« Putting [your] house in order positively affects all other aspects of [your] life »
- Marie Kondo
In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever (more than 2 million copies already sold) the Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo explains how to banish disorder for once and for all.
Want to put an end to the vicious circle of repeated decluttering once and for all? Here are the basic rules to follow, as proposed by Marie Kondo herself.
1) Arrange and sort everything all in one go!
Take your time? Tidy and organise things bit by bit? Very bad idea!!! According to Marie Kondo, the most important secret to success in efficiently tidying and organising everything is … speed. Once you've started it, finish the job. This doesn't mean doing it in just a few hours, but simply that once you begin you need to continue and see it through to the end as this is a battle you will fight just once. Marie Kondo talks in terms of six months to get your home tidy and properly organised again. If you approach the task seriously and put your heart and soul into it, you will be all the more motivated to keep your house in its new tidy and organised state over the long term.
2) Keep or throw away?
Once you've begun tidying and organising, don't be afraid to get rid of as many of your things and belongings as you can.
Marie Kondo's advice: “Does this [item] spark joy? ”If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, get rid of it. It's as simple as that. Don't waste too much time thinking about it. You need to make an immediate decision once you have an item in front of you, in your hand. Ask yourself the question: do I feel anything for this item? It is especially important not to go back on your decisions after you've made them. Once you've sorted through everything, all that remains for you to do is get rid of what's left and begin a new life.
3) Sort items into related groups
Begin by arranging your items in categories: clothes, books, kitchen utensils, etc., and deal with those items that have sentimental value last. Next, group all items belonging to each particular category together in the same place. For example, put all the books in the same place. This enables you to see how much space each category takes up and which items to eventually get rid of.
4) A place for every item
After you've sorted all your things and belongings and filled your dustbins, “all” that remains to do is find a suitable and permanent place for each item.
5) Fold your clothes using the KonMari method
According to Marie Kondo, our clothes should be loved and respected. She advises us to fold our clothes in a vertical fashion to avoid them pressing down on top of each other and – most importantly of all – to save space. Watch this video to learn how to do this:
6) Avoid the rebound effect
Maintaining order in your house is a way of life that you need to aspire to every day if you are not to end up back in the situation you were in initially: disorder and untidiness. Tip: never forget the real reasons that drove you to tidy and organise everything, and in particular never forget to be happy inside your home!
7) Greet your house
Yes, you read that right! It may seem crazy, but for Marie Kondo, routinely greeting your house each time you return home puts a positive thought in your mind and will make tidying and organising easier for you.
Ideas to take away
- The KonMari method teaches us to respect our clothes and save space by storing them vertically
- A quick way of sorting your things and belongings? If the item sparks joy, keep it. Otherwise bin it!
- Avoid falling back into the untidy, disordered situation you were in originally by continuing to keep each group of related items in the places you chose for them.