What is your practice of decluttering? Have you ever considered being a minimalist? I definitely wouldn’t call myself a minimalist, but I don’t love clutter. I want our house to be neat and tidy and regularly make the practice of clearing out unnecessary items.
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Why I Read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”
About a year ago I came across some of Marie Kondo’s practices, namely, her practice of vertical filing of clothes in the chest of drawers. I loved the idea and it really was life changing for our family. With that said, vertical filing is only one tiny part of the Konmari practice. To learn more, I read her best selling book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” and watched her “Tidying Up” show on Netflix!
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Minimalist at Heart
The KonMari method has two basic components 1) discarding and 2) deciding where to store things. Kondo focuses heavily on decluttering or discarding, after all, she’s a minimalist at heart! Let’s take a look at the basics of her method and the 16 things Marie Kondo says to discard.
Overview of the KonMari Method
The KonMari Method is a very specific approach to decluttering. Marie Kondo insists her clients make tidying an event…a marathon is actually how she describes it. She wants people to do one major overhaul and then micro activities daily to maintain a tidy home. The KonMari method has people tidy (discarding + storing) by category instead of by room. For example, instead of tackling your bedroom and then your kitchen, she has you sort something like clothing from all of the rooms at once.
Based on her experience with clients, Marie has specified the order to take on the tidying process.
- Sentimental Things
She also has an order of categories within each category. For example, when sorting clothing, you should do it in the following order: tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events e.g. swimsuits, and shoes.
Decluttering Identification Process
In order to identify what things need to be discarded, she recommends gathering all of the category items throughout your house and putting them all in the center of the floor. This helps one to visually see how much they have accumulated as well as makes you deal with it at one time instead of repeating the process with the same types of items multiple times.
Marie encourages people to focus on what they want to keep instead of what they want to get rid of. She has one very clear criteria – “Does it spark joy?” Her recommendation is that the things we keep we should enjoy, they are things that should make us happy, and thus, the only things that stay in our house (for the most part) are the things that “spark joy.”
This is much different than the criteria I’ve used in the past. My criteria include:
- is it worn out?
- does it still have a purpose / function?
- might I or someone in my family use it someday?
- is it still in style?
- could I repurpose it for something else?
I warned you, I’m not a minimalist and I can find plenty of good reasons to keep things! With that said, the book included many good points and I was inspired to immediately prune things from our home.
Here are the 16 Things Marie Kondo Suggests Discarding
1) Everything that Doesn’t “Spark Joy”
We already talked about this earlier and it’s important to note that this applies to all categories, clothing, books, paper, sentimental items etc.
2) All Unread Books
Marie shares that most people have too many books and specifically unread books. In her estimation, the majority of people never find the time to read these books. If they haven’t already, they likely won’t in the future. It’s time to get rid of them!
3) Reference Books
Reference books include study guides, old text books, dictionaries etc. Her logic is that we likely don’t use these and therefore they fall into the same category as the unread books. She also questions if these bring joy for most people!
Papers include bills, receipts, credit card statements, old warranties, manuals, greeting cards, used checkbooks, and pay slips. Marie recognizes that they serve a purpose for a short period of time, but then it’s time to get rid of them. Additionally, in most cases, none of these spark joy. (See #1!) Once you get your credit card statement, confirm it’s accuracy then shred.
Her “rule of thumb is to discard everything” related to paper. She excludes items of sentimental value like journals, and personal letters. There are 3 exceptions to this rule. Papers that are currently in use, are needed for a limited period of time, and papers that must be kept indefinitely.
We’ve all received gifts that weren’t exactly our style or perhaps we didn’t have a use for. Marie says to get rid of them! We are not obligated to keep them. The real joy came when the giver gave you the gift, but that time has passed. Cherish the memory and move on.
6) Cosmetic Samples
I have to admit, I was glad to read this one. Lancôme is my make-up of choice and I have made a practice of only buying makeup when they have their “gift with purchase” events. As a result, I had a ton of face moisturizers, eye moisturizers, colorful pallets of mini-eye shadow sets. I’ve kept them for years and usually never use them. You’ll be pleased to know that they no longer reside in my home!
Marie’s logic is that most people keep these samples in order to take them when they travel, but then they usually forget they have them. But, don’t worry…if you love your cosmetic samples, and they “spark joy” then you are in the clear to keep them!!!
