#9 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, 2014
I’m not a fan of stuff. At my age, stuff doesn’t spark joy for me personally. Surely it did as a newly wed, when I thought I would be a forever collector of angels, and copper kitchen decor. Now, getting rid of stuff sparks more joy than keeping stuff. When I see too much clutter in my home, I can easily get annoyed.
Marie Kondo gives me permission to get rid of anything that I don’t love. I think I needed that permission because in the past, there was some inbred need to keep most things until they wore out or broke. Now I find joy in giving things away that aren’t on their last leg, or worn to a thread. In the age of cyberspace, I think it may be time to purge even more after I snap a photo of it!
I am however, married to a man who loves stuff. Not just for stuff’s sake, but because it does trigger some fond memories of his past. Thankfully he is content to localize his stuff in his office. And has allowed me to arrange his stuff in ways that are acceptable to my decluttered sense of well-being. Marie Kondo doesn’t address the problem of being married to a memorabilia collector. But we manage.
I was recently visiting my 70something year old mother. She has stuff. And she really isn’t a stuff-loving person. I don’t think she realized just how much stuff she has accumulated in her life. For example, on her shoe rack hanging on the outside of the door in her bedroom, she has multiple pairs of the SAME shoe–only in different colors. Really Ma!? But she insists that once she finds a shoe that is comfortable; she needs to buy them in every color to match every outfit in every season. I had an absolute ball helping her decluter her video closet and sewing closet while there. I’m starting to think that may be another calling on my life in my final third.
Here’s why I don’t like stuff:
- It ties you down.
- You can never find what you’re looking for because you have too much stuff to go through.
- You have to dust stuff.
- Someone else could probably use or enjoy the stuff you have tucked away in the basement.
- When you die, other people will have to go through your stuff.
I remember, one of the most poignant moments in my auction going days was when other people’s stuff–which they probably loved and spent lots of money on at one time–was going for pennies on the dollar–now that they were dead and their survivors didn’t want it. I thought, why not just give it away? But no! We think we need to sell our stuff because surely it is worth something. Can I just tell you how abundant God has been with me in my life? Well, he has. And the idea of trying to sell something I own after it is well used, just sounds a bit stingy to me.
I found this verse in Deuteronomy some time back and thought, this is how I need to deal with my stuff because God has dealt that way with me:
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
There are consequences to being stingy and I want none of them. So my advice, enjoy your stuff, but if you don’t, take great joy in passing it on as soon as possible.
Favorite tips from Marie Kondo’s book:
- Roll the stuff that you put in drawers (i.e. socks, shirts, dish towels)
- Group similar stuff together and keep it in one place only.
- Keep papers at a minimum.
#10 What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson, 2013
Marie Kondo’s worldview did not spark joy for me. She seems sweet and gentle, but to personify stuff is not my thing, so reading Dr. Anderson’s book right after finishing her book made me very thankful for my own worldview.
He writes, “a worldview is an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us. Your worldview represents your most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe you inhabit. It reflects how you would answer all the ‘big questions’ of human existence.”
Perhaps my worldview may have something to do with why I don’t like stuff. Or perhaps it is just my own personality preferences. Surely there are those who hold similar worldviews–like my husband–who have a fond affection for things. Regardless, this book sparked in me a desire to write out my worldview. Here goes:
I believe in an Intelligent Creator who created an incredibly beautiful Universe, filled with incredibly complex humans–physically, mentally and spiritually. I believe humans are the Creator’s crown and glory of all creation–the one creature he chose to put his own image on. I also believe that this Intelligent Creator is the God of the Old and New Testaments and Jesus is his only begotten Son, who came to earth to live a perfect life and die a horrible death so that humans might be reconciled to our loving, wise and powerful God. I’m ok with not understanding his unsearchable ways. I think he’s ok with me not understanding them too. I also think he is always near, and wholly other. And, he really loves, me, and longs for me to get my act together, which he knows I’m incapable of doing apart from the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We image-bearers are to be training in this life to reign with him in the life everlasting. That can hurt–this training thing–but only for a little while–which we often forget.
I love my worldview and believe it is the only one that enables me to live a joy-filled, contented life.
I loved this!! I loved Anderson’s worldview book, too. Also, his Why Should I Believe Christianity.
Tari Williamson said:
Love your list of why you don’t like stuff. Totally agree. I have walked away from so many things on the basis of dusting alone!
My poignant realizations came from estate sales. It started making me sad to go and see how people had spent so much of their lives and money collecting pointless stuff that held absolutely no value to their remaining family other than whatever cash they could get for it after their death. I was continuously reminded of Matt 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I stopped going after a couple of years because I realized I didn’t want to fall into the same trap myself.
I love how Marie Kondo gently guides people to unload the unnecessary clutter with an attitude of gratefulness for either the way those items served one for a period of time, or for what they taught that person.
Tari, I love this ! I am more like Tom but I’m learning to start throwing or giving things away. It is very freeing when you can do that. I’m still working on it and getting better @ it. Your blog will help me continue. THanks !
Tari Williamson said:
Thank you, Betty! Marie Kondo has a series on Netflix now, and you may find it helpful.
I actually was inspired to do some decluttering yesterday. Thanks again for your encouragement, Tari.
Tari Williamson said:
great additions and thought provoking words, Share! love that you had the same sort of experience with the estate sales. i suppose if we were 20, we would still be going to Selkirks Auctions! loved those days! and i will have to say, i still have some treasured pieces from there to this day! surely our age has something to do with our love for decluttering.