Who Did It Better? Marie Or Patty?

Moving and cleaning and throwing out that is.

We closed yesterday and today we head to the first piece of our new lifestyle – moving into a furnished apartment for a month in New York. From 6,000 square feet to 750 should feel a bit odd. But I lived for years in 600 square feet prior to getting married in 1998. Wonder if it will feel like old times.

Lots of people asked how I got rid of so much stuff so quickly. I think I now know the answer: ruthlessness and a tight time frame. No halfway measures – and for the most part I was ruthless – gone, out, give, toss, move this or that to a friend or family member.


But I still shipped too many boxes to Arizona (new home base of our traveling lifestyle). And there is where I went wrong. I should have limited that a bit more rather than telling myself “oh I will sort this all out when I get back to Tucson”.

I have to admit holding on to something that seems rather silly: my wedding dress. Yes, we all have the eternal hope that at some point we are going to fit into that dress – I just couldn’t part with it. But then, I love it and it brings me joy so maybe it was something worth keeping.

While in a bookstore the other day I eyed The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the NY Times best seller that has sold over 3 million copies. It is by Marie Kondo, a Japanese sensation of organizing and getting one’s life under control in the process.

Apparently there is a three plus month waiting list in Japan for her services – and her work is so successful there are no repeat customers – they get and STAY organized. As a business person the idea of no repeat customers scares me – but then again it is another upside down instance of how life/work has changed since we were the stars of the show.

While not finished quite yet, I got one of the secrets. Let me share it – you may well want to read the book anyway – simple, easy to read and direct. Do not do things in stages. Just do it! Basically where we all have gone wrong is to do the work of de-cluttering in an incremental way. Which, while sounding logical doesn’t work.

When I get back to Tucson I will have finished the book and plan to give Marie’s ideas a try there.

Will keep you posted. Meanwhile, begin to think about the idea of just getting ruthless. Love it and keep it or get rid of it. Upon reflection keeping my wedding dress makes sense – I do love it. Our lives have to be joyful now and surrounding yourself by just what brings you joy is a must.

Would love to hear about anyone else’s battle with clutter and downsizing. As stressors go it beats waiting for someone to call you for a date – remember that now outlandish and ancient behavior? Some problems of an older age really are easier to handle than those of our 20s.