So you’ve decided to finally clean up all that clutter in your home, but you have no idea where to start, or have just become so overwhelmed by your stuff that you give up halfway through the sorting.
Here’s a little tip before you read on: tidying up isn’t supposed to be stressful. Marie “KonMari” Kondo, organizing consultant and acclaimed author, would rather that people view it as “life changing.”
In her two books, she says that tidying isn’t done to just put things in order; it’s used as a tool to have a better lifestyle after realizing how much stuff you spent on that you thought you’d need but instead are just gathering dust. She also gives a lot of valuable advice and explains the tips and tricks of decluttering very well.
But to make your life easier, we’ve simplified her method into the following list of 8 basic steps in achieving your clutter-free home—the KonMari way.
8. Tidy up by category, not by room
The first thing you should do is to determine which items to start tidying up rather than go through each room of your house one by one. Tidying up your clothes all at once, for example, allows you to see everything you own and make better decisions on what and how much to keep.
7. Gather and separate
Gather all your belongings of your room and then segregate them between two categories: What You Love, and What You Don’t Love. Obviously, you keep the things you love and then donate, sell, or discard the things you don’t. The purpose of this is to minimize the items you’ll be tidying up so it’s a faster and more enjoyable experience.
6. Start with the needs before the wants
Start tidying your necessities first. Begin with your clothes, then shoes, then accessories, then items you use daily, then the rest of your leisure goods like books, CDs, and collectibles, then lastly, the sentimental items.
5. Do it all at once, not little by little
Tidying up requires commitment to finish all you can in a day. Don’t limit your time for it. If you make yourself clean just for an hour every other day, then you’ll eventually feel like your decluttering isn’t leading anywhere at all. Instead, you’ll be accumulating clutter faster than you’re getting rid of them.
4. Get rid of the thought of “I’ll need this someday”
You might be holding on to some things just because you’re convinced you’ll use them someday. It’s a trap we all fall into because we fear being unprepared for things. However, “needing” something doesn’t necessarily equate to “loving” that something and you’ll most likely forget you had that item in question anyway. Do yourself a favor and just let them go.
3. Follow the four principles of storage
In keeping things, there are four KonMari principles of storage you need to follow: fold it, stand it upright, store in one spot, and divide your storage space into square compartments.
This applies not only to clothes but also to everything else. Anything that can be folded should be folded; anything that can stand on its own should be stored vertically instead of being laid down flat; items of the same category should be stored together; and things should be stored in square containers so that space is fully maximized.
2. Don’t equate storage space to how much stuff you can keep
Just because you have big storage space doesn’t mean you can keep a lot of your clutter. Again, gather, categorize, and discard without paying mind to where your things will end up at so that you don’t fool yourself into thinking you can keep more than what you should.
1. Make a happy place
Whether it’s your workspace or your reading corner, you should have a happy place in your home where your favorite things are located. Don’t simply lock everything up in storage bins and leave nothing to display. It’ll help you feel happier about your new tidied up space because not only is your clutter out of sight and out of mind, but the things you love are also out in the open for you to see every day.
Think you can finally fulfill that new year’s resolution you’ve been recycling every year? Share us your thoughts below!