The government announced new restrictions in a form of another lockdown which means we all get to spend more time at home again. Moreover, the old year is almost at its end which makes the perfect opportunity to make the biggest home clear-out of all time and jump to the new year with a fresh start. Decluttering means taking control of your home and life in order to create a home that can give you the right energy and atmosphere. Organised spaces are easier to manage, less time-consuming and can improve your overall well-being. There is a common belief that decluttering your home equals decluttering your mind, as well as decreasing your stress and anxiety levels. If you feel that you are ready but you just need a little help, you’ve come to the right place.
When it comes to organizing our home, there isn’t a better teacher than Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant and bestselling author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Marie came up with a revolutionary idea to organize items in your house or apartment by 5 categories and not by rooms. You can see her in action in her own Netflix TV-Show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Her book and the TV-Show have made her extremely popular and have created a decluttering movement all over the world.
Marie teaches us that we should always apply these 6 basic rules when we decide to organize our home:
1. Commit yourself to tidying up
If you watch a couple of episodes of Marie’s TV-Show you will literally see people crying when they are told to get rid off their stuff. Who would say that decluttering can be that difficult and emotional? But when you think about what has been mentioned above, your own messy home can actually bring you a lot of stress and anxiety. It may seem overwhelming in the beginning but don’t give up until you create the home of your dreams. This may take time so be compassionate with yourself, make a good plan and spread a little bit of tidying up per day over a couple of weeks. It will make it seem much easier to tackle and you won’t be so overwhelmed. You’ve got this!
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Now it’s the time to visualize the home of your dreams and your dream lifestyle. You can create a vision board or describe in detail your dream home and lifestyle in your journal. This exercise is an essential part of decluttering because if it gets too overwhelming and exhausting (and at some point, it probably will) you will always have these reminders as to why have you started in the first place. Visualising your ideal lifestyle clarifies your WHY and identifies what kind of life you want to live when the process is finished. It can represent a huge turning point in a person’s life, therefore, make sure you dedicate enough time to this particular step before you actually start with tidying up.
3. Finish discarding first
This is the very first step of the actual decluttering – to sort out the stuff we have to get rid off completely and not just to store it in the garage or basement. Before you will start with organizing you need to decide what to keep and what to discard because only then will you have an idea of how many items need to be stored. Before getting rid of items, Marie suggests to sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose. What a great moment for gratitude! Another helpful tip is that instead of tossing everything in the garbage, try to sort out items that are clean, not damaged, not expired and in good condition (like clothes, shoes, toys, furniture and canned food) because you can donate them to charities, non-profit organizations, foster homes or individuals. By tidying up your home you can make other people happy.
4. Tidy by category, not by location
According to KonMari method, tidying up room by room isn’t a successful choice because we normally just move stuff from one place to another or scatter it around the house. With this kind of approach, we have no idea how many things we actually own. Marie came up with a solution to tidy up by category and organize this category in the whole house or apartment. You should start with clothes, then books, papers, move to miscellaneous and sentimental items in the end. There is a chance that you will experience an eye-opening moment when you realize how many things you don’t use or don’t need anymore and how they just take up space in your home and in your life.
5. Follow the right order
It is very important not only to tidy up items by category, but also to do it in the following order:
4. Miscellaneous – Komono
5. Sentimental items
For better time management we should organize practical items first and only then go to sentimental items. It makes sense, to begin with clothes because they are usually the biggest challenge for all of us of so this is already a big chunk of work that we can get done right from the beginning. Since sentimental items represent a deeper value and connection for us, we should organize them at the end. It is most likely that we will spend a little bit more time with these belonging and/or have more difficulties sorting them out.
6. Does this item spark joy for you?
This last step will make it easier for us to decide which things we want to keep. All we have to do is to ask ourselves if each particular item sparks joy for us. Listen to your body and if you notice positive exciting feeling when you hold the item then this is your answer. Surely, you can make a connection with an item that you don’t actually need or benefit from it, but if it isn’t enriching your life in some way then it is probably time to say goodbye. Also, remember to say thank you to each item for serving its purpose. This simple and helpful method will create clearer, more organised living space that will surely ‘spark joy’ in your life too.
Extra Tip: Folding clothes
The way that we store the clothes actually makes a difference. Marie has many useful tips for folding clothes in a very specific way. Instead of stacking piles of clothes, she recommends to fold them beautifully and make them stand upright so they are easy to access and nice to display. Watch Marie’s video and learn how to apply “The KonMari Fold” to your t-shirts, sweaters, tank tops, pants and more.
Decluttering your home is a perfect project for the entire family. Tidying up may not seem like a fun activity, but it is basically only one big clean-up and will have a long-term positive effect on your family. You can use this time in a way that increases bonding by focusing on team work and talking about items that bring nice memories for you all. It is also a perfect opportunity to teach your children responsibility about how to treat their possessions.
Are you going to try KonMari method and create the home of your dreams for 2021? Let us know in the comments 🙂