The life-changing magic of a vacation

Over the winter I decided if I didn’t plan a getaway, it would not happen. My boyfriend wanted the beach, and I wanted to explore Brimfield Antique Show. We combined the best of both worlds. He found a beach hotel in Cape Cod. I found a lake cottage near Brimfield, Massachusetts.

Spending time at the beach on Cape Cod is part of the life-changing magic of a vacation for Claudia.
Spending time at the beach on Cape Cod is part of the life-changing magic of a vacation for Claudia.

While packing, I grabbed Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The Kondo method involves tackling one category at a time.

She lost me with the clothes folding. I have a walk-in closet with plenty of room to hang clothes, why would I want to file them in drawers? Kondo suggests holding each item and asking if it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go.

The section that struck me was the papers. I could NOT wait to get back home and tear apart my office. Why hold onto so many papers that I have not touched in years? Need information? Google it. My goal is to get rid of my file cabinet. This is a breakthrough!



Once we got to the lake house, I looked up tips on how to shop the world’s largest outdoor antique market. We got up early. After a morning rain, it was gray and damp, but we beat the traffic.

Forget flea market, this was a moth market. Moths were swarming everywhere. The combination of old stuff and moths was quite unsettling. Field after field housed tents of stuff, junk, more junk and more moths. It was exhausting.

Folks loaded up rolling carts of purchases. I kept thinking I should have a cart, but there was nothing I wanted or needed. During the hottest part of the day, I found myself at the Fiesta ware vendor. Every Fiesta color imaginable in so many forms made me dizzy. A few pieces caught my eye to match my collection, but I didn’t want to carry anything since the right side of my body was in pain. There needs to be a pain relief tent. I found someone with Advil.

My only purchase was a cabinet made of barn wood. There were a few items that caught my eye, but this piece sparked joy. It had to be mine! We loaded it into the car after walking most of the fair.

Isn’t it ironic?

I went from reading about getting rid of anything that does not spark joy. Then walking Brimfield, which is really one giant yard sale loaded with discarded bits of the past. Why buy more things when I already have things I no longer need? This made for shopping with awareness. Some items I was drawn to I already owned equates to use it or lose it.

Once home, I ripped through my house to prepare for a yard sale this weekend. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Tchotchke collecting can take years, but so can un-collecting, de-cluttering and letting go of things that no longer spark joy.