The joy of decluttering

News > Lifestyle & Architecture - 07 Mar 2019

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo and her approach to organising, we are here to tell you there is definitely joy to be found in cleaning out your home.

Does this spark joy?

Called the KonMari method, this approach hinges on six basic principles and five categories:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
  4. Tidy by category, not location.
  5. Follow the right order.
  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

And five categories to tackle:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

To determine what makes the cut, Kondo has you start by removing everything out of your closets and drawers (category one), all the books off your shelves (category two), all the paperwork out of your desk and bins and so on. 

Once you have a big pile, you're to go item-by-item and consider if it sparks joy. While Kondo admits that this can feel awkward or unnatural at first, she assures readers and viewers that you'll get better at recognizing what sparks joy as you go. 

After you have tossed items in every category, you should have a much smaller set of remaining items that you can return to various closets, drawers, shelves, and boxes. 

Items that don’t spark joy but are still in working condition could be sold or donated.

Why this is a fantastic approach

While a good clean in general is a great idea, Kondo’s approach allows you to really asses whether an item is really needed or wanted in your home. After a good Kondo clean, however, you are left with only the items that are either really useful or wanted by you.

The benefit of Kondo-ing your entire home - which might take as long as a month, as one couple showed in Marie Kondo’s Netflix show - is that once you are finished, staying on top of chores and cleaning will be much easier, you will have more time for the things you love doing and for one another.

Because your home will require less cleaning and decluttering, getting it ready for show days or listing photographs will be a breeze. Sellers won’t be distracted by random, clutter-inducing knick-knacks but will rather see your fantastic home and all it offers.

Moving will be a breeze as you are no longer schlepping around boxes filled with things you haven’t used since your last move.

The only real question now is whether or not that chipped cup you never use but still keep really sparks joy?

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