Wednesday 12 June 2019

Marie Kondo, and managing without things that you've decluttered

I'm constantly organising and decluttering my home. Even though I like to think that I'm fairly minimalist, I'm always on the hunt for things that are unnecessarily taking up space and can be moved on. I can honestly say that there are very few things that I regret getting rid of, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few annoyances.

Related post - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

For example, in my recent blog post Decluttering 100 things in a week I listed all the things that I'd removed from my home, including some plastic food trays with separate compartments which went in the recycling. Then a couple of days later we were given a huge Lego set with many, many pieces which needed to be sorted. The plastic trays would have been perfect for organising some of the pieces, and I was so cross that I'd thrown them away!

But then I remembered a passage that spoke to me from Marie Kondo's book Spark Joy:

"I have bid farewell, at least temporarily, to countless things that didn't bring me joy and, to be frank, the absence of a discarded item never caused a catastrophe. There was always something in the house that would serve as a substitute." - Marie Kondo - Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying.

She describes how she discarded a chipped vase, only to need it the very next day. Instead of going out and buying a new vase she covered a plastic bottle with cloth to use instead, with the bonus that it could be recycled and removed from her home once finished with.

Glass vase of flowers on a stool
Photo credit - NorWood Themes via Unsplash

It's so true, whenever I've found myself missing something that I've decluttered, I've always been able to find an alternative. And when I'm debating over whether an item deserves it's place in my home, I find it easier to let go of it if I imagine what I would do if I didn't have that item. There are very few things that you can't find a substitute for, and they are definitely the things that spark joy.

In the case of the Lego sorting trays, I remembered a stack of plastic cups that I bought for parties years ago, and I started putting aside plastic food containers and the punnets from our fruit and veg, all of which can be reused or recycled once finished with.

Related post - My Marie Kondo approach and Sparking Joy

Now I just need to get the children to build that Lego set so that I can have my dining table back!

Lego pieces sorted into cups and boxes ready to build with

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