Every New Year, I make the same promises to myself. I’ll add that exercise routine to my life! I’ll save up this amount of money! I’ll get my life together and become the best version of myself!
Needless to say that nothing of the sort happened in the year of our forsaken lord 2020. A year of having plans smashed and one curveball after another thrown at me, I was just about ready to tap out on this year. Despite it all, it did make me realize one thing. I didn’t have to live with much.
On a whim, I checked out the book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by famous cleaning consultant Marie Kondo. I recalled the popularity gained by the Netflix series on social media a while back, but I hadn’t looked into or understood the process until I picked up the book.What I initially expected to be a dry, step by step instruction manual to cleaning turned out to be quite the opposite.
Filled with anecdotes about Marie Kondo’s experiences and trial/error process of developing her tried and tested method to tidiness, I didn’t want to put it down! You can tell that Kondo is passionate about tidiness, or rather, the benefits of simplifying your home and life. Not only will this give you a guide on how to start the process yourself, but you’ll be motivated to do so!
Catching a ride on the same motivation train I had hopped on with Marie Kondo, I wanted to look deeper into this simplified lifestyle. A big struggle that people find when it comes to tidying is getting caught in a “consumerism cycle: earn more, buy more, want more…”.
Cait Flanders’ self memoir, The Year of Less, is her experience while challenging herself to go an entire year without shopping. She limited herself to only buying groceries, gas, and toiletries, as well as decluttering her apartment. This memoir is a very honest and naked look at how materialism is ingrained into our culture and influences our every decision and habits. In some ways, this book is less about preaching a minimalist lifestyle, and more about simply becoming more mindful of what we spend our money on.
The next time you take a look at your home book collection, take a look at each book and reflect on its usefulness to your life. Do you find yourself reaching for it often? Is it on your to-read list? Does it spark joy to your life to own this book? If you find there are less books that you have read than not, why not pass along books you no longer want to others in need. Your local public library will not only allow you the opportunity to borrow books for free, it can be a great way to keep only your most loved and used books in the spotlight at home.
In a world where wild headlines seem to dominate our news feeds and lives, the best thing we could do is make sure we are at peace in the place we call home.