In preparation for our trip around the world we also had to go through our things at home and sort out what to keep and store and what to get rid of. Everyone has probably heard of Marie Kondo or read her book. By coincidence and without any knowing what’s ahead I gifted my partner with this “manual of separations” for Christmas 2015. To bring it down in a sentence, Marie’s strategy of simplifying your life is to ask yourself the question for every item you own, “Does this tickle joy in me?”.
There is a creating order you should follow, start with your clothes, then books, then kitchen etc. So we started with the clothes. After going through our cupboards we ended up with seven 80 litres bags of clothes, which are not tickling joy anymore in our life.
The next section was our guest room, which has four big “Billy” shelves with, of course, an extension on the top to store more things. You start asking yourself, why do I still keep the Lonely Planet book from 1995. Of course we are still using guide books when we travel, but even the issue you buy today in your bookstore is already out-dated. Anyways, I always double-check the suggestions in Tripadvisor, Google etc.
After filling three big moving boxes of books and at least the same amount of boxes going to the paper recycling, we had a deeper look into our kitchen drawers. Same situation here! Why do we need 8 star shaped cookie cutters? Ok, maybe three different sizes but at the end it still is a star. I admit I love cooking and I think almost everything we have tickles joy in me but it was a pleasant experience not to fight with the drawer anymore to store pans.
All in all we reduced our materialist collection by more than half. It is such a relief to have an overview of your cupboard again. The morning challenge “what to wear” is suddenly half as hard. But to be honest, I will never be able to divorce from my CD collection. Nothing sounds better than a real CD. OK, vinyl maybe, but for that I am too young.
What to do with all the property you have collected over decades, which has only relieved your wallet but burdened your life? We opted for the flea market, which is an experience and worth an article on its own. Besides earning some pocket money for our trip, it also really pleasurable to give objects of no desire to people in need. One hint on the side, do not even try to sell books, those times are over. Thank you Kindle!
I have read articles about people who only call 200 items their own; some even bring it down to a hundred. Too tough for me but it’s an interesting way of thinking. I am happy already with 50% less for now. So I went through the bookshelves again and could recognise an additional 50%. Since 6 months I almost haven’t bought anything new. A few equipment items for our trip, that’s it! Generally, we all have just too many things and it does not make us happier.
So you may want to think about the next thing you buy.