By his own admission, Sasaki was "miserable" and "cranky," "full of excuses" and "constantly comparing" himself with others. He got rid of most of what he owned and immediately "started to become a new person." A "happy" person.
Can getting rid of things make you happy? It can. I know that from personal experience, and I've been reminded of that by Sasaki. The other day, I picked up the book and got to tip #7 of his 55 Tips to Help You Say Goodbye to Things: Discard something right now. "Why not close this book this very moment and discard something?" he asks. I did just that.
Looking in our armoire where I've stashed too many things that I say I'm going to do something with "later," I found not one thing but 10 things that I knew I'd feel better removing from the house. A few were trash (receipts I didn't need, empty packs of flower seeds), a few are off to Goodwill (t-shirts I was given when volunteering).
It felt so good that the following day I repeated the process. I read a little more of the book, where Sasaki circles around the concept of minimalism in a friendly, conversational way, and then I found 10 more things to clear out. That day, I plucked them all from the medicine cabinet: expired medication, makeup I'd bought but never used, tooth whitening strips (I used them!), and a near-empty bottle of lotion (that I also used up!). My medicine cabinet and my peace of mind were better for the exercise.
This morning I chose my ten out-the-door items from kitchen drawers. Tomorrow, I'll take a look in the pantry. Deciding to find 10 things every day is both manageable and productive. It makes a difference, but it doesn't take too long or stress me out. So, here's a shout-out to Fumio Sasaki for reminding me that life is good when I'm intentional about how much I accumulate.