According to Marie Kondo, a Japanese organzing consultant, 2019 is the year of tidying up! We’d like to pretend we could sit down with her and get some advice on how to ‘Kondo our home’.
If it doesn’t spark joy, let it go!
Kondo inspires others to live more thoughtful and mindful lives by purging their home of items that don’t spark joy which in return makes for a more clean and tidy space! The categories she mentions to her audience include: clothing, books, paper documents, sentimental items and miscellaneous.
Putting your best foot forward
Before you move or toss anything, visualize the life you wish to lead with a clutter-free space. Really dig deep. What does a life free of clutter mean to you? More evenings at home with your book club? Finally starting a family? Starting a business where you work from home?
Visualize the kind of life you want to live. If you have a clear and concise goal, the motivation just flows and the steps become clearer and more easily obtained for you! Kondo explains that if you have this mindset when cleaning up your home, you’ll never have to do it again!
Remember, the only way to get started is to make a mess! Take some deep breaths and whatever category you’re working on, bring it all out into one room. Review what you own and what those items mean to you. Like in the categories mentioned above, start one by one and only one at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed. Start with your clothes and bring them all into one room and put them in a pile. Look at each piece and see if and how they fit into your goals for this year. Do they make you happy? Do they bring you joy? Or are you just holding onto them “in case you wear them one day” or because you bought them without an idea in mind and just don’t want to get rid of them.
Commit. Commit. Commit. When you decide to de-clutter the Kondo way, take an entire weekend for the process. You don’t want to try and accomplish it all in one day because you’ll be making decisions out of haste. Give yourself time to be grateful for what you have and send off the items that no longer serve you.
As you continue to go through the categories and each pile of items, remind yourself that “someday” never comes - it’s one of the little white lies we tell ourselves to hold onto items. We are great with coming up with the reasons to keep things. Imagine if we got rid of our “someday” pile and the space we would have in our homes! Kondo explains that our “someday items” are stripped of their dignity when they go unused.
This next step might seem silly, but treat your possessions as if they were alive. How a home becomes messy is by cluttering up the garage with items that don’t have a place, stuffing the sock drawer with more than just socks, dropping our coats and shoes into the hall. Kondo explains by having respect for your items, you will see them in a different light. Look at the use they provide or don’t provide for you. The items you decide to keep, store them so they can be easily seen and obtained. This way every items has its own place.
Kondo says that we hold onto items for one of these two emotional reasons - either to preserve the past or a fear of the future. That “catch-all” drawer in the kitchen is a good testament to these emotional reasons. When you reclaim power over your possessions, their hold isn’t as strong and the blinders come off allowing you the option to get rid of them.
Do Your Research!
Marie Kondo has become a popular household name which means you can find road maps to help lead you to your destination. Sites like MakeSpace created a cheat sheet to help you along the way.
Kondo advises to start and not stop until you’ve finished. Again, it won’t all happen in one day, but it can all happen in one weekend. When you are purging items from your home, you will be pleasantly surprised at how fast the process ends up becoming and if you stick to her category method, how efficient it will be. Those categories we mentioned earlier were put in that order for a reason. That is the best road map to get through your house efficiently.
Clothing, books, paper documents, sentimental items and miscellaneous.
Tidying up by categories instead of room by room help you see what you have and what you need to get rid of. It also helps to not continue to declutter the same category over and over every time you step into a new room. When you start going through different items for different categories here are a few helpful tips include:
Keep like items together by size in drawers
Store items in a way that you can see them
Make sure everything in your home that you keep has a home to return to
Keep items that you use everyday in easy to reach places and items you use less frequently in harder to reach places
When possibly, store in
Nostalgia is not your friend
Purging will feel better than you think
If possible, fold your clothes instead of hanging
Rediscover your style
Remember why you are purging