I started my minimalism journey in 2009.

I recently read Mari Kondo’s Art of Tidying book.

I wish I read it when I started.

I have gone from over 500 items (I became too lazy to count after this number.) to less than eighty items.

I later got interested in collecting technology, kitchen tools, drawing tools, cycling and CrossFit gear, Anime figures and more.

Getting back to a manageable number of items has been a struggle for me.

I read Mari’s book and I realized what was missing.

The missing ingredient is a practice that I previously did to some of my favorite items.

Mari Kondo treats each of her items as members of her staff.

Just like employees.

Her book has gotten a lot of criticism for the question “does this give me joy?” being asked for each item, which I’m not confident I could follow to the letter because my feelings may be influenced by my mood.

If I’m in a bad or sad mood I’d probably end up throwing out a bunch of things I’ll regret later and I have done this several times in the past.

There are items that you’ll be keeping out of necessity but here’s a thought to consider.

If each of your items were members of your staff and on your payroll.

What purpose is this staff member fulfilling?

Is this staff member accomplishing it’s purpose?

Do I need to hire new staff, fire this staff, is it time for retirement?

What is this staff member’s schedule?

Typical questions you’d ask yourself when you have someone working for you.

In the same way, as a master or employer, it is important to treat your staff well.

Since most of your staff members who are composed of items don’t actually need money, you’ll need to fulfill the other obligations of a master.

Give every item a proper home.

This will keep the space consumption down. My phones and wallet stay in a drawer when I’m home. My bags get emptied and are taken to my closet as a part of my winding down ritual.

Be a good master.

Clean, maintain and care for each item. Also, after giving each item a home, it is important that each item stays at their home when you are home. If an item is poorly maintained, it may be time to give the item another master. Some masters, when they declutter are benevolent and some are tyrants. Which one are you>

Thank you for your service.

Like Mari, I started talking to my main items, thanking them for their work. I miss my gratitude journaling for long periods despite committing to do so regularly but expressing gratefulness to my items helps me maintain a daily feeling of gratitude and the confidence that my item will serve me well. Also, when it is time to say goodbye to an item, I thank them for their service one last time.

Thank you for reading.

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