Decluttering according to Marie Condo
‘Storage experts are hoarders’. This quote from ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organising’ by Marie Kondo got my attention. I was lent the book by a friend who insisted that I didn’t need to read it but I was intrigued to see what lessons I could learn to hone my organisational skills. I love a good clear-out so I simply had to put her principles to the test and I must say I was impressed.
Start with Discarding
The whole principle is centred on the fact that tidying must begin with discarding. When deciding what to discard, Marie Kondo recommends that you pick up each item and ask, “does this spark joy?”. Sounds a bit cheesy but what it actually means is that if you don’t really love something it shouldn’t be in your home taking up valuable space. Sound advice.
Tidy by category not by room
Marie Kondo also advocates that you don’t tidy by room but by category. Take clothes, for example. They can be dispersed all over the house so you should tackle this category in one go, the same applies to books. In fact she has an order that she recommends you follow for each category starting with clothes and finishing with the more personal or sentimental items which can be the hardest to get rid of.
My Marie Kondo experience
I had spent the bank holiday clearing out my son’s room to make way for new wardrobes. I had thought that I had been pretty ruthless and had managed to donate and throw out four bags of stuff. Now faced with the task of putting everything back I decided to tackle the reorganisation using Marie Kondo’s rules.
Starting with books I spread everything out on the floor as recommended and ended up with two boxes full of books to donate to charity. Next was toys. Again I spread everything out on the floor and went from room to room gathering up all the toys that I could find and managed to fill two bags with unwanted stuff.
The result was not only a perfectly organised and tidy room for my son but the sitting room and my younger son’s room were in perfect order too.
Stuff is the enemy
Clutter is caused by too much stuff, and according to Marie Kondo ‘we have no idea how much stuff we actually own’. She maintains that ‘until you’ve completed a once in a lifetime event of putting your house in order any attempt to tidy on a daily basis is doomed to failure … You have to be able to experience a state of perfect order first to be able to maintain it’. So start by discarding.
My favorite bit of advice
Perhaps my favourite line from the book is ‘My basic principle for papers is to throw them all away. ‘There really is nothing more annoying than piles of papers; every home has a spot where letters, bills, school handouts etc. tend to build up.
Marie Kondo advises keeping all papers in one spot only and never let them spread to other parts of the house. She recommends a vertical method of storing them as piling things up is a definite no no. Marie advises that everything we need to store things can be recycled from things we already have in our homes. Things like shoe boxes make great drawer dividers for example. In fact, she states that fancy stackable storage solutions encourage hoarding – so simple and easy-to-use options are best. Ideally, it should be just as effortless to put something away as it is to locate it later.
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