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Remove The Clutter

Create Space, Find Joy

Spring is finally here! The dead cold of winter is moving out, creating space for the bright new beginnings of this season. The birds will sing. The trees and flowers will bloom. The sun will shine higher longer. More importantly, you will feel energized.

Maybe it’s time for a little spring cleaning.

A couple months ago, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I pride myself on my organizational skills – driving anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of living with me a little (or a lot according to Brad) nuts over them. But I was curious to read about a new perspective. Coined the KonMari Method, it suggests eliminating any item in your life that does not spark joy.

"Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest."

-Marie Kondo

Inspired, I decided to tackle my photographs. I pulled out the twenty-five photo albums tucked away around our house. One by one I pulled every single photo out of the pages. I put them in a single pile according to the album. Again, one by one I held each looked at it, and tossed any bringing me zero joy.

By removing meaningless memories, I felt refreshed, renewed and reorganized.

I created unthinkable space. Tables and ottomans storing twenty-five albums are now better suited for other joyful items to be properly tucked away. The result? Two photo albums. Proudly displayed in a basket next to our fireplace, holding thirty years of chronological photos bringing me pure joy.

And yes, my new photo albums are made of burlap.

The path is yours:

1. Clothing Did you go all winter without wearing it? Chances are you won’t be picking it up next winter. Choose to donate items at a local Goodwill, Salvation Army or schedule a pickup with GreenDrop – they come to you!

2. Drinkware Are you a frequent wine taster? Me too. So you, too, have a cabinet filled with logoed wine glasses you will probably never use. Sell them in a yard sale. I speak from experience when I tell you, you will never make an easier sale.

3. Sports Equipment Still holding on to your varsity days? You will probably never need the three baseball gloves your garage. Keep the one meaning the most to you. If the others are in good condition, consider taking them to a sports consignment shop, such as Play It Again Sports.

4. Photographs Do you even remember who or what it is a photo of? If you are like me, you snap ten pictures of the same moment, only capturing one keeper. I promise your discard pile will be ten times the size of your keep pile.


5. Yourself Is the clutter in your heart and mind? Focus on dealing with doubt, yearning, hostility, agitation, or laziness. Take time to accept and remove whatever is dragging you down.

Where’s the clutter in your life? Find your joy. Perhaps what you need to remove is not anything tangible.

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