Many times now I’ve seen a particular tidying up book pop up in my social media feeds. When I first saw the title, I admit, I wasn’t sure what it’s greater purpose was. I didn’t understand why it was gaining popularity. I wasn’t sure how it could be applied to my life and my things and why I needed to spend my time reading it. (I sound so selfish!)
And then my friend Rhiannon said she was reading it and enjoying it. So, I did a little research and came to the conclusion this book scared me a little because it would force me to fully evaluate what we keep in our home (along with WHY). Suddenly I felt like I had to read it, too!
You may remember three years ago our family moved to Los Angeles. I was newly pregnant with Maxwell, and when we arrived here we had just a few things with us. And I literally mean just a few: a few boxes and duffel bags in our Jeep, plus a couple boxes shipped via the postal service.
What we have in our Los Angeles home has (perhaps) even greater meaning than ever before, because we literally had to save our money to buy it. Simple things, like bath towels and a mattress and bed frame, a work desk and a couch and an end table, lamps and clothing hangers, kitchen utensils and cookware. We went without for months until we could afford to buy it with cash. (And some of that is still true today.)
Reading this book has helped me to realize I’ve placed way too high of value on the things we keep in our home — even if we don’t need it, use it, or like it.
Not too long after we arrived in Los Angeles we had our first baby. And then we moved to a slightly larger apartment. And then we had a second baby. I’ve started a business, put a business on pause, and have re-opened a business. In the meantime, we’ve accumulated more and more and more and more. Paper work and blankets and mugs and clothes and baby items and towels and sets of dishes and craft materials and extra furniture. Should I keep going? Someone stop me.
Our home, in all it’s simple living-ness, is wonderful at helping us to use it’s space well overall, but it’s made us (me?) cram in way more than necessary. Our bedroom and linen closets are so generous in size that they are able to house multiple categories of items, making them look and feel unorganized. There’s too much “stuff” in there, without a clear definition of What and Why. And I think this can apply to every home out there, not just smaller-sized homes or larger homes.
In fact, it’s not even about the size of our home, but rather the atmosphere we want to nurture inside our home.
I think what resonated with me the most is when Marie (the author) shared clutter happens when an item is either too hard to put away or has an unclear storage location.
I actually listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up through Audible while running with the kids. It took me four days, but I felt inspired after just 30 minutes. Pretty amazing.
My friend Joanna shared she loves to read because it gives her something to talk about with her husband, aside from their children. Do you see me nodding my head? Maybe you’re nodding your head, too.
What do you want to change about the way your family uses your home?
I’m maybe three-quarters through tidying-up our home and already have thrown out four bags of trash, donated seven bags, and have sold a few things to speed up our debt payoff progress.
Are you thinking of moving soon? We don’t have any plans in the near future to move, but I know it will happen some day. When the time comes, the process of packing up our home will be so much easier because we won’t be packing, moving, and unpacking boxes and boxes things we don’t need, use, or like.
Or maybe you’re knee deep in paying off debt, like we are? Could you set aside a collection of items to sell that will help you either build your emergency fund or make an advance payment on a debt?
All you have to do is let go of the things that are holding you hostage in your own home.
I am currently reading The Power of Focus. I tend to read more Non-Fiction because I want my life to benefit from the time spent in a book (although there is value in spending time on a fiction book that gives you a break from the stress of life), and this book has the most practical advice of any book I can ever remember reading. For me, it’s been a slow read because I read a chapter, do the Action Steps at the end of each chapter, and want to give it time to soak in. Then, I read the next chapter. I have never read a Non-Fiction book twice before, but this book will definitely be read multiple times. :)
Oh interesting!!!! I’m curious, did someone recommend this book to you? Thanks for the comment :)
I am reading this book too! And I was also inspired in 30 minutes of reading! It is a scary prospect especially when she talks about clients who have gotten rid of 200 bags of stuff. But I am excited to get started – I’m waiting for the kids to get back into school to begin.
Aren’t some of her stories just… shocking? Yeah, I’d agree that starting once your kids are in school is a good idea, you’ll be able to thoroughly evaluate each item that way :)
I listened to it on Audible also! I had been reading blogs and seeing it all over the place and decided to give it a try. Some parts were a little more “new-agey” than I am, but the book was so inspiring!
I’ve already scheduled some vacation time at my job to be able to dedicate a couple days to really getting going on it. It’s so hard to start something like this in the evenings (like she said!) and on weekends when that is our only family time.
And although I’m doing it out of order (according to her method), I’ve started going through cosmetics, nail polish, jewelry, scarves, etc and I’m so shocked at how easy it is to part with things after reading this book!
I did a little tidying out of order as well, it didn’t seem to make any other tidying difficult for me and it sounds like you’ve had the same (positive) experience :) Umm, and I can’t wait for you to have a few days to dive into this — it’s going to be so freeing for you!!! xoxo
Funny. We too are doing some serious debt-payoff (and also did a cross-country move that forced us to “do without” until we saved up cash… think moving boxes as table… right before having a baby) ANYWAY, thanks for sharing. I haven’t read this book but am going to request it at the library. (because, you know, debt… no buying books that are at the library! haha) I’ve decluttered a lot and when I was first doing it, made probably close to $2000 selling junk we didn’t use or had accumulated over time. Now we’re almost out of stuff we don’t use, so my extra income has slowed… although I did spy a tent from the 1990s that my parents gave us. yikes!
I love this over all theme I’m hearing, now I for sure need to check this book out.
YES!!!!! Library or audio book or Target or Amazon, some how get yourself a copy!