Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Quiet of Less

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.


  1. Yes!! For teachers, summer vacation is the decluttering time!

  2. Yes!! For teachers, summer vacation is the decluttering time!

  3. I've been doing the same -- yes, it IS hard to part with books! (Jennifer Sniadecki)

  4. I'm thinking I should go through my professional books with the "Does it spark joy?" question. Then maybe I can get rid of some. It's crazy to still have so many teaching books even after retirement.

  5. i definitely agree - i have gotten a lot done in my house this summer as well as with my writing!