Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tidying Up

A couple of months ago, a book on display at our local public library found its way into my hands and through the check-out kiosk, The New York Times best-seller, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed Press, Berkley). The slim volume appealed to my significant desires to travel through this world as lightly as possible. I tend to be more minimalist in my habits, clothing and decorating style. I need very little in the way of possessions in order to be happy and comforted. In fact, I tend to feel happier and more comfortable when I am surrounded by only a few items that have special meaning to me, or as the author Marie Kondo refers, items that "spark joy" in me. In her book, Ms. Kondo recommends that we review each of our belongings, holding each one in our hands and asking if that item sparks joy. If it does, in her viewpoint, it's worth keeping; if not, it is telling you that it wants to be discarded. In my adulthood, I've subscribed to the philosophy that for every thing that comes in, at least one thing must go out. It has been a philosophy that has served my minimalist tendencies well. I've also subscribed to the philosophy that if I keep things tidy, my life feels tidier, as well. In fact, when I'm under stress, one of the first things I want to do is purge physical belongings. The act of clearing out and tidying helps me sort through the stress-inducing issue stirring around and unsettling my mind. As one individual cited in Ms. Kondo's book stated, such clearing and tidying makes way for "unhurried spaciousness." For me, that unhurried spaciousness is all about clarifying my needs from my wants, surrounding myself with only those things that bring light and joy to my life and lightening my burdens, physical and otherwise. After reading Marie Kondo's book, I can now put words to that life-changing magic of tidying up and the deep joy of living in unhurried spaciousness.