The Zen of Cleaning? Throwing away things because you have a collection that makes you happy, or you have bought too much or you live in a space others might call cluttered are not all the same.
The author of this essay knows that throwing things away may not bring you happiness. Granted if I got rid of a lot of things that I collect – CDs, books and other items, I would have a more spacious home but I would feel as though I were living in a hotel. That would not make me happy. Things do not bring you happiness but collections are something that is a construct of middle class and higher socioeconomic groups. When you have extra money you buy things sometimes things that you don’t really need. I understand when I go on trips, I try to buy one thing as a souvenir. It may be a piece of jewelry, a small memento or other little thing. Small things take up less space and require more thought about where I will put the item.
When you have too many things that needed to be tossed from your home for the big purge then you have way too much stuff. Is the clutter comfortable or life threatening? If you have no place to sit or put a glass or plate down then it is time to get rid of things.
What about these homes – too much or Zen?