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Decluttering Tips We’ve Learned from Marie Kondo

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How to Declutter Your House Before or After You have Moved Using the Konmari Method

Marie KondoIf you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo and her book the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising, where have you been? Marie Kondo’s decluttering, folding, and organisational tips have had the internet exploding with inspiration. Charity shops have seen a significant spike in donations and the popular Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has inspired thousands of people around the globe to spark joy and declutter their lives.

So, in the spirit of tidying up our lives and our homes, we thought we’d share Marie Kondo’s top tips for decluttering.

Marie Kondo’s Order of Decluttering

  • Clothes and books
  • Paper
  • Bathroom, kitchen, garage
  • Miscellaneous items
  • Sentimental items

Forget What You’ve Learned and Start Again

Empty notebook

We’ve all heard the decluttering tips and ‘rules’ for tidying up effectively: throw away anything you’ve not worn for a year, tidy before going to bed, and so on. But Marie Kondo challenges this notion by turning it upside down. The decluttering tips we’ve learnt from Marie Kondo are completely transformative.

Marie Kondo suggests making decluttering your home a special event. And as you will see below, that’s because there are so many things you need to achieve to affect lasting change. So, it’s important to get started as soon as possible!

Discard First, Put Away Later

Rubbish Bin

Marie Kondo tackles decluttering with her popular two-pronged approach: discard first, put away later. You’ve got to finish a task first before starting the next or you’ll never make any progress.
Once you’ve taken the time to go through your belongings one by one, discarding some and keeping others, Marie Kondo promises you’ll have plenty of room to store your things – regardless of how small your home is.

Always Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

Pile of books

When you’re decluttering your home, it can be tempting to tackle one room at a time. However, Marie Kondo breaks this notion of working room by room. She suggests that organising by category is far more effective. For example: remove all of the books from your home and put them in one place. That way you can effectively sort an entire category at once.

Show Respect at All Times

Smile drawn on a green piece of paper

If you’ve ever seen Marie Kondo on TV you know she seems like one of the loveliest people in the world. Not only does Marie Kondo remind us how to treat people well and respect their spaces, she also teaches us to show respect for our own belongings.

Marie Kondo advises you to consider the feelings of your belongings – do they enjoy being carelessly thrown into the back of the closet? Are your socks lonely when they’re not together in pairs? It may sound unusual, but as soon as you start considering the feelings of your belongings, you suddenly look at everything differently.

Keep Your End Goal in Mind

To Do List

Whether you want more space for your creative projects, or you simply want a more functional home, always keep your end goal in mind. Decluttering and tidying your home is a journey and you won’t get everything done in a day. So, remind yourself of your end goal and look at how far you’ve already come.

When clearing out your belongings, if there are items you don’t want in the house right now, but you may need in the future (for example: baby items or extra furniture pieces), discover our simple storage solutions. Simply Removals provide affordable storage solutions for everyone. We can even pack the items and transport them for you.

Nostalgia Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing

Old family letters

Are you a hoarder? Thousands of people are extreme hoarders and there are even TV programmes dedicated to the subject because it is such an extensive problem.

Many people try to defend their hoarding as being a result of nostalgia. Marie Kondo really knows what she’s talking about when she insists putting your blinders on around nostalgic items so that you can focus on things one category at a time.

Clothing that Sparks Joy

Marie Kondo Organising a Drawer

Clothing is often something we all have a lot of and unfortunately it can be a real cause of clutter in the home. Many of us don’t wear half the clothing items in our closets!

Thankfully, Marie Kondo has a solution and while it involves emptying all of your clothing into one place, it’s one of the most effective decluttering processes we’ve discovered. With each item of clothing you pick up, Marie Kondo suggests you work out whether the item sparks joy for you or not. If it does, you can keep it. If it doesn’t, you thank it before throwing it in a pile to be donated or thrown.

This clothing purge is a great way to get rid of old clothes, things you bought but have never worn, items you’re not comfortable wearing but keep ‘just in case’. Trust us when we say, if you try this decluttering tip, you’ll end up with a closet you love.

Don’t Hang Your Clothes, Fold Them

Clothes hung up in a wardrobe

Marie Kondo is perhaps most well-known for her method of folding clothes. The best way to reduce clutter in your closet is to fold items away in drawers rather than hanging them. The only clothing items you should hand are those that absolutely require it.

The basic Marie Kondo clothing fold can be applied to everything from your tights and underwear, to your socks, trousers, and shirts. The great thing about the Marie Kondo folding method is that everything is folded vertically, making it easy to spot each individual piece of clothing. What’s more, the tidy stacks make it nearly impossible for clutter to build up or your drawers to become a mess again!

Use Boxes of All Shapes and Sizes

Boxes on shelves

Boxes are the secret to decluttering and keeping your space tidy and functional. Use drawer dividers or old shoe boxes as drawer sections to organise your belongings. You can store just about anything in boxes and it looks tidy.

Find a Home for All Your Belongings

Organised shelving

Throughout all of her decluttering and tidying up advice, Marie Kondo suggests that every item in your home should have a place to live. And no, hiding things under the bed or stacking items at the back of your closet does not count. By ensuring everything in your home has its place, you won’t end up purchasing more than you need – making it far harder for clutter to build up!

Stay Focused on Your Belongings

Organising belongings

Do you live with other people? If you do, decluttering may be more difficult. Dealing with other people’s clutter can be very frustrating. However, Marie Kondo recommends that you don’t interfere with other people’s belongings. Instead, focus only on the task at hand. Act as a role model for others by sorting out your own belongings. Sorting out your own space will hopefully inspire similar actions from those around you.

You Don’t Have to be a Minimalist

Minimalist living room

We all have different amounts of stuff we keep in our lives. So, it isn’t possible for everyone to live as minimalists with capsule wardrobes and next to no miscellaneous items.

Marie Kondo knows this and that’s why she doesn’t suggest certain limits, such as one drawer for every item of clothing you own. Instead, she suggests that if you genuinely love something and want to keep it, you absolutely should.

Declutter Your Papers

Pile of paperwork

Just the thought of this make most people recoil slightly. After all, we’re all guilty of opening bank statements and bills and just storing them in a drawer. However, what we don’t realise without sorting through half of this stuff is that we’ve accumulated hundreds of papers we don’t actually need. Old warranties? An out of date bank statement? You don’t need to keep those.

Since most things can now be accessed digitally, there isn’t much need anymore to store papers. So, declutter your life by sorting through your filing. It may be a big job but you’ll be grateful you took the time to do it.

Store Everything Vertically

Vertical shelving

Marie Kondo suggests that storing and arranging all your belongings vertically is one of the best ways to save space, allow for easy access, and make your home more eye-catching. Don’t just store your clothing vertically, but store everything vertically – even items in your fridge and food cupboards.

Stop Cluttering Your Home with Coins

Loose coins

Marie Kondo doesn’t understand why we have a tendency to store our loose change in jars and piggy banks around our homes (rendering the cash useless or forgotten about). It’s certainly a good point when you think about it. After all, how many times have you been caught short of cash for the bus?

To declutter around your home, put all loose coins lying around your house into your wallet so that you can spend it instead of storing it in various places around your home.

Commit to Making a Mess at the Start

The Marie Kondo method requires making a mess. In fact, Marie Kondo’s basic rule is that you have to commit. Once you’ve started decluttering, there’s no going back. You have to commit to making a mess from the start. But don’t worry, if you stick with it, things will get better!

Have you decluttered? Are you left with unwanted furniture? Click here to Discover how to dispose of your furniture!