Sorting out a house or flat full of clutter is not normally high up on people’s list of things that bring them pleasure. Yet, according to Japanese de-cluttering expert, Marie Kondo, sorting through possessions should be a process that’s full of joy and gratitude. She believes that it can be a life-changing experience if tackled in the right way.
According to Kondo’s book, The life-changing magic of tidying up, the secret to maintaining a mess-free, efficient household is to complete a one-off, rapid and dramatic sort out, during which each item is carefully considered in turn. Kondo followers are urged to give thanks for its place in their home and feel joyful about its presence in their life. If the de-clutterer is unable to feel these things about it, the item is thanked for the time it has spent in the home and sent ceremonially on its way to a new owner or responsible disposal.
New Year; new, streamlined home
The New Year is a perfect time of year to begin a domestic de-cluttering process. By following Kondo’s considered method, the entire process will take no more than six months. There should be no need for an ongoing battle to remain afterwards either, as the process is designed to transform your mindset into thinking more carefully about what you allow in your home; anything you do not feel joy from your ownership of it should be removed.
How to ‘Kondo’ your home
Top tips include working at speed to clear large areas quickly. Rather than working room by room, Kondo advises starting with things that are easiest to make decisions about. Clothes that don’t fit properly, or that are damaged, for example, followed by books you no longer read and documents that are out of date and unnecessary to archive. Save precious mementoes and sentimental belongings until last. Focus on what you truly want to keep, rather than what you need to get rid of.
Bringing in other people
While Kondo advises against secretly disposing of other people’s property, she also suggests that you don’t enter into lengthy debates with others about the rationale for getting rid of things you no longer need. Show them how you intend to store what you are keeping, and the new, easier, tidier methods could well convince them to join you in your de-cluttering efforts.
Organise what’s left
Think carefully about how you are going to store the things you want to keep. Make the system easy to operate so that maintaining it becomes habit. Stack items in drawers vertically, rather than horizontally, for example, so you can see exactly what you have at a glance and don’t forget about the things languishing on the bottom. Do the same with paperwork; invest in some sturdy magazine files or similar.
Get rid of the junk fast
The final, and most important part of Kondo’s method is disposing of the things you no longer need. If the thought of doing this seems overwhelming, call in a professional junk removal company to do it for you. This is a cheaper option than hiring a skip, and the company will know how to recycle or resell what they can and dispose of the rest safely and ethically.
What’s more, they will act quickly, clearing your rubbish at your convenience, leaving you to enjoy your newly cleared home, only containing the things that bring you domestic peace and joy.