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Monday, 20 March 2017

Book Review: Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life

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Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life
Peter Walsh
Rodale Books, 2017

It’s SPRING!  Happy lambs bouncing, robins and chickadees singing, tulips and hyacinths blooming, yard sale signs replicating at the speed of light…

Wait, what?

If it’s Spring, it’s yard sale season. Which means decluttering, which means (most likely) facing an unwieldly amount of stuff in one’s basement, garage, spare rooms and junk drawers that just needs to GO.  And if the KonMari* method seems too forbidding then pick up Peter Walsh’s newest book Let It Go to help get the decluttering/downsizing purge started. 

A follow-up to his previous book, the best-selling It’s All Too Much, Walsh focuses on overcoming those obstacles that keep us from getting rid of the stuff in our lives – the difficulties of not enough time, or feelings of loss and change, or family dynamics (oy).  He instead suggests reframing this process as fulfilling, a celebration, a reflective time of renewal. Put like that, even downsizing a beloved and mourned family member’s possessions can feel rewarding, not daunting. Life isn’t about stuff, he says, but there is room for treasure – it just can’t all be treasure, and it’s ok to let objects go.

What makes Walsh’s book a little different is that he really emphasizes the introspective, mindful examination of why we become so attached to our things, and challenges us to think about who we might be without it all. It isn’t as scary as it sounds, and Walsh includes helpful exercises to assist in these self-scrutinies. He notes, with multiple examples from real life that those who follow this process - once the emotional element is examined – feel their lives are freer and their minds at peace. “It’s human nature for big changes [like downsizing and decluttering] to bring conflicted feelings,” Walsh writes. But it’s also ok to let go of “the clutter that blocks doors to somewhere better, the obstacles that hold you back… Let yourself go forward to somewhere better.”
Bring on that yard sale… and find your copy of Let It Go by Peter Walsh. 

*KonMari method as described in Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic in Tidying Up.

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