Adventures in Minimalism

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up |A Real Life Application: BOOKS

By January 27, 2015 6 Comments

This is part two in our series on our practical, real life application of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Last month we blogged about a book we were reading called ,  “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo & our real life application to our clothes.  We wanted to continue sharing our journey and we’re now on to the second part of the tidying process: BOOKS, where we continued to ask ourselves the question: Does it Bring Us Joy?

We thought clothes were hard, but BOOKS were truly harder. In fact, we had to do the process twice. The konmari method starts with gathering ALL of your books (or whatever category you’re working on),  into the same place. Every book in our house was gathered in our dining room to begin the process. Then you must take all of the books, place them on the floor, (yes, take them OFF the shelves),  and pick each one up,  (one at a time), and ask yourself, “Does it bring me joy”.

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We had to do this TWICE because the first time we still managed to hold on to books that didn’t bring us joy, but something else compelled us to keep them.

The second time around we examined that “something else.”

Some we kept because they held sentimental value. Some we kept because we thought maybe we’d read it one day. (how many unread books can one keep on their shelves? The answer will surprise you). But the strangest reasons of keeping books was an accomplished feeling of,   “Yeah, I read that” or the even more embarrassing admission of a strange proud feeling we felt by holding it: “Yeah, I never read it, but hey, I own it!”

In either case, we either read the book 15 years ago and it held some meaning to us, or we liked the idea of possibly reading the book in the next 15 years. We found that we hold on to books we’ve read for

 1) tangible evidence that we existed in the past (attachment to the past)

2) tangible proof we’ll be well-read in the future (fear for the future, if we get rid of them, we won’t ever have the chance to read them again).

The book on the left we were keeping for sentimental value. In the second round of  “tidying” books it made it to the giveaway pile. With a title like “The Things They Carried,” it was a reminder to NOT CARRY THINGS. The book on the right, well, we own two copies. So even though its a favorite and it brings us joy, the second copy made it’s way to the giveaway pile 🙂

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And VOILA! Here you have the before and after. Another feeling of weight being lifted. Packages will be mailed this week to those who reached out to us to receive a surprise book in the mail!! (We posted this giveaway on instagram incase you missed it, and we’ll be giving away a few more things in the weeks to come!).

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If you truly follow the Konmari method, it works. But it will make you examine the reasons we hold on to so much stuff and sometimes you are digging deep within yourself to places that feel a little uncomfortable. After giving things away that don’t spark joy.  you are left only with that stuff that brings you joy. THAT feeling is what makes the process so magical. The biggest thing we’ve noticed is that we can never remember for the life of us, what is was we gave away in the first place. Truly. We try. And we can’t remember what we owned before we started this process.  What’s next to tidy?  So glad you asked. Next up is PAPERS, (which we will be tackling this week BUT we may or may not blog about because really, do you want to see photos of us sitting on the floor shredding papers?)

The next time you see us, we’ll be sorting out…. drumroll please….

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tchotch·ke (ya know, misc stuff?!) and we’ve started the collecting process and putting in the same room today. Didn’t realize we were cat people,  but we are in-fact. Stay tuned for the next step in our tidying process.

Here are before & after’s of everything we have tidied so far:

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want to learn more about our minimalism project?