Not what I was looking for, but a pretty good book for newbies
I'm in the awkward position of not really caring for or enjoying a book that objectively is pretty great. Part of the problem is that I have a semi-secret fondness for reading self help books from the "life improvement" and productivity enhancing end of the scale. If you have read most of the classics in this genre (books like It's All Too Much, Getting Things Done, and Your Money Or Your Life) you probably will not find very much new content here. I also felt like the book often veered away from the goal of "getting rid of stuff" and into the usual tips and tricks.
But is that a bad thing? These books are classics because they have great advice. And Dinah Sanders has distilled these books down to their most useful essence, saving you the sometimes-exasperating experience of wading through books that are 10% "one good idea," and 90% "expanding upon that one good idea." For those who have not read the entire panoply of this sort of self-help book, Discardia is practically a library in and of itself.
As for myself, I was hoping for more inspiration and help with getting rid of stuff - not just physical stuff, but all of it. Relief from the incessant "busy-ness" that is slowly but steadily corroding our quality of life. I was excited by the idea of a Discardia holiday four times a year, one at each solstice and equinox.
Ironically, the actual Discardia holidays seem to suffer from an overabundance of ideas. This is where the book could have most used being trimmed down to a single, clear, concise slogan. Instead we have collections of bullet points for each Discardia, where the hopelessly overwhelmed (like myself) might prefer something simpler to grasp. More clarity of purpose, if you will.
There are a lot of things to like about Discardia. I very much appreciate the way that Sanders never talks down to the audience, or gets too sentimental and sappy. The language is clear, frank, and honest. And even though I felt like I had read most of it before, I encountered a phrase that made me laugh with recognition. "Stasis chamber." Yes, I realized that I have several of those around my home, and it inspired me to go on a big decluttering binge the very next day.
If you need help letting go of things - and don't we all? - this is probably a good book to read along the way. Maybe it's just that I need graduate-level assistance, having plowed through all the undergrad texts already. Isn't that a depressing thought? Let us not speak of it any further.