letting go takes work

I’ve discovered that following the principles of the life-changing magic of tidying up isn’t just a phase but is rather a complete life-style shift in thought. It may seem to everyone else that we’re folding our socks a certain way or asking odd questions about our stuff, but in reality, we’re starting to look at all the external things in our lives with the lens of if it brings us happiness.


If you’ve been working along with all of us you’ll know that we’re on week four of our journey. In the beginning it was about getting ready and identifying the core emotion that we have with regards to embarking on this journey. Week two was the most popular – it was about surviving the great clothing purge. You know what is interesting about the clothing purge is that every time I open my closet I have a bunch of joy because I can see everything. It’s no longer me stuffing things on shelves and hoping that it fits. I have discovered that my boys have WAY too many shirts yet so I’ve been watching what they wear so that I can continue to cull things that aren’t used.

Last week we talked about the crazy emotional battle that can ensue while we work through eliminating stuff. I was pretty honest how brutal some of the struggles that I went through were – from confronting my past to looking at identities of self that I hung onto to just letting go of stuff.

So that leaves us here. Week four. I haven’t gone through all my books, yet. Not because I don’t want to go through the books, but rather because I know it will be a gigantic heavy lifting project. I homeschooled for twelve years so the number of books that I have is quite crazy. But, I think, again, that fear is just percolating underneath the surface.

I think that on the outside I want to have it all together and manage everything well, but it came to a point where the managing took away the joy and peace. It’s kind of like responding with I’m fine and No big deal when really it actually was just too much.

Letting go takes work.


So instead of making it seem like it is just this one day easy thing I’m going to share that even though this letting go life-style may have its challenges that it’s worth it.

Here is what else I learned: I noticed that I have a tendency to attempt to clean by room and not category. That might be another spot that makes this challenging for me. Simply because I really like a clean house and going through this process is incredibly messy. I also have almost 40 bags full of stuff that I don’t want anymore in the garage (it’s freezing here in Minnesota which makes organizing a challenge). I have been trying to decide if I just donate the stuff or if I try to sell it. Now, I’m thinking donate.

So where does that leave us? I think, if you’re like me, you’re thinking can’t we just be done? Do I really have to do the whole house? It’s like mile 18 in a marathon and we’re tired and moving forward is just a challenge.

We’re going to push through.

This is what I want you to remember – real progress takes work, effort and the willingness to have moments that are a bit of a struggle. But I can guarantee you that if we work incredibly hard to push through that we will have many more moments of joy. Because when we have less to manage there will be so much more room for happiness.



1. Read pages 124-127. The idea that we all have a different threshold for the amount of stuff is fascinating to me. Sometimes it’s easy to think that if we just adopt a certain approach it will work perfectly for us. It’s not that – it’s figuring out what works for each of us individually and being confident in that approach.

2. Tackle the laundry area, linens, your entryway closets.

3. Figure out what area you will be moving onto next. I know we’re supposed to organize by category but I did empty my front closet of everything that shouldn’t be there and organized that (everything extra that needed to be organized I put in a box and brought down to my spare room to go through). I’m traveling this week, but when I return I’m making a commitment to go through the books. Ackk.

4. Identify the NEW emotion that you may be feeling with regarding this purge. Mine? It’s almost a bit of hidden overwhelm with FINISHING everything. Once we identify the emotion it makes it easier to push through to the next thing.

5. Start reading Chapter 4 which talks about how to store everything – designating a place, figuring out how to store and so froth. Start to think about HOW you are going to do this.


That’s it! I look forward to hearing about your progress and finding out how many bags of stuff you have been able to get rid of from your house.


ps. If you don’t have the book and are interested in it now here’s the link -> the life-changing magic of tidying up

pps. What are you planning on to do with all of your stuff you’re getting rid of? (that’s just a fraction of mine)


4 Responses to “letting go takes work”

  1. February 2, 2016

    Suzanne Hopkinson Reply

    This looks great .. My 2916 goal

  2. February 3, 2016

    Rachel Ide Reply

    Thanks Rachel for keeping us going on this life changing challenge. I was just telling myself that I need to be done with the clothes portion of this and move on to the next. I`ve done my books (one of my goals this year is to read 1 book a month for my, myself and I!!) so that is out of the way, but the clothes and the papers are still a mess all over my house at the moment. I truly think this challenge came at the right time because for the past year, I have been working a lot on “de-cluttering” and doing it constantly… I`m tired of that. You and the Konmari method provided me with clear simple focus. Joy. Thank you again for that!

  3. February 3, 2016

    Alison Reply

    Hi! I haven’t read the book yet, but was curious why it is necessary to declutter by category vs location. I like to also go room by room.

  4. July 1, 2017

    Susie LaBelle Reply

    So far 25 bags out the door. I’m not trying to sell anything. I’ve learned in the past that that just bogs down my perfectionistic personality AND doing garage sales/selling on craigs list or ebay DOES NOT give me joy personally!!! SO, I’m letting it all go to the ACS and I feel TREMENDOUS joy each time I drive up to the place and give them my bags!!!

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