I’ve experienced a strange and brutal freedom this week – a forced decluttering. As a result of a Comcast internet issue, compounded by something mysterious going on deep inside my i-Mac, my entire email in-box was wiped out. Along with my sent mail folder. I now have no records of email communication from the last ten years. (Part of the problem was that I had saved emails for the last ten years.)
I’m right on trend. Thanks, Comcast and Apple! Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article on a global publishing phenomenon – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. She asks that we examine each object cluttering our homes (and in-boxes, I suppose) and ask, “Does this spark joy?”
Here are several tips, from the article and book, on how to “Kondo”:
“Tidy by category: clothes first, then books, papers, miscellany and sentimental items.
Don’t foist your unwanted stuff on family members who might take it out of guilt. Give it to charity.
‘There is nothing more annoying than papers.’ Throw them all away, unless they are absolutely necessary.
Forget fancy storage containers. Drawers and shoeboxes often suffice.”
Over the last few days, I’ve had to send some embarrassed emails asking friends to resend information. I have felt the emotional loss of some emails that I always planned to keep, vaguely, for a variety of reasons. Mostly, though, I have felt the most unusual lightness of being. I’m not aiming for a wipe-out of my entire house, but I’m feeling motivated to lighten up.