I came across an ad in The New Yorker for a book called spark joy, an extended rumination on tidying. In the introduction the author summarizes her philosophy:
If you are confident that something brings you joy, keep it, regardless of what anyone else might say. Even if it isn’t perfect, no matter how mundane it might be, when you use it with care and respect, you transform it into something priceless. As you repeat this selection process, you increase your sensitivity to joy.
I thought of this today when looking for something in my filing cabinet: I came across a file folder labeled “Eatons Account” containing statements for an Eatons store credit card I had during the chain’s brief resurrection, under Sears’ ownership, in 2000.
The credit card stopped working when Sears shut down Eatons in 2002, and so the file folder contains 14 year old statements that I haven’t consulted since then.
Not only does the file folder not “spark joy” in me now, it didn’t back then (although that epic aubergine commercial the relaunched Eatons aired admittedly did).
I suspect that 95% of the stuff in my office and home falls into a similar category: kept around by its own inertia or by a vague promise of eventual usefulness (what if I want to find out how much that coat cost me at Eatons!?).
Given that it’s essentially spring outside, it might be time for some serious spring tidying.