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Friday, August 14, 2015

Life-Changing Magic

Is it magic or just motivational? I'm talking about the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Back in June, I shared my motley summer reading list, you can see it HERE. The books encompass everything from true stories, novels, and even a little history. All have been entertaining, and I'll share more in upcoming posts, but The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up seems to have unleashed something in me.
There are some wonderful quotes in the book;
*To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have    outlived their purpose.
*It is not the memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences
  that we should treasure. 
*The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your    life. 
We recently had dinner with some friends and I commented that I'm cleaning out. The comment was made that my house is perfect and how could there possibly be anything to clear out. Well, trust me, there's plenty. As an example, I opened one closet yesterday, took everything out, and this is what I ended up with. Over the past week, I have not kept count, but I would say that at least 10 bags have gone out the door. My husband commented that he's afraid that the ladies at the Salvation Army are going to think he's lost his spouse!!!!!
Yesterday's closet clean out was probably the most interesting so far. In that closet I had a number of vintage pieces that I have held on to for the mere fact that they are vintage and for some reason held some sort of hold on me. As I really looked at them I realized that they were not something I want to wear, it's not how I want to present myself, and so, in the bag they went. I felt set free.
As I read through the book, there were other epiphanies of sorts. The author talked about the home and  how we live within our home. When I was growing up, we had very little. I had very few clothes and so the best was saved for school and church. At home I wore old things that were just that, old and worn. They were comfortable, but not attractive. Being comfortable at home is a wonderful thing, but comfort can and should be attractive.    
Then I came across this statement,
When we really delve into the reasons why we can't let go, there are only two: 
An attachment to the past,
Or a fear of the future.
While it's wonderful to have memories and cherished mementos, what struck me was that I want to live now, fully and wholly...NOW! I can hold on to the things that truly bring me joy and let go of the rest.
So, a lot has gone out the door, and there's so much more to do. I put myself on a one year plan, taking a closet, a space at one time. As I work along, I know that I will learn more and more about myself and some of the realizations may be a little difficult. But I think it's a little like losing weight, initially it's difficult, your stomach and your mind scream that they want to eat. But, you stick with it and then comes the exhilaration of the accomplishment. In the end, the mental and physical pain was worth it, you achieved your goal.
In the spirit of letting go, I have decided to pass along the book. It has done it's job and there is no reason for me to hold on to it. I'm hoping that in giving it away, that the next person will be as moved as I have been. If you think you would like to have the book, just leave a message here on this post, United States addresses only please. I will draw a name on Monday, August 17, 2015. If you do think that you would like to have the book, I ask two things;
1. Read it.
2. Once read, pass it on. Do not keep the book and please do not sell the book. My hope is that my small investment will go on to help others in a manner that I cannot even imagine.

I'll leave you today with this statement that I once heard,
The more things you own, the more your things own you.



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31 comments:

  1. I can agree with the last statement. We do get really wrapped up in our possessions. I am the queen of clutter I think, my place is overflowing with books and stuff I have no space for. I still don't think that I could really go for the minimalist lifestyle though. Saying that we will be having the mother of all clear-outs as we are moving again. :) Xx

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    1. Just remember, it's not at all about living a minimalist lifestyle, that would be difficult for me as well. This is about surrounding ourselves with things we truly love, and bring happiness into our lives.
      Whew, moving, that seems like a daunting task. Wish I could help :)

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  2. I was so struck by your comments about wearing the old stuff at home. As I grew up my mother would say "So, you are playing the lady today?" whenever I didn't change from school/church/outing clothes soon enough. And I struggle to this day (age 73) with wearing the good stuff at home, even if it came from a thrift store or I made it for practically no cost (when I was a young woman and fabric was available everywhere and RTW clothing was pretty expensive for my tall slender frame.) No longer that tall, and certainly not slender anymore :-(

    I already have the book and do not need to be entered in your drawing, just wanted to share how your clothing comment struck a nerve! Now I need to actually read and implement the book...
    Jeannine

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    1. Isn't it amazing how engrained things become in our lives. Wear your good things and enjoy every minute. Life is far to short to save anything ­čśŐ and you are far too special!

