I am nearly done reading the spark joy book and found it mostly helpful. I threw away a box of mementos. I have literally carried it around since 1989. A neighbor made it for me, dated and I’ve used it to keep letters, cards, and maps. I kept maps from races, cities visited, mountains climbed. The book says to thank the item, hold it in your hands, then toss. I found it to be true too, most items had value at one point but no longer have that sentiment.
I threw away journals and calendars that I kept from years past, even one from when I was in studying abroad in China. It was the first iteration of me sharing my life publicly. I remember writing in that notebook, then writing it into an email and sending the email to my readers. My friend John who was a mentor in high school, said for someone who works in a cube, my weekly emails were the best part of his day. He loved reading about my life and learning about me from a far. He died from a heart attack while I was in college but he meant so much to me when I was younger and I still remember the joy he found from reading my emails/travels.
I threw away these papers mostly because it is not meant to be shared. There were letters and cards from someone to me. In her book, she says to throw away anything you would not want someone else to read. A few years ago when I found my mother’s journals when she was a college student, I read through some of them but decided to throw them away without reading them for the same reason, if she were alive, likely she would not want me or anyone to read it.
My biggest reason for reducing clutter, 1. to reduce the items that you keep to be meaningful, 2. if I were to die, I don’t want my stuff to be a burden on someone else. Someone has to go through your stuff. It should be a simple process and not take days, months and even years of anguish. When my grandmother died, it took 3 full days to remove 30 years of life from a Chinatown studio. When my mom died, it took years to go through her things. Stuff should not be filled with this heavy emotion but just things that help you in your everyday life.