Warmer weather, flower buds blooming and every chocolate Easter egg in sight eaten – yes it’s official, spring has finally arrived! And although we can’t burst open our doors and enjoy the sunshine to the fullest, we can open the doors to the cupboards and drawers we’ve had sealed shut with shame, and get into the spirit of the season with a big Spring Clean!
No matter how hard we try to keep our space decluttered and tidy throughout the year, we’re right back with our Zoflora in one hand and charity bags in the other, every time April rolls around! An accumulation of souvenirs from all the failed 1st dates we kept, or the mountains of outdated manuals we thought would come in handy, despite Google having all the answers, or our collection of grandad cardigans in every pattern of tweed that we held onto in case they ever came back into style, it’s time for us to reflect on the abundance of items we have collected over the years and dispose of everything that no longer ‘sparks joy’.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the thought of a spring clean? Not to worry – we’ve just the cleaning guru to help you every step of the way! Marie Kondo, founder of KonMari and author of best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has a full-proof guide on how to declutter your home to make space for things you love. Kondos’ philosophy is all about how the space we live in has a direct effect on the state of our mind and mental wellbeing, and why a Tidy Home = a Tidy Mind.
Studies have shown, tidying can give us a sense of control over our surroundings and acts as a distraction from our daily stresses, keeping our worries at bay. Marie Kondo goes further and teaches that a tidy space can improve our emotions by allowing happiness and joy to enter our space, based on the items we store in our homes. Decluttered spaces allow our brains to relax, and maintaining such an idealistic environment means we can focus on other things to bring further joy into our lives.
The 6 Basic Rules of Tidying, KonMari style:
Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up.
Charity bags? Check Anti-slip hangers? Check Aesthetically pleasing drawer separators? Check
So many of us start with good intentions – equipment on hand and 12 hours to kill. But 6 hours later we find ourselves laying on top a mound of clothes, in our year 11 prom outfit whilst looking through photo albums of our school trips to Swanage and the local Aquarium. Kondo knows exactly how the decluttering cycle beings, which is why committing yourself to the task is her number 1 rule! Giving up half-way through is only sabotaging your success! Keep at it – you will thank yourself when it’s all over.
Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Before even opening your cupboard of cleaning supplies, picture the lifestyle you aspire to have. If it’s easier for you to visualise, draw it out, or even write it down. Understanding how you want to live in your home will give purpose and reasoning behind your spring clean, encouraging you to work towards that lifestyle goal!
Rule 3: Finish discarding first.
The KonMari approach is to first throw away or put into charity bags all the items you no longer wish to keep. This will make tidying much more productive and efficient. Once you have all your ‘kept’ items, you can then see the space you have to fill.
Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location.
Most of us tidy room-by-room which is the biggest school boy error in decluttering, and why most will end up with a surplus of items we don’t need. The idea is to understand how much you own in volume, regardless of where they live in your home. Collect all items around your house by category, only then are you able to see the full quantity of your possessions, permitting you to make appropriate decisions on what to discard – seriously, nobody needs 11 white tees – nobody!
Rule 5: Follow the right order.
Some things are easier to discard than others. Start with the easy ones first; clothes, then books, papers and miscellaneous items and then sentimental belongings. Starting with clothes is the best way to practise the art of what ‘sparks joy’ before getting to the emotionally-attached possession. Learning to only keep items that spark joy will prevent you from having emotional guilt when throwing away that friendship bracelet your no-longer-BFF gave you in year 7!
Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
The one and only criteria each item must meet in order to land itself in the ‘keep’ pile is whether or not it Sparks Joy. Kondo believes any item in your home that doesn’t spark happiness is an invitation for negativity to enter your space. The idea is to surround yourself with joyful items – at this stage of the process, rational thinking is out of the equation. Let your emotions decide on what to keep. If it brings joy into your life, it has rightfully deserved its place in your home.
And that’s it! You’re decluttered home will look so good it’s ready for it owns Architectural Digest photo shoot! Want to learn more about konMari? There’s so many more tips and tricks on her social media, including YouTube and Instagram. Or, read more about KonMari in Marie Kondo’s best-selling books or watch her Netflix original series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo!
Share with us your before and after pictures of your Marie Kondo inspired homes!