Another book that has really impacted me is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I saw this book on an Instagram post and I immediately requested it at the library. Unfortunately I had to wait about three months for my turn to roll around, but when I finally had the book, it was hard to put it down.
Marie's whole approach to tidying up (I love that phrase!) is to only have things in your home that spark joy. She writes that you'll know if an item sparks joy or not as soon as you hold it in your hands. If it does spark joy, then you just need to find a home for it, but if it doesn't, then you need to get rid of it. Marie actually gave me permission to get rid of things that I don't like, but are still perfectly useful or were given as a gift. It sounds funny to think that I would need the permission from a perfect stranger to throw something out, but I needed to hear it. She explains that the purpose of the gift was for the giver to give and you to receive. If the item doesn't continue to make you happy, then it's purpose is fulfilled and I can let that item go with gratitude. How empowering!
Before I started this book, I already had the itch to declutter and organize the house, but now I'm on a whole new level. I was previously getting rid of things that were no longer useful, but keeping a lot of things just because I might need it "someday". Marie writes that "someday" never comes. She continues on to explain that when people want to keep something they don't love it is because they have a fear of letting go of the past or a fear of the future. While, I can't let go of some things because of the past, I mostly fall into the camp of the fear of the future. I probably have the extra buttons to clothing I got rid of years ago. (By the way, Marie advises that I either sew these extra buttons into the side of the clothing, or just discard them altogether)
I totally recommend this book if you in a place in your life where you feel too much clutter around you physically or mentally. Clearing out things you don't need, use, or even want is so freeing. I have been keeping a tally of the bags of things I have donated and the bags of garbage I've thrown out and the progress is so encouraging. I am so tired of things every where, but the process is coming along steadily and it's making me so happy!