Giving in to Marie Kondo

Marie has been trying to get me to clean out my stuff ever since I picked up her book at the thrift store (of all places!). I got pretty revved up reading. I started in my closet last year and I really started bagging things up until I realized I wasn’t going to have any more clothes left and didn’t have money to buy more, so the things that I did not love went back into my closet. I have had high hopes of continuing her program since but I just get too darn overwhelmed!

How is it that we started with next to nothing seven year ago and now have overflowing piles of stuff? Where did it come from? I think on a farm we naturally collect things because we may be able to use them. Add to that a handful of deceased beloved family members and their stuff, and we have a full house (and garage and yard). Leave it to moving to actually get me to listen to the wise words of Ms. Kondo, because I have been a bit rebellious towards her teachings.

I opened a box that my grandma gave me ten years ago. I have never opened it before. There is an entire pile of farm ledgers from the 1940’s. Very cool, but why? I don’t even keep tax records past five years of my own! Newspaper from 1895 that disintegrated in my hand. I have three huge boxes of photographs. More are given to me every year from family members. Photographs that will be thrown away in another generation or so because no one (including me in some cases) knows who the people are! It’s sobering for sure and makes one see their own brief moment in this life and the things we choose to carry around with us. Let’s not even get into the pile of my writings. Will the children really stumble upon them after I am dead and get them published and become wealthy from my eighteen year old musings? A future Hemingway? I just shake my head at all this stuff. I always promise that in the next house, I shall not have so much stuff.

I am following Marie Kondo’s advice from her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I am deciding what to pack based on what I love. Does it bring me joy? Filling my home with things I love is such a wonderful and sensible idea! I am even using this idea with books. I adore books. Bookshelves. Libraries. Home libraries! No, I will likely not read any of the at least a hundred or more tomes that I have, but I love them and will not give them up. But I will decide which ones bring me joy. There are a few that have too much violence or death involved and don’t bring me joy, so I will return them to the thrift store.

I do realize that the majority of boxes that I have packed are things we certainly do not need. Mostly decorations, paintings, baskets, etc., but I am not a minimalist. I love decorating. I love surrounding myself with color and textures and things that will make living in a house a home. I am thankful that Marie Kondo at least introduced the obvious idea to only keep what I love and that I cherish. Just because I should keep something (because it’s a hundred years old, or what have you), or might be of use sometime in the next seventy years (just kidding, I won’t be alive then), does not mean I should keep it! For goodness sake, let it go.

It is taking me a move across the country to actually go through everything because everything must fit on one moving truck! If you are not moving, I highly recommend that you listen to Marie now, because the idea of being surrounded by what we love is a lovely way to live!

And now I shall leave you with an embarrassing story, for it is a way to grasp the reality of material items. I was gifted a very old ceramic bowl that was hundreds of years old. It was used by medicine people and shamans to smudge in and use as prayers. My god, I have babied that thing. Such a sacred item. I’ve had it for years. It was covered with a lot of soot and such so I put it through the dishwasher before packing it. When it came out, the etching on the bottom became visible. Patrick Reitmayer, 6th hour.


  1. I just went through that process moving 10 times in 10 years. My last move , I got down to 4 tubs that go with me every where. Our next move is going to be in a camper so we can see the States.

    Will miss my gardening but my home base will be at my son’s I will be able to do all of it.

    Good luck,

  2. I feel your pain, I dread the day we downsize, oh my goodness! Before Charlie had Guthrie we were slowly going through all the kids stuff and selling on their behalf but now I’m minded to keep any suitable stuff for him so it’s ground to a halt. We did find we had three artificial Christmas trees while searching through the loft so two of them got binned and we have, when we have been at home for Christmas just had the Christmas ‘twig’ for nick and I 😂 so we didn’t really need to keep the third! I try to put out something every day that I no longer want or need but then when I have a boxful for the charity shop I think oh that’s nice, I’ll keep that. So the reference on the bottom of the bowl is lost on me living here and being English explanation please 😊

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