Clutter drives me bananas but it seems inevitable when you live in a small space with three small people and one big guy. As a kid, my bedroom was always the neatest. I liked things put away and organized in their places, even if it wasn’t done meticulously (think: stuff shoved into drawers…at least, it was away and off the floor…). But I also had a lot of stuff. It was hard to throw things away and it was hard to not want things. Everything was special and important. Eventually, I reached the point where I was able to throw things away without a second thought, if I thought it wasn’t necessary or if it just didn’t appeal to me anymore. But I still had a lot of paper clutter, and worse, no one place to keep all that paper. There is paper all over my house, and every nook and cranny is storage for something, no matter how important or not important the item being stored.
Last month, my husband read an article in the NY Times about decluttering and mentioned it to me, something to the effect that things should have a place. I hadn’t read the article and I was so indignant and offended that he dared to mention this article to me, as if it was news to me, as if it was something that *I* needed to read, when obviously the problem was not me but my messy kids and my messy, packrat husband. AS IF. Really, the nerve…
No. It struck a nerve but not for the right reason. After I calmed down, and stopped yelling at my husband in frustration, I just let it go. A few weeks later, I got an email from Blogging for Books that the book on which that Times article had been based was being offered to members. Oh, that article had been about tidying up? It wasn’t about clutter? I made a mental note to myself to go to the source in the future instead of relying on my husband’s slim synopsis, (along with the many other mental notes about patience and taking a deep breath and not overreacting and being oversensitive). I jumped on the book request, convinced that it would change my life. After all, it had to be fortuitous that this book had come into my life two different ways.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo makes so much sense. Part self-help, part how-to, this book started changing my life as I read it.