In Lao Tzu's words: "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". For me, that first step was Marie Kondo's "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that my journey towards living with less began after I read her book. It's been almost fours years and my life has completely changed. Sometimes I think about the person I am today and can't even recognize who I used to be.
There really is magic in Kondo's method. You might feel skeptical about a tidying technique that can change your life, but so was I. The real change begins when you allow yourself to believe and actually try. Before I read her book I thought of myself as a fairly organized person, now I cringe and laugh at the thought of it. I owned a lot of stuff but knew where everything was. I could find most things amidst my chaos, and that to me was being organized.
“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.” - Marie Kondo
When I accepted the idea of only keeping things that spark joy, and was honest with myself about it, was when I started the process of letting go of all the excess. It was as if the book had given me the permission I needed to be able to let go. Let go of the guilt, the shame, the regret of having so much and yet feeling like it wasn't enough.
Looking back, I now understand why it was so hard for me to let go of stuff in the beginning of my journey. The stuff I used to have was part of an ideal life that no longer aligned with what I wanted, but the thought of letting go of that hypothetical future was terrifying. I had created this vision in my head of what I wanted my life to be, but over the years that vision changed, and I wasn't giving myself permission to accept that change. Instead, I kept holding on to stuff that no longer brought me joy and that was now standing in the way of the person I wanted to be.
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” - Marie Kondo
Once I realized what was holding me back, it was easier to let go of stuff and only keep what aligned with the person I was becoming. And that to me is the true magic of this method. Yes, your house will look tidier and less cluttered, but the biggest change that comes with this process is the personal growth and acceptance that you can experience if you open yourself to the possibility of change.