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"No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important." On Sunday, Facebook memories reminded me that it was a year ago since I had read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and started to KonMari my entire apartment. Over the next couple of months I took everything out of my closets, everything out from below my bed, everything out from my kitchen cabinets, and sorted through each and every thing, one by one. I held every item I owned in my hands, felt every...

It's been about two months since I "finished" KonMari-ing my apartment. I put finished in quotes here because I'm technically not all the way through with my tidying. I still have a shelf full of photo albums and other mementos that I am getting through. Slowly. Those things, being the most sentimental of things, and of a pretty large category, will take a while still to sort. But those things are out of the way and not highly utilized. So. Whatever. But I still wanted to explore whether, two month later, I actually think the KonMari method works. I mean, I...

"I don't have to do this!" I yelled at the box. And, it's true, I don't have to do this. I don't have to clean my apartment. I don't have to organize everything I own. I don't have to throw anything away. I don't have to throw everything away. I don't have to hang my dresses in an ascending line. I don't have to fold my underwear. I don't have to do this. I don't have to do any of this. I started "KonMari"-ing my life about two weeks ago. After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I went through my clothes...

I spend my entire life cleaning. OK, maybe that's an overstatement. But, no, I spend my entire life cleaning. Or, at least, thinking that maybe I should clean. There's always laundry that somehow gathers in a pile next to the hamper. There's always a sink full of dishes that cascades onto the kitchen counter. There's always a trail of litter on the floor that I'll sweep up tomorrow. Maybe. There's always hair in the drain or a closet door that won't quite close or an empty can of Coke on the nightstand or a sheet corner that has come loose. There's...

Not all of the things we want to do in life are monumental. Sometimes, a life goal might be seemingly small, simple, mundane, but something we want to accomplish all the same. I've been hoarding cooking magazines for as long as I could remember. In high school, college, I had stacks and stacks of Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Martha Stewart Living on my shelves. I had a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens when I was in grade school. I still have a subscription to Food & Wine. At one point, long ago, the stacks started taking over my room. So I...

After cleaning out everything from the bedroom at my mom's house it was time to tackle the attic. That's where the real treasures were: the stuff I threw into boxes after high school and after college like those piles of text books and papers I was convinced would be vital references later in life. Those went straight into the trash. And there were so many things I'd forgotten I had. Like a giant stuffed horse that was a mascot of out high school speech team (and my speech team sweatshirt)… And a turtle Mat gave me when he returned from Florida the summer...

Last year I started the massive project of sorting through my life. As I'm getting ready to leave for a year to travel I don't want to leave a mess and certainly don't want to come back to one. I still have so much stuff at my mom's place. Years and years worth of everything. It's amazing too because I have almost nothing from before 1999 when our house burned down. I couldn't even image how much I would have if not for that. A couple of Sundays ago I spent the entire day finishing up cleaning my old room. I...

Garage sales freak me out. There, I said it. I've never really been someone who likes to rummage through others old things. I like things that are shiny and new and am one of those people who often buys something and then will wait a really long time before I actually use it because, if I do use it, then it won't be new anymore. I think that's a sign of hoarding. Apparently I went to clean up my mom's place at the right time. Because last weekend my mom's block was having a garage sale. She wasn't going to participate at...

Fact: anyone who watches an episode or two of Hoarders or Hoarding will immediately start cleaning. I don't know if there's been any formal research done on the matter, but everyone who brings up the show asserts that same thing. We're all afraid of becoming one of those people. When I left my parents' house I left my bedroom in one big old mess. Since Heather and I basically got an apartment on a Wednesday and moved in on the Saturday I pretty much left behind piles of stuff just about everywhere and overturned boxes and un-folded laundry. And over time the...