Like many of you, I’ve been swept up in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix; I’ve also ordered her book and am eager to read it. It’s always been second nature to me to keep my home neat and tidy, and for years, I’ve gone through my belongings twice a year to donate what I no longer need. But still, the KonMari method has changed the way I decide what I keep and what I don’t.
It used to be that I would let go of clothing I hadn’t worn in the past season, and would shed a layer of old cosmetics sitting beneath my sink. However, the concept of considering what actually sparks joy for me – a term Marie uses when describing the items you should keep – was new, and enlightening.
My parents are getting ready to renovate their house, and my childhood bedroom still has been filled with things from my growing up. I have been going through and giving away items from early years and adolescence, and this past weekend, I decided to tackle my bookshelf. I knew this would be the most difficult task because I love books, and many of the books I own, I connect with certain feelings and experiences.
I emptied the bookshelf (which had 4 shelves, and was overflowing – some books still sitting in a box from college, others tucked in random spots around the room) into piles on the floor. With the KonMari method, this is how it’s done: Take everything out of its place so that you can see how much you have altogether. And then, place each item in your hands. Have a feeling of joy as you hold it, and it stays. If not, it goes.
And so I did this with each book, and I was surprised at how many books did not spark joy for me anymore. Most books I associated with a certain time or period in my life, but I just didn’t feel much for them. And so, as Marie teaches, I thanked each one for what it had served me, and said goodbye.
When I was finished, my bursting bookcase was pretty bare, lined with only the few books that had sparked joy in my hands and my heart. But it was such a beautiful sight; for now, I could see my most treasured reads and memories. Now, they weren’t cluttered. There they were, and I could see each one clearly and feel the joy they brought me.
I am so looking forward to continuing this process in my own apartment (seen in the top image). I am preparing to move soon myself, as H (my boyfriend) and I are moving in together, to a new place. Marie’s methods have served me well as I’ve parted with items from my early years, and I believe they will do the same as I say goodbye to the single life of my early and mid-20’s and enter a new one.