The Art of Decisive Decluttering

Trends / Wellness
Beth Wachtel
Jul 30, 2019
Love it or hate it, people everywhere are clutching the items they own asking themselves if they “spark joy.”  Back in 2014, Marie Kondo, aka the “messiah of minimalism,” published a #1 New York Times bestselling book launching her Feng Shui way of organizing. The book swept readers off their feet and into their cupboards and closets. The main directive ‑ keep only what supports an individual’s ideal lifestyle and part with the rest with gratitude. The life‑changing magic machine neatly rolled along into 2019 with a hit Netflix series and a children’s book among many other new endeavors.  It seems to tidy up to the extreme has gone beyond the mainstream and on to world domination.  
De‑owning and purging possessions are not new concepts. It’s been proven that minimizing can lead to increased happiness and individuals dealing with internal turmoil are often advised to find tranquility by arranging and ordering their surroundings. Key to successful straightening is having a designated place for each item, that every object has a home ‑ a very comforting concept!  In our increasingly chaotic modern existence, identifying and removing everything unnecessary is one way to feel in control. Clearly, this idea of ‘Less is More’ is tapping into something more universal, as people around the world are now applying the downsizing and organizing principle to all aspects of their lives. There’s the emergence of Swedish Death Cleaning, the process of decluttering one’s home so as to spare loved ones from the chore of it after one’s death.  Some folks harboring altruistic aims are reducing their worldly possessions as part of the Zero Waste movement, taking responsibility for their own smaller footprint.  Ploggers go even further, moving beyond the personal to shared public spaces, combining jogging or hiking ‑ any form of outdoor exercising ‑ with picking up trash and contributing to a happier, healthier habitat for us all. Brands have been streamlining as well, with the emergence of a more minimalist clean slate aesthetic, as they recognize the need to connect to their consumers with more clarity, authenticity, and meaningful messaging to cut through an overwhelming media landscape.  
Whatever the motivation, transforming the messiness of life takes more than just superficial organization; it requires mindfulness. By attending to our own personal priorities and acting with intention, it is possible to remind ourselves that we are unique, more than the sum of things around us. We are empowered to strengthen the emotional connections that truly matter the most ‑ a comfortable home, a welcoming atmosphere, a personal reality reflecting our genuine sense of self ‑ and reveal the singular brilliance of our individuality. A high consideration ‑ what goes, what stays, and why ‑ is ultimately the essence of the creative process itself: the art of refining a personal vision.  
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