Big Q – What Would Be the Hardest Room to Pare Down When Simplifying?

Clutter_in_basementCHICAGO, IL (January 19, 2016) — The concept of “spring cleaning” has always induced a sense of dread for me. I try to winnow out the heirlooms and mementos on my storage shelves periodically, but I’m just not very good at letting go. I mean really, I still have wedding gifts in the original packaging, from almost thirty years ago. So Marie Kondo’s bestselling guide to decluttering, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up,” seems written for people just like me. Kondo suggests that the only way to put our houses in order is to get rid of things that no longer “spark joy.”

But I find myself wondering if that thing might “spark joy” in the future. I fear that the minute after I drop it off at the donation center, I’ll discover a practical use for it. Or that one of my kids will need it to furnish a new apartment.

You may not be as prone to nostalgia as I am, but in keeping with current trends to simplify our lives, the Companion is interested in hearing from you: If you had to declutter your home or life, what would be the hardest thing to tackle? Is it the vintage tools from Grandpa’s workbench? The textbooks from your undergrad degree? Maybe the collection of mismatched socks is still around—waiting for that missing sock to be found. If you were to simplify your home, what would be the most challenging closet, pile, area to sort through and pare down?


News The Big Q


  • I’ve moved three times since 2012. You’d think by now I’d have pared down to just what is needed, and yet, I have not. My Dad’s old art supplies, boxes of Bible studies I did years ago, a bin full of gift bags, more artwork to hang than there is wall space, not to mention that aero-pilates machine! Between the basement store room and the so-called guest room, it would be hard to choose which to tackle first. Both are full of memories.

  • My problem is not so much a room as it is all my books which are in nearly every room in my house – on shelves and tables, in cabinets, and in piles on the floor. Most I have read and may want to read again. Some I bought to teach me how to do something, like quilting, whenever I can find the time. Some I have not yet read or started to read but had to stop to read that new book from the library. The problem is that I don’t remember which those are or where I left off. All are friends I don’t want to say goodbye to.

  • I just finished reading Marie Kondo’s book. I was able to go through my clothes and make donations to a local Goodwill. What I appreciated about Kondo’s approach was to be able to express thankfulness. Thankfulness to the shoes that have carried me through the day, thankfulness for the coat that has kept me warm, thankful to our home that protects us and so on. Even saying thanks to the items I elect not to store in our house any longer. Most importantly, it is not my job to declutter or as Kondo calls it “tidying” another person’s belongings. My husband liked that part of the book.

  • My library. I no longer have my old textbooks and papers. I’ve gotten rid of the books I know I won’t read or won’t read again. But I still have a room full of books and continue to buy more. So many books, so little room.

  • For me, it would be the closet under my stairs. Interestingly, we did a huge downsize two years ago, selling our home of 25 years and moving into a townhome. This helped with the simplifying, but amazingly, I am cluttered again.

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