This time I went into the endeavor with full intentions to follow her method exactly. Yesterday was a snow day for my family, my husband even stayed home. Aha, I thought we will pounce on this and make some real headway!
Knowing the place to start is clothes, and knowing that my last attempt did not go so well. i decided that instead of starting with the bulk of hanging clothes, which was obviously overwhelming i would choose a sub-category. After all Marie says it is fine to break it up into sub-categories. Also, the order that she chose is supposed to ease you into the disposal of items, starting with the easiest.
My theory is that there are far more readers of her book than there are tidy gurus who 'never have to tidy again'. Part of this is that clothes are not necessarily the right place for everyone to start. She claims you start with your clothing because you have the least personal attachment. She has this all wrong, at least for me, and some other people I know. In fact I think that she may almost have it backwards!
Why wouldn't we be emotionally attached to our clothes? Heck if we are going to be emotionally attached to anything it seems these would kind of come first. For me I see it this way, I wear clothes all the time. I spend a great deal of time picking what clothes to wear, factors being occasion, temperature, mood, and the list goes on. I spent time to shop for clothes, or received them as a gift (and i have no problem ditching gifts i don't use ;). I spent hard-earned money on them. I then spend an immense amount of time caring for them; I wash, dry, fold, hang, and repair them. When I go on vacation or a away for a weekend I pack my clothes, not my kitchen collection or the wall-hanging my gram made. I can often pick up a piece of clothing and remember this is the piece I wore on Mt. Rainier,this is what i was wearing when I told my husband i was having a baby, or the dress I bought in Salt Lake City on our trip to the Grand Canyon.
I don't like to spend my time shopping, especially under pressure for an occasion. I don't want to spend my money buying another semi-formal dress. I care for my clothes, and if I know it wont get re-worn i take it out of circulation. I have kept a few items that I loved to use for material in a memory quilt, why pay for meaningless material when I have a superior option for my memories and the environment. The rest of the items get donated (my daughter is doing a great project on what happens to the byproducts of our gluttonous clothing habits, I hope to add a link soon). On that note, i need to say I hate waste, wasting money buying something because I donated everything, or the waste of knowing that a very small portion of donations Will be used to the fullest extent before ending up in a landfill
That said, I know I have too much. I have more than I need or have the desire to care for and store. So it comes down to making the harder decisions. What do I really NEED, and that alone, as i have experiences is likely 7 pair of under and socks, 3 bras, 2 short sleeves, 2 long sleeves, 1 fleece,1 down sweater, 1 jacket,1 scarf,1 hat, 2 pairs of pants that are zip-off, bathing suit, and long johns that double as sleepwear. For the majority of the year that is what I work with! with the additional indulgence of a dress.
So there are choices to be made. This is where I have been trying to use the "sparks joy" mentality. BUT....yup I'm in trouble, what about those items you need that don't bring you joy? winter boots....OK so, if i stand in the snow without them for a few minutes, a good waterproof sure will bring some joy, or is that relief? So I have to keep that, BUT just one pair or 2? if one is wet I will need another, they take forever to dry. BUT what if I have 3 pairs? They are all in serviceable condition, and we all know that one day one pair #1 will suddenly fall apart, then we have to go spend grocery money on another pair-all the while sloshing through the store wearing wet pair #2 because we threw out a perfectly good pair #3......
Now, assume you have worked through the topic of service items. You can keep the number of items that you foresee being in service at any one point in time throughout the year plus 1 backup. In the boots example, it would be 3 pairs, 2 in service and one backup. Of course then you have to move on to those things that you love, they all spark joy, you have used all of them in the past year, BUT you have TOO MANY.... and this is where my train derails....soo fashion winter boots....yes these are warm but not waterproof, no snow shoveling or snowshoeing, but l Love them and change to suit my mood and occasion and outfit, i have many of these 9-10 pairs..... and those are just the insulated boots.
And now we come back to my snow day. We started with my son and husbands shoes. I did them at the same time because my son had 3 pairs of shoes he currently wore, and they are currently the same shoe size. No point in spending money on shoes when he might grow next week and we had over 40 pairs of shoes in his size in the house. my husband paired his down to 35 pairs. This is a lot, definitely more than he needs, but he likes them all, and he does wear shoes out so no point in throwing these out, just don't buy more ;) His collection includes cold and warm weather motorcycle boots, work boots, work shoes, casual shoes, snow boot casual boots, sneakers, hikers, flip flops and house shoes. my Son ended up with about ten pairs and we donated about 8.
My daughters feet are very close in size and so we did them together as well unfortunately i got an important phone call and my husband 'helped' them finish up...so i have no count for them. i know they did not get rid of all they should have but at least 10 pairs left....
Mine were the worst. when my husband met me I was a nomadic student. I had 3 pairs of well-worn footwear. He has it seems showered me with footwear since. I Counted 105 pairs.....all of these are in good condition. I am not hard on my footwear, my husband always buys something for me when he buys something for himself. I put 3 pairs of nice shoes that my older daughter Will fit in the next year in a box for her. Donated 25 pairs and am passing 7 pairs on to a cousin. I still have 'too many' though... Yet I became decision fatigued.
i think i could easily half my shoe closet by moving south permanently :)
Wonder if it woud be eaisier to start with kitchen appliances! BUT if I guess if people can get through the clothes, then younwill zip through all the stuff in the middle and have plently of momentum to finish up with the memoribilia at the end!!!