Spring cleaning? Be ruthless

Spring cleaning? Be ruthless

The KonMari method takes the sometimes traumatic process of organisation and changes it into a life-affirming activity. But beware, you have to be thorough and committed!

By Elle Raison | 10th September 2015

Feeling like you're drowning in stuff? Overwhelmed by your possessions? Lift your spirits and find clarity with a spring clean inspired by the legendary Marie Kondo. This woman has seriously revolutionised the way we organise and we at Style are so on board.
Never thought a book about cleaning your home could actually be exciting? Prepare to change your mind. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Japanese organising consultant and author Marie Kondo, will forever change your perception of what it means to spring clean.

Mary Poppins gif

When you don't have Mary Poppins, Marie Kondo is the next best thing.

Focusing not only on tidying up your home but also changing your overall attitude to stuff, the KonMari method is revolutionising the way housewives, mid-life crisis victims, organisation freaks and even chronic procrastinators spend their time.

If you want to jump on the bandwagon and get involved with the cleaning craze but don’t yet have a copy of the book, don’t have a spare moment to pick up a book (you really should make time, it’s totally worth it) or are just completely overwhelmed, we’ve spelt out for you the three most important steps to Kondoing your life.

1 Decide to spring clean and commit

We know going through an entire home full of things is a massive effort so if you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing about doing it we totally understand. Tidying up bit-by-bit is a lot easier than trawling through a lifelong collection of possessions in one go, right? Wrong!

“You may think that a ‘little and often’ approach is the best way to clear up but you’re wrong,” Marie told the UK’s Daily Express. “Even if you are initially inspired you will struggle to stay motivated and your efforts will peter out because you can’t feel the effects.

“People cannot change their tidying habits without first changing their way of thinking,” she explains. “If you clear up in one go rather than little by little you will dramatically change your mindset. A complete clear out brings dramatic results and this will help you change your attitude to clutter for good.”

Pumped to start? Ready, set, organise!

Tidying up frustration

Marie Kondo says no matter how overwhelming it may be, you have to pull EVERYTHING out of the cupboards and start again. Little by little doesn't work.

2. Organise by categories, not rooms

There is no point tidying up one room to move onto the next and the next to find you have three piles of books, three drawers of knick knacks and three stacks of important documents all in separate places around your home.

Start the KonMari process by tackling categories in the order of clothes, books, documents, miscellaneous items and finally, mementos. Kondo recommends this order, as it will improve your judgement on items, as you will have an overall visual of all the things you own and help you determine whether an item adds to your life or limits your breathing space. This brings us to the third step…

3 If it doesn’t bring you joy, toss it (and be ruthless)

The KonMari method asks you to be brutally honest with yourself. If the item doesn’t “spark joy” or make you feel good when you touch it, get rid of it. The overarching idea is to fill your space with possessions that make you happy and add to your life. By getting rid of everything you have “just because”, you give yourself the opportunity to get to know the real you. Not only will your home be clutter-free, you will be left with a visual curation of your personality.

Marie said she believes putting the house in order is “a great way to discover what we really enjoy doing” and may help us to work out our true calling in life.

A great example of this is when going through your library of books. Ask yourself “Will I ever read this again?” “Would I recommend it to a friend?” “Did it add valuable knowledge to my life or make my soul happy?” If the answer is no to any of those questions donate it. All the books that are left will leave you with an example of the topics you are truly interested in.

We here at Style recommend reading the book to grasp the full, life-changing benefits of the KonMari method. Seriously, get on it. For more information or to get on the Kondo train, click here.

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Article by Elle Raison

Elle Raison is a former journalist of Style Magazines. With an avid appreciation for travel, food and friends, Elle is always ready for a new adventure, whether that be trying the latest local cafe, visiting a foreign destination or turning strangers into loved ones.

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