Before You Start
Maybe you’ve heard of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, or maybe this is book and concept is completely new to you. Kondo is a consultant who has a team of professionals that work with her to help people declutter and organize their homes and their lives. Anyone can start the decluttering process. You don’t need to be ready or prepare too much.
Declutter by Groups Not by Rooms
Contrary to what you might think, it’s better to sort through your belongings in sections or categories instead of tackling the decluttering process by room. It’s easy to find clothes in the bathroom and books in the bedroom. By sorting your belongings into categories, you’ll be less likely to overlook an item. Clothes, books, music/DVDs and sentimental items are examples of some categories you can focus on. Depending on how many items you have in each category will determine how much time is spent on each category. You may have a ton of clothes that include shoes and accessories like scarves and jewelry, but maybe you only have a few books to sort through.
Does it Bring You Joy
The heart of the KonMari method by Marie Kondo is asking yourself the simple question, “Does this spark joy?” You will hold each item you’re sorting through and ask yourself that question each time. If the item you’re holding doesn’t make you smile or fill you with some sort of happiness, then it has served its purpose in your life and you can let it go either by donating it or trashing it, depending on its condition. If there are some items you’re unsure about, you can set it aside and put it in a box marked Six Months, that way, you’ll know to revisit it at the end of the time, and if you haven’t gotten it out within that time, then you’ll know you can part with that item.
Save Sentimental for Last
Sentimental items are by far the most difficult items to sort out. Gifts from family members may be difficult to let go, but Kondo makes an excellent point that, if a gift you received does not bring you joy anymore, then it’s okay to let it go even if it was a gift. At one point in time that gift did bring you joy and now it’s time to let it go and send it off into the world, so it can bring someone else joy.
You don’t have to declutter your home in one weekend. You can break it up in chunks and give yourself proper time to go through each item you own and figure out its place in your life at this present point in time. And maybe you’re not ready to fully declutter your entire home, and that’s okay because decluttering is a personal journey, and you’re free to do as much or as little as you want. These steps are just guides to help you start your journey. Happy decluttering!