When my parents helped me move out of my apartment on campus, they were absolutely appalled at how much stuff I had. First of all, they were convinced it was never going to fit into our tiny Toyota. But with a lot of hard work and strength, we managed to squeeze everything into the car. I, of course, was absolutely squished in the back seat and spent the hour and a half car ride uncomfortable and in pain.
During that car ride, I was hit with this realization: I needed to fit every single thing I was taking home in the car, and there was no way I would've let my parents throw away something I intended to keep. The things I had accumulated were so important to me that I felt like I couldn't live without it.
I've always wanted to live the minimalist lifestyle, watched several documentaries about people living with under 50 items. And as appealing as it sounds to be completely free from material goods, I can't commit to that radical lifestyle. That's why I keep going back to Marie Kondo's KonMari method.
The basics are simple: You go through every item you own and ask yourself if it "sparks joy". Your favorite sweater? That should spark joy. A book you've never read and have no interest in reading? That shouldn't spark joy. It's different for everyone, but this method is tried and tested to eliminate clutter from your everyday life. I've done this method a few times with different aspects of my life: my clothes, paper, etc. It works, but it's not something you do once and then your life is fixed forever. Things that once sparked so much joy don't anymore, and that's the magic of it. At any given time you should be surrounded by things and objects that bring you happiness.
The whole point of this method isn't to leave you with absolutely nothing in your home. Instead, it asks you to face the reality of what items you use and love, and throw out things you keep meaning to use but never do.
I'm not done with my room yet. I'm about to begin to sort through my books. But already this process has made me feel lighter, and if I'm going to be in this space for a few months, I might as well feel good in it.
For more information on the KonMari method, read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, or watch her series on Netflix: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.