Monday, December 20, 2010

Sorting It Out with Discardia

Tuesday, December 21st, brings a rare treat: a lunar eclipse that happens on the night of the Winter Solstice. The last time this occurred was in 1638; the next time will be in 2094. Alas, cloudy weather will probably obscure the celestial event here in Los Angeles, but there's something else we can celebrate instead that also begins on the same day: Discardia.

One of my favorite holidays, Discardia rejoices in letting go of stuff rather than acquiring more. You can get the details on the Discardia website, but here's the short version, according to founder Dinah Sanders:
 "Discardia is a holiday to celebrate and teach letting go of what doesn’t add value to your life – whether a physical object, habit, or emotional baggage – and replacing it with what makes your world more awesome."
How can anyone argue with awesomeness? And you can celebrate this particular holiday four times each year (between the Solstices/Equinoxes and their following new moons), so there's no worry about missing it.

I'm particularly fond of the winter Discardia celebration because of its proximity to the Season of Spending. By reminding us to focus on letting go rather than getting more, the pressure's off to spend lots of money buying gifts for others and instead simply enjoy spending time together. As Dinah wrote on her blog about her family's experience, "We have traded presents for presence." I'd bet that this kind of trade would lead to a happier holiday season for just about everyone.

This is also the time of year that people are thinking about their New Year's resolutions. I'm not a big fan of those annual resolutions (read an alternative approach here), but I am a fan of making a commitment at any time to let go of the clutter that seems to plague the majority of people living in all but the most dire situations. Clutter doesn't just crowd your home, it crowds your life. It prevents you from living fully in the moment, from feeling comfortable in your surroundings, from using your time to do the meaningful things that would bring you happiness. And it doesn't take a lot of clutter to be disruptive (and destructive) -- just enough to bother you, get in your way, or regularly occupy your time and energy dealing with it. So, if you do happen to make some of those New Year's resolutions, even if you have just a small amount of annoying clutter, I hope you'll add "uncluttering" to your list.

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you've probably noticed the link on the sidebar to my book, Sorting It Out: One Disorganized Woman Solves the Problem of Too Much Stuff. I'm very pleased to let you know that the book is now available on the Kindle for only $7.99! If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app from the website and read any Kindle book on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPod, Blackberry or Android. Of course, the book is still available in print, too. Click here or on the sidebar to link to and choose the format you'd like. Let Sorting It Out help you sort out your clutter dilemmas and put you on the road to Stuff Freedom!

And whatever holiday you're celebrating at this time of the year, I hope it's peaceful, joyful and completely terrific!

© 2010 Cynthia Friedlob

Image credit: All images from Big Stock Photo
Cover design by Cynthia Friedlob


KB said...

So sad I missed the lunar eclipse last night. I hope you're staying dry in this rainy weather! I just came across your blog. We are a storage company in central Los Angeles offering mini-storage, RV storage and boat storage. This holiday season, we’re offering 50% off all of our self-storage units! Check out our web site at, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Dee said...

Ah, yes. The clouds kept the eclipse from being visible, but it was nice to know it was out there somewhere. As for New Year's resolutions, I use the same one every year and it's never failed me. "Try something new." There's no time limit, you can stroll down a new street or buy new socks and feel good about keeping your resolution. Conversely, you don't break your resolution if you eat that chocolate-walnut-brownie-banana sundae (especially if it's new to you!) and you don't have to start on January 1st. It's a guilt-free resolution!
Off to celebrate Discardia!

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Thanks for your comment, KB. Storage units can be a great temporary solution, but I despair for those folks who use them as a more permanent way to avoid dealing with their clutter!

Dee, I like your resolution, especially the "guilt free" part! Unloading guilt is also an important aspect of celebrating Discardia.