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All About Tidying, According to Marie Kondo

Jan 10, 2022
We have used the sentence “Does it spark joy?” at least once. And this is partly thanks to Marie Kondo, a Japanese tidying expert or organizing consultant widely known through the crazy-popular Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. She has also authored a book titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”, which has sold at least two million copies worldwide and is named #1 New York Times Best Seller. Many associates the KonMari Method, Marie Kondo’s approach to tidying, with minimalism and discarding everything that does not spark joy. And this method has sparked a cultural phenomenon that got everyone off the couch and started decluttering their homes. Here’s a refresher of the KonMari Method, in case you have forgotten or were out of the loop when the worldwide craze erupted.
Commit yourself to tidying up.
Decluttering and organizing is a serious commitment. If you are scared of commitments, then do not even begin with them. Kidding aside, it really takes mind conditioning to commit to tidying. It requires time and effort, first of all. And you would not want to stop in the middle of things when the process becomes overwhelming.
Imagine your lifestyle.
Think of it this way: how do you want your house to look and how do you imagine yourself living in it. Are you more of a fitness buff person? Then, you will tend to surround yourself with gym equipment, a bright kitchen where you will spend your time cooking your healthy meals or storing gym clothes that you will often use. Or are you the artist kind? Then, naturally, you will surround yourself with artsy stuff acquired from other artists or made by yourself. There will also be a space where you can channel your creative juices. By determining the ideal lifestyle to which you aspire, tidying and identifying the things that will stay in the house will be much easier. And if you also want, you may also sketch, write, cut out from magazines, or even make a mood board on Pinterest. In this way, you will filter out the lifestyle you will be leading and clearly see your options.
Finish discarding first.
Once you have pulled out the things that needed organizing, it now boils down to two things: For Discarding and For Keeping. Of course, your house is full of items that are unnecessary to you now, however important they were when first acquired. Get rid of everything you do not need and will never need in the future. Keeping them for old times' sake defeats the purpose. It will only lead to stuffing them into boxes again that will only accumulate dust over time. And this is counterproductive. The space occupied by these unnecessary items could have been used to store important items. And the process will never end if you keep on holding onto these items that should have been discarded in the first place.
Tidy by category, not location
If there is one correct approach to tidying, it is doing it in one go. If you need to overturn your house, do so. Tidying room by room will only give you a false sense of accomplishment, but in actuality, you have only shuffled the location of the items within the room. And you will not get an accurate grasp of the scale of your belongings. What you should do is gather in one place all the stuff around the house in each category. For example, when tidying the clothes that you own, pull them all out and put them in one place such as the living room. Scour your house and leave no trace behind. In there, you will see how many clothing pieces you own versus the actual amount of clothes that you use. This will help you when sorting what actually goes into the closet again once the tidying process finishes.
Follow the right order.
According to the KonMari Method, the right order to tidy things up is by category, namely, clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and lastly, sentimental items. Then you can break them down into subcategories, such as in the clothes category, you may sort them out into tops, bottoms, accessories, and the like. Following the right order of things will speed up the process of tidying. Imagine going through your mementos first like all the printout photos and albums, it will take you hours and hours just by looking at them and reminiscing all the events and memories that go with them. That is why the order is important when decluttering your homes because it will save you time.
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
In this step, you are not merely discarding, but more of discerning what items to keep. And when you are in the process of deciding, you may touch and feel, and keep it close to your heart. Your body will respond if that object still gives you joy. If it feels heavy, then it is time to let go. And when letting go of your things, do not forget to thank you before saying goodbye. Just like you, your things have feelings, too. And by expressing gratitude, you also acknowledge the joy it has served you, and vow to take care of the things that will be kept with you.
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