The Joy of Decluttering

“It must be so wonderful to have a home filled only with things that bring you joy.” 

Kondo grasped Goodman’s hand and looked her seriously in the eye.

“You can do it,” she said.


I haven’t made any grand statements or official announcements as yet but for me, November is the Decluttering month. I have experienced far too much relief and lightness getting rid of stuff in October to stop now. I get a quiet and deeply satisfying feeling whenever I let go of material things that no longer serve me because it is symbolic of letting go of dormant unneeded energy and best of all, so very best of all, it’s something any of us can do at almost any time we decide to.

Most of the time we focus on what we don’t have and what things would fullfill us if only we could aquire them. We obsess over that wonderful feeling of having something new.  I do it all the time. I’ve done it for years/ But I’ve found lately that the closer I get to aquiring the material things I think I want, they quickly reveal themselves as unneccsary, clogging, pretty little cogs that temporarily compensate for something deeper. So I’ve been trying something different lately.

I’ve been spending my money more strategically only on things that I need and love. I’ve also been spending time looking at what I have.That is a journey in itself. I can only imagine that the things I need to give up which are hidden in closets and storage bins since the move, make up about three times as much as what I can actually see all around our apartment. I’ve been steadily getting rid of things in piles, taking coats and dressed to Housing Works, since we no longer live close to a Salvation Army that I know of. But I’ll be kicking it into slightly higher gear this month. The idea of being surrounded only by items that spark joy, a concept I became familair with through Nate Berkus’ work is something I find very appealing.

The process of moving from our Harlem apartment to the one we presently inhabit in Inwood was so traumatic for me that there were decisions I made with regard to accumalation that I stick to very strictly. There are still things we have from the old apartment in boxes that have not been unpacked yet and honestly I’m not sure they need to ever be used again and with the exception of one digital camera that hasn’t been recovered yet we haven’t been missing these hidden items since we moved here. So while I am daunted by the task of going through all this stuff, I look forward to being mindful that the tiny bits of nostalgia and my own ephemeral obsessions are no reason to hold on to things that do not spark joy for me in the present moment.

My night stand is one of my favorite personal spaces becauses it always has the same amount of objects on it, only objects that inspire me, that I like to look at, that are there for very specfic reasons to invoke a specific energy. I maintain it carefully because I know how easy it is for table and dresser tops to become dumping grounds. I derive pleasure from keeping it clear of clutter. It’s hard to explain this concept to my husband who is very neat in some ways (his undergarments draw is a study in borderline OCD) and not so much in others. I feel like men manage the issue of clutter in a different way. But I have it my way, all manner of dissarray will fall under my decluttering powers. LOL!

Imagine that you could live in a home filled only with things that bring you joy. Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s on. This month I am channeling my inner Decluttering Goddess.

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