Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Are you guys drinking the kool-aid? Want to talk about it?

I figured this book would be good prep for our move but I was only two pages in when I realized that the author might drive me crazy. I am seriously type A but I couldn't ever be friends with her, and not just because she talks to her handbags (but yes, partly because of that). I'm not sure how much of this is a schtick for her business image and how much of it is real, but man, it's a lot to take. Luckily the book is short. Unluckily, it repeats itself several times so it could actually be shorter.

I have some issues with the "does it spark joy?" concept of deciding which possessions to keep, particularly when it comes to the kitchen and the bathroom. I don't know about you, but I get no joy from a 9x13" baking dish or from my box of first aid supplies, but I couldn't live without either one. But maybe the point is I should just have one box of bandaids? Or maybe I should get fancier bandaids that make me happy? I'm not really sure how to apply the yardstick here. Is this because I skimmed too quickly?

I would also like to point out that it would be much easier to have a tidy house if your main hobby was tidying/organizing. I have a lot of hobbies and tidying isn't even in the top ten. There's not much discussion about how to handle my box of spray paint or my linocut tools. Based on my reading of the book I think she's saying that I should get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy" when I touch it and then if it turns out I miss it I can always buy it again. But I'm reluctant to do that because I did it last time I moved, with my yarn and crochet hooks. I hadn't crocheted in a while, so I decided it was best to let them go. Flash forward to winter, when all I wanted to be doing was mindlessly crocheting on the couch, but without the big upfront cost of shelling out for new yarn and hooks. I've really been regretting my purge. On the other hand, even I can admit that having 15 industrial sized spools of 1" wide grosgrain ribbon might be overkill (but how will I decide which colors to keep?!).

But all criticisms aside, a lot of what she writes does speak to me. There's some discussion about why we hang onto things when we shouldn't that I found useful. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the "spark joy" concept might change my life if I embraced it fully and admitted that it's better to pay for some things over again if necessary, rather than holding onto everything just in case you need it one day.

P.S. - I will never fold my socks. NEVER.