Simplifying … Everything

21.3.2016 | 23:21

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Dragon Dispatches from the Divine Dragon

I was following an interesting thread in one of my Facebook groups recently:

It started when someone mentioned a book about how to unclutter your home:  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  I’ve been getting hit with references to this little book everywhere I turn lately, and it kind of makes me smile.

I’ve thought about reading it, but … I actually don’t need to.

When everyone in the group started commenting on the relationship between outer, environmental clutter and our respective health issues, we all started thinking about the potential connections.


Does a cluttered home reflect a cluttered body?  Does that manifest as overweight, poor gut health and the need for internal detoxification?  Could it simply reflect stagnant energy, or Qi?

Or is the answer to that multiple-choice question the proverbial “All of the above”?

Someone suggested that maybe our external clutter was merely the result of focusing our attention on our inner healing processes….

Let’s face it:  If you’re dealing with a chronic condition of any sort, the last thing you’re worried about is how perfect your home looks.  Or, if you are worried about the house, that stress is probably adding to your health challenges!

In any event, whatever is going on with me probably isn’t a mirror of a cluttered environment.  (And I’m pretty sure I’ve got some stagnant Qi somewhere….  Possibly several places.)

I like to think of myself as a minimalist when it comes to my household.

Closeup of a hand writing a message with a marker, possibly for a business strategy, isolated on a white background.

I don’t buy every new gadget that comes along – I’m not into gadgets, and if I don’t think I can use it, I’m not going to buy it.  I don’t have an iPad, an iPod or an iPhone.  Yes, I have a tablet, but that’s because it’s easier to take when traveling by airplane.  Weighs a helluva lot less than a laptop….

I don’t have a Kindle (or any other e-reader), and I don’t have a satellite radio receiver.  (I have the Kindle app for my laptop, and Sirius XM as well.)

I don’t even have a television or a sound system – not even a portable CD player.  A laptop works perfectly well for CDs, DVDs and streaming audio or video.

For many years, I used to hold onto all of the books I loved the most, thinking I’d want to re-read them someday.

(I’m an English major – I will never, ever stop reading….)

I found out two things regarding that:

First, when it comes to fiction, if I really, really loved a book the first time I read it, it almost always disappoints me on a second read.  I can count the exceptions on one hand, I think….

Second, there is always something new coming out that I want to read.  I barely have time to keep up with the new stuff – when am I going to find even more time to go back and re-read the old stuff?

(That said, I have about a gazillion literary classics on that Kindle app….)

What “cured” me of the habit of keeping all of those books?  One too many relocations….

Once I had more than thirty boxes of books.  And those aren’t lightweight, even when they’re small – not when you’ve got hardcovers, textbooks, etc.

Then I got it down to fewer than twenty.

I might be in single digits now….

Reading and student college concept. Woman holding a pile of old books for studying. Female librarian hands. Copy space.

If I’m not going to re-read them, I don’t feel a burning need to keep them.  I can pass them along to someone else who will enjoy them – and maybe can’t afford to buy a lot, and I can donate them to my local public library.  They’re always looking for books for their shelves, or for their fund-raising sales.

Sometimes I can even trade them in for cash … or other books.

I guess when it comes to “de-cluttering” my external environment, I take a page from the larger environmental movement:  Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

I try to follow those principles in my housekeeping.

Now if I can only figure out how to apply them to that stagnant Qi….



  1. Stephanie
    March 22, 2016 | 4:49 pm

    This is an interesting point to ponder “Does a cluttered home reflect a cluttered body?” Great article!

    • daletchworth
      March 23, 2016 | 1:10 am

      Thanks, Stephanie — this seems to be a subject to which many people can relate, and an excellent question. Thanks for the feedback! Debra

  2. Catarina
    March 22, 2016 | 5:52 pm

    Love the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle concept. As someone who has also moved a lot, I saw my enormous book collection dwindle. Simplifying is definitely an art 🙂

    • daletchworth
      March 23, 2016 | 1:11 am

      Catarina — It’s a great concept. You’re right — simplifying is an art, and it sounds as though we’ve all had a good bit of practice at it! Debra 🙂

  3. Linda Osmond
    March 22, 2016 | 6:01 pm

    Excellent insight and reflections! I plan to read (or listen to) the book. I recognize my many “very organized” years as a mirror of the “control” I was operating out of (before my inner healing of past experiences took place). Now, I’m on the other end of the spectrum and need to land in the middle somewhere. I’m sure it will take another mind shift to get me there. Thanks so much for putting your valuable thoughts together for all of us! Linda

    • daletchworth
      March 23, 2016 | 1:12 am

      Linda, thank you for the feedback! Let us know what you think of the book, and all the best with your own journey. Debra

  4. Jace
    March 22, 2016 | 8:32 pm

    Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Love it. I like the tidy book by the way. Great post. I’m holding onto a few books I will probably not read again. Hmmmm. Something for me to think about. Cheers

    • daletchworth
      March 23, 2016 | 1:14 am

      Thanks so much, Jace! is where I find a lot of these pictures. Of course, one of my current challenges is reading many of my acquired books the first time! Debra 🙂

  5. Brad
    March 26, 2016 | 4:52 pm

    Lots to ponder here.

    My wife, who is really into decluttering, read Marie’s book. I’ve been interested in Feng Shui for a long time as well. I definitely think there’s a link between external environment and internal environment.

    Books – I can’t throw them out, I get nothing when I sell them, give some away, won’t burn them, aren’t willing to move with them, don’t re-read them but want my kids to read them one day. So, I store them in my mother’s basement where she stores a few thousand of her own. Man, are they heavy!

    • daletchworth
      March 26, 2016 | 10:34 pm

      Brad — Thanks for the insights. Books — always a tough call. We won’t burn them or throw them away, but giving to the public library is always an option. You mother must have quite the basement! And boy howdy, they are heavy!! Debra

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