The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Isn't for the Light-Hearted
If you're familiar with Greek mythology, you might remember that Hercules had twelve labors - each one more successively difficult than the last.
If you've read Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" you might think that it sounds a bit fluffy, and perhaps a bit weird, but I assure you that while you won't be slaying a hydra anytime soon, it might be just as trying.
"Only keep the items that spark joy with you" may not sound like it's very strict. I mean, how hard can it be?
Yes, that sparks joy. Yes, that sparks joy. Keep, keep, keep.
But once you start reading more, and then actually get down to decluttering, you're going to start to have a crisis of sorts.
Sure, clothing might be easy at first. You toss out that sweatshirt that has a hole in it, the shawl that you never actually liked but purchased because you thought it might work with your fall wardrobe, that hat that you wore once and never again.
Satisfied, you look at your pile of clothes to get rid of. It's so big!
You look at your pile of clothes you're keeping. It's so tiny!
And then it catches your eye.
You see it now.
Innocently enough, it sits there in the corner of your closet. Small, inconspicuous, forgotten if we're being honest here.
That box of memorabilia from high school seemingly stares back at you from the corner of your closet, taunting you, laughing at your mental weakness.
"I dare you to even TRY and go through me!" it would say, laughing harder as you shrink away from it in fear. You know there are so many memories, emotions and baggage wrapped up in that box of photo albums, papers, trophies and letter jackets.
And then you come to the box of papers in the closet that have been steadily accumulating more and more items over the years. Since 2016? 2014? Perhaps it's been longer? You don't really know?
And when you get done with all of that, you're going to have to sort through all of the items that have been gifted to you by well-meaning friends and relatives, and especially the items given to you by your overbearing mother who will demand to see them when she comes for a visit.
Suddenly the idea of swimming through this stuff becomes a bit more daunting. It's less of a stroll along the beach than it is fighting through a shark-infested tsunami.
No, despite her delightful personality and her soft voice, Marie Kondo's method of decluttering is physically and mentally and emotionally exhausting. It needs to happen, and you will feel so much better when you do it, but be prepared to essentially go through hell and back during the process.
You will confront your past, battle your demons, come to terms with previous issues. Ex-boyfriends and girlfriends will come up, resentment and anger towards your parents for screwing you up, high school and college drama, all of your insecurities and fears and paranoia will come into play.
And yet, you will face them, one at a time, and come to terms with it.
As you throw away each item, you'll find your soul a little bit lighter, your step a little bit more confident, your mind a little bit more at ease.
And that is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.