Welcome back to the Declutter ME series with guest contributor – Laetitia Barnard
In the second part of the series, we will look at the categories Marie Kondo suggests with her KonMari Method. First, she suggests that you gather all the items in the respective category and pile it on the floor, this will show you what you actually have. The first time I did this I was shocked with how much I had. Next, you need to touch each item, Marie Kondo says “When you touch something your body will react and its response to each item is different” and then the key question you must ask yourself is if this item Sparks Joy.
Here are the categories she suggests when decluttering your home/life
Clothing & Accessories
Once I piled all my clothes on the bed I was shocked at how much I had. I always felt that I had nothing to wear, but that clearly wasn’t the case. The KonMari method suggests that you should pick up each item and ask yourself does this spark joy? Do I feel good in this? Is it still wearable? If you answer no to these questions, it is time to donate or throw away. The very first item that I picked up was a Star Wars t-shirt and started to cry at the thought of throwing one of my favourite t-shirts away, but it had holes in and was very old. My sister put in the maybe pile, which after the process I donated in any way. Once you have sorted through the pile, put the items away, keeping similar items close to each other and making each item easy accessible. The KonMari Method suggests using drawers for easy accessibility. She has instruction videos on folding clothes to pack away efficiently which you can find here.
The second category requires you to collect all the books in your house and put them on the floor. Touch each item and ask yourself if this sparks joy. If you keep self-help books just because you might read it one day, rather donate it. Only keep the books that you really love. I love books and it was hard to let go of some of them so I kept most of my books, but donated books I will not read again.
Paper! Urgh! All the admin! I did this category last as I had to sort out our study with my husband first to find all the papers. When sorting through papers look at what you need to save (for tax purposes) and what you need to deal with. If possible save most of your important papers digitally and try to deal with those papers in the “to-do” pile. Remember to recycle all the paper that you are throwing away (shred the ones with important information)
This category includes miscellaneous items such as cd’s, DVD’s, kitchen items, linen, décor etc. When sorting through these items, focus on the purpose it serves in your house. Do you really need five of the same containers if you only use the one on top? Do you still listen to all your cd’s – why not copy all your cd’s on the computer and donate the actual CDs? Our parents and grandparents all have these cupboards full of linen, old curtains, and bedding. Do you really need/use all of them? I kept two sets of bed linen and a warm blanket for each bedroom and three sets of towels. When sorting through makeup check the expiry date, same goes for medicine and other beauty products. These items are more about practicality and usefulness. Try not to keep something because you might possibly, maybe use it one day.
This is the hardest category and that why it is the last. Mari Kondo says ” By handling each sentimental item and deciding what you want to keep and what you want to let go of, you are processing your past. You need to live in the here and now, rather than letting your past hold you back or weigh you down.” I had so many memory boxes it actually completely filled my daughter’s baby cot. Eeek! It took a while to sort through, I read each letter and only kept those which were special to me, momentos were hard, but only keep those that really mean something to you. Although I threw quite a lot away, I am sure I will do this category again in the future.
Here are some tips from our experience in sorting out with the KonMari method:
- It is important to keep your goal in mind – decluttering your home and space and feeling less consumed by stuff.
- After sorting through a category get those donate boxes out of your house. If you are anything like me, they will just sit there and gather dust. Get it out of your life
- Once everything has its place keep it that way, make sure that you put it back in the same place and ask your family to do the same.
- Keep it simple, let your rooms flow and try not to declutter your field of vision with random knick-knacks.
- Be honest with yourself when asking “Does this spark joy”
- Enjoy the process of letting go, feel the emotions and treasure the memories and the purpose the items had in your past, but then let go.