In her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", Marie Kondo sets out to help you declutter your spaces. She coaches you through an all hands on deck, piece-by-piece process to find the items that spark joy. For those items that do not, she asks you to thank it for its time and then rid yourself of it. Kondo encourages you to take those items of joy and display them, so they are no longer lost in the clutter.
When we declutter our surroundings, we declutter deep within ourselves.
Last year, I took on her challenge. I began by purging my wardrobe, ridding my closet space of excess clothes. I sold some on consignment at Rock Paper Scissors and donated others to Goodwill. The items could now bring joy to someone else and I could more clearly see those I loved. The exercise changed the way I think about new purchases. Now, when I head to my favorite local shops, I consider a potential purchase’s quality both from an economic, sustainable view, as well as from my heart.
Next I worked my way through our electronics. Over the years, out of date printers, cell phones, and laptops had accumulated. I brought the items to Comprenew to be recycled. This new found space allowed me to rearrange craft supplies, photo albums, etc. I feel a sense of peace each time I open the closet door.
I continued with my shelves, pulling down dusty books. Books are powerful; many have shaped me, others have challenged me or allowed me to escape into a story. But not every book I have read needed to stay. Those that I cherished got placed back on the shelves. Others I sold at Schuler Books & Music. The books gained a second life and I gained space on my shelves for locally-crafted art, beautiful plants, and artifacts from travels.
The practice of “tidying up” brought me new perspective on life. It cleared out clutter, calmed my mind, and helped me refocus. It gave me a new appreciation for what I have and a purchasing refocus. It allowed me to surround myself with joy, and it opened up space in my mind and heart to be inspired.
I’d encourage you to clear some space, this spring. These local venues can help you do just that:
This article also published in Grand Rapids Magazine.