It’s possible you haven’t heard of the phenomenon of Marie Kondo, and well done if so. After my sister and my two closest friends all got the bug of tidying, throwing things away and folding their clothes I could no longer escape. Given I am naturally tidy and regularly take bags of unwanted items to the charity shop, I patiently explained for the third time that I didn’t need this book. But then I saw the inside of my best friend’s cupboard and knew after that it was only a matter of time. Down on a Pilates retreat in Devon wandering around the shops of Sidmouth, there was such a beautiful, small hardback copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever that it felt wrong not to buy it.
In may ways my instinct was right – this is a book for hoarders, or for those who find it really hard to find anything or give anything away. Whilst I was not in those categories I did find it helpful to read about her approach to letting go of things without guilt. Whilst I’m not sure I was up for thanking items of clothing for their service and then saying goodbye, I was up for the test of ‘does it spark joy’? If you pick up an item of clothing, a book or a DVD that doesn’t, then asking this question means you can feel released and able to give it away if the answer is no. This really did work for me. When I went around the house going through my possessions I realised must of the stuff I was holding onto which I didn’t really like was things that others had given to me as presents. Somehow reading this enabled me to give them to the charity shop guilt free, remembering how much pleasure the gift giver had got from giving it, and how fun it had been to receive it. Giving away clothes you don’t feel attractive in is also a good test (although health warning not to give everything away and end up with no clothes to wear).
For me the best bit was the folding clothes. This is the first time I have ever been able to see what I actually own in one place and I can already tell how much easier it is going to make packing for holidays as well as daily clothes selection. Not separating out your summer and winter clothes and putting away the off season ones felt a bit sacrilegious, but actually there is a reason to have in front of you a summer dress for an unseasonably warm day in Autumn.
So, I succumbed, and yes, it was worth it. Make sure you then have a weekend to sort your stuff out if you want to read this though!