Working myself into a cleaning frenzy is anything but alien to me. I have a thing for hunting down white elephants and emptying out cupboards and drawers, but it’s not so easy when you live with a hoarder. Almost every home has one and the fact that you live in a tiny city apartment with 10X12 rooms does not deter them. They’ll find novel reasons to store things for the future and close to everything has sentimental value. Well, turns out, Japanese organising consultant and author, Marie Kondo, the creator of the KonMari Method of de-cluttering and organising has quite a simple solution. Her battle cry is simple: If you don’t love it, don’t keep it!
Believe it or not, this deals with every excuse in the book, from ‘What if I lose two kilos…’ to ‘But I got this as a gift…’
Try it out and you’ll feel the magic! Here’s how I did it the KonMari way.
Reality check: The part-by-part rule isn’t going to work
I’ve realised that the husband and I accumulate much faster than I can tidy up. So every time I tried doing it in parts, I felt like throwing in the towel and everything else as well in frustration. Marie Kondo believes there’s no other way to do this than all at once. Bring everything out and start sorting! My tip: Dedicate a weekend to this mega clean-up and you’ll be happy with the result.
Go for categories rather than rooms
Instead of going at it room-wise, which has been my pattern for years, I did it category-wise, the way Ms. Kondo recommends. This is because you might find items such as books, papers and other knick knacks across different rooms in your home. I followed the KonMari order: Clothes > Books > Papers > Miscellaneous, and then Mementos, which are the hardest to part with. And it worked!
The fine print:
When it comes to papers, get rid of everything! They only add clutter to your life. (I couldn’t agree more.)
Ask yourself the all-important question
Marie Kondo insists you ask the question, “Does it spark joy?” Does the item in your hand make you happy? Nah? Then toss it! Seems like a tough rule, doesn’t it? But she knows what she’s talking about. I found it works like a dream and we’re only left with things that we really need and that genuinely make our life happier.
Actually fold stuff before putting it away
If you hate organizing, your policy is probably wash-dry-ball-throw. Socks and underwear are usually Victim No.1. Thankfully, the KonMari method makes it easy. After you’re done tossing or bagging your old stuff for charity, use these easy tricks to fold and put the rest away.
Don’t complicate storage
Shopaholics, before you run out the door to buy some nifty storage supplies, stop right in your tracks! You don’t need any more stuff. More stuff means more clutter. I just worked with what I had and assigned a place to everything, including files, books, stationery, keys and other little items, so we wouldn’t land up dumping stuff on counter tops.
Images courtesy KonMari.com and Shutterstock.com; Photographed by Dwaipayan Mazumdar; Illustrations by Aditi Sharma