Clutter Reduction - Fad or Necessity?
Feb 26
I recently read Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and loved it. Really loved it. Some of it might be a tad ridiculous, but what isn't a tad ridiculous? The news? Fashion? The Kardashians?

The basic principle in the book is this: Pick up every single thing in your house with your bare hands. Does it give you joy? If you don't feel joy, get rid of the item. Do this with socks, books, pencils, everything. No exceptions.

My friend Eve borrowed the book and had the same reaction. Though sometimes dorky, the concepts are addictive. She has found de-cluttering to be freeing. Think about it. Do you have old textbooks you've been carting from apartment to house to wherever? How about baby clothes, old toys, clothes you haven't worn in years, a mason jar full of pencils? Hold each item in your hand: Does it give you joy? The item in question will let you know immediately.

Eve replied to the loan of the book by sending me this article from the NYT, which essentially questions if de-cluttering is nothing more than a current fad. Could be, and here's one of the reasons:

Clutter is having its moment in part because we’ve accumulated a critical mass of it. The cascade began 25 years ago, when China started to export huge amounts of cheap clothes, toys and electronics. Cut-rate retailers and big-box stores encouraged us to stockpile it all.


That's an interesting point. With the advent of the Dollar Store and Costco and Walmart, we can all have TVs in every room. Everything is cheap, so why not have more stuff? As I write this I am listening to a group of gals talk about buying their college-age daughters clothes from tobi.com because they're cheap. Their girls want a new dress every time they go out, and this is how they do it. I question why parents co-opt this mentality (and overhear one of the women say she doesn't). So her daughter borrows clothes from her friends. (Borrowing is cool, FYI.)

For another point of view on the validity of de-cluttering, here's one of the comments someone posted about the article above: "...it is profoundly selfish to leave so much crap for your survivors to have to deal with." Agreed. When I look around my house I am determined to winnow it down so what is left will neither embarrass me nor leave friends and relatives with one final, hideous memory of me. They have enough of those already. Also, I'm sick of opening up drawers to find endless piles of crap. I want less to dust, less to deal with, less to leave behind. And I want the money I get from selling it on eBay! (My friend Beth agrees. In the last two weeks she made over $200 selling old Eileen Fisher work clothes online. Ka-ching!) As to whether or not it's a fad, I don't really care. I'm busy enjoying myself with this entire process.

What about you? Are you caught up in the de-cluttering / simplifying movement? What are your tricks to be successful at reducing stuff in your home or office?
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