When you’re constantly moving around, it’s easy to get rid of your unnecessary items after every time you move. At one point I moved to four different apartments in just as many years. I once sold almost every piece of furniture I had when I went from living in my own apartment to basically only having my own room. I was unattached to most of my items out of necessity because the less crap that I owned, the less I’d have to schlep across town…again.
Fast forward to when I started this minimalism journey back in late December.
I’ve now been living in the same apartment for roughly three years. In that time, I got a little more lax with my “one item in, one item out” rule I set for myself…and let’s just say that not following this rule really created a sense of disorganization in my life. My closets were stuffed to the max, and my dresser drawers a stack of semi-neat items with items I’ve recently worn shoved in a disarray on top. My bookcase was littered with books I intended to read, books I should have already read (hello grad school), and books that really made me happy.
Items that make me happy. Hmmm.
You see, those items that I genuinely treasured kept getting lost in the chaos of items that didn’t really do anything for me. That textbook that I didn’t actually read thoroughly but spent a fortune on creates feelings of guilt and shame. That clothing from undergrad reminds me of who I used to be…for better and for worse. Those kitchen utensils from a friend who got them for me during my third move in four years, once used daily, now sitting on the bottom shelf–unused for two years. These items stood in the way of my own happiness, of my own freedom of sorts…because even though I became blind to them in my day-to-day, those sentiments attached to those items permeated my life. I needed to become free of that.
I found Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, in a time of my life that was riddled with uncertainty, with chaos of sorts. Although I had the best home life with my person and dogs, I was anxiously awaiting to see whether I landed my first full-time job (after having been on contract/temporary work in academia for 3.5 years), and I was trying to figure out what exactly I wanted out of life. It was December of 2018 when I started reading Marie Kondo’s book, during that two week period my workplace shuts down for the holidays, and I was anxious to do something with my time off. Marie Kondo’s series, Tidying Up, premiered on Netflix that following January. Her book, coupled with the inspiring stories of families who underwent this process, gave me the spark I needed to get the ball rolling with my own belongings.
This will begin a series of posts about how I started to part with things that didn’t really spark joy in my life, and how doing so also lead me to finding and pursuing things in my own life that also sparked joy. Although I’ve gone through a couple of her categories already (clothes kinda; books, mostly; papers, entirely), it’s an ever-evolving process…and as I continue to grow into this new person I’m becoming, I find that I am willing to get rid of even more–leaving room for only the things that really make me happy…both in items and in life. Stay tuned for posts about each category.