CLICK HERE TO GET A PDF COPY OF THIS POST >>In The Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, she explores her method for decluttering the homes of thousands of messy clients around the world. She champions counterintuitive organizational methods.
Why bother decluttering?Kondo argues that our possessions are the physical artifacts of our decisions. Thus, a messy room indicates that our minds are disorganized. The state of our belongings is a reminder of what we value and plan to maintain. Ordering the home helps us order our lives. It helps us focus on the objects and thoughts that matter most to us. It helps us reduce decision fatigue and streamline our priorities.
Declutter once and for allBecause clutter begets clutter in mindset and in physical order, Kondo recommends tidying everything in one big session. She has observed in her organizational consulting career that gradual decluttering leads to frustration. For details on why, grab the book. The theme of batch processing of organization comes up in several places. You don’t have to do it all in one day, but this should be done over the course of a week or two. Envision what you want your home to look like.
How to attack the clutterLay out all your belongings in categories. Each respective category should be laid out in it’s own respective open space in your house. You won’t be moving your objects from one meta-hoarding space to another. Discard what you don’t need first. Her method for choosing what to discard sounds hokey. But, it seems to work for me. Hold each object in your hands and note how it makes you feel. Do you love this object? Does it bring you joy? Do you feel guilt about it? Will losing it really effect your future? Do you fear you’ll be disrespecting a family member or your own memories by discarding it? If you want to create your home as a joyful and guilt-free place, the objects in it should be thoughtfully chosen to evoke these feelings. How does it feel to walk into your living room and think: “I wish I could get a new TV, but my cousin was so nice to fix this one for me, I couldn’t get a new one.” Do you really think you’re cousin would be happy to know you’re not getting the TV you want because they fixed it? If an item doesn’t bring you joy or a sense of wholeness, get rid of it. Don’t dump it on another family member, don’t store it for future use. Get rid of it.
The Decluttering OrderKondo specifies an order to discarding things, ordered from easiest to hardest to discard.
- Discard everything but the books you love keeping and the ones you are reading. Don’t keep around books you’ll “read someday”.
- The time to read a book is within a couple months of attaining it.
- Using now
- Need for a short time
- Need forever
- Keep them all in the same place.
- Discard manuals, keep warranties (until they expire.)
- Throw away excess cords and spare items.
- Mementos/Photos/Nostalgic Items
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StorageKondo doesn’t like storage. In a contemporary society with Amazon and local stores, it is unneeded. Regardless, some things are prudent to keep around. They are best kept in closets out of the way (mentally and physically). Similar items should be kept together (clothes with cloths, electronics with electronics, etc…) They should be ordered vertically so each item can be easily picked from the storage area without having to dig through a stack or pile.
- Offseason items can go on top of shelves.
- Hang sponges so they dry out. Keep bathroom items out of the tub area so they stay dry and don’t collect scum.
- Keep items off the kitchen counter. This is a space for food preparation.
- Remove words on items showing words. They bring “noise” to an area. Get the book for a deeper discussion as to why this is.
- Bags can go inside each other to maximize space.