Lots of people are talking about this book because it takes that Fight Club quote about your stuff owning you and walks you through a plan of how to free yourself from your worldly possessions without making soap...well, you know the plot of Fight Club. The writing can be filled with a carefree lightness followed by a section titled "Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely." Instead of rehashing all that you've already heard about the book, here are some points from this book that have stuck with me over the last 6 months.
1. Having a home within your home for everything you own is exhausting. You will want less stuff so you won't need a new perfect place the next time you buy something. Owning organizers and storage bins are just distractions from the fact your belongs are taking valuable time and attention away from your life. Having fewer objects to maintain gives you more time to enjoy being in the world.
2. Folding clothes into flat rectangles and stand them on the narrow ends takes time but much less space. You will be able to find everything more easily and it's super compact. The chapter about how to properly fold clothing is incredibly moving and worth reading from a purely literary perspective.
3. I'm never going to read that. In my mind, I read everything I buy. My apartment would speak the truth in a way that made me feel guilt instead of interest when I saw a magazine from 2 months ago with that article I meant to read. Donating books is amazingly freeing. Most magazine content is available online after the issue is no longer current and it's easy to order a book when you want to read it. I still have a large bookcase but it now holds fewer books and displays more objects I love. Less room for books means more room for life.
4. Put it away before you sit down. When you come home, the last thing you want to do is work. By taking that extra minute or two, you free yourself from the morning struggle to find your wallet. Unpacking your bag, dealing with work clothes, and opening the mail is going to feel more like a chore than a habit after you've been home for 5 minutes so don't wait.
5. Keep items that multitask but the jobs are beauty and love as well as function. The promise of this book is, if you surround yourself with objects that bring you joy that your life will be full of joy. You can be your most authentic self at home. If you fill your home with space to be that person, you don't need much more than that. This perspective makes it easier to part with aspirational items like a lamp that needs to be rewired from the Brooklyn Flea... in 2010.
This book does an excellent job of offering ways to edit out objects that are no longer worth the space they take up in your home. The important part of anyone picking up and reading a book about how to make your home more livable is the desire in you to improve.