If the sight of this room gave you cancer, you’re not alone. Although this is a more extreme case, you do not need to reach this level of clutter before it negatively affects your wellbeing. Experts from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute believe that clutter inflicts a very real psychological burden on people. Thus, we were very inspired by Marie Kondo’s new Netflix series ‘Tidying Up’, where tidying consultant Marie Kondo helps people declutter, organize and tidy up their homes. We were very impressed by how she managed to carve out a thriving career out of something so seemingly ordinary.
For the unfamiliar, Mari Kondo is a professional organizer, bestselling published author, star of a Netflix series and the founder of her own media company. KonMari Media Inc. For her, tidying up and decluttering is serious business. So much so that she has trademarked the KonMari Method™, the philosophy at the heart of her hugely successful tidying empire.
In her #1 New York Times best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” where she taught that “if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.” In the short term, tidying up and decluttering may seem too much work or even be overwhelming at times. However, there are certainly tangible benefits to this and with the help of the KonMari Method™, you’ll have a clean, decluttered room in no time.
According to Psychology Today, decluttering has the following benefits.
- Decluttering creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy (seeing yourself as competent).
- Cleaning and organizing reduce anxiety as when things are messy, it can make us feel anxious and out of sorts.
- Decluttering can reduce relationship and family tension as clutter is a hotbed for conflict and family stress.
- When you declutter, you often find lost treasures that will improve your mood.
Clearly, aside from freeing yourself from the psychological burden of clutter, decluttering and organizing has tangible benefits as well. Here’s how you can go about doing so.
The KonMari Method™
The majority of organizing methods promote room by room or bit-by-bit approaches, which reduce you to pecking away at huge piles of things. Instead, The KonMari Method advocates that you declutter by category, starting with clothes, then to books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally things that hold sentimental value. It is clear from the success and popularity of this philosophy that it is really effective. However, you will have to commit to it and follow these six easy rules.
Commit yourself to tidying up.
Before your house becomes a decluttered minimalist paradise, it will look worse than before. In fact, it may even look a bit like what you see here. Also, we understand that each family is different and has different needs and concerns. For some that have a lot of items, it may even take a month or more. But whether you live in a HDB flat, condominium or landed property these principles still apply. Acknowledge that your time spent on this will be worth it, remind yourself and your family of the benefits and have an end goal in sight. This will help keep you and your family motivated to finish the task at hand.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Whatever your dream home might look like, it will benefit from being organized and free from clutter. Sit down with your family and think about what your ideal lifestyle would be like. Maybe you would like your home to be warm and cozy, maybe you are looking for a serene or tranquil space to come home to. Whatever your idea of a dream home might be, we are sure that you can find something to inspire you on Google and sites like Pinterest or Qanvast.
RULE 03: Tidy by category and not by location
Rather than organizing from room to room, Marie Kondo suggests that tidying should start with categories. The first thing to clear is clothes. Get everyone in your family to take out all the clothes they have and put them into their own individual pile of clothes. Generally, you will be shocked by the sheer amount of clothes you own.
After seeing the full extent of what you have, separate the things that want to get rid off. From this discard pile, decide what you can donate and what you need to throw away. This will help you clear the space and aid with the decision making.
Kondo suggests that you start with clothes, then to books, documents, papers, miscellaneous items and finally, things that hold sentimental value. These items are ranked according to how difficult it is to decide what truly sparks joy in your heart. Working your way through the items like this will help you discover what truly brings your heart joy and how much you treasure this item to give it a place within your home.
Take some time to think about what things give you a jolt of pleasure. It could be petting a cat, having a meal at your favorite restaurant or getting a haircut that really suits you. Kondo suggests that keep this feeling in mind when you are looking for things to keep.
Feeling the is a vital part of this decision process. When you hold that item and remember how good you feel when you use it, you should keep it. However, if the item does not really suit you or the color does not fit your skin tone, it’s best that you find another home for this item. This thought process applies to other items like books, toys, things you can find in the kitchen and any other thing you can find in your home.
As you get organized, you’ll need a few items to help you with the process, do take a look at our minimalist organizing essentials.
The whole process of decluttering is a journey, but as Marie would say “if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.” Your house might be that bit messier and you might feel more tired in the short term but it’ll be worth it in the end when you come home to a house that you’ll really love.
Bonus: Marie Kondo Teaches You How to Fold Your Clothes The KonMari Way
And if you want to be really detailed and have a complete guide handy, we would recommend this extensive article by our friends at Groom+Style:
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