I am profoundly grateful to the authors who have made decluttering possible. It has taken several rounds of trying the KonMari method for me to get to the place where I saw the value, but once I got it, I really got it. I may be as grateful to Marie Kondo for writing The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up as I would have been if she’d come to my house and gone through it all with me.

It only took me a day to declutter my clothing (although it was a long day), but it took weeks – fitting decluttering between work and kids’ activities – to go through my books. And it took months to go through the category Marie Kondo calls “komono,” or “miscellaneous.” In the meantime, I listened to several other books, including a couple absolute gems – one very funny and very practical book called Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White (not the UFC Dana White!), and another called From Clutter to Clarity by Kerri Richardson.

Decluttering was not easy for me. I probably gave away fifty or sixty boxes of books alone (and it’s not always easy to find a place to give away fifty or sixty boxes of books), endless household items (my kids are still mad about the mango corer and apple slicer), and there are still plenty of toys and books and kitchen appliances in our house. No one would walk in to our home and think “minimalist.”

Even so. Now I walk through our home with a profound sense of peace that I did not have before. And that would not be true without the people who took the time and energy to write books or blogs, or make videos or podcasts. I am really grateful for their work in the world!