Lessons from the Decluttering Guru
Marie Kondo, the international decluttering guru and self-described “crazy tidying fanatic” has published two books on the art of decluttering your home.
The concept is about ridding your life of items that no longer “spark joy”, in order to maintain a tidy and organised household. We recommend learning her methods so that your home is attractive for potential buyers who need to see themselves living in the house, instead of the current owner. We’ve outlined her top ten tips to help you:
1. Assess the joy in each item
Take everything you own from a certain category – clothes, for example – and dump them on to the floor. This will demonstrate the quantity of the items you possess and forces a decluttering “shock” to the system. Then, pick up each item individually and decide whether the item still “sparks joy” for you. Kondo maintains that holding the item in both hands is crucial.
2. Be brutal
Each item you own should fill you with an immediate thrill. If, instead, the item makes your body feel heavy, it needs to go! The end result should be a minimalistic home with unseen possessions. Once you’ve made the decision on the future of each piece of clothing, move on to books, memorabilia, accessories and so on.
3. Implement a permanent storage system
Once you’ve decided which items you are keeping, you need to choose a designated place for them to be stored. The piece also then needs to be returned to the same place each time it is removed to maintain order.
4. Master the art of folding
Kondo has long mastered the art of storage and has a special way of folding absolutely everything; she doesn’t approve of hanging items. The idea behind this practice is to keep all items standing upright, which will save as much space as possible and remain invisible from sight. The book uses diagrams to demonstrate the best way to fold and store household items.
5. Identify necessary non-joyous items
There are exceptions to getting rid of things that don’t spark joy. Necessary items such as work uniforms and tools should be “showered with praise” and recognised for their role in your life.
6. Transform the necessary
Kondo also has some tips to make mundane items aesthetically pleasing. You should, for example, try removing labels from cleaning products and replacing with coloured ribbons.
7. Make time to declutter
Kondo says that she takes an estimated 20 minutes each day to fold her clothes. With no distractions, she takes the time to concentrate on the process.
8. Send out good vibes
For sentimental objects that didn’t survive the decluttering process, for example, soft toys, Kondo recommends using the Japanese purification ritual of throwing coarse salt onto them so as to send the spirits on their way.
9. Don’t spend a fortune
Kondo doesn’t recommend investing in expensive or complicated storage systems. So, forget the trip to IKEA and use what you already have, such as the humble shoebox.
10. Take the plunge
Kondo suggests undertaking the declutter process in one go, rather than drawing it out. Sooner is better than later!
Book in your home staging this September and you’ll go in the draw to win a copy of Kondo’s “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organising and Tidying Up”.