7) Boxes for Electronics
Many people keep boxes for their cell phones, computer, etc. They think it will increase the value if they resale. Others keep boxes in case they move. Marie suggests that it costs more to store empty boxes than the value they add to resale. She recommends getting boxes when you move instead of storing them. This is one that is now on my to-do list. We have a plastic bin full of empty technology boxes. I’m pretty sure we don’t need to keep them around!
8) Unidentified Cords
Do you have a bag or box full of spare electronic cords? Maybe it’s one for an old iPod, a camera, or that whatchamacallit you bought in 2010. Throw it out…at least according to MK! I’m in agreement. We never go into our box when we’re looking for a cord. We just assume after we’ve looked in the usual places that we no longer have the cord. Our personal Marie Kondo pile is getting pretty big!
9) Broken Appliances
Now, I can’t relate to this one at all. But apparently, many of Marie’s clients keep broken TVs or radios around. If this is you, it’s one more thing that you can discard!
10) Spare Sets of Bedding
This one hurts a little. I have a hard time getting rid of old comforters, extra linens, and even towels that no longer go with our décor. Usually, they are not worn out and I always believe I can repurpose them e.g. a drop cloth for the next time we paint. KonMari teaches that if you have extra bedding you’ve saved for your guest room, but you don’t have guests very frequently, then it’s time to get rid of it. They will just end up smelling and won’t be nice for your guests. I guess I have some more work to do!
11) Spare Buttons
Do you save all of the spare buttons from new suits, tops, or dresses in case one day one pops off and you need to replace it? This is another item not worth saving. Marie’s experience says that the majority of people never actually uses these spare parts. Discard!
12) Products from the Latest Health Craze
Machines, gear, I’d imagine even old hobby items could fall in this category. If you bought rubber bands for resistance when you exercise, Suzanne Summer’s Thigh Master, or Buns of Steal 😂 and never use them, then it’s time to part ways.
13) Free Swag
Novelty goods you picked up at a conference while traveling, or even in the office and little gadgets or pens with a businesses name on it. These are unnecessary items and likely don’t spark joy.
14) Small Change
Now this one surprised me! Kondo does not recommend keeping spare change in your house…not in a jar, a bag, a bowl, or even a piggy bank. Change should be spent. Put it in your wallet and get it out of your house.
15) Sentimental Items
Of course, rule number 1 is huge with this bucket. Marie keeps sentimental items as the very last thing to sort through because it’s the toughest for people. She feels we should cherish the memories and not the things. If you’re holding on to old love letters, excessive historical photos, or things your grown kids made when they were little, it’s probably time to check your joy-meter. Does it feel burdensome to keep these things…is it time to part ways?
16) Unusual Stockpiles
Last but not least, Kondo acknowledges that many of her clients have unusual stockpiles. She shares examples of people that kept excessive amounts of plastic wrap, toilet paper, and even cotton swabs. If you have something you frequently buy and store, Marie encourages you to evaluate your actual needs and how much you really need to have on hand. Ahem, that would be paper towels for my family!!!
Ode to Joy
After reading “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up”, I have my work cut out for me. I can see a long list of things that we can part with, we really won’t miss, and will make our home more manageable in the end. I like the idea of keeping things that bring joy, but I don’t know that I’m fully onboard with that being the only criteria. Perhaps I’m a bit too frugal or practical for that…or maybe I just need to give it a try and see what happens?!?
Marathon or Sprint
Her marathon type approach to tidying would be very hard for moms with young kids unless you have a nanny, reliable babysitter, or family nearby. I would have to do it in smaller chunks, which she discourages. I can live with that. In my mind, progress is better than perfection.
How about you, did you recognize things you can discard? Do you think you’ll do a marathon or several sprints? Here’s to tidy and more manageable homes!
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Pin Me For Later!
I bought this book a year or two ago, I can’t remember now, but haven’t been able to start. I couldn’t get my hubby on board and with 2 littles it’s hard to get the time to focus on it. When Tidying Up came out, he wanted to purge everything, but now he says it’s all mine and I need to do it… sure when you’re willing to watch the kids for a full day so I can clean… and then another full day so I can KonMari the isht out of the house. Oh, and don’t forget that means making dinner too 😛
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
I hear ya! I don’t think I could do the Marathon approach she suggests. Personally, I’ve tweaked it and done a little at a time e.g. the kids clothes and then my clothes. You need to do what works for you!
