I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up earlier this month and the book lived up to the title. There is a system to follow that I’ll let the book lay out for you if you are interested. But the basic concept is to purge by category instead of by room i.e. closets.
You literally ask yourself if the item you are holding brings you joy. If so, keep it. If not, toss it into the donate pile. It sounds a little silly at first to ask such a simple question but it works so well.
We started with clothes. The book suggests putting every piece of clothing you own on the floor. As in pull every shirt off it’s hanger, every pair of socks out of the drawer, and even coats from hall closets. We opted to pile everything on the bed because if we didn’t get through the clothes we weren’t going to be sleeping there. Two hours later and we were done and had immaculate and organized closets and drawers.
Next up were the books. I’m the reader in the house so this task was on me. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to part with books because I love books and having them in the house; or all over the house if we are really being honest.
I dumped my bookshelves, collected the books on nightstands, end tables, and even the ones in Amazon boxes. Those books are ones I typically slowly introduce into the house because my husband pays attention to silly things like new books piling up.
I posted a before picture on Instagram showing all the books on my bed. The comments ranged from shock, mild outrage, volunteering to take books off my hands, and even a few encouraging comments. I started slow following the same process of asking myself if the book brought me joy. It was surprisingly easy.
I attach memories to objects and books are no different. The first book I picked up was one I read when I was going through a really awful time.
Joy at the sight of this book? No way. Donate pile! Within an hour I had my books sorted and looking at the donate pile made me happy.
But what actually brought joy was to see clear shelves full of my favorite books to read again, loan to friends, or to look at the cover artwork because book covers have really become miniature works of art in the past few years.
I also found books that I could not believe I ever bought and read. What was I thinking? Thank God for therapy! And I’m sure I also bought and read a self help book to counteract this poison. I should find it and bundle them together before I donate this one.
I also found some real gems I had forgotten about.
Don’t worry though, I still have lots of books to do fun things with. I love this cart!