You’ve probably heard about Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and wondered, “How could cleaning possibly be magical?” Over 3 million people have read the book and the consensus is that culling and cleaning can in fact improve your entire life.
Too busy to read the entire book? Here are five tips to tidy-up the KonMari way and create life-changing magic in your dream home.
1. Make a commitment. Committing yourself to tidying up means acknowledging that the benefits will far outweigh your effort and time spent. This should be a once-and-done vs. an ongoing project, so plan to tidy up by category instead of the traditional method of organizing room by room.
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Picture how wonderful it will feel when you know exactly where everything is and are surrounded only by things that bring you joy. Imagine how much time you will save when instead of digging around for ski gloves or hunting for those specialty, seldom-used kitchen utensils, you retrieve them within seconds.
3. Sort and discard similar items. The KonMari organizational method calls for discarding like items which means to organize by category vs. location. For example, instead of organizing books in your home office, you actually will begin by pulling all of your books from every room and laying all of them out on the floor. Kondo refers to all things as being dormant when they are shelved or not being used. She recommends placing them on the floor to ‘awaken’ and reactivate them.
Next, hold each item in your hand and ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?” If the answer is yes, keep it; if no, then toss or donate it. It is important to touch each individual object to see how your body reacts. For example, you may have held onto a gift out of guilt, but realize you don’t derive any joy from it—toss. If you register a positive spark with an object, that particular item gives you joy, so keep it!
4. Tidy up. After discarding and sorting, organize one category at a time otherwise it will feel as though the tidying will last forever. Let’s say you’ve pared down like items in your kitchen, dining room and other entertainment areas—organize all of the keepers at one time. Store them in drawers and cupboards instead of on your countertop to keep it clutter free. This minimalist approach will help you feel refreshed and organized in your kitchen, and help minimize chaos daily. The author provides comprehensive organizing methods for most items, e.g. a folding method for clothing so you can easily scan all shirts, pants and lingerie in drawers vs. picking through piles.
5. Follow the right order. Kondo recommends starting with clothes first because they are the easiest to part with, and mementos last because people naturally have strong attachments to them. If you decide to start with a different category, no worries. Remember, the entire purpose is to spark joy.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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