My Love, Marie Kondo
Please tell me you've heard of Marie Kondo by now. If not, get your cute butt up and buy all of her books this very moment. Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is what truly started me towards a minimalist journey. It helped to give me direction and a starting point. The book is centered around your own personal joy, wherever you may get that. Asking myself what brought me joy has helped every aspect of my life. "Decluttering" my house has cleaned out my mind, too.
Marie suggests starting with clothing, understandable for most people. I, however, did not agree with this approach. Her opinion is that clothing is the least sentimental items we own. Personally, I am extremely attached to all of my clothing (which is probably unhealthy). Nonetheless, I had to follow the book to the letter. I had a mountain of clothing to go through, but man. I conquered Everest.
I'm not totally sure of the amount I got rid of, but I know it was at least six bursting trash bags. Also, this was after a clean out from a month prior where I had given away about four trash bags of clothing. Not to worry, it all went to loving homes and people in need. Giving is another bringer of joy.
I moved on to the next category, books. Again, I have collected books for years and the attachment is unreal. In the end, I got rid of at least 100 books. My sister and brother-in-law are both teachers, so they were excited to build their classroom libraries. I mainly kept a few books that I really connected to and some coffee table type books that I enjoy flipping through. In the future, I see myself giving away all of my books, except maybe the coffee table ones. I must say, narrowing down my book collection has really renewed my interest in reading. Previously, I felt too bogged down to find time to pick up a book. Not anymore! The library is my new best friend, because it is so nice to go find a new book, devour the story, and then pass it on to the next library reader.
The next step was miscellaneous items, a huge category. My bathroom was the biggest challenge. I have a problem with hoarding prescriptions, no matter the expiration date. I think it's the "rarity" factor. Medication, feminine products, and hair products/stylers all have their own box or tray now. If it starts overflowing, it is time to clean it out. As a side effect, everything is cleaner. I put things away in their spot, and I keep everything in good condition. I love almost all of my belongings, so I treat them with respect.
True "sentimental" items are the last category. For me, this is mainly childhood items, photos, and letters. I've barely scratched the surface in those areas. I plan to only have one box of childhood items/things I want to keep for my future children. As for photos, this is going to take time. I hope to pick out the really important pictures and keep about 20 per year taken. Also, all of my family photos were damaged in Hurricane Katrina, so it will also be a test of picking the ones that look the best. I plan to make an album for my letters, again picking out a few for each year. I'm not sure yet, but I may try to make some sort of collage or art project with some of the letters. If I do, I will be sure to post a how-to. I don't want to just have the letters or pictures rotting away in an album, I want to look at them to bring me joy and memories. I'm hoping that cleaning them out will make this more likely. As always, feel free to share your Marie Kondo experiences and any tips you may have. I love hearing from y'all!