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  3. I understand this process is needed completely. I retired in 2013 and am still sorting through both things and life. It is truly enlightening to go through our possessions with a mindful eye towards their meaning and place in our lives. It is intense and freeing at the same time. I still have much to do but I am enjoying the things I now live with instead of store hidden in closets. Thank you for the opportunity to look at this book and share it. Sue

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  4. I just received text notification that my copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is on its way to my doorstep today, thanks to your earlier recommendation. For the last two months, I have been clearing out twenty-five years of accumulation from our now for-sale city house. The guys at the loading dock of Goodwill have seen me so many times that they chat with me as we unload another car full of boxes and bags.

    The things that I wasn't quite ready to part with have been hauled to our farm house where I PROMISE I will go through them again - after reading the book - and pass along as much as possible. My fabric stash has been trimmed down considerably, and I PROMISE I will use at least half the remainder in the next year or pass it along, too. Thanks so much for your recommendation and inspiration!

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  5. Wow. I love it. I just got the book myself. I'm curious... would you read the whole book before starting or get to work once you read a few chapters?

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    1. Hi GG,
      I had kinda sorta started the process before I bought the book, i.e. Getting rid of 3 bags of shoes :/ I think that's why the book jumped out and appealed to me. I read about half before I started really going through things. So I say read a little and then just get started. I think you'll pick up momentum as you go.
      Good Luck!

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  6. I would love to read this book. My mom passed away four years ago and all the stuff I have from her (she was a bit of a hoarder) I keep needing to go thru. I said when we brought it home I was on the five year plan, I need to get moving! You really are the loveliest person! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

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  7. We had a Oregonian columnist, Margie Boule, who did this and wrote about it in a similar vein to what you read about 15 years ago. It has stayed with me but I also think it has to be the right moment in life to consciencely follow through.
    Don't need the book - thanks for a great post.

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  8. I'd love your book. We close on a new house on the 17th. I've been cleaning out since March. Having this book (I'm buying it enemy I don't get yours) would be great for establishing my new place and being surrounded by things that bring me joy.

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  9. Oh,I so relate to your comments!!! I am attached to too many things ---for all the wrong reasons!! I would enjoy reading the book - getting a case of the "clean out" success --- and then pass the book on.
    Thanks so much for sharing!!! Look forward to hearing about the drawing!!!

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  10. after reading your post.. I thought this is the book I need .. I've got much to unload & let go of.. and just need the 'kick start'.. it's soooo depressing to come home to it all..and I KNOW I need to.. just haven't done the 'start'.. and thinking even a small grocery bag is a beginning.. Would LOVE to win the book! thank you for the opportunity.. and definitely will pass it on...

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  11. I never, NEVER comment on blogs haha BUT I find myself here again :) I saw this book and added it to my Amazon Wishlist just two days ago. After reading your delightful review, I'm even more excited to read it! I plan to purchase the Kindle edition but thank you so much for passing on that book to others. That's a fantastic idea! <3

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  12. It's a magical book. Not only have I transformed my house but I also helped a couple of friends with theirs. I taught my daughter and she has a room that stays tidy for over a month now. I took up meditation, yoga and start sewing again just because I have free time to indulge in the things I love. And I stopped shopping. Only special things will enter my house from now on. I so like your blog. I'm into hand sewing recently and fabric manipulation.

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  13. I have gone through "spells" of cleaning and going through things--promising not to keep things that I don't want/need. The first time was after cleaning out dear MIL's home after she passed away. Had been in the house 60+ years upon her death. I did well for a while--then life got in the way. Second time was when my own mother passed away after having lived in the same house 50 years. Of course, I brought some stuff home that I thought I HAD TO HAVE--COULDN'T LET GO. About 8 months ago, the bug to clear out stuff bit me again and I have slowly been cleaning cabinets/tubs/bins/drawers. I haven't begun the closets, but will soon, I hope. And then there is a separate storage building out back....................whew! I hope I have enough years to finish!

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  14. I don't want the book - I have it! And I've started working on it. Hit just my bookshelves (only my books, per author) and the freed up space and mental energy already has been amazing. Already, I was able to get some necessary clutter put neatly (and invisibly) away on the empty shelves. Very happy!

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  15. Congratulations on being a great inspiration! Now I have to,get to work on my closets!