Angele Galea says
Agreeing so much!
Jackie Rumney says
I found the list quite interesting and had a flash back to last year when I was purging stuff for a move across country.
In our crawl space there was a huge ( I’m talking the biggest you can buy) Rubbermaid tote full of electronic cables, computer mouse, headsets etc which no longer worked. For some reason over the years my husband had convinced me we would use them again.
I took them to the Recycling Center. I was told this was the largest deposit of such items. I was embarrassed. That was not a compliment. And since then I vowed it will never happen again.
But I have to question why I packed and moved the original boxes for our iPhones and iPad.
Obviously there is still some work to do but I do feel proud. I got rid of 3/4 of our household items last year. What a fabulous feeling. And so far we have not missed a thing.
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
Thanks for sharing Jackie! We have one of those boxes too and I’m committed to getting rid of it soon! That’s awesome that you got rid of 3/4 of your stuff! I’m so motivated to declutter and have less stuff…especially the unnecessary things we hold onto!
Heather Kingsford says
I’m surprised to see the suggestion to get rid of all the old towels. When the sink leaks or the dog makes a mess, is one to use the good towels to clean up the mess? We keep a stock of utility towels for such messes. This keeps our nice towels nice and extends their life. I think there needs to be a balance between minimal and one’s budget.
I use those boxes to sort my jewelry in? They worked wonderfully. They are study and fit in the shallow drawer nicely
Me too. Those boxes have many uses for small items
Elle M. says
Don’t feel embarrassed. Technology was changing and those cords and things were expensive at the time. We just had two full Rubbermaid bins of cables and items similar to yours. And I also just threw out those first iPad and iPhone boxes even though we’d had several newer versions since. I think when those first came out, we believed we were supposed to keep them.
I just started an other way. 1 item on day one, 2 items on day 2, 3 items on day 3 and so one. So you go a little slower but it takes less time in the beginning. And all the stuff you don ‘t need will be out of your home in a month. And you can even start again the next month if you like. For me of worked perfect.
If anyone is feeling badly about getting rid of old bedding or towels (I do!) please remember that your local animal rescues or SPCAs will normally take them. They use good items for bedding for dogs and worn items for rags or toys for the animals. I’ve felt so much better about getting rid of bedding since I found that out.
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
That’s a great point, Jessica. Thanks for sharing!
Lindsay P says
I *LOVE* this suggestion!! 😃 I’ll definitely use this as motivation to clear mine out, and I’ll tell my friends, as well. Thank you! 😊
Georgia Karamargin says
I have 4 little doggies (Yorkies & Yorkie mixes) & I work 3-13hour night shifts, I’m a psychiatric RN plus take care of my 87 year old bedbound mother & I use all the extra towels & linens/sheets etc to lay down in their “houses” (we don’t call them cages)& on the patio chairs, etc. so this little piece of advice won’t work for me. I throw them out when they’re worn out!
Pay Cantwell says
We made a move to another state 6 years ago and when we sold our big house we had a garage sale. I thought I got rid of lots of stuff, however, while we were building our new home we lived in an apartment with just necessities. When we finally got into our new place and unpacked i realized I should have sold and donated twice as much….and we paid to move it all!!! I then discovered the M.Kondo books so am on the decluttering train. Can’t do it all at once but have made progress room by room. I will never be a minimalist but. feel good when I open my kitchen drawers and pantry etc. I think it will always be an ongoing thing for me. Appreciated your post.
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
I did the same thing…and I paid to move my stuff across the country!!! I wish I would have read Marie Kondo’s books sooner! Like you, I guess it’s never too late!
Jackie Rumney says
This sounds so much like us. I previously wrote that we got rid of 3/4 of all our stuff as we prepared to move across the country. For the first year we lived in a very tiny duplex. We had most of our household items sitting in a cargo trailer in the driveway for a year while we built our new house.
Once we moved into our new house I realized that I could have gotten rid of even more than the 3/4 we had already gotten rid of. As I unpacked I again loaded a lot into the car to donate and take to the landfill.
We are now extremely cautious on what comes in and stays.
Anita Clark says
Not doing a marathon, but getting there little by little. Loved her book Spark Joy.
