Three Bags Full

I used to have a really hard time getting rid of stuff. I remember spending weekends in the first couple of years we were married, crying about things Jim thought we should drop off at Goodwill. The reasons behind that could fill a whole other blog post so I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that over the years I have become much better at letting go of extra stuff and now I enjoy being surrounded mainly by the things I love.

Still, I look around my house and know that I could get rid of more. Clutter is the enemy of my mind, and affects how much work I can accomplish here at home. Over the past couple of years I’ve written a bunch of posts about my attempts to purge and organize various areas of my house, and each little episode has made me feel like I’m baby steps closer to where I need to be. Even so, I have a way to go.

You may remember last year’s desk renovation?

Desk before

Desk after

I LOVE feeling organized. I LOVE making plans to get even more organized.

When I recently started seeing status updates on Facebook about a book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, I was intrigued. The KonMari Method involves cleaning and simplifying everything in your home by category rather than doing it in the piecemeal way most of us favor, which can keep us busy for a lifetime. Kondo says if you do it her way ONCE, you’ll never have to do it again.

After reading an article about the book, I downloaded it to my Kindle (ahem, a hard copy would be counter-productive in my quest to clear the clutter, don’t you think?). I read the first twenty-five pages on Sunday night and decided that I was already excited enough to:

A. Get started


B. Make my OWN kind of magic and meet Kondo halfway. Six weeks before the BlogHer conference is not the time to start ripping apart my entire house, so I’m slowing my roll.

Kondo recommends that, instead of cleaning and organizing rooms, one should clean and organize in categories. Last night I decided to tackle my clothes and shoes. I gave myself fifteen minutes to go through my closet and dresser and in the frenzy, kept asking Kondo’s question: “Does this item spark joy?”

I didn’t ask the question out loud but oddly, my inner voice was screaming the question every time. I guess it’s because I gave myself a limited amount of time and a “do-or-die” approach. Let’s get ‘er done.



At the end of fifteen minutes I had three garbage bags full of clothing items and shoes that definitely no longer spark joy for me, but might spark joy for someone else. I can’t wait to fill up my trunk with more bags.

I’ll say it for you: “Weirdo.”

It’s all good. This weirdo is going to continue reading Kondo’s book over the next few days and plan a bunch of marathon fifteen-minute purging/organizing sessions for who-knows-when and even though that sounds rather ambiguous, right now that’s what is going to work for me.

And if I have to do it again in a couple of years? I’ll make the time.


  • Shannon

    Good for you!
    I have the opposite problem in that I get rid of everything and then end up standing in my house and thinking, “now where did I put that?”
    I can’t express the high I get when I drive away from Goodwill a few bags lighter.
    So I guess I’m saying that I probably should NOT read that book and also, let me know if you need a ride to Goodwill.

  • Angela

    I love getting rid of things. (It’s my mom, insidiously asserting life-long influence even from miles away.) The problem is, I often get so mired in the “how” of organization that I get discouraged and can’t find something that quite works for me. I am intrigued by this system but haven’t worked up the energy to try it quite yet 🙂

  • Heidi BK Sloss

    Having space allows me to feel more present. but creating it is a challenge. In our recent move I worked hard to only pack and bring things I wanted/needed–even though we were moving to a larger home. My husband’s attitude was just pack it, but I know him for the pack rat that he is! We got rid of tons of stuff before the move AND while unpacking I still purged some more. Not easy, but feels much better! Even so I know we still have too much stuff….