January 2018

With my new book, Tidy now out on Kindle, I have been reflecting on some of the research that did not make it into the narrative, but which was quite important in helping me complete the tidying task I had set myself.

The key for me is discussed in one of the last sections of the book, headed 'let go in stages'.

First of all, if we want to be able to let go of our possessions, it is helpeful to understand why we become so attached to them in the first place.

Take a look at the video below (external link here), or see if you can get hold of a copy of issue 18 of NewPhilosopher to read a range of articles on this topic.

Once we understand that our attachment to possessions is all in our minds (things are only valuable to us because we have made them so), we simply need to learn to think the opposite.

Easier said than done.

My strategy for this is to let go in stages: put things out of sight, and if I've not thought about them in a year then give them away. It was helpful that I had a loft where I could put things, as otherwise this might have been unmanageable.

If you're interested in reading more about disposal strategies and cultural attitudes to possessions, take a look at this academic article by Kevin Hetherington, titled Secondhandedness: consumption, disposal, and absent presence (2004), available to read from Cite Seer X and Sage Journals.

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