Thank You, Next: How to Declutter Your House the KonMari Way
It’s finally 2019 and no matter how cliché this may sound, we all know what that means, it’s time to for a brand new and better version of you. There are various ways and rituals on how people embrace the new year. For wishful thinkers, jotting down a list of goals is the perfect way to keep their adrenaline rushing, for fitness fanatics, hitting the gym is a must after that dreadful holiday weight gain, but for neat freaks like tidy-guru Marie Kondo, decluttering your house is the first thing on their new year’s resolution list.
That is the assurance that this #1 New York Times best-selling author also named Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, Marie Kondo promises readers of her interesting book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is no secret that the Japanese are fond of organizing and keeping things in place. This ushered the birth of minimalist style Japanese home interior that is taking the world of design by storm. Decluttering for Marie Kondo means more than just an unattended chore that most people are putting off until their closets collapsed. For this tiny woman with a burning passion for tidying and organizing, decluttering is a mindset, a way of living for people to welcome into their homes.
At 19, then Tokyo university student Marie started her tidying consultant business. Now at 34, she has been dubbed as the queen of decluttering and home organization scoring numerous TV shows and radio guesting such as the Ellen Show and Rachel Ray Show as well as feature write-ups from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. There is nothing new nor odd with the concept of decluttering as it has been present since time immemorial. Naturally, Marie Kondo’s global recognition may appear as a weird phenomenon that only the unaware privileged people face. Yet, there is something about this jolly woman who appears to be straight out of a children’s play that makes you want to fold your clothes and store your items properly.
A fairy godmother for messy heroines and a living saint for neat freaks, Marie Kondo has been decluttering homes and changing the lives of troubled homeowners in her newest Netflix series titled, Tidying Up. Landing her own lifestyle show on today’s most popular streaming platform is proof that Marie Kondo has truly mastered the art of cleaning up and organizing. In this show, she acts as a modern day ghost buster who is not after hunting ghosts but the unnecessary clutter lurking around the average American homes.
From life coaches to tidy gurus, there is always a professional to all sorts of life problems. Decluttering, although seemingly a first world problem, is a general dilemma that irks most humans regardless of their economic standing. True enough, everyone has the ability to stack a pile of clothes or store away kitchenware however, Marie Kondo has a way with keeping things organized and squeaky clean that persuades messy homeowners to finally start folding their garments and storing trinkets in boxes. With just a single question as the foundation of her business, Marie Kondo centers her decluttering philosophy in the abstract idea of happiness. She doesn’t just pick up a worn out shoe and then throw them away. She lets her emotions to take over her rationale by asking herself “Does this spark joy?”. If it does, then she keeps it. If it doesn’t, she pauses for a moment, literally thanks the stuff for serving their purpose and the memories it created then carefully places them inside a bag for donation to let it spark joy for someone else.
HOW TO PRACTICE THE KONMARI METHOD
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There are several reasons as to why someone wishes to declutter their homes. Sometimes tidying up doesn’t necessarily equate to having a messy place. It could also symbolize that someone is moving onto the next chapter of their life and storing away their old stuff is their first step in turning over a new leaf. For some, decluttering is also a great way of being reminded how we may have been taking things, in a literal and metaphorical sense, for granted. By donating the excesses in our lives and owning less than what we actually need, we’ll get to know the purest and simplest forms of ourselves. For artistic individuals, decluttering is all about keeping their homes updated with the latest interior style trends be it Minimalist or Scandinavian.
Tidying up and throwing away your stuff has never been this emotional that perhaps, is what the KonMari method offers that no other technical cleaning method has ever explored. By linking our happiness and positive attachment to a particular stuff, our homes will be filled with nothing but items that make life a little less stressful and dark. As opposed to other decluttering methods, tidying up according to the ways of KonMari encourages homeowners to do it by category and not by location. Starting with clothes, then moving on to the papers and books, Komono or miscellaneous items until finally, to the sentimental items. Just remember the basic philosophy of KonMari and you are sure to make 2019 the year of finding the things that keep getting lost in your home mayhap even including yourself.
Commit yourself to tidying up
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Finish discarding first.
Tidy by category, not by location.
Follow the right order.
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
Check out these Japanese home decors to install in your home this 2019.
CLOTHES BE GONE
In KonMari’s decluttering method, the closet is the first stop. Stack up all your clothes in a pile and proceed to pick up each and ask yourself if that particular piece of garment sparks joy to you. If it doesn’t, then off it goes to the box. You’ll be surprised how much extra space you have for more essential stuff after this process after all, a truly well-organized closet should be able to hold a lot of things. Just think of packing and dreading having to pay for excess baggage, discard what doesn’t make you happy to bring to your journey and keep those that do.
KEEP IT VERTICAL
Using hangers to store your clothes is not a sin but for Kondo, folding them into thirds and stacking them vertically is the best way to save up space and view your clothes in just one glance. Decluttering is often needed for closet as it is the easiest part of the home to be in shambles. Kondo’s folding technique has been causing an epidemic in the realm of home organization due to its easy yet efficient results of keeping clothes in order. By stacking them vertically and even arranging them according to their category and color scheme, you won’t have to rummage through your belongings when running late during the weekdays.
This next category is especially relevant for workers whose office desks are infested with stacks of papers that’s been lying there for god knows since when. For Kondo, people tend to keep unnecessary papers instead of decluttering and discarding them. Label your papers according to those that need attention now or for later, those that you need to keep for lifetime and those that you can throw in the paper shredder. Use various paper organizers and labeling methods to make life easier.
Book lovers are not safe in Kondo’s decluttering method. For Kondo, people tend to keep books far longer than their purpose. If you keep putting off a book to read for later it means that you will most likely not read it. Even so, after reading a book it is unlikely that you will reread it as the memories of it are already instilled in your mind. This tidying up technique however, was shunned by book lovers who believe that putting off books for later reading doesn’t mean that you will never have the chance to read them in the future nor rereading is an unlikely event to happen.
CONTAINERS COME IN HANDY
Kondo is a huge fan of storing your trinkets and knick-knacks such as jewelry and toiletries in boxes of all sizes and shapes. If there’s one thing you may have noticed in a Japanese home is that they love to store their belongings in containers, big or small. This decluttering tip will not only lessen the clutter visible to your guests but will also make it easier for you to find whichever it is that you need without having to call your mom all the time. For people who don’t like living on the edge, keeping empty containers and storage for future purposes is certainly a must.
BATHROOM AND KITCHEN WARS
Although both the bathroom and kitchen areas are often hidden from guests, keeping them clutter-free means that you are not just a pretentious clean homeowner. Even so, these areas are usually the haven where we get to relax and unwind after putting in a hard day’s work so maintaining their orderliness is in a way therapeutic. Decluttering these areas the KonMari way means paring down all items and putting the remaining ones in small containers. If something can be kept or stored away, then you must keep them out of sight. This will give the illusion of a breathable and airy space regardless of the size of the area. An extra tip is to use cabinets by the entryway to store everyday belongings such as shoes or umbrellas.
For Marie Kondo, decluttering should be a “special event” and not a regular chore. This is why tidying up for Marie Kondo is literally getting rid of as much stuff as you can so you will never have to revert to having your house cluttered again. This mindset will not only clear up your space but also your troubled minds and burnt out souls.
Feeling inspired to free your place from clutter and outdated interior styles this year? Perhaps now is the time to revamp your place the KonMari way.
Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR), a Japanese design and build, is eager to help you discuss interior design ideas for your place. Conveniently located in the leading business district in Metro Manila, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.
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