My friend Rachel is an amazing, smart, talented woman. Unfortunately, keeping her house clear of clutter is not one of her talents.
So, naturally, I was delighted when that book about the magical properties of not having a bunch of shit all over your house became the most talked-about book among all women.
Seriously, everyone was reading that book. Some people were even gifting it to each other (friends don’t let friends have even one single extra belonging!).
Rachel, however, was not one of the early adopters. Every time I went over to her apartment, I was horrified by her two—TWO!—coffee table books, her refrigerator bearing illustrations of her family drawn by her children (so cluttery!), and the multiple throw pillows she keeps on her couch. I would sigh quietly, thinking of my own apartment, which is entirely barren save for one treasured picture of my cat, Skittles, whom I gave up for adoption after reading that book.
But things are different now, and I’m proud to say that Rachel has finally seen the clutter-free, empty-closeted, utilitarian light.
The last time I visited her, I was thrilled to see that she had gotten rid of every sheet of paper, including necessary tax documents, treasured books (except for the one about tidying up, of course), and birth certificates. Most of her furniture was gone, and even her bed—which had been replaced by a wooden pallet—was clear of extra material.
“I just really feel like I can breathe,” she told me after the book inspired her to purge most of her property and clothing. “Who needs belongings when you have great people in your life? Thank you for giving me this book.”
One thing that made the job easier, she told me, was that her husband had left her and taken all of his things as well as their children.
“He just didn’t see the magic behind tidying,” she explained. “But that’s ok by me—an empty home is a happy home.”