I am sure many of you have heard about the best selling book, the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. If you have – keep reading – if you have not, keep reading! As you all know, I am the owner of The Well Appointed House – www.wellappointedhouse.com – and I sell home decor for a living. I adore home decor – I read just about every shelter magazine each month, and relish seeing new fabrics and wallpapers as they are released a few times a year by my favorite fabric houses. I have always loved all things home, since I was a child. However, now as a mother to three children (ages 13, 12 and 10) and two dogs and a very busy lifestyle that includes quite a bit of travel, the things that clutter up my house have started to really bother me. It all started with renovating a home we have in Palm Beach – I went much more contemporary and transitional than I had ever been in my decorating with a less is more approach. No knick knacks – I really wanted the place to feel clean and light without a lot of distractions. A place to escape work and piles of mail and clutter and recharge. I soon came back to my home in Greenwich with a yuck feeling looking around at kids toys, clothing they have outgrown and ‘stuff’ we just don’t need. We have a playroom and an arts and crafts room that had been completely overtaken with a slime factory. (I am sure some of you can relate). This negative vibe persisted and started taking over my thoughts each week – as if a fire had been lit under me to start decluttering. I have spent the past 4-5 months going room by room, going through what we don’t need and donating to Goodwill. There have been probably 20 carloads of items donated and it is such a freeing feeling to clean out ones house. The house feels lighter and happier and it really does help the entire family to have less – we all need less ‘stuff’ in our lives. It also reminds me that it’s helpful to remind readers and the customers who buy on my retail site, for that matter, to only buy things that will bring you joy. Things that will bring you happiness when you see it- a beautiful lamp or pillow. I always say that the fabrics and colors that you surround yourself with should make you feel great. Don’t order a duvet or pillow or rug in a color just because you think it ties in nicely – buy it because you absolutely love it. Keep looking until you find things you just can’t live without and skip the things that you think will be in the goodwill pile a few years later. Be smart with your home purchases and resist the urge to buy junk that none of us need. I am still cleaning out my house and will continue to do so and I have gotten my kids on board with helping to routinely go through their rooms and eliminate items that don’t fit or they just don’t like. So here is the book -it’s a quick read – and I was pleased to see that Marie now has her own show on Netflix. I had it on yesterday in the background while I was unpacking and reorganizing and it inspired my twelve year old daughter to go through her closet and eliminate clothing she had most recently outgrown. It’s a great feeling to clean out what you don’t need!