I am always trying to declutter (even as I buy more, especially books). I have read many advice books on how to declutter, including one annoying book that began,"you need to sort and declutter your whole house before you begin my organizing method." Thanks a lot. I liked and used parts of Sink Reflections (by the Fly Lady) and The Chotchkey Challenge, but nothing made a continuing impact until I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I actually read the book when it first appeared, before it made the best seller lists and became a hot item, for both adherants and detractors. I was able to read it without the buzz that now surrounds her methods. Full disclosure, I completed my clothes and began books and then came to a stop. Books! They are in our hearts and so hard to part with.
Summer is a good time for a teacher to work on many house-related (and neglected) tasks. It's also a great time for thinking - about life, priorities, plans... One of my other hobbies is fabric crafts -- sewing clothes, quilting, and cross stitch. I have not done much with any of that for a number of years now, in spite of good intentions to finish this or that project. With the Marie Kondo philosophy in mind, I realized two things - first, my priorities have shifted. I have a teaching job that takes up lots of my energy and creativity and I have my music groups that take up a lot of my free time. Second, I have way more projects than I will realistically ever be able to accomplish.
This was very freeing! My fabric-related projects and material were scattered all over the house. When I decided to release most of them to go to new homes, I gathered then all from their corners and boxes and bags. I looked at each, and (as Marie says) I only kept those that sparked joy. I thought positively about how happy other crafters would be to get the rest. I posted my give-aways on Freecycle, and they were rapidly snatched up.
With the empty space and the removal of the burden of using the materials, a peaceful feeling came into parts of my house. Marie is right.
I know there are people who feel more comfortable and secure with a lot of stuff. They should feel free to enjoy that. There's room for all of us in the world.