Our hard drives are full of all kinds of clutter, but you can’t hold those files in your hands to see if they spark joy

Leaving a long-term relationship, you find yourself standing on the precipice of a life yet unlived; all of a sudden the accumulated trinkets and tchotchkes of​ your life together exist only to mock you in your unspoken grief. There’s no better time to get into getting rid of stuff.

After she emptied our house of all ​that she wanted, I emptied it a second time, of everything that we had grown to want together. I embraced the spartan wisdom of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the self-help manual de rigueur for people who want to want less. Like a barren arctic island basking in my daily hour of sunlight, I proudly embraced an aesthetic of Scandinavian noir-chic, telling anyone within earshot that the drab palette and multiple timber-veneer Arkelstorp side tables were the trappings of a new and more mature me, a me that was as comfortable owning six oversized beige floor lamps and playing at underwear origami as I was being alone.

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