Giving It Away
Maybe you’ve heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese lifestyle guru who’s changing the way we think about our stuff. Or, maybe you haven’t. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a global best-seller and is gaining renown everywhere you look. Even if you haven’t heard of her yet, if you start listening to conversations around you or looking at lifestyle blogs, you’ll see her influence. I haven’t read her book (yet), but from having read several articles and reviews, I know the main tenant of her philosophy is that you should only keep items that bring you joy.
It makes sense. Why would you keep anything that doesn’t make you happy? But when you stop and look at your possessions and really see them for what they are, you realize just how much junk we hold on to for the sake of just HAVING it.
Because I haven’t read the book, I haven’t embarked on any kind of involved purging project. However, I did host a clothing swap (my fourth!) at my apartment yesterday, which led me to go through my closet (and bookshelves) with a critical eye. In the past, I’ve often held on to items of clothing for sentimental value or because I’d paid a lot of money for them or I would probably fit into it again someday. This time, I did my best to ask myself if I was holding on to things for the wrong reasons and if that item of clothing really brought me joy.
So, into the bag went the green dress I’d worn to my rehearsal dinner. The pretty pink dress I’d bought in Brooklyn the morning of my wedding shower (and then worn again for dinner on the beach on my honeymoon) had to go too. And, perhaps most upsettingly, one of my favorite skirts of all time (immortalized in my blog header). Truthfully, a few of these items don’t fit me as well as they once did, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of Joe every time I wore them (in fact, I haven’t worn the green dress or pink dress since the break up) also. So, much as I loved the items of clothing themselves, they didn’t make me happy anymore, and so it was undeniably time to let them go. Thankfully, the swap was the perfect venue to make sure these well-loved items went to a good home–not just left in a garbage bag in a Goodwill bin.
I wish I could get rid of everything that reminds me of him, but, annoyingly, he gave some really good gifts, and I can’t see giving up my Frye boots or DVF scarf any time soon…though I’m sure their time will come (probably when I’ve worn them threadbare).
Has anyone else struggled with what to do with gifts from an ex, or items that are tainted by painful memories? Have any of you read Marie Kondo’s book?