We’re sure by now you’ve heard of Marie Kondo, the organizing expert who is currently trending due to her hit show “Tidying Up” on Netflix. She’s made famous by her decluttering motto of keeping only, “things that spark joy and to discard the rest.” Read on to see how her KonMari method can help you earn more living space this season.
Start with Categories
Instead of cleaning room by room, the KonMari method goes as follows: clothing, books, paper, komono (which includes kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and miscellany), and sentimental items. From there, collect everything in that category together to go through at once. So instead of sorting your clothes drawer by drawer, pile them all out together and then work in subcategories from there, such as socks, jeans, t-shirts, etc. Then ask yourself the important question, “does it spark joy?” If it does, put it aside to keep it. If not, out it goes. Remember, don’t start putting anything away until the entire category is complete.
While it might be tempting to get rid of all the toys your children (or spouse) has accumulated over the years, in the end, it’s up to them to decide. This might be harder to do with little ones so instead have them sort their toys from most to least favorite. They can choose what not to keep from there. You can also include your children in the putting away process. The KonMari method has a unique technique for folding clothes. Marie folds them in rectangles and then places them standing up in drawers so you can see at a glance what you have. Show your kids how to do this and make it a fun project for them to finish.
Give Yourself Time
As nice as it would be to get this all done in one day or even a weekend, it’s unlikely to happen that quickly. Especially when it comes to the sentimental items. On “Tidying Up,” it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to clean out a house. That said, don’t linger on any one category too long or you might trick yourself into thinking something holds sentimental value when it doesn’t. Peace of mind from having a clutter-free home is worth the time it takes to completely tidy up your space though.
Put Things Back Where They Belong
Don’t waste time or money searching for organizational accessories. The whole point of Spring cleaning is to get rid of items not bring more in. The KonMari method says to put things back from where they originally came. Clutter happens when things don’t go back where they belong which is why the putting away process has to happen last. At most, you might need a simple empty box for some of the items you’d like to store away.
What to Do with your Clutter
So now that you’ve purged your home of everything you don’t want, what’s next? With gently worn clothes you can easily donate them or sell them to your local consignment shop. For bigger or more expensive items, you can resell almost anything that’s in good condition on Craigslist or eBay. New items you may not have needed or wanted (like that instant pot from your second cousin you got last Christmas) you can regift to someone else. It’s a more rewarding experience when you know your items are going on to bring someone else joy rather than becoming part of your weekly trash.
Quotes from SPARK JOY Copyright (c) 2016 by Marie Kondo. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.