeling of adding these clothes to my “donate” pile was liberating. I anticipated feeling anxious – but no, it felt amazing. And that feeling was contagious – my husband was sorting through his books, movies, games, clothing, and office gear. I moved on to the dozens of boxes of old college textbooks (why??), cookware, running gear, makeup, my son’s old toys… you get the idea. We have either sold or donated hundreds of boxes of stuff at this point.

Another aspect that I was skeptical of with Konmari was financial. I consider myself to be a frugal person, so it was hard for me to look at something without seeing how much I paid for it (or how much it was worth). For example, I had a designer handbag that I hadn’t used in at least 6 years. It was severely out of style, and I didn’t even like it anymore. But I had held on to it for all of these years because of the perceived value. During this process, I said ‘screw it’ and sold it for a laughable price on a local yard sale site. I thought I would be sad about it, but that wasn’t the case at all. Again, I thanked it for serving its purpose and moved on. Clear the clutter! (For the record, I haven’t regretted getting rid of that bag. I actually only wish I did it sooner!)

By following Konmari, my house looks cleaner and less cluttered. I am so happy with both of these things. I have a lot more work to do, but I’m getting there. It has been liberating and truly life changing. Each time I am browsing a store, especially if I find something on sale, I ask myself – “Am I buying this because it’s a good price, or am I buying this because I absolutely love it?” I never again want to go back to that point of clutter. And I encourage you to do the same!

Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? What did you think? 

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Tom and Lauren Tate met each other in college and fell in love (there may or may not have been alcohol involved). Years later, they got married, had a baby and now live happily in Southeastern PA with their little boy. Lauren manages the home, while Tom manages projects at a software company. While their interests range from cooking and working out (her) and playing guitar and video games (him), together they manage to maintain a blog, Little Old Home (www.littleoldhome.com).

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