Organise and declutter the Japanese way
We're already into a new year, and if your life is filled with clutter and you're looking for a fresh start, organisational expert Mari Kondo shares how to let things go.
Marie Kondo helps clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration and the KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing has become an international phenomenon. Marie Kondo has been featured on many major television and radio programs as well as features in international press.
Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a best seller - with more than six million copies sold worldwide, and has even been turned into a television program for Japanese TV.
Decluttering is a cathartic experience and one that can help you get started on a new path, both at home and in body and spirit. At some point in our busy lives, most of us have had a clutter problem.
The key to understanding the KonMari Method, or to finding whatever method of cleaning works for you, is to recognize that decluttering is about so much more than getting rid of physical things. It can do wonders for your mental health and happiness, too. And with a few changes to your habits, you can have an organised home.
Take a look at KonMari's basic folding method in the video below and transform your life by decluttering and organising your home - and your life!
The KonMari Method looks at this process from a completely different approach - it's all about finding the joy in what you own and letting go of everything else. When asked how keeping things tidy can change people psychologically, here's what Marie Kondo had to say...
Gain greater confidence in yourself and become more optimistic and calmer.
There are several reasons for these changes: your self-image improves as you start living in decluttered spaces, and you gain decision-making skills as you continue to choose between which things to throw out or give away. The way we let go of things in the KonMari Method plays an important role. You will appreciate the roles of all the things that have come to you and experience appreciation for all of them.
The bottom line when sorting out your clutter isn’t to throw out or donate as much as possible, but to make sure that the things you hold onto make you happy.
Once you have sorted out, designating a specific place for items is critical in avoiding a clutter relapse. According to KonMari, fancy 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 on.
Through this experience, you will rediscover the truth that you have been supported by so many things and you will deepen your gratitude for things you leave behind. To share a personal example, I have always had little confidence in myself. When I get nervous before a large speaking engagement, I think to myself that I'll be fine because these clothes are protecting me and these shoes are supporting me, and that calms me down.
Once you start feeling gratitude for your things and your home through tidying up, you will start feeling calm as if you are always protected by something larger than you.
The 'spark joy' standard for tidiness depends on the individual - you cannot force someone to tidy, nor should you try. Understanding and appreciating the concept of tokimeku 'spark joy' in the midst of a confusing and disorderly world will allow us to clarify our ideals, and help us gain confidence in our ability to lead productive lives and develop a sense of responsibility to those around us. From there, we can act with focus and certainty while improving our lives and our beautiful — if still very messy — world.
Visit the KonMari website for more information on the KonMari Method and instructional videos. With over 6 millions copies sold worldwide in over 40 languages, Marie Kondo’s books help you get started with the KonMari Method, or download the KonMari app.