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Less is More: Objects, Behavior, Noise

Cleaning House can be a metaphor for our lives. | Image - iStock

Ever been told “Just let it go” or “Let’s move on”? A recent Netflix series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is generating a lot of discussions. On the program, the host is invited to enter the homes of a featured family and record the process of cleaning out their living spaces. What she reveals is how challenging it is to streamline our lives.

Kondo has hit a nerve that few of choose to discuss. Humans package memories, sentiments, and dreams within both the tangible and intangible. Most of this toting of the past is redundant and may eventually play a role in limiting the future.

This week I am assessing what “Sparks Joy,” a phrase Kondo uses with her client to discern what stays or goes, in my bookshelves. Starting with the video collections, there are VHS tapes that will never be converted to digital nor merit the purchase of a machine to play them. They are marked for the scrap heap. The books, so many of them purchased with noble and ambitious intentions of still unmet goals, may serve a library or community center much better than this small apartment.

Letting go objects is a metaphor for our lives as a whole. Whether it is greater detachment from the noise of the never ending news cycle or it is giving yourself a breather from emotionally draining relationships, consider the value of change. If an object, behavior or relationship is not sparking joy, perhaps it is time to clean house.

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