New Year, New Tidy
With the start of a new year, there is no better time than now to organize your life and home. Lucky for you there are lots of resources to help you do just that, including Marie Kondo who is a tidying expert and bestselling author. Her organizing approach is known as the KonMari Method™ and advocates organizing/tidying by category rather than by room.
Her best-selling book, Spark Joy, introduces the six rules of tidying and are sure to help you declutter your life!
Rule One: Commit Yourself to Tidying Up
With anything, you need to be committed and the same goes for keeping things in order. It will take time and effort but the lasting result will make it all worth it. Stay focused and your home will continue to be tidy!
Rule Two: Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
Like William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it” so a take a moment and think about your ideal lifestyle. What does it look like? Dig deep and really consider how you would like to live. Conquering your mindset and identifying your goal will take you a long way.
Rule Three: Finish Discarding First
Discard the items that you no longer need in your life rather than tucking them away in a drawer or cabinet. On the surface, your home will look tidy but in reality the clutter has just been moved elsewhere. If you discard items at the beginning, then your entire home will truly become organized because you are now only storing the items that you actually need.
Rule Four: Tidy by Category, Not by Location
Most people follow the approach of tidying their home room by room. The problem with that is your stuff will simply move from one location to another as you work your way through your home (especially if you do not follow rule #3). Instead, try tidying by category. For example, gather all of your shoes that you own and place them in one spot so you can get a grasp of just how many pairs that you own. Seeing the pile forces you to acknowledge how poorly you have been treating the things you own. From there, discard the ones that you no longer need or don’t spark joy (see rule #6).
Rule Five: Follow the Right Order
Not only is it critical that you tidy by category but you should also follow the correct order → clothing, books, papers, komono (misc items), and finally sentimental items. There is a reason for this method and it relates to rule #6. Items that spark joy tend to slow you down because you will reminisce while trying to declutter hence you should save those items until the end when you have mastered the techniques of proper decluttering.
Rule Six: Ask Yourself if it Sparks Joy
Do the items in your home spark something inside of you or do they speak to your heart? If the answer is no, then it needs to be discarded. Thank the item for its service and then let it go! It has done its job and now it is time to move on. At the end, you will have only kept items that are meaningful and bring joy into your life.
Marie Kondo’s List of Methods that Do Not Work
Now that we have discussed all of the rules to Marie Kondo’s decluttering methods, it must be pointed out that there are many other methods that she believes simply do not work and our explanation as to why she is correct:
- getting rid of one item a day → this would take forever & you will continuously add items so you will never finish
- listening to music or the TV while you declutter → you will be distracted & not focused on the task at hand
- trying to get your possessions down to a certain number → defeats the purpose of only keeping what brings you joy
- getting rid of something you haven’t used in a set period of time → time should not be the deciding factor on whether you keep or discard an item
- getting rid of one thing every time you buy something new → you are essentially maintaining the same amount of “stuff”
While you are decluttering and tidying up your home, remember that this is a commitment and lifestyle change. Ultimately, your mind will also become more clear and other things in your life will begin to fall into place.
“The many days I spent tidying without seeing permanent results now seem hard to believe. In contrast, I feel happy and content. I have time to experience bliss in my quiet space, where even the air feels fresh and clean; time to sit and sip herbal tea while I reflect on my day. As I look around, my glance falls on a painting that I particularly love, purchased overseas, and a vase of fresh flowers in one corner. Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My lifestyle brings me joy.”
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