“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up
We can come to realize the treasures we already posses in life simply by decluttering our homes. Our focus will not be what we can throw out, but what brings us joy.
Most people avoid decluttering, simply because they think it’s a lifetime job. Decluttering using Marie Kondo’s Konmari method couldn’t be further from the truth. If you do it right, You Only Declutter Once – YODO. If you find you have been repeating your decluttering efforts, chances are you’re not doing it right.
Ways to Help You Achieve The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Tidying must start with discarding. “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But sooner or later, all the storage units are full, the room once again overflows with things, and some new and “easy” storage method becomes necessary, creating a negative spiral. This is why tidying must start with discarding. We need to exercise self-control and resist storing our belongings until we have finished identifying what we really want and need to keep.”
You must complete the process of assessing each and every item before you start putting things away. Discarding precedes organizing which will increase the likelihood of your success. The brilliant Konmari method of tidying teaches you to discard your items by category versus room by room. Reason being is that you store similar items in many rooms. So, in order to properly assess every item you own, you need to see them together in one place.
At the same time, the shock of seeing how much you own is an important motivator to begin your purge.
Discard These Categories in Order
- Komono (miscellaneous)
It’s not easy to decide what to keep and what to throw away, but Marie Kondo has covered that too. You start with your clothes because you are the least attached to them and are the easiest to deal with. You work your way up to the most difficult category of sentimental items, but by then you will be more skilled at making decisions.
Use A Declutter Checklist
Before you begin your project, use a declutter list. Write down how many of each item you think you should have. If you know you have too many jeans, but realistically only need 6, then write 6. Having an idea of what you need can make discarding easier.
An example from the miscellaneous category:
- 2 large pots
- 1 medium pot
- 1 small pot
- 2 frying pans
- 1 skillet
- 1 vegetable steamer
- 1 lobster pot
If you have 20 pots and pans but only need 9, you’ve gained a cabinet!
Ask Yourself If Each Item Sparks Joy
How will you know if your clothes spark joy? To feel the sensation of joy you must hold each and every item in your hands. If every cell in your body lights up you will know to keep your item. If every part of your body feels weighed down, it should not remain with you.
Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Not Sure If It Sparks Joy
- What is the purpose of this item?
- Has the purpose been fulfilled?
- Is it useful?
- How did I end up with it?
- Do I love it?
- Would it bring somebody else joy?
The key to Marie Kondo’s method of discarding is unlocking our gratitude. Instead of feeling pressure or guilt for saying goodbye to our items, we feel thankful for experiencing the joy they once gave us. We are then able to thank them for their service and gently let them go to someone who might feel the same joy herself. Now we can gratefully hold onto what we already have that sparks joy.
Intentionally Choose What To Keep
The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up is so much more than getting rid of clutter, simplifying and organizing. It is also about being intentional with what you choose to own which will have a lasting impact on your life.
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
Focus on Simplifying Your Life
You are looking for a simple, active, healthy life where you can be with your family and friends and enjoy being at home. You’d like to have extra money for vacations and fun activities. There is a fresh new world of possibilities, dreams, peacefulness and joy behind your stuff. If you’ve never drastically decluttered, the chances are good that you have physical and mental baggage that you can get rid of.
Embrace Your Lifestyle
Before you bulldoze your clothes pile, think about the lifestyle you are trying to embrace. You know that you are a simple girl who likes to be active, doesn’t like to shop for clothes unless necessary, likes being with family, lounges at night and doesn’t want to waste weekends cleaning the house. You won’t be needing the dust collecting dresses that hang in your closet, (go try them on – you’ll see! ) You can say goodbye to half of your scarves , the once worn high heel shoes, and the clunky pocketbooks. You will keep your yoga pants, workout clothes, jeans (that you actually wear), pretty blouses, sweaters, favorite t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Once you have honed in on your simple lifestyle, you might even splurge on some new workout clothes, so you can feel better doing what you love. And spending a little more for good quality outfits for work means they will last longer and you spend less time shopping in the future. Your attitude about spending money on “things” will change because your focus is simplicity.
Become Your Own Therapist
Participating in Kondo’s process is like having therapy because you will be faced with hundreds of decisions in which you will reflect on your life. You will ask whether or not your items “spark joy” for you. If they don’t, you will be thanking them for their service and gently discarding them. Eventually you realize what sparks joy in your life.
Items you hold onto can keep things about your past alive that prevent you from being the person you want to be NOW. The stuff you have but don’t really want can keep you stuck in a frame of mind that you are trying to move on from. High school / college pictures remind you of your struggles. Boxes of useless items need to be dealt with, and seasonal decorations that are really just clutter. You gradually learn why you have been holding onto things and why It’s important to let them go. Your confidence grows and you get better at making decisions.
Put Things Away
When your most joy-giving items remain. Have one home for each item and put it in a place where it is visible and easy to get. This is the magic of never having to declutter and organize again.
The importance of tidying using Marie Kondo’s method is to help you create a space which allows you to be the person you are now, or would like to become – not for the person you were in the past. Your space is sacred and only your most joyful items should be displayed.
Your perspective on life changes from one who wanted more to one who has enough which is why you only declutter once – YODO!