To Purge, Or Not To Purge?

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Cleaning is not a picnic in the park; for that matter, it’s not many things. Most things are not more things than they are things. But, in essence, cleaning takes grit and perseverance. It’s something that has to come everyday– at least that’s how it seems to the average American citizen. A while ago I had a friend tell me about a website called Blogging For Books (You should  check it out.), and it has been quite an exciting experience ever since. This website is for bloggers to receive books and then write a review of them in exchange. I have found several books about cleaning as of late, and have learned quite a bit of useful information from them.

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781607749721?height=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif On first starting this book I was delighted at Marie Kondo’s bright, optimistic style; her book inspires one to get in there and do it. The book is neat and and small, and the drawings are simple and cute. It is just the thing to cause one to re-organize one’s drawers, look through one’s closet, and even tidy one’s whole house. As someone who has kept my room tidy for a long time, I still found this to be a powerful resource and a strong inspiration to decorate and tidy just for fun. This, no doubt, comes from the author’s obsession with cleaning.
The writer is very passionate about cleaning and tidying, so much so that she spills over the edge to worshiping stuff. Kondo’s whole method is to grab stuff and hold it, even hug it, and if you have this reverberating thrill of joy you are supposed to keep it; if not she says to discard it, after thanking it for the job it has played in your life. Her method goes too far and though its main idea is effective, getting rid of the things you don’t actually like, this spark of joy coming deep from your soul bothers me. The author treats stuff much like it is alive, acting like objects can feel emotions; she speaks of hurting stuff’s feelings and says to speak to your things. If it’s a necessary possession but does not spark joy, she says to speak positively to it and praise it, and you will eventually find joy in it. So as a warning, before diving into this book keep your mind sharp. Kondo has fabulous advice and marvelous Japanese folding methods that have changed my drawers forever, but she has some things that are to be questioned.
I will definitely keep this book on my shelf. It has so many fabulous tips that have completely flipped my thinking. Without this modernistic point of view from the author, I would have nothing but good things to say of this book.

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601427960?height=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif The more of less is a completely different view. Joshua Becker’s idea is instead of getting rid of stuff so you can enjoy the fun things you have, he focuses of minimizing your stuff so that you can focus on more important things in your life like family, or hobbies. This is the best cleaning book I have ever read. I have seen many books with eye-catching titles and sharp theses, ones with headlines that promise huge things. This book is no different except that it is actually possible. Gone are the passing dreams of a clean house; Joshua Becker gives strong advice, advice that simply makes sense.
He tells his story in an entertaining, inspiring fashion which not only causes the reader to want to keep reading but creates a desire to have the same life-changing experience of owning less.
Other cleaning books inspire me. They make me want to clean my room, but the inspiration soon fades, the excitement wears thin before one has hardly begun. That is because they do not go to the core of why one is cleaning in the first place, and what’s keeping one from parting with stuff. The very first thing that Becker deals with is why we feel we must keep all our stuff. He gives several common options that cause one to start thinking deeper than just the first layer of thoughts.
I have tried Becker’s method in my own room and it has worked delightfully well. Becker is right when he says that when one only begins getting rid of excess stuff, there is such freedom that comes and causes sorting to become easier and easier. I no longer ask the questions, “Do I like this?” and “Is this useful?” Now I have found inherent comfort in, “Why do I have this?” “Is this really important?” and “Is this really necessary?” Becker has strong ideas, excellent writing, and good moral values. He has caused me to question my connection to stuff and has fully introduced me to the value of the more of having less.

Well, are you ready to start cleaning?

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