Tue, 20 January 2015
Claudia and I threw out everything we owned this weekend. We threw out 98% of everything.
There are about 30 garbage bags and another 20 boxes filled with stuff. "Stuff."
We had just spent six weeks traveling around and except for the stuff we were traveling with we realized we didn't need anything else.
No papers, books, extra sheets, clothes, extra plates, tables, lights, etc. I didn't even miss these things once.
25 years' worth of memories in some cases.
Part of this is an experiment. I'm interviewing Marie Kondo in a few weeks. Author of the 2-million-copies bestseller The Art of Tidying Up.
I wanted to try her suggestions. She said before you "organize," you "discard." But once we started discarding, we couldn't stop. We discarded everything. All of our rooms are now pretty empty.
And it's not like we are going to replace anything. If anything, having less leaves room in your life for more, for other things.
That is the trick.
Marie Kondo suggests you lay everything out side by side.
Then you touch each object.
If it gives you joy, you keep it. If it doesn't give you joy, or if you haven't used it in a long time, throw it out. No holding back.
If it's paper, you throw it. I threw out my photos, books, art, furniture, all my clothes except 3 outfits. I thanked everything for its dutiful service to me.
It feels almost like a new toy. "Nothing" was the toy I wanted to play with, instead of the latest "this" or "that."
If you want to try it, try this: take all the books from one bookshelf. Lay them on the floor side by side.
Touch each one. If it doesn't make you happy or if you haven't looked at the book in over six months, give it away. Don't say, "well I might need this as a reference later." You won't. There's Google for that.
Don't say, "it was a great book, though". Ok, it was great. Give it to someone else. Say "thank you" to it. Then throw it out.
"But we might have a guests over some day." Buy new sheets then. Four years from now, when you actually have a guest. "But Sheila gave me this shirt." Have you worn it in the past six months?
Claudia thought we would only get rid of enough things to get rid of one bookshelf. She thought our closets would still be full.
But we got rid of everything. We have nothing left. There's nothing in my office.
Nothing in my desk. Our closets... empty.
I want nothing in between us. In between you and me.
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