Letter from Publisher: Dear Home
When guests arrive at my modest home, they often comment on what a peaceful, lovely oasis I’ve created. Some know how much TLC it needed two years ago when I discovered it in one my favorite Naples neighborhoods.
Looking around, I recall the decisions that went into selecting flooring, cabinets, colors, furnishings and landscape plantings. The biggest change was allowing fresh energy to move through the property and pausing to intuit what this special place and I wished to be, feel and express in this collaborative haven.
At the time, I was on a quest for more peace in my life. Having already moved twice that year, I’d come to recognize how much precious time I was spending moving stuff around; at the same time, I found myself resisting the release of many things that had already served their purpose. Such stuff was not only cluttering my house, it was cluttering my mind.
So I loved discovering Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is striking a chord with thousands of people around the world, permanently changing their lives for the better. You’ll find April Thompson’s interview with the author as well.
Kondo lays out a radically fresh, two-pronged approach. First, put your hands on each item you own and ask yourself if it sparks joy; if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and pass it along for use by someone else. Second, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible and easy to use and put back.
Following the recommended method of sorting a single category at a time, I began with clothing. More than half of my former clothes have since found new homes, and what’s left is hung or folded Kondo-style, which means no messy piles or overcrowded closets—even my socks seem happier.
So far, I’ve worked my way through half of the designated categories, with the end goal of living in a space that contains only things that speak to my heart. Now, when I arrive home after being away, I feel impelled to say, “Hello house. I love you.” Because I do!
Lifelong tidying expert Kondo holds that when we put our house in order, we put our affairs and our past in order, too. As a result, we see more clearly what we need in life and what we don’t; what is best for us to do or not do.
May this month’s Everyday Sustainability issue, timed to honor Earth Day, remind us all of the beauties and benefits of caring for our own home and what it teaches us about caring for Mother Earth, our collective home. When we clear our lives of unwanted stuff, we naturally want to stay clear of toxins in our food and water and every other aspect of our dear abode. It also clears the way for us to act powerfully in the larger world. I recommend starting by taking a barefoot beach walk and telling the Gulf of Mexico how much you love her.
To sparking joy,
Sharon Bruckman, Publisher