As you may know, I did a marathon purge a few weeks ago. I started with my clothes and went through category by category, as is recommended in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I picked up every piece separately. I looked at it. And I asked myself, “Does this bring me joy?”
Well, let’s just say there are a few things in life that I cannot say bring me joy but are functional, expensive in many cases, and were not thrown out. Here they are in all their spectacular banality:
- Spanx and other foundation clothing. I did donate most of my foundation clothing. Not only do they not bring me joy, but they’re painful and how cute can I possibly be with my flat thighs and a huge grimace on my face? An actress I am not. Bye bye. I did, however, keep the Spanx. I’m not sure why, but they just felt like something I might squeeze myself back into one day. And, who wants to run out to buy more Spanx??
- Toothbrush and band aids. Really, most things in the first aid, tooth care, time of the month sections of my bathroom are suspect. They don’t bring me joy. They are, however, very necessary to the regular workings of a human body. They stayed — although I did trim down to only the necessities. Anything that was a trial or old or stinky or one of 57 had to go.
- The bucket in the utility closet. It is a Spiderman popcorn bucket. It is whimsical. But it doesn’t bring me joy. I do, however, use it at least once a week — to rinse off the dog, to clean the bathtub, it’s even been pulled into service while my tummy-troubled body is being overly expressive. It stays and has a spot of honour on the bottom shelf.
- The shower curtain. It’s old. It’s in need of replacement, but I couldn’t just toss it out without said replacement. It stayed but went on the “keep an eye out for another” list. (I have since come across a beautiful replacement curtain and, so, the old one has been retired. And, yes, looking at the new one does bring me joy.)
- The non-stick frying pan. It’s in perfect condition but I don’t really use non-stick pans anymore. I was, however, watching Gordon Ramsey cook something the other day and he used a non-stick pan. I cannot remember what he was making, but it persuaded me that maybe I should keep it. Update: it was sent to the donate pile this morning after taking 3x longer to cook eggs than my regular pans do. And they came out looking gross. Bye bye, pan.
- Furniture. I decided early in the process to just focus on stuff. If I started playing around with furniture, I would be distracted by the look of the room and that wasn’t really the aim of this exercise. It was to get rid of the stuff that wasn’t bringing me joy. So, the furniture stays until this phase is complete.
- Shirts. I was a little short on clothing to start with — I don’t really enjoy shopping for clothes so my drawers tend to be full of very comfortable, elderly pieces. After I’d gone through and pulled out all the items that didn’t bring me joy, I was startled at a very small shirt pile. Miniscule, really. So, I did have to pull a few shirts out of the donate pile and recommission them. They are, however, on standby and know that their days are numbered (as soon as I can make myself go shopping for shirts).
- Knives. I have a few really good knives that do bring me joy. Those have lived in a drawer of their own for a few years now. There are, however, a few other knives that are not on active duty. They live elsewhere and are brought in when needed, usually during family dinners. They are helpful and functional and are needed. They stayed.
- The vacuum cleaner. Nothing would make me happier than to get rid of the vacuum cleaner. I hate vacuuming. If I vacuum before you come over, there is probably also a roast meal, freshly baked dessert, and perhaps a fun drink in the mix. But it is a necessary part of life and my parents have spent a lot of money on them for me (I would NEVER buy one for myself. That’s just crazy financial decision making, right there).
- Glass storage containers. I don’t think this will come as a shock, but I did not pick up my glass containers and glow with joy. Not even a little bit. I was, however, careful to pick out the best lidded, most environmentally-friendly, most human-safe containers I could when I purchased them and that level of care and attention means they stayed in my kitchen. Most of my plastic pieces are gone, though.
Washer and Dryer Manuals. I know Marie tells us to get rid of manuals since they are all available online. I agree for the most part. I have, however, had to pull out my washer manual before because the fix it guy needed to consult the electrical diagram attached to the package. Apparently, they are not easy to find, depending on the manufacturer, so it’s best to keep them around.