I have learned to toss on a constant basis!! I find doing this keeps me happy and best of all the stockpiling isn’t an issue. I am a senior do it took some time to teach myself but has been a great reward!! Simply no more piles of miscellaneous stuff!!!
Elle M. says
I’ve been trying to do the same. Whenever I shop at Target, I make myself stop every once in awhile and go through my cart — Where will it go? What will I get rid of so it has a place? How much will I be spending? I typically end up putting at least half of my items back before I check out. I never would have done that before Marie Kondo.
Marylou Cash says
Hi. I started on clothing first. Working now on my folding. ( I’m truly amazed) Handbags and jewlery and socks, not today. Good luck. I decided to start somewhere and end without a timeline.
Joy Tunnell says
My children are artistic and I saved lots of their art work. When it came time to move and downsize I photographed most of it and saved it digitally.
Monica Gilbert says
I get where you’re coming from with cosmetic samples, but I went with a different idea for those. I gathered them all up and made a conscious effort to use them, starting with the smallest one. I think a went a couple of months without needing to buy shampoo, and my perfume samples lasted a few months. It was a nice way to declutter while cutting expenses.
I am doing the same with mine. I used to collect & store mine but I’m more than happy to use them now. Why discard perfectly good stuff. As you said, it saves money & I’m happy doing that!
I take cosmetic samples, including shampoo to a local organization store (S.A.F.E. ; Support in Abusive Family Emergencies, Inc.) to be used at a shelter for displaced women and children. They often have to leave their homes with just the clothes on their backs.
I love that bit at the end, about progress being better than perfection! I also feel like whenever we encounter a new method, philosophy or idea, we need to weigh it against our own belief system and see if it fits in our lives.
For example, I’m more than happy to keep a majority of clothing that sparks joy in my wardrobe, but I will also keep my beige slip dresses and tank tops. Do they spark joy? Well, it’s hard to get excited by beige 😅 But are they necessary underneath a white dress or top? I very often find so.
I haven’t read the book or watched the show, but I intend to.
We live on a small ranch 35 miles from the nearest town and 60 miles from most amenities. I have stockpiles of most everything because it’s necessary. We also repurpose a lot of things too (empty coffee cans have many uses). I didn’t grow up ranching (I came from a very tidy military family), so I am always searching for the balance between keeping enough and not feeling overwhelmed by stuff. Needless to say, it’s a challenge!! I’m a minimalist at heart, but my shelves say I’m prepared for armageddon. Not sure if I can incorporate all aspects of Kondo’s system, but I do hope to purge and tidy up where possible.
Thanks for sharing!
Great list! Having an IT husband, we are the worst for spare cords! I agree with you that I can’t marathon it either. I created a system for myself this year where each month I focus on a different category – with the goal of being more organized by the end of 2019. So far it’s going really well, and it is making it more manageable for me! And it also makes it easier for my husband to get involved too.
Every so often I go through clothes, toys, things we’ve kept that are basically junk and get rid of stuff. I grew up with a dad who kept everything, even other people’s trash and I find myself hanging on to stuff much longer than I should. The kids toys were the hardest while they were little, but as they got older friends suggested letting them help you choose what could find a new home with someone who’d give it the attention it deserved. We also remodel houses and do construction work and will keep left over and spare items in our shop and then forget them the next time or can’t find them in all the mess so we have to buy new anyway. So we’re in the process of clearing out the clutter and throwing stuff away that has broken over the years and donating other things that are still good. And when it’s time to do a job, we just have to go buy what we need. So much less stressful. I won’t be giving up storing our spare change because once a month we roll change and deposit it into a savings account specifically for that and each year we have between $400 and $500 dollars just from that account and our best year we had just over $600 which we use for various needs or toward vacation. Our kids really enjoy counting and sorting the change and it’s a fun family activity trying to guess how much is there and plan what we will do with it this year. Good luck with your decluttering!
Bernadette Lloyd says
My husband keeps everything. I told him that when he dies, we will build a pyramid for all the stuff that he loves and can’t give away because it is sentimental.
Joanne Downes says
We have to keep spare change for older parking meters – not all of them allow you to pay with a card. I do chuck all the other stuff though.
I think the permission to get rid of gifts is the most freeing! They were so meaningful at the time, but our lives change and we can’t bring all of them with!
Thanks for sharing! It was helpful to hear that the sentimental items can be tossed. Their meaning changes after a time and sometimes the memory doesn’t mean as much anymore.
