The KonMari method is a reorganising technique introduced by tidying expert Marie Kondo. Due to immense popularity, Kondo has published a series of books about decluttering tips, as well as having her own Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. The revolutionary idea of decluttering home mess with joy, fulfilment, and gratitude has inspired people around the world to rethink about tidiness and how it can lead to joyful living at home.
Why You Should Declutter
A disorganised space increases the level of stress for everyone at home. When there is not much room to move around, it can turn your home into an unhappy, hazardous environment to live. It’s easier to live with less stuff. In fact, having less stuff means saving your money in the long run. The finances and energy to upkeep the condition of your items can be burdensome. If you’re interested to make some cash, decluttering is a great way to do it! Start dividing that pile of mess into what’s sellable and what’s relevant for home use.
How to Declutter: 6 Basic Rules of Tidying Using the Konmari Method
1. Commit Yourself to Tidy up
In Marie Kondo’s own words, she redefines the goal of housekeeping:
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.”
For many, organising or cleaning isn’t the most exciting activity, which makes it a challenge to declutter. Periodically set schedules to evaluate the things you have. Accumulating them over the years may become a deal-breaker in attempts to commit yourself to tidy your living space. Better yet, sort out the items in small portions. You’ll have more focus and stamina when tackling a smaller pile of mess. Go through each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. As you do this, you will feel the urge to go through more and more of your items. Without you realising it, you had finished tidying up everything in your home!
2. Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
“Before you begin tidying, take a moment to imagine the life you want to lead. The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. Be as specific as possible. What do the beginning and the end of your day look like? Picture yourself living your ideal life. Having a clear image as you tidy will help you stay motivated — and you’ll begin to create the life you’ve always longed for.” — Marie Kondo
What are your expectations after going through the clutter: Finding misplaced “treasures”? Being able to host gatherings with loved ones? Watching your children play freely on the floor again? Whatever your goal is, take ownership of that vision and turn it into a commitment for you and your family for a decluttered home. When you’re done tidying up, you will feel a sense of personal accomplishment for a job well done.
3. Finish Discarding First
Marie Kondo explains how to let go of things:
“Letting go of things can make you feel guilty or sentimental. You may be feeling too attached to the past. It’s time to move on. So, when something doesn’t spark joy, give it a proper send-off. Express your gratitude, and say goodbye. Only by letting go of items, one by one, can you truly face your past, and begin to create your future.”
What’s most significant about the tidying journey is cherishing the items that bring you joy and putting the remaining to rest with gratitude. In all of Marie Kondo’s tidying consultation visits, she encourages homeowners to verbally thank the discarded items that bring good memories for their service. In line with this habit of thankfulness, what better way to show gratitude for things that have served you well over the years than to give away your clothes, household items and others to new owners who can appreciate and benefit from them.
4. Tidy by Category Not by Location
“Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Thank them for their service – then let them go. People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.” — Marie Kondo
Knowing how to organise your room eases the process of tidying your house. The KonMari Method encourages tidying by category instead of tidying room-by-room. Pull out all clothing, books, stationery and things with sentimental value to see what you have. Go through each category in one sitting to build momentum. When organising your clothes, the tidying expert suggests using the Marie Kondo folding to optimise space in the drawer.
5. Follow the Right Order
Now that you’ve established tidying by category, it’s time to follow the right order of tidying. When it comes to deciding which item to keep or discard, following the right order prepares you for that. According to Marie Kondo, the order for tidying items starts with clothing, books, documents, miscellaneous items, and finally sentimental items. The rationale behind this particular order is because most people have an easier time parting with old, worn-out clothes than they do with class photos. Once you get to your sentimental items, you’ll have an easier time letting go. Inevitably, you’ll come across pictures or notes when sorting out miscellaneous items. In that case, set these aside under “sentimental items” to be sorted last. Remember to let go with gratitude, cherishing the items you choose to keep, and making space for what you love.
6. Ask Yourself If It Sparks Joy
Last but not least, ask yourself if the item sparks joy.
“Feel the item in your hands. Take each piece of clothing in your hands and see how your body responds — see if it sparks joy in you. When you touch an item that sparks joy, your body will respond in this way … on the contrary, when you touch an item that does not spark joy, you feel like … as such, every part of your body weighs down.” — Marie Kondo
Tidying is about keeping what you want in life, not just about eliminating items. As you go through each category, take each item and ask yourself, “does this spark joy in me?” You’ll soon experience the freedom and joy with the possessions you actually wanted.
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