Want to start off the new year with less clutter? Marie Kondo can help. She literally wrote the book on the subject, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying,” where she lays out her simple technique to banish clutter for good. Her “KonMari” method helps us clear stuff we don’t need or want that’s weighing us down and her book has been such a success, the Japanese guru now has her own Netflix show to help people with tidying. If you’re ready to tackle the clutter in your life, here are Kondo’s steps to get rid of it and start feeling lighter.
Think with your heart, not your head - Instead of overthinking whether you’ll someday need that sweater you haven’t worn in years or that leftover can of paint, Kondo says decluttering should be an “emotional and intuitive process.” Focus on the item and if you feel it “sparks joy,” keep it, and if not, there’s no connection and it should be given away or recycled. The idea is that you’re left with only things that really speak to you and make you happy and get rid of the weight of all that other stuff you don’t care about.
Say goodbye and thank you to your items - Sure, it sounds a little silly, but this is a big part of Kondo’s approach. She knows our stuff has sentimental value, so it can be hard to toss it. Saying bye and thanking things as you get rid of them helps you get rid of things without feeling guilty, and you get to keep the memory and the happiness the item provided even without holding onto the physical object.
Get rid of everything at once - Kondo says decluttering can change your life, but you really have to go big or go home. Her approach has you go through everything all at once, by item type - so all the clothing or books at once, so you can process it all together and feel what “sparks joy” and what doesn’t. And don’t think you can just store some stuff until you decide later, Kondo feels belongings should be loved and used or gotten rid of. Storing them away to avoid deciding now only allows clutter to build up and that’s the opposite of her life changing method of tidying up.
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