Cluttered? – Take Heart!

Is clutter – way too much stuff – dominating your life? For many of us it is. For me, that problem used to take care of itself as the Navy moved us every two years so you had to yank all your stuff out of closets, drawers, attics, garages, etc. But if you don’t move, you rarely have to look at most of your stuff so you just keep piling it up.

Now there is a culture – some call it a cult – of tidying up. The high priestess of this movement Japan’s Marie Kondo, author of the de-clutter manifesto and global best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But some wonder if we’re going too far. What if getting rid of all our stuff changes our life in a way we don’t want it changed? Pamela Druckerman suggests:

Clutter isn’t a new problem, of course. But suddenly, it’s not just irritating — it’s evil. If you’re not living up to your potential, clutter is probably the culprit. Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” the top-ranked book on The New York Times list of self-help books, promises that, once your house is orderly, you can “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life.”

But the more stuff I shed, the more I realize that we de-clutterers feel besieged by more than just our possessions. We’re also overwhelmed by the intangible detritus of 21st-century life: unreturned emails; unprinted family photos; the ceaseless ticker of other people’s lives on Facebook; the heightened demands of parenting; and the suspicion that we’ll be checking our phones every 15 minutes, forever. I can sit in an empty room, and still get nothing done.

But in spite of growing skepticism about the “cult of tidying up Marie Kondo is undaunted and on a mission to help us de-clutter. Here is how she put it in the Wall Street Journal.

“Keep only the things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest,” she advises. “When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t.”

So how far should you go? – It’s a question we all wrestle with…

Read more here from the Wall Street Journal

Read more here from the New York Times


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