Fun fact- the CoinStar machines you see at grocery stores don’t charge their service fee if you elect a gift card for your change- I try to keep a small mason jar of quarters for parking meters in my truck, but the rest I take to the machine. There are a bunch of choices, such as Home Depot (I’m remodeling a house- I will use it the same day!), Amazon, Starbucks…turns out change is money!! Ha!
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
Great tip for those who have a lot of spare change in their homes! Thanks for sharing!
Terri M. says
Great ideas! I am a fan of MK. There are also items that do not spark joy but would come in handy in case of emergency that she does not address but that we should consider having. just in case: duct tape, tarps, batteries, candles, matches, first aid supplies, plastic bags, 5 gallon buckets, gloves, etc. etc.
I believe M.K. says that if something doesn’t bring you joy but you use it, you must keep it and change your attitude about it. Suggest gratitude. Love that.
Our adult daughter who is unemployed is living with us now. She reads all about the Marie Kondo methods and has taken it upon herselfq to toss things she assumes we no longer need (without our permission!)
Now my hand egg beater is missing! Yes, it was old, however I used it several times a week, and really miss it.
Lesson: only you know what “sparks joy” in your life; I don’t think someone else can “Marie Kondo” your stuff!
I like to keep things I know I will use, maybe not every day, but “in season” like canning supplies. I am not throwing out all my Mason jars!
As to paper, a lot of files have to be kept for 7-8 years for our Canda Revenue Agency, so it could be an expensive situation if you toss these!
The point I am trying to make is that the MK method is extreme and not for everyone!
She mentions in her book that only you can make the decision to toss/keep items. I made my 3,4,9 year old kids say yes or no to their own clothes and toys.
Papers that you must keep, just need a place. (I don’t have one so I just move my taxes in a circle) I have immigration documents that we must keep, they are in their own accordion folder.
Obviously canning jars are not a day to day use but they are used so again. All together and organized…I found rings and lids in my bedroom! What?? Lol
Everyone can absolutely follow the KonMarie method, I’m not throwing out my 60yr old spatula, it sparks joy…now those adorable heels that made my legs look sexy but pinched my toes?? Gone.
Oh and about clothing: I keep everything I have that is made of 100% cotton (polyester stuff makes me so itchy). And I really don’t care if it is in style, if it’s comfortable and in good shape KEEP it! Same goes for linens. No poly, no microfiber, altho they are cheaper, they are not comfortable. It is getting hard to find 100% cotton these days.
I definitely found it easier to let go of excess bedding, blankets,etc when I found out how desperate local animal shelters are for those items. They were so appreciative when I showed up with an armful of sheets, quilts and blankets!
I lost my daughter 3 years ago and kept her three kids which are 9 and 4 year old twins and my sisters give me clothes for them and sometimes it doesn’t fit yet so I save it on my garage for later is that ok I guess maybe I worry and it’s good clothes let me know
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss! I absolutely think it’s ok to keep hand-me-down clothes for children. My cousin gives me clothes for my kids and they are usually too big when I receive them, so I put them up for a couple of years until they fit. If you receive something you don’t need…e.g. you already have too many of a particular item, it’s too worn out, or a style the kids won’t wear, then I don’t keep them then I go ahead and pass them along.
Send me those buttons! I’m a handcrafter and I do use buttons – facial features on toys, finishing touches on various projects, and yes, closures on sweaters and other wearable items I have made.
Christine Hershey says
I am reading her book now. Of course it inspires me…my question, she says to grab every piece of clothing in the house otherwise it is already one that probably should be discarded (paraphrasing a whole bit here) . Here’s where I am confused; if I gather every piece of clothing in the home, particularly others, I don’t think it would be received well. A great example of this was in the beginning of the book when she was getting rid of her own family’s stuff. As she stopped doing this and concentrated on her own clutter, she noticed her brother followed suit and got rid quite a large number of his books. So I read that and am a bit puzzled. Yes, there is so so so much my family needs to get rid of and I am holding back the impulse UNTIL clarity or further perspective come upon me… suggestions are appreciated! Thank you in advance! 🙂
I have followed her methods, I’m still working on the kitchen, and I need to purchase a new table for my sewing hobby (right now my machine is under my bed!). I homeschool my 3 children so her 30 books or less is laughable in that sense, but I did par down because I noticed we never touched certain books.
