Organizational professionals Marie Kondo has introduced a new approach to decluttering, as showcased in her best-selling book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and recently released Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Her unique “KonMari Method” has created a lifestyle phenomenon, and these five simple tips on tidying up can revolutionize your home environment and energize your life.
Feel it for yourself
Does it spark joy? If not, give it away. Kondo’s approach of Japanese decluttering can be summed up by Tokimeki, the idea that you should give away any possession that does not “spark joy.” Touch each object, listen to your heart, and feel the joy… or the lack thereof.
Continue until you are surrounded only by the things that you love, and follow Kondo’s tips to make the process easier:
Skip the urge to multitask. Your decluttering efforts deserve your full attention. Kondo lights a candle and says a prayer before she begins organizing. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and dive in.
By giving your full attention to the task, you are confirming the value of your time, your space, and your belongings.
Do Everything at Once
Instead of decluttering a closet at a time, tidy the house all at once. Kondo’s method is contrary to conventional advice, which advocates the step-by-step approach.
But this can make the task drag on forever, and when you don’t see fast results you may throw in the towel. Go all in, and the instant results will be a powerful incentive to keep your space clutter-free home in the future.
Organize by Category, Not by Room
Sort through each category at a time: clothes, books, papers and documents, miscellaneous items, and then memorabilia. Start with the least emotionally-charged objects (clothes) and work your way to the last (mementos).
Create a giant pile of each category, so you can see just how many clothes or books you have. Touch each item, and wait for that spark of joy. No, go? Put it in the box for charity.
Respect Your Belongings
When deciding what to keep, Kondo advises to consider the feelings of your belongings and treat them with respect. Is that coat really happy shoved in the back of your closet? Would those toys have more fun at a children’s camp? Does that book want to be read, or does it want to sit on a shelf for the next decade?
It might sound a little weird, but this trick helps you practice gratitude for the many blessings in your life. It will be easier to let go of your belongings when you show them respect. Feel free to thank each item and offer your gratitude before placing it in the donation pile.
Put Everything in Its Place
Once you have reduced your belongings to only those that spark joy, find each item a home where it will live. When everything you own has a designated place, you will never have to decide where it goes again. Your home will stay free of clutter for good.
From the art of decluttering to the ancient wisdom of home decor, Japanese culture has plenty to teach us. Spark joy in your life by finding a home full of positive energy.
Increase your energy, brainpower, and creativity and discover what Japanese monks have known for centuries.