Does it spark joy?

A few months ago as I began to look at my life, I started to feel that house my house was possibly full of things that were weighing me down. I’m lucky enough to have a big apartment but somehow I managed to fill every room and every square centimeter of it with… well… crap…

I’m a shopaholic, sentimental forgetful hoarder. I buy a lot of things, I get very attached to them, and then forget I own them and start buying more. I never throw away anything. I mean it. I have the ticket stub of every movie and concert I’ve ever seen. It’s an illness. I know.

Anyway. So little by little I started to get the sense that my life would be better with less crap lying around. I started imagining what it would feel like to have more space around me, less baggage. Space, instead of ‘scary’, started to feel more like ‘possibility’. Every time I started thinking about how to get there, I got stuck at thoughts like ‘where do I even start’, ‘what if I throw away something and then regret it’ and of course ‘but I can’t throw away perfectly good crap, surely I need to find ways to give/recycle/donate every single item otherwise I’m destroying the planet’.

So I remained in that mental block until during a conversation a friend told me about Marie Kondo and her decluttering theories. That night I ran to the American Book Center and bought Marie Kondo’s book. Except she now has 2 books and I didn’t know which one was best so I got both. Way to start the decluttering.

I pretty much read the 2 books immediately, and I really liked the way Marie looks at decluttering. The way you have to find what sparks joy and keep just that. The way you thank everything you get rid of. Most of her theory made sense to me apart from 2 things:

  • She does not touch at all on what to do with all the stuff. She keeps talking about the hundreds of people she has helped, and about putting things in garbage bags and ‘discarding’ them. Which seems simple but I simply could not fathom how someone could throw away so much stuff and not feel guilty.
  • Drawers – her way of storing is based on drawers. Seeing everything from above, getting a good overview. Well, my house is pretty much full of shelves, or cupboards with shelves in them.

Despite these 2 worries, I had a free weekend coming up and I was itching to get started with my de-cluttering. I decided I would start with my dresses, as Marie Kondo recommends starting with clothes and going through them category by category. And I would give myself the weekend to do 2 categories.