[Warning: Possibly NSFW content. Copious sexual innuendo ahead. If you are one who is easily offended or does not have a sense of humor, you may close this window now.]
On my soft white sheets, on the hardwood floor, on the cold marble tabletop, in my clear, glass shower, or against my teal and Tiffany blue walls, I have found myself emitting squeals of delight with the experience of these clean surfaces through the glorious release of de-cluttering.
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you how I worked up the strength to push through with my mission on my mess, got my heart pumping to an exhilarating peak, followed by a feeling of calm satisfaction and bliss that may arguably be better than sex.
The Cosmo of de-cluttering
I have always believed in living a simple lifestyle, of not buying more than you really need to consume, and giving stuff away when you no longer need them. However, when I actually tried it out for myself, while simultaneously reading New York Times Bestselling author Marie Kondo’s “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up”, it had become so much clearer what I had been doing wrong all these years. Here are my key lessons for you de-cluttering virgins:
- Make an event out of it.
Some people like to be spontaneous and not have to plan every sexual encounter, but when it comes to de-cluttering, you really have to set the stage for it and decide that you will be blocking out huge amounts of time to quite literally make your home’s guts explode, emptying all your drawers and cabinets to the point of making your space un-livable until you’ve really faced all the stuff you’ve accumulated. No room for 15-minute quickies here.
- Take it slow, and keep only that which truly “sparks joy”
Not unlike sexual foreplay, it’s about going through every nook and cranny and seeing which spots can truly get you excited. And trust me, there are many reasons to get excited and occasionally give out gasps of pleasure: whether it’s unearthing a set of keys you’ve been looking for forever, finding an important set of documents that got buried amidst other piling papers, rediscovering your old paint / photography / (insert awesome hobby here) set…and therefore being encouraged to revisit that erogenous zone again.
Again, it is important to take things you wish to keep in your hands one by one, and really ask yourself, does this make me smile? Does it help me? Does it improve my quality of life? What does it mean to me to keep this? And then set aside the other stuff for giving away or disposing / recycling.
- Take it off, and take out the big boys.
You can start with your clothes first as that’s usually the easiest for people to part with. 😉 Then, Kondo fails to mention this in her book, but I say that early on in the process, it is important to get rid of excess furniture/cabinets/drawers too, because the more stuff you have to put stuff into or onto, guess what? The more stuff you tend to keep or leave cluttered on various surfaces in your home. When you whip the big stuff out, and see how much space you’ve managed to clear, you might be surprised with how thrilled you might feel immediately.
- Experience release, and (maybe) pimp your discarded stuff
Part of what makes parting with some of your stuff difficult is that you do love them and value them, except that they really have no more space in your life the way they used to. And that’s okay. We grow, we change, we move on, and this doesn’t mean that that item, or more importantly, the memories that lie within that item cease to exist. Thank them for the part they played in your life and learn to let them go.
Furthermore, I’ve found that having real respect and reverence for the things we own is not about holding onto them so closely, but instead, possibly finding new owners for them who will treat them better and give them the love and attention they truly deserve. #hugot
(Note: please don’t take this as me subliminally advising you to go around pimping your exes too, it should be sufficient enough to let them go.)
- Enjoy some post-coital cuddling
Once you’ve had your fun rediscovering those “pleasure centers” in the things you own and taken the journey all the way to the climax of release, you’ll find there is great joy in looking back at all the room you’ve now created in your personal space, and in your life. Relish it, and use that time to acknowledge yourself for a fine, fine job.
- Make your space a perpetual love den
After going through the process, and becoming an inevitable de-cluttering lover, your living space now becomes a place where you can, at any time you want, really pursue the things you love (bearing in mind that I am not referring to a person, in case that needs to be made explicit). No more looking for your stuff amidst your mess, or working up the energy to “set up the space” for you to work, write, read, paint, cook or whatever, because now, in your new space, you are freer, more able and empowered to do what you love at any time you choose.
Go out and do it
I’ve believed theoretically that de-cluttering can reap amazing psychological benefits, boost your productivity, focus, and yup, happiness, but it wasn’t until I finally fully committed to the process that I now know the real joy of true space and freedom. I could go on and on gushing about this newfound lover that is better than anything I might find on Tinder at this point in my life, but instead, I encourage you to go and make this happen for yourself too.
If you need more tips, I’m ready to dish out more how-to’s and resources for de-cluttering virgins. And if you’ve actually gone out and done it, then by all means, do share your juicy details. 😉
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Horn is a wanderer, writer, and founder of MUNI, a community for mindful living. Through MUNI, she empowers people to think critically yet compassionately, to ask questions about how they live and work in a more socially and environmentally conscious way. She writes about psychology, wellness and the environment, and finds joy in diving, biking and tita things like preparing food and decluttering. Follow her at @nomadmanager.