The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

When we honestly confront the things we own, they evoke many emotions within us. Those feelings are real. It is these emotions that give us the energy for living. Believe what your heart tells you when you ask, ‘Does this spark joy?’ If you act on that intuition, you will be amazed at how things will begin to connect in your life and at the dramatic changes that follow. It is as if your life has been touched by magic.
— Marie Kondo

Tuesday night, cleaning my apartment. Three hours have passed, the sun has long since disappeared behind Dougherty Hills. I'm knee-deep in a pile of blouses, long-sleeved button-downs, old race t-shirts, tank tops and black Express pants. I'm touching each piece of clothing that has been hanging in my closet. I am holding and caressing each book on my bookshelf one at a time. I am opening drawers and pulling out old souvenirs from road trips and bike rides. I am feeling every item in my hand and asking a single question-

"Does this spark joy?"

In the process, I look up from my six garbage bags filled to the brim with items and clothes, and stand back, wiping my bangs out of my eyes with the back of my hand, and sigh. I feel this overwhelming sensation of freedom wash over me. Freedom from clutter- of things that no longer serve, that no longer spark joy.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. Rather than asking, "When's the last time I've worn this?", changing the question to a more intuitive one- "Does this spark joy?" makes the cleaning/clearing out process much more objective. Yes. Or no.

My living space is now in order. And it's funny, somehow I feel as though my life and my past are more in order, too. I only want to be surrounded by things I love, and things that spark joy. The same goes with the people in my life too.

Try it out for yourself. Gather your garbage bags, take a deep breath, and ask that one important question. Experience how this process of letting go changes the physical and emotional landscape of your life.

But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.
— Marie Kondo

After dropping off my bags at Goodwill, I felt this truth resonate in my heart-

Letting go is even more important than adding.

Simplicity = Joy.