Do you want to live more simply this year? Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love? This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order! Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.
We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo
Who is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes. Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her. Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.
Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy. Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt. While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house. She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months. This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.
Decluttering in Action
Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:
Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately. These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love. This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.
Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it. This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away. For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three. Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.
Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process. Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere. Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten. Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things. Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.
Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers. Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!