I have really been struck with de-cluttering fever, starting with my sewing room, thanks to this little gem of a book:
The key is picking up each item individually and deciding whether that object "sparks joy" - tokimeki is the Japanese word for that feeling.
Once I started, this pile grew and grew and grew... leaving me with only the fabric and objects I really, really like. What a GREAT feeling.
I "filed" my fabric, too, which is something I just had never thought to do. Not perfectly, but well enough that I can actually see what I have. This idea came serendipitously at our last quilt guild meeting where our speaker Judy Damon talked about how to manage our stash. She suggested this filing idea and while her method is much neater than mine,
Including my larger pieces...
I wish I had a before photo, but trust me, this is really tidy compared to how it was before!
I did the same sorting and "filing" with my reproduction fabrics - the raw materials for my Stars in a Time Warp. Once the stars are finished I will reincorporate these fabrics into the bins by color.
Before I was even finished with this decluttering, I found some UFO blocks from many years ago (when my friend and I taught a Block of the Month class to some church group ladies).
These blocks absolutely still "spark joy"... so I kept them, and started piecing them into a sampler.
It is just a pleasure to work in my newly decluttered space!
*a little more about the book:
Aspects of Kando's philosophy might feel whimsical and fanciful, even silly, to Western eyes - but it is very Shinto in the way she anthropomorphizes objects. Respectful of physical surroundings and objects. So Japanese, and so practical, and really revolutionary. It's about carefully curating your stuff rather than repeatedly re-organizing your same old too much stuff. Respecting your things, even realizing the sacredness in them.
I can tell you, it felt wonderful to really pare down the stuff in my sewing room. I mean really, really pare down. I do feel joy in that room now, more than ever before.
As for our home in general, I think living in a small apartment in Tokyo for two years taught us that we don't need a lot of stuff, and that it's actually very freeing to have very few things. When we returned to the U.S., we really decluttered, gave away about 80% of our books, rented a dumpster, the whole works.
But now we want to go back and use the "does this spark joy?" rule and declutter even further.
If you have read the book I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!