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  16. Hi Rhonda! I am fascinated that this book has become so popular....a statement on our culture's need for "more". I too am cleaning out closet by closet and would love to read this book and agree to send it forward :-)!

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  17. Oh boy, do I need this book! I have had two wonderful friends pass away in the last month and a half; and I am overwhelmed with grief watching their families go through all their possessions. I need to figure out how to take care of my life clutter so I don't ever burden my children with my "stuff". Thank you for your post and I would be grateful to receive and to pass on your book. Life is so short; we need to always have things in order.

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  18. I've been intrigued by this book for a while now...would love to win. Your copy!

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  19. I agree with your wonderful statement. I have been editing my own home for some years and have tried to persuade my mother to do likewise with little success. It is liberating to release things that are no longer wanted or needed so that others may have them.
    I applaud you passing on the book. As a UK resident I don't want to be included in the draw.

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  20. I read the book cover to cover on the plane. It is a lovely book. She is quirky and compassionate. Have I done anything with it? Some. Reminds me to keep going.

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  21. Rhonda, I would love to enter to win your book. It sounds like a good read. Have you read "Unclutter Your Life in One Week" by Erin Rooney Doland? It is another good read. I read it a few years ago and it opened my eyes to lots of things. To this day I wear old clothes around the house, it is left over from childhood. And that is something I need to stop. It's one thing to change if you are doing something messy or dirty. But that is not every day. I need to wear the good things for everyday activities, not just for going outside the home.

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  22. THis sounds like exactly what I need to kick start me into clearing out old mementos, clothes, and "things" that take up too much space in my life. I also know who I can pass it along to if I win - my sister! Thank you for this opportunity!

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  23. I read the book a few weeks ago and it is really fascinating. How nice it would be to be surrounded only by Things you really love and that make you happy. I have sorted out my closet and 4 bags went to charity, even garments that were self made. I still have a lot that I do not like very much, but I have to wear something and as I am on the RTW fast I can not replace everything at once. However, I am not sure that I can be so radical. As my parents grew up during WWII, at home nothing was thrown away only because no one liked it anymore. Only things/garments that were beyond repair were thrown away (I have 3 older siblings and always wore their old garments. Maybe that is one reason why I am still trying to find my own style and that I can also wear pretty clothes at home and not only the old stuff). So I really find it difficult to give things away that are functional and replace them with something I like better. And sometimes I think how odd that we are trying to find solutions how to get rid of our stuff while in other parts of the world eople are starving and own almost nothing at all...strange world

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  24. I would love to have a turn at reading the book. I've been sorting out and passing things on in fits and starts, and could use some of Marie's wisdom.

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  25. I borrowed my friends copy earlier this year and cleaned out my closet because while it was overflowing, I still had "nothing to wear." I also had a habit of "saving my good clothes" because I grew up with very little. It took a while to let go of some things, but I had to realize that they were items I never wore and could not foresee wearing in the near future. I had to let go of the woman I thought I'd be one day and accept the one I am now. I also got rid of anything that didn't thrill me when I put it on so now it's so much easier to get dressed. It was so freeing once I was finished cleaning my closet and, despite my anxiety about not having "enough", I haven't missed one single piece.

    Getting rid of the not-so-great clothes also made me examine how I was practicing self-care in other areas so I made some changes in those areas too. After many years of struggling, I lost a good deal of weight and started seeing numbers on the scale that I hadn't seen in years. Now I'm within a few pounds of my goal. I look and feel much healthier and more vibrant. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the book is truly life-changing.

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  26. I'd love to win the book and I promise to pass it on if I win! Two of my friends mentioned this book to me recently (didn't offer to loan me their copies...) and have said how impactful it has been.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

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  27. Thank you for this post. Before I even got to the end I went to Amazon and got the ebook. Since it's after the 17th, that worked out perfect. I grew up like you, good clothes were saved. I have a picture of me in an Easter dress and wore that the following school year for pictures. It was my "good dress". I've worked on not saving nice things, but it's hard. Sometimes even hard to have nice things maybe like you, I don't feel like I should have them to wear them around just the house/apartment. I think getting rid of (more) clutter will help. Thank you for sharing your story. It is appreciated.

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    1. It makes me very happy to know that my journey can be helpful :)

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