Decluttering with Astrid 8

“Will someone else enjoy this more than I do now?” Each Tuesday Astrid (47), one of the founder of Flow Magazine, writes about decluttering. 

I think there may well be a bit of a Marie Kondo in me. Marie Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant who wrote the famous book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You may well laugh, but the book has sold more than three million copies and Kondo has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time. And with followers subscribing to the so-called Kondomania, she has proved that decluttering is a matter to be taken very seriously.

Marie Kondo is very good in phrases such as: “Does this bring a sparkle?” Or (when talking about your socks…): “The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest.” It’s typical Marie Kondo Wisdoms such as these (found buzzing around on the Internet) that you can mutter softly to yourself to keep you going while you’re on the (decluttering) job. I’ve even come up with a phrase of my own that you can repeat to yourself as you wade through all the stuff in your house. It goes like this: “Will someone else enjoy this more than I do now?” If the answer is “Yes,” give it away; if it’s “No,” you can keep it.

Here’s an example for you: Three years ago, I spent an entire afternoon scouring marktplaats (the Dutch version of ebay) for a typewriter. I was seeing old typewriters suddenly appearing on Instagram, we had featured a lovely piece on the typewriter in Flow Magazine, and Janine Vangool from Uppercase magazine had posted one beauty after another on her blog—pure, delicious eye candy. Anyway, I couldn’t control myself any longer and I simply had to get my hands on an old typewriter to call my very own. The search was fun, and the fact that it was being delivered to my front door for just a few euros more was also rather nice. As was the afternoon I spent mucking about on it. And then, it just got in the way. I had thought that my kids would play with it a lot too but after just one day, they simply looked upon it as a piece of technology dating back to the last century. So it was moved from pride of place downstairs up to the confines of the attic. Until, that is, my colleague Caroline told me about her daughter’s birthday wish list. As it so happened, they had visited the birthplace of the celebrated author Astrid Lindgren during their summer vacation, and now her daughter really wanted to own a typewriter. Caroline told me she was busy looking for one, and I suddenly saw a bright new future for my pastel green baby, which had sat in its case, unused, for the past year. “Will someone else enjoy this more than I do now?” Yes! And there you have it. A happy colleague, a happy birthday girl, and a happy me (because one more thing had left my house). So say it one more time to ensure it stays in your head: “Will someone else enjoy this more than I do now?” Who knows? Maybe one day soon I’ll write a book like Marie’s…

“Week 8 – Happy people”