The Japanese art of decluttering 整頓
Do you want to change your life? Do you want to live a happy life? Then live the life you've always dreamed of!
- Put things where they belong
- Tidy effectively
- The KonMari Method
1. Keep the house in order
As per Marie Kondo, the expert :
The change is so profound that it touches your emotions and will irresistibly affect your way of thinking and your lifestyle habits.
Make tidying a special event. Devote your afternoon or even the whole day to tidy once and properly. Don't do it every day.
Deciding whether or not to throw something away (1) and deciding where to put it (2).
Keep what you really really want and need. Exercise self-control and resist storing unnecessary stuff. Aim for perfection!
The most important thing to keep in mind is to sort by category and not by location. Most of us if not all, store the same type of item in more than one place.
2. Discard first
Visualise your destination, your ideal wardrobe : the ideal lifestyle you've always dreamed of!
- How to choose what items you want to keep in your life? You need to ask the following question : "does it spark joy?" Look at the items closely and see what is there! Be careful and remember that tidying is oneself job. So try to be in a quiet space, alone and have this dialoge with yourself. This is really important for the whole procedure. Music is not even allowed as it might affect your emotions and make the wrong decisions.
- One category at a time. All items belong to one category. So you need to discard by category not location.
- When you finally decide what stuff you want to keep, don't pass the unwanted stuff to others, especially friends and family; they don't necessarily belong to them. Simply consider that they might not need them either.
3. How to tidy by category
- Follow the correct order of categories : first clothes, then books, papers, and finally komono (Marie's favourite category of miscellaneous items - the "just because storing" items) and leave for last things with sentimental value.
- Clothing subcategories : 1. Tops, 2. Bottoms, 3. Clothes to be hung, 4. Socks, 5. Underwear, 6. Handbags, 7. Extra items, 8. Clothes for specific events (swimsuit), 9. Shoes
- The procedure is simple - just put clothes on the floor - ALL the clothes in the house (if you forgot some of them - forget about them!). You need to go and find all the clothes that are in the house. You need to have a clear idea of what you own.
- Clothing storage as per Marie, needs to be in a horizontal way. You need to see your clothes propery. So remember to fold them right for better storage. For clothes there are 2 storage methods : hanging them and folding them. The Kon Mari method prefers folding as default storage method. That is because folding is
[...] an opportunity to really notice your clothes in all their detail.
When you hang your clothes do it in the same category side by side, dividing your hanging space into a jacket session, a suit session, etc. Take a moment to draw an arrow rising towards the right - it makes you feel lighter and more comfortable. Try to apply this on your wardrobe. For example : hang heavy items on the left side and light items on the right side; as in coats, dresses, jackets, trousers, skirts and blouses.
Another mistake we all make is that we store off-seasonal clothes. Marie Kondo disagress! We don't need to over-categorise our clothes. Simply divide your clothes into “cotton-like” and “wool-like”.
Another important category is Books - Marie Kondo suggests to divide them into 4 broad categories :
There is also the "unread books" category which is synonyme to “sometime” to “never” read books. “Having fewer books actually increases the impact of the information I read”.
Another important category is Papers : Well... just throw them all AWAY!
There are 3 basic categories of papers : a. Currently in use, b. Needed for a limited period of time, c. must be kept indefinitely. There is also the sub-category of infrequently used and more frequently used. For the first category don’t make too much effort - just store them all in one file.
Papers are organised in 3 categories : a. Needs attention, b. Should be saved - contractual documents, c. should be saved - others. You only need three containers not more. The “needs attention” box must be empty - otherwise it means you have things left undone. Consider it as a zero - inbox category.
As for the category Photos simply cherish who you are now (at present) and look at your photos one by one when discarding them. If you want to keep your photos, keep them in a place where you can have a look at them instantly.
4. Storing your things for an exciting Life
- Designate a place for each thing!
- Discard first - store later!
- Have you ever wondered "Why do I have so much stuff?" The answer is so simple. Because you never realised how much you actually own!
- A great advice is to empty your bag every day - that is so important!
5. The magic of tidying dramatically Transforms your Life
- Because you gain more confidence
- Because it increases good fortune
- Because you identify what is truly precious
- And simply because being surrounded by things that spark joy makes you Happy :)