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Magical Tidying/Swedish Death Cleaning

So I got both these best-seller books from the library yesterday, and read Marie Kondo’s The Magical Art of Tidying Up in its entirety last night. Will read Margareta Magnusson’s SDC tonight. Have any of you read these?

Background: Dad died in May; his office at their house had 38 years’ worth of hoarded junk from a major depressive. Bags of unopened mail from 1983. A Dairy Queen receipt from 1990. About 150 5" floppy disks; a manual for a dot matrix printer. You had to step over piles to get behind the desk, and we weren’t “allowed” in the room while he was alive. I’ve taken in 3 carloads of electronics recycling, and countless loads to regular recycling. I have just finished cleaning 99% of it out, to allow Mom to use the room, yay; will finish that 1% this weekend.

Now I’m inspired to continue at my own home, especially since after tomorrow I’ll be working from home full-time (boo). I also suffer from some depression and while I’m not nearly the hoarder (esp of trash/mail) that Dad was, I certainly have a lot of crap, and it closes in on me in a bad way. This task is feeling imminently crucial, in order to stay out of the pit. Although I’m not sure Kondo’s method will be one that works for me 100%, she made some excellent points, such as not letting your parents see what you’re getting rid of. Many things I want to clear out were gifts that Mom picked out, little decorative stuff for my shelves — and ugh, I am so tired of the clutter. Was thinking about how much I love staying in hotels, and I think it’s because they are devoid of all the crap!


I mentioned SDC to Mom yesterday, and she said “I’m not getting rid of my stuff! But I promise you I won’t leave you in NEARLY as bad a shape as that (office).” Still...come on, please get rid of some of it.

One thing that struck me while reading was how the ideas of property and ownership have changed over the millennia (this hearkens back to my anthropology degree)—and how maybe these ideas contribute pressure to us today. As she comes home and tidies her own things, Kondo thanks her house and her possessions for helping her, every day—and while reading, I first thought, how silly. But I grew to think that maybe if we start to see things as not so much under our authority, but alongside us as we move through life, knowing we can’t take them with us at the end, we can release some of that pressure? IDK, it’s not all well-thought out, but I came to think of her position as far less silly by the time I was done.

So I’ll be thinking of Kondo’s “does it spark joy?” question as I tackle my own stuff. But I will NOT be RIPPING PAGES OUT OF BOOKS in order to keep my favorite passages, as she tried for herself, because I AM NOT A MONSTER! Ha. I look forward to Magnusson’s book, will surely add some new facets.

ETA: The philosophy that seems to be emerging in me as I age is “need less.” This is hopefully going to be a huge step toward living that philosophy.

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