After finishing the Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, I decided to actually try it out, and Austin agreed to join me. I started with my clothes, as suggested, and between the two of us we worked out way through the house, area by area. Electronics, books, photo albums. Kitchen stuff. All that is left is a drawer and nook in the office that Austin needs to look through, and a tub of holiday decorations.
We probably could have sold many of the clothes and books we decided we didn’t need anymore, but we donated everything instead. Someone else will enjoy these things, and hopefully the money will help some folks who need it more than we do.
Our house is lighter now. Our bookshelves don’t have as many items, and our closets aren’t stuffed full. There’s something pretty cool to know that everything in our house either brings us joy or serves a real purpose.
Some items were hard to part with. Clothing that I purchased when I was fitter than now was especially challenging, as part of me feels like I’m accepting that I might not get that fit again. But there’s no point in taking up space in my closet – or my brain – with items that I don’t love and don’t need. Same with some books. I can appreciate the idea of holding onto items that I want to read, or projects I want to start, because I like the idea of them.
At the same time I think part of growing a bit wiser is recognizing the difference between an aspiration that I want to do for me and an aspiration that I want to want to do, if that makes any sense. I have limited time when I’m not at work or sleeping, and I want to choose to do things that are meaningful to me. It might seem odd, but this really helped.