On Tidying

Inspired by her Netflix show, I’ve been re-reading Marie Kondo’s books ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ and ‘Spark Joy’ and decided to do a write up about it on Minimal Student comparing her method with minimalism.

It’s been a good exercise to question again what minimalism means to me. When I moved into my current home, I could fit everything in a suitcase and a couple of bags. Now, having settled in the same place for three years, I’ve accumulated a lot of things which has both added and subtracted from my quality of life.

On the one hand, I’m proud to have some furniture to call my own. To be able to have exclusive use of things that belong to me, that I’ve earned every penny to buy, is a good feeling. The same goes for my own clothes, books, and other stuff that I own. It’s comforting.

On the other hand, I can feel what were once empty spaces shrinking around me. Things are starting to gather and pile up in areas that used to be clear. We are still pretty minimalist on the grand scale of things, but one day we will have to move on from here and a lot of it will have to go.

For most things, I won’t mind gratefully saying goodbye. A big change for me was getting into the habit of saying ‘thank you’ to things before getting rid of it. And to be able to sell/give away things to people who live locally who want and need it. It makes letting go much easier.

The category I struggle most with is my books. I mainly read non-fiction so I like to get physical copies so I can refer to them often. Many of them border on sentimental as they’ve come into and helped me at different phases of my life. So much so, I’ve basically justified having them because getting rid of them means I’ll end up buying another copy again anyway.

This is where thinking of things that ‘spark joy’ really helped. Why should I get rid of something that makes me happy anyway? It’s already enough of a struggle to find happiness in life, there’s no sense in making it harder by chopping out things just for the sake of it.

So I would still call myself a minimalist. The main reasons why I have written about minimalism for almost ten years now is because I wanted to spread the word that life doesn’t have to be about stuff, and that everyone can have their own definition of what minimalism means to them. After all these years, my definition is still evolving and adapting to wherever I am in life, and I’m glad for it.

Published by Jessica Dang via Minimalist Meditations | rss | tw | fb | g+P

2 thoughts on “On Tidying

  1. Hey Jessica,

    Yes, I caught her show back in the beginning of January. She was very cute. Makes me wonder if I should get myself a Japanese girl. We can make some huwhite babies XD

    Back on point, I feel the same, stuff has accumulated from my travel days and my first apartment 8 years ago. Tools, often being clunky (like an air compressor) take up lots of space, a motorcycle, and some furniture and a maxed out PC (go big or go home, right?)

    What I liked about Marie Kondo was some good ideas on organizing little stuff with boxes, and folding clothes a certain way. The Japanese seem to find a spirituality in cleanliness. Why not if you have to do the work anyway?

  2. Recently, I have accidentally visited your blog again after a long break and I was happy to discover that you are still writing. I visited it for the first time six or seven years ago when my English was not very good yet, and I had already been interested in minimalism for some time. In recent years, I have regularly returned to your writing and it has always brought something good to me. Such a positive reflection on my own life. Usually, I do not comment on blogs, but today, reading selected posts, I felt that I want to express my gratitude for your writing. You have brought a lot of good into my life! Thank you 🙂

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