Ever wonder about the high cost of trash that sparks joy? The Marie Kondo tidying up movement has us all decluttering. Organizing the stuff in our lives that spark joy and asking “What is trash?”
If you have a storage unit you may be paying the high cost of trash that sparks joy. Even though you may know how to declutter, you may be hoarding things too good to use that you’re not willing to toss.
Minimalism for beginners lies in understanding the high cost of trash that sparks joy.
Listen: The High Cost of Trash That Sparks Joy
Watch: The High Cost of Trash That Sparks Joy
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
The Cost of Trash That Sparks Joy
What is the cost of trash that sparks joy? There is a woman who has this question, “I’ve gone through all the steps to stop my hoarding. What should I clean out of my house next?”
And so this is a great question, but it leads us down this alley of what is the cost of trash that sparks joy?
Now, there’s a movement right now in our society, thanks to Marie Kondo for getting rid of things. And only saving the things that spark joy, alright?
Trash Can Spark Joy
There might be things that you’re saving that spark joy, but they’re still trash, and you still need to get rid of them.
Now I have a little box that I’ve gone around my house, and I’ve collected things that spark joy. But they’re useless things and I need to take responsibility and throw them away.
Now, the reason I’m saying this to you is not to brag like, “Oh, I have some junk in my house.” But to help remind you that you do too. So there might be something that this will trigger in you and you’ll go, “Oh, I have something similar I should throw away.”
Get Rid of Some Books That Spark Joy
Alright. I went to my bookshelf, and I have gotten rid of all my books. I’m an avid book collector, I’ve had over 10,000 books.
Here’s how bad it was. When I moved to the house that I live in right now, I had to have a special room built for my books. The room had to be climate controlled with air conditioning and heating so that the book pages would not fall apart.
I paid an exorbitant fee for my books. Right about the same time Kindle came into vogue and all the books became online and in my pocket. Why have an entire library of books when I don’t need the actual book itself and I can read Kindle books?
Don’t Keep Trash Because it’s New
If something is brand spanking new, and it’s in a box, like a selfie stick. What do you mean that’s trash?
Well, it is trash, because I bought this in imagining that I’m going to go on a trip and I’m going to take some selfies of myself.
The problem is when I bought this. I didn’t realize that the plug that connects from the end of the selfie stick into the phone is not the plug that matches my phone.
So this will never be useful to me because it will never fit the phone that I have. So goodbye selfie stick. This is completely useless to me, even though it’s still brand spanking new and in the box.
What do you have that’s brand spanking new that’s in the box that actually doesn’t fit or isn’t a good part of whatever it is you’re doing, right? Don’t hold onto that stuff.
Get Rid of Broken Trash
Alright. Next up, this was the head of a tripod, and it helped you go up and down and swivel and all those things. Well, the tripod itself broke.
And this looks like an expensive head of some sort. And I’ve never seen another tripod that didn’t already come with something like this.
So I’ve been saving this for a very long time and I don’t know why because I don’t need it. So although it looks useful, this is a piece of junk, but it sparks joy because it reminds me of all the happiness I created when I did create the videos. But it’s a piece of junk, so get rid of it.
Getting Rid of a Spouse’s Trash That Sparks Joy
Alright, this is not my junk. This is my husband’s junk. Now, you probably have family members that have their own junk, right?
My husband loves to collect Invicta watches and they come in these really fancy boxes. He’s got a bunch of these boxes, but he also has a great big display case all the watches live in.
So all these are sitting around useless getting no use, doing nobody any good. I don’t know why we’re storing them. Junk. It’s beautiful. It’s nice. Somebody sold us on the illusion of nice packaging. But this is junk. Okay?
Don’t Keep Disks That You Can’t Use Anymore
Next in my box of junk as Rosetta Stone. And you say, “Rosetta Stone? But you should be learning new languages.” Yes, you should.
But when I bought this, this goes way back to an old computer I no longer have. And the versions of the software don’t even connect with the new versions of the software today. So I’ve got this whole box of disks that cannot be read on any of the computers that I have.
So now it’s all online, you take your online learning, you pass the tests online, and you don’t need the DVDs or CDs anymore. So you might have some stuff with great intentions and it sparks joy because of what this means to you. But if you can’t use it, it’s junk.
Get Rid of Your Old Magazines
Alright. And I have a magazine. This is a Hollywood Reporter, but it’s just a magazine. And this is symbolic of all the magazines that you have in your house.
It doesn’t matter what type of magazine it is, but if you have years’ worth of magazines, you’re never going to read those again. There’s a new one that comes out every month. So if you are collecting old magazines for whatever reason, as they come in, read them and throw them away.
Don’t save two of them, don’t say three, don’t save 20. If you have stacks of magazines, get rid of them, because they’re not here to serve you. They’re here to take up space, and you have to store that space.
Old Boxes Can Be Trash That Sparks Joy
Alright, last but not least, is the box itself. We save lots of boxes. I don’t know why but we’re going to ship stuff to the family for Christmas or whatever, we need those boxes, right?
There are lots of people that store and hoard empty boxes. There’s nothing inside but it’s a great box. And if I have to go to the store and I have to buy a box to put something this size in it, this is going to cost me a couple of dollars, right? So if I save this box, I can use it.
Well, the point is when you go to ship something if you need this box, you’re not going to be able to find it. Because you have all these other boxes and it’s squashed and flattened somewhere. So get rid of the stuff that you’re not going to use today.
What is the Cost of Keeping Trash That Sparks Joy?
Alright. So what is the cost? What is the cost of trash that sparks joy? Here’s what we’re getting down to.
Lots of my friends have storage units, they have storage units with their parents’ stuff in there. Their parents passed away 20 years ago, and they’ve been storing their stuff for 20 years because that stuff meant something to their parents.
I asked the family, “How long has it been since you’ve been to the storage unit?” They said, “We’ve gone twice in the last 20 years to look at that stuff.” Yet they’re paying a monthly fee every single month to keep that stuff. So that is the high cost of storage. The high cost of paying for a storage unit is not worth keeping things you will never want.
Space is Becoming More Compact
We also live in an era where space is becoming much more compact. And so my generation grew up living in homes that had these big huge arms to China cabinets and all this stuff.
My generation doesn’t have that stuff. We don’t have space. If you live in a major metropolitan city. Like New York, for example, and the spaces are tiny and compact, you’re not going to have a bunch of stuff like China cabinets. and excessive bureaus and closets and clothing wardrobes. Get rid of those things.
Have an Honest Conversation About Keeping Trash
So that is my hope for you for today that we can have an honest conversation about the cost.
Because it’s expensive to pay for storage units and bigger homes when we’re storing stuff we don’t use.
*** RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE ***
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – https://amzn.to/2FPaBsK
Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets – https://amzn.to/2WIedUb
Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day – https://amzn.to/2CPf2D4
Minimalism and Decluttering: Discover the secrets on how to live a meaningful life and Declutter your Home, Budget, Mind, and Life with the Minimalist way of living – https://amzn.to/2YHrNZJ
Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day – https://amzn.to/2HTFvn9
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