Book That Encourages You to Tidy Up

Hello my dear readers, do you have a problem with having too much stuff at your house? Keep buying things but then you can’t find a place to store them. Perhaps your bedroom that you feel big enough at first now becomes somewhat cramped. Then you try to throw away some of your belongings but you feel an emotional attachment to those things. Maybe these two books could help you with this dilemma.

Book title: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

When I went on a holiday in Japan, I have stayed in a few Airbnb homes. I am always amazed by the Japanese minimalism style in their interior design. Simple color, design, and put functionality first. A combination of white and earthy colors brings a sense of calmness and relaxation. To be honest, I have a hoarder tendency, where I keep a lot of my stuff and rarely throw it away. Even unimportant things like a T-shirt I got when I was in Junior high school. On that t-shirt was written all of the names of my old classmate back in Junior high school. I wore it once or twice, then it just stays there in my wardrobe for more than 10 years. Every time I want to get rid of it, I always think to myself “but this is like a souvenir from the past that reminds me of the good old time”. And this kind of thought happens to a lot of stuff that I own. On top of that, I keep buying new things. In the end, I realize that my room has felt too cramp and it is time to take real action.

              We think tidying up is a simple thing to do. When your house is messy just simply clean up. It turns out not as simple as it seems, especially if you have a tendency to hoard. It is difficult to entirely change from a hoarder to a minimalist. so take some method that seems to fit you the most.

What I learn from the book:

1.       Start with getting rid of one thing now.

2.       Things that should be get rid of

·       Books you bought but never read.

How many times do you buy books that just end up being a display to collect dust? If you like to read books like me, replace those books with the e-book version. You will save so much space and money. This is also the reason why I invest in a kindle for reading instead of a normal book.

·       Clothes you don’t need anymore

Clothes are probably the most thing people constantly buy, which end up filling up your wardrobe yet make you feel “I don’t have anything to wear”. Get rid of all clothes that do not fit you anymore, or those you have not touch for the last 2-3 years.

·       Things that obviously a junk

Maybe a broken toy, kitchen utensil, electronics, and other things that clearly cannot be used anymore.

·       The forgotten things

The things you have not to touch or use for years.

·       Throw away things that don’t interest you anymore.

·       Remove things that functionally have been replaced by smartphones.

·       Reduce similar items

3.       Don’t get too emotionally attached to your belonging

This often happens to me when it comes to my son’s stuff. Things like his old tiny baby jumper, blanket, cute baby shoes he used to wear, his “artwork” from kindergarten, etc. I keep some of it and give most of his stuff to someone else. By getting rid of it does not mean I get rid of memories I have with him. 

4.       Ask yourself why is it so hard to say goodbye to things

Is it because it was so expensive? Do you feel guilty over it? Too lazy to do it? Feeling uneasy because the stuff is gifted by someone? It is ok not to throw a massive number of things at once, just do it slowly while thinking the reason why is it so hard to let go of those things?

5.       Believe that minimize the number of things you own is not easy, but it is not impossible.

6.       Differentiate between wants and needs

7.       If it is having emotional sentiment for you, take picture of it before throwing it.

Like I said before, my son made lots of “artwork” when he was still in kindergarten for 2 years. So instead of keeping it all, I took pictures of it and only keep a few of them.

8.       Let an unused space stays empty

Like the corner of a room, if it is the only empty space you have left, let it be empty, no need to add more stuff into it.

9.       Stop thinking “I will need it later, so I will keep it”.

We all have been there right, when we see something like a few kitchens gadget that we bought but never use but keep thinking I will use it “later”. And that “later” never came, but the stuff remains there.

10.   No need to think about the money value of the stuff you gonna get rid of.

 Just like that expensive clothes or shoes you bought but turns out it does not fit you well. Because of its price, you hesitate to keep it.

11.   One in, one out

When you buy one thing, throw one thing you own.

12.   Rent what can be rented

Kids stuff is the perfect example of this, kids grow up so fast. If you can rent a bassinet, toys, baby crib, or stroller, definitely rent it. It can do both saving space and saving money.

13.   Sell your unused stuff and earn extra money

With easy access to sell things online, you can earn money by selling the things you don’t need anymore. Especially the expensive stuff that you have been holding on to and hesitate to throw because it cost so much.

14.   Remove stuff that does not interest you anymore

Similar to Marie Kondo’s principle, get rid of the stuff that does not “spark joy” anymore. When you look at that thing, you can find a reason to keep and it does not excite you at all.

15.   No need to buy it because it’s cheap, no need to take it just because it’s free.

Trying to empty out the overwhelming things you own will be successful if you stop bring home yet another massive amount of stuff in. We often see offers like buy 1 get 1 or 50% discount on something we don’t even need, but since it is currently cheap or on sale, you get it anyway.

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