I started with my own clothing. Only mine into a large pile. After I sorted and folded mine, I took out each of the kids clothes and threw them into individual piles and helped them sort through (holding it up, do you like this? Is it too small? Does it itch? What about this tear from the bike?) and then showed them how to fold their clothes.
My husband?? He hasn’t even tried, won’t think of it. He has a literal 40 pairs of shorts and only wears about 9 of them, he has shirts I’ve never seen him wear in the 6 years we’ve been married. But I feel as we continue to downsize and live clutter free…he will catch up with us.
Start with yours, then children..and if a partner isn’t ready it’s okay..they will come along soon
M Craig says
If you toss a phone/iPad box you need to make sure you have the serial # from it. Otherwise if it’s stolen you can’t prove it’s yours & claim it. Our sons iPad was stolen at school. He knew who took it & that was the first thing I had to give my husband to file the police report.
That’s exactly why I have 11 apple product boxes LOL but since following this method, I’ve utilized all of the boxes (great for my sewing items!) and even gifted a couple to my sister who is following the KonMarie method.
A lot of people are talking in these comments about the marathon approach being to fast and not working for them, but her “marathon” approach is not as fast as it seems at first glance, it says in her book that it should take you about 6 months to do the full job. We are just starting. I did our whole family’s clothes this week, yes the whole week. But we did a great job and all of our drawers look beautiful- next week books and maybe papers if we move quicker through books than we did through clothes. I’m going to move fast, so I hopefully get it done before my rush of enthusiasm runs out, but that 6 month mark made things a little more realistic for me, I think. Just some thoughts.
With so much in the news about reducing our carbon footprint, I agree with living a minimalist life. One way to declutter is to avoid bringing extra items into the house in the first place! Donating items to Goodwill and the Salvation Army is another way to clear out the clutter. I notice in your blog you use the phrases “get rid of it” and “throw it away.” Please reword your blog to include “donate” and “give it away” instead. Let’s be environmentally aware and practice the adage “reduce, recycle and reuse.” Thanks!
Melissa @ Our Happy Hive says
Thanks Julie! I agree. There are many ways to discard items…including donate, give it away, and recycle. Thanks for y our feedback!
I agree with some on this list, but most of the books are staying! In Australia, books can be donated to Lifeline for their massive book fairs. As others have commented, animal shelters are very happy to take old blankets, doonas, quilts, towels etc.
With the buttons (and spare wool), I keep the price tag attached to the tiny packet with the button or wool, then put all the ones of the same brand in a ziplock bag in a sewing basket. I can then easily find the spare button if I need one. Before I send off clothes to the charity bin, I safety-pin the spare button and price tag to the label so that I am not left with random buttons for clothes I no longer own. I note Kate’s comment that she uses them for craft and I imagine a lot of charity shops will take a bag of assorted buttons for crafters, so please don’t just bin them.
Jane Fowkes says
Regarding: “KonMari teaches that if you have extra bedding you’ve saved for your guest room, but you don’t have guests very frequently, then it’s time to get rid of it. They will just end up smelling and won’t be nice for your guests.”
It doesn’t really matter how infrequently you have guests, you do have guests at times. So you need spare bedding for them to use. Of course they will smell, but you just have to wash them before putting them on the guests’ bed.
Does she expect us to buy new bedding every time we have guests? Which you would have to wash first before putting them on the bed.
Other than that, I do agree with most of her ideas 🙂
I think she means parrying down what you already have. Do you have eight sets of sheets for one guest room? How many guests use that room at any given time? Two or three sets should be more than enough and will take up less space. I’ve found that many people are assuming that she means to get rid of everything. That’s just not the case.
I love her decluttering method. While I have a hard time getting a lot done at one time, I’ve found that picking a drawer, or a category (recently towels and sheets) made the process easy and quick. I also expanded this method to my job. While spending three years trying to decide whether or not to retire, at the start of Covid restrictions, I took a hard look at it. Was it bringing me joy? No. I decided to retire at the end of the school year, and found that I’d made the right decision. I felt better and lost a great deal of the stress that had been affecting me physically. Her system works. Don’t worry about being able to clean out an entire closest, or an entire room at one time; do it small sections and you’ll find it easy to let go of the things in your life that are weighing you down.