On Clutter

Since Marie Kondo just released a new book, lots of interesting articles on her decluttering method have been written or have reemerged recently.

I found this article from the Atlantic fascinating. I read most of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year, when everyone on the Internet seemed to be reading it. Although I could not finish it (I got bored after a while, and I knew I was going to move out of my apartment, meaning a major clean-up would necessarily take place sooner rather than later), I found some of her ideas extremely interesting, in particular the idea that your belongings should spark joy.

It also helped put words on a feeling I had but did not realise was making me uncomfortable. Having too many things stresses me out. It’s relatively new, and probably has to do with the fact that I have moved a lot in the past years, and mostly overseas. Having only two bags to fill up before a big move necessarily forces one to make choices, set priorities, and eventually, to stop buying things that won’t make the cut when comes the time to move again.

In another article by The Newyorker, Marie Kondo offers a few shopping rules. Interestingly enough, it’s pretty hard to follow them when you don’t want to buy new items. It’s especially true for the first one, “visualize your purchase”, since obviously it’s hard to have specific expectations in a second-hand store. I try to stay open-minded, but I know I need some type of garment more than others, and I try to keep that in mind too. Another one of her pieces of advice, to shop only when the need arises, is very sound, yet hard to apply when you are shopping for used clothes. My current strategy is pretty much the exact opposite: shop before the need arises, in order to avoid having to buy something at H&M at the last minute.

Maybe the strategies are different, but I think the intention stays the same: to buy only clothes that make you happy, and that mean something to you. Clothes that spark joy.

 

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On Clutter

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