Top 10 declutter tips - Marie Kondo
The new hit Netflix series ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ has swept into households across the world, with an increasing number of ‘Konverts’ diving head first into their clutter in an effort to drastically simplify their lives.
The airing of the show couldn’t have been timed better, with New Year’s resolutions in full swing as we all look to improve various aspects of our lives.
Marie Kondo, the personality behind the show, is a Japanese organising consultant and author of The life-changing magic of tidying up. The show pivots around the Japanese-inspired way of decluttering the home and adopting the KonMari method of organising. Through the influence of Marie Kondo, people are discovering the joy and health benefits associated with decluttering.
We took a look at Marie Kondo’s show and pulled out some of her top tips on decluttering and organising.
- Commit to tidying up
Decluttering takes time and effort. There are times during the process where the room may appear messier than when it started. Committing to tidying up means that you have to prepare mentally to tackle the project and visualise your end goal.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Marie Kondo encourages people to imagine their ideal lifestyle and envision their home as an organised and decluttered space. This will help decide what items to keep, what to store and what needs to be thrown out.
- Store by category and size rather than location
Storing your shirts with your shirts and stationery with stationery seems obvious, but you may be surprised by how this logic is missed when decluttering. By storing your items categorically, you will never lose anything again.
- Ask if the item sparks joy
One of Marie Kondo’s foundational mantras is to ask whether or not an item sparks joy to determine whether you keep or discard an item. ‘Joy’ in this instance could be interpreted in many ways, depending on the item. It could mean comfort, a memory or beauty. Whatever the definition of joy in the moment, according to Marie it is important to hold each item on its own and ask yourself whether or not the item “sparks joy”.
- Store items standing upright
In line with the KonMari folding technique, Kondo emphasises storing everything upright to make items more visible and accessible. It is a simple technique that enhances visibility, offering a range of benefits such as reducing the number of wrinkles in clothes and preventing you from buying more of the same item.
- Thank the items that you discard
This may sound odd for many, but one of Marie’s tips talks to the importance of mindfulness when tackling a task as large as decluttering. By thanking each item for its service and attached memories, you are demonstrating a mood of gratitude. Give it a go.
- Throw away all paper
Kondo’s advice on paper is to “just throw them all away” (we would suggest recycling). Not only do they take up unnecessary space in the home, they very seldom spark joy. If the thought of throwing away receipts and potentially useful documents makes you nervous, then you can always upload copies of your papers and receipts to the cloud for safe keeping.
- Store based on frequency of use
Store your everyday use items, such as plates and mugs, in an easily accessible space. Save the hard-to-get spaces for items that are not used as often. This will make accessing your items a lot easier.
- Store in clear containers
This is another technique that is used to remind you of the items that you have. By storing items in clear containers, nothing is completely lost or forgotten, but always visible as a reminder.
- Be patient
Remember, it will most likely get worse before it gets better. This is a normal part of the process. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to declutter thoroughly, tackling category by category. Take the extra effort to give every item in the home a space where it belongs – put the rest in storage.
During the process, you may find yourself in a position where you have decluttered your home, sorted out your categories and chosen a space for every item but there are still belongings that don’t quite fit. Perhaps these items are only used seasonally or for special occasions. These items still spark joy, but don’t fit in with your decluttering process.
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