There is a Japanese way of decluttering that boils down to finding a specific place “for the leftover” stuff once you’ve completed all other home decluttering methods. This is a tried-and-proven method according to the Japanese house cleaning professional, Marie Kondo. It’s named after her and is called the KonMari Method.
The KonMari method of house cleaning is one of the simplest, yet unique, ways to eliminate messes and organize an individual’s life by way of decluttering their home. There are so many areas that can be decluttered, whether it’s a room, the bathroom, or even the kitchen. In fact, there are many other places, such as the closet, and the garage, where you can follow these steps on decluttering and tidying up. It doesn’t matter if you have an apartment, or a home, you can follow these steps fairly easily with a little patience and time. Yes, even you can learn them quickly once you get the hang of it.
Detach yourself from objects
The philosophy focuses on detaching ourselves from specific possessions which we tie ourselves to mentally. There are certain ways an individual may want to clean their house or apartment, but it’s when we “bump” into those things that we find difficulty in throwing them away, even if we don’t use, or need them! Maybe it’s because it becomes a painstaking task and that keeps us from wanting to clean after we have accumulated so much. The step to take is to detach ourselves from these mental attachments we seem to have with various things. This, in fact, can be very difficult, mainly because we’ve convinced ourselves we need to have these things. Also, the best approach in decluttering your home is to start with one room at a time.
Main rule applies to everything
KonMari has one rule that she applies to everything. Some of the easiest rules can also help you with the tedious tasks you must do around the house. When you collect all your stuff, or tidy up each room, you will have a lot of extra things that you didn’t realize you had, such as: papers, pencils, books, plates, cups, clothes,…etc..
These things seem to multiply in amount so, KonMari devised a simple way to “tidy up” any place regardless of which room it is in the house. You’ll be able to do it too with a “yes, or no” answer to this question, “Does it spark joy for me?” This simple rule can be applied to everything!
The answer to KonMari’s question
KonMari’s simple rule applies to anything you either keep or get rid of. In fact, if you answer “yes” to every single item while you are tidying up, you’ll be able to sort out everything easier.
On the other hand, if you answer “no,” then you throw it out. Gone are those days of asking yourself, “Have I used this in a year?”
Here’s KonMari’s way as a step-by-step implementing of cleaning, while you declutter.
You should start right away to clean, or tidy up your home or apartment.
- Simply focus on the “discarding phase,” which KonMari calls the “tidy marathon.” You can make it a special event with music in the background, take-out food, and soft drinks to make it an enjoyable experience as you complete your “tidy marathon.”
- Miscellaneous items can be done first, since these are the most tedious. These include: books, papers, clips, miscellaneous things, knick-knacks, and whatever else you have on your shelves, in your drawers, and on your countertops.
- The next step is called the “sentimental” step which applies to those things that, for some reason or another, you can’t depart from. These can be stuffed animals, roses, or gifts from exes, specific clothes…etc.
- Do not store these items at your friends, partner’s or parent’s home. Why burden them when you can simply throw them out, or keep them, if you are going to need or use them.
- Empty your closet. Take out everything including hangers and all miscellaneous things (i.e. caps, scarves, belts, and hanging accessories,…)
- Dump ALL this stuff (clothes, knick- knacks, and junk you may have collected throughout the years), in the center of the floor, or on top of your bed.
- For shelving ideas, you can add 2 or 3 pieces of art deco such as vases, framed photos, a lamp, a plant, but that is it! No need to clutter your shelves with things that will ultimately collect dust.
- Canisters in the kitchen may hold your basics, such as: flour, sugar, and blended coffee. You can simply place this set of basics near the counter after you’ve cleaned the counter space by wiping it down. If you put this simple set of canisters near the kitchen sink, you’ll benefit by having them close-at-hand. This is going back to the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) technique.
- Simplify your life by keeping each category of things in the same place instead of scattering them all over the place. For example, you can keep all your cleaning products in the same spot in the kitchen and the same goes for all your shoes which are best stored in the same spot in your closet.
- Use a cheat sheet and itemize categories. While you are going through the pile of stuff, mark off what category you’ve worked on so that it is eliminated from your list.
Go through the extra stuff, and throw it out
These steps tell you to “go through every item” you have. When you do go through everything, you’re probably going to have some things that you simply can’t answer yes or no to. Simply put those items in their own box with a question mark label on it, and then, when you have finished sorting everything out, you can come back to this box and try again. This box of stuff is representative of the “extra stuff” you have accumulated throughout the years. Somehow, you must mentally detach yourself from these items. When in doubt, throw it out!
Finally, just try to answer truthfully the main question that the KonMari method suggests. “Does it bring joy or spark joy to me?” Decide if you feel any type of “spark” or enthusiasm when you have it in your hands. This is the KonMari method at its finest. The core of her method in house cleaning and tidying up is just this. You’ll see, over time, that your place will look a lot neater.
Also, when you feel you need to clean up your home you can also declutter by adding shelves if you do not have any. Shelves work wonders for homeowners and those living in small apartments. You can utilize the KonMari method with shelving while at the same time decluttering your living space. Tidying up everything initially is the first step in the KonMari method.
For most of us, clutter accumulates over time, and with these methods, or steps, as suggested by KonMari, you will be better organized. Time and patience are two of the main things that people should have when they start this type of project. After successfully completing this project, you’ll find that you can do it quicker and much better the next time around. Every time you work at it, you’ll find your place that much more organized and neater.