As you know, I had been reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“. I finished reading it last Sunday, and started to put it into practice on Tuesday.
The book suggests you follow a specific order in your decluttering: Clothes, then books, then paperwork, etc. And, since I had already purged my clothes, recently (before reading the book), I started with my book collection: All 1500+ books!
My house is tiny, so a lot of my books have been in my bedroom (7 shelves), and the rest have been in Rubbermaid totes out in my garage. I decided to try and go through every book in my room, first — you’re supposed to pull everything from one category out, and put it in a pile on the floor (you can create sub-categories, but I didn’t). Here’s what my pile looked like:
(…and that’s not even ALL of my books!)
My shelves were full, and double-stacked (books behind books). Here are the “before” pictures (and yes, I had a LOT of junk!)…
And, after three days of cleaning — both books, and paperwork — I am happy to say I have discarded about 15 boxes of books, and 4 bags of paperwork and junk! Check it out!
This shelf (above) got emptied, and then given to my son.
…which made room for my new “standing” desk! I finally have a work-from-home “office” space! 😀
These are some of the books I kept (above).
And, these are the rest of them! 😀
Isn’t that cool? I can already feel the difference in my room… it has been a weight lifted, emotionally. I never knew that it was there, before reading this book. Yet, when I read that I should get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy, I knew –intuitively– that this was going to be a life-changer for me (the book’s title is definitely fitting!). And sure enough, I most definitely feel better … and I’m not even done! I’ve only just started to declutter!
In the beginning of her book, Marie talks about how this needs to be a mindset shift … if you don’t take on a new mindset, you also aren’t going to have things stick, once you make these changes. So I’ve been praying for a resolve to be ruthless in my decluttering and purging… Books are particularly hard for me to let go of, usually — and yet… this time has been different. I’ve stopped lying to myself, I guess. I used to say that I was keeping them all because I want to someday have my own in-home library room. And that’s still true. However, I know (now) that my tastes will change before I get to that point, so there’s really no point in me holding onto these books. The guilt and emotional “clutter” they have been giving me was getting to be too much. I knew I’d never read most of them anyway — I had too many to ever get to them all in my lifetime. Blasphemous as that sounds, it’s the truth.
I still love books. But now, the difference is that, when I look at my shelves, I no longer feel so much of a burden over all the unread books. Now I can say that I could reasonably read everything that’s left… and, what I see, when I look at them, just brings me joy — truly!
One of the things I really love is that they’re no longer double-stacked — well, mostly. 😉 There aren’t many that are “hiding” behind other books… so I can see them! And, with the shelves not being so full, there’s space… which also adds to the “light” feeling in the room.
Add to that the fact that I got rid of some of the “height” in the room (removing a 5-shelf bookcase, taking down two shelves that were on top of other shelves), and it really is a drastic change! And that is exactly what Marie says you’re going for — a drastic enough change that you have something “click” in your emotions and your brain, which will help you to never revert to your clutter-keeping ways again (here’s hoping!)
So yeah… So far, I’ve learned that I like the simpler style. And, I’ve learned that I need to be more honest with myself about what I can reasonably –what I SHOULD reasonably– have on hand. I’ve also learned that I take a LOT of notes! LOL.
notebooks taking over my small shelf!
I went through each notebook, and cut the notes out of the spiral bindings… then put each book’s notes into their own sheet protector, and gathered them all into binders. Now, instead of a huge pile of notebooks (that pretty much took up its own full shelf unit!), I have just 4 binders. And those take up a lot less room. 😉
Will I stop taking notes? Probably not. 😉
Another added benefit of all of this cleaning is that I’ve probably lost a few pounds! LOL. I’ve been soooo tired and sore from all of this work! Yet, it’s a good feeling… I’ve slept more soundly, this week, than I have in a long time.
Here’s to a changed lifestyle!