Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have seen that the world has gone a “little” (major understatement) mad for Marie Kondo. My social media feed has been flooded with pics of perfectly folded clothes, captioned with Kondo “lingo”. People all over the world are getting their #kondo on, posting prolifically on social media. I have to admit I’ve got a little #kondofatigue.
While her methods appeal to some (read: millions) I can’t say I am a complete fan. One episode of her Netflix show and I was bored to tears. But I am clearly in the minority as she has created a cult following. I don’t subscribe fully to her philosophy – I mean I don’t talk to my clothes, and I haven’t even attempted the “Kondo Fold”, but I do rather like the question of asking if an item “sparks joy?” And I do enjoy a declutter, especially at this time of year.
When we moved into our new home last year I made an internal promise to keep it clutter-free (within reason, I mean I do have four kids!!). Keeping a tidy home with a minimal amount of clutter can be hard when juggling the day-to-day tasks of family life. I mean, kids accumulate SO.MUCH.STUFF. So periodically I like to delcutter. I always feel a little lighter after a purge. And I find this is the perfect time of year to do it.
Here are my top five tips on how to declutter your home if you aren’t quite part of the Kondo-cult:
- Lists, Lists, Lists
Are you a list lover? I am a serial list maker. I love lists. The sheer satisfaction of crossing something off “sparks joy” – for me, anyway! So my first tip is to create a list of all the rooms or areas in your house you need to tidy and why you need to tidy them up. This allows you to see clearly what needs to be done and what areas is a priority. From there you can plan when to do each space. Side note, some rooms may be a two (or ten) person job so this planning can help to organise a time to do it together.
- Select and commit
Pace yourself; commit to one room, space or pile and do it right. It is likely that most people don’t have the luxury to completely declutter your home in one red hot go like Kondo. Nor do we have a film crew following us and making us accountable. I find it helpful to choose one room per week and make it my allocated declutter period. This means every week I feel that little sense of accomplishment for reaching my declutter goal without completely wiping myself out. Because essentially, we are doing this to feel good not to make more stress, so why not make that good feeling a weekly one? I also like the maxim “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
- Delegate piles
Sometimes it is too hard to decide a definite yes or no on the spot. Therefore I have a 3-pile rule.
1) Yes (items you need, wear, use, love, and those little joy sparkers)
2) No (When it comes to the wardrobe, be ruthless! If you haven’t worn it in a year, to the “NO’ pile it goes)
Put away your Yes pile, get rid of your No pile and box up your Maybe pile for a designated period of time – say three weeks. If in that time you miss items in the box then keep them, all the rest you now know are not needed and you can give them away or donate them. I still have boxes in my garage that have accompanied us every move , only to land in the garage, unopened and clearly not needed. Decluttering can be particularly challenging with children. As the viral Kondo rule asks ‘does it spark joy?’ So many children would answer yes to everything. They are innate borders! This means you can bargain with them to box up the non-essentials and if they have forgotten about them in three months then it’s time to rehome. Hire a Box lets you rent boxes out for up to three months, which is a great way to limit your maybe box time and allows for less waste when you are finished.
- Give, but give thoughtfully
Sometimes it is hard to part with things. We all probably have a little hoarder inside us that says ‘but what if?’ I always find it so much easier to give things away when I know they will go to a deserving home. Look at the item you are questioning and imagine the happiness it could bring to someone else. But make sure you consciously and thoughtfully give to charity. Ensure the products are actually needed and in good condition. It may take a bit more effort but do your research and make sure you are purposefully and ethically donating to the right places.
- Buy less stuff
Finally, the most effective way to live with less clutter is to buy less stuff. Don’t “buy” into the consumerist trap. Life is not better with more. Instead, live more with less.
Do you have any decluttering tips to share? And tell me, are you part of the Kondo cult?
This post was written in collaboration with box hire and packaging supply company – Hire A Box & Influencer Management Service – #AsSeenOn.