MINIMALISM: LETTING GO OF CLUTTER

Image via @realnjshore

DECLUTTERING WITH A DIFFERENCE

Whilst the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and its follow up, Spark Joy by Marie Kondo aren’t positioned as minimalism, people around the world are easily letting go of clutter and hailing the Konmari method as life changing.

With a cult following that has sparked a movement for finding joy whilst decluttering, the Konmari method by Japanese tidying consultant Marie Kondo, has you focus on what you want to keep instead of what you want to discard.

By focusing on what sparks joy and then discarding the rest, you end up creating more joy and naturally living with less (and those who have decluttered in the past by focusing on what they didn’t want are often surprised to find they naturally discard more with the Konmari method).

SORT BY CATEGORIES NOT BY ROOM

Another major difference with the Konmari method is that instead of decluttering by room, you declutter by category.

Kondo says this is so that you can see what is truly important to you.

1. Clothing

2. Books

3. Papers

4. Komono (Miscellaneous)

5. Sentimental Items

Image via @decluttermumma

Starting by removing all the clothes from your wardrobe, drawers and anywhere else around the house, and placing them all together on your bed, you come face to face with how much you really have.

As you move through each category, you become more and more fine-tuned to what does and doesn’t bring you joy.

Image via One Kings Lane

 

Image via @sreidw

FOLD INSTEAD OF HANG

Instead of stacking your folded clothes, Konmari teaches you how to fold your clothes so they stand vertically.

Folding in this fashion enables you to see what it’s in your drawer at a glance, and they also remain tidy compared to stacks of clothes where removing one item from the pile disturbs the rest of the pile.

Konmari also explains that you can store more clothes in a smaller space folded, than hanging. If however your clothes seem happier when hung up, then Kondo advises to hang them.

When hanging your clothes, hang longest to shortest from left to right, which Kondo says gives a more pleasing aesthetic

Image via A Style of Living

BENEFITS

• It feels easier to minimalise and declutter using joy as the filter.

• Joy also becomes the filter for new things that come into your life, naturally resulting in clutter not coming back into your home.

• Sorting by category also helps you not to get stuck in the trap of just moving things from one room to another.

• You tidy once for life, versus the bit at a time method that never really gets you anywhere.

• Your environment is harmonised and brings you more joy.

• You discover treasures hidden away that you forgot you had that you can now display in a way that you see them instead of the clutter.

• Opening cupboards and drawers makes you happy because not only can you easily find what you need, everything in them makes you smile.

• Getting dressed in the morning is an absolute dream.

• Everything has a place and it feels far more effortless to keep your surfaces clean and your rooms tidy.

• You become more confident about making decisions in general.

• Kondo speaks of the magic as such things as people suddenly getting the clarity to change careers to do what they really love, new relationships, and new experiences coming into people’s lives after they declutter and surround themselves with only things that spark joy.

Image via One Kings Lane

TIPS

• Remove the items for donation from your home quickly

• If selling items give yourself a deadline for them to sell, otherwise donate them as well

• Recycle any items that you can’t sell or donate where you can

• Kondo advises to only focus on your items and to leave anything that doesn’t belong to you, rather let others be inspired by your progress

• Use shoeboxes and other boxes as temporary storage whilst sorting, or to make bento box style storage in your drawers

• Set aside the time to do each category as a whole if you can

• Functional items may not visually spark joy, but they can be considered to spark joy if they make your life easier by serving a purpose

 

MORE ABOUT KONMARI

This video below introduces the Konmari method, and takes you inside a before and after with Kondo consulting a client in a New York apartment.

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SUSTAINABLE STYLE
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