I have spent the last few months really making an effort to cleanse my life of clutter and live more consciously when it comes to what I am spending my money on and the choices I make around what new items I should be bringing into my home.
This decision was sparked by two desires; have a cleaner, tidier home, and to save money for more important, long term goals.
So I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Youtube recently, researching ways to declutter and organise your life, whether than be getting rid of things in my wardrobe, home, car, desk etc.
I’ve learned a lot about organisation and having a minimalist mindset on life, and it’s really helped me to cut down on wastage and stop spending money on things that aren’t important to me.
I’ve been able to turn my home from a jumbled mess of needless junk to a happy place where I love everything that I have, and everything has a home.
I wanted to share with you my favourite tips from Marie Kondo the brilliant author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying who has risen to prominence in the world of home organization and minimalism in the last few years, due to her no-nonsense approach to decluttering and organising your home.
I have kept this list short and sweet, just to summarise only the most helpful tips, but if you would love to learn more then I highly recommend picking up a copy of her books on Amazon.
I hope you find value in this post, please let me know in the comments which were your favourite tips, and any other home declutter and organisation tips that you swear by!
7 Life-Changing Organisation Tips From Marie Kondo Herself
DOES IT SPARK JOY?
As you are going through your belongings, deciding what to keep, donate, sell or throw away, ask yourself if each item sparks joy.
If you come across an old pair of jeans that don’t fit you anymore, don’t keep them just because you’re hoping that you’ll squeeze back into them one day.
If you’re being brutally honest, when you look at old clothes that are too small for you, chances are they probably do the opposite of spark joy, as it just serves as a reminder that you’re not at the weight you want to be at and you’re not happy with your body.
So toss the clothes that make you feel bad about yourself, keep what fits and what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, and if you need a motivator to lose weight, then just think of that awesome shopping trip you’re going to take when you achieve your weight loss goal.
I personally took this advice as far as my camera roll on my iPhone. I went through a particularly tough time in 2014, and any time I would see a photo of myself or certain other people in my life from that year, it would bring this feeling of gloom over me.
So I deleted them. All of them.
Even if the photo was of a surface level happy memory, deep down the photo would remind me of pain, so I pressed delete every single photo on my phone that didn’t spark joy.
As you’re sorting through any area of your home and choosing what to get rid of, ask yourself, “does this spark joy in my heart?”
If the answer is “no” then it’s time to get rid and move on.
When you’re sorting through your drawers and folding away the items that you want to keep, use the KonMarie folding method to maximise space and have a view of all the items that you own.
If you fold away tshirts one on top of the other in your drawers, then not only are you going to waste valuable space, but you’re only ever going to wear the items that are at the top of the pile.
Realistically, you’re never going to sift through everything to see what’s at the bottom, so those pieces are just going to stay untouched for months, even years and you might as well not have kept them.
So fold your clothes into small tight bundles, and store them upright so that when you open your drawers, you can see each and every option that’s available to you.
IT’S OK TO GET RID OF GIFTS
When somebody gives us something, it feels really special.
It’s nice to know that the person saw something while they were out and about, and it made them think of us, so they spent their money on it to hopefully put a smile on our face.
But naturally, they won’t always get it right.
Sometimes loved ones will buy us gifts with the best intentions in their heart, but they’ll choose us something that we don’t like, have no use for, doesn’t fit us or they might even buy something that we already have.
In cases like this, don’t feel obliged to keep things that you don’t want just because it was a gift. Keeping an unwanted gift out of obligation is just as much of a waste as if you return, donate or regift the item.
Marie Kondo suggests that you should always give a gift a chance, even if it doesn’t immediately strike you as something you would choose for yourself.
The intention of any gift that somebody gives to you is to make you happy, and you can only know if something will make you happy or not through experience. So use the gift at least once, and if your mind isn’t changed, then it’s ok to part with it.
The true purpose of a present is to be received, because gifts are a means for conveying someone’s feelings for you. When viewed from this perspective, there is no need to feel guilty about parting with a gift that ultimately doesn’t spark joy.Marie Kondo
GETTING RID OF THINGS FEELS AMAZING
Getting rid of stuff doesn’t need to feel like punishment.
The whole point of this exercise is to purge your home of things which don’t spark joy and make space for new things that you can cherish and actually use.
So if you’re getting rid of things and have a sense of lack as you do so, then you’re not parting with the right things and you’re not doing so for the right reason.
If you struggle to part with things or want to hang on for sentimental reasons, then keep reminding yourself of the benefits of reducing clutter, and feel comforted by the fact that you’re making space for new things.
When you have the right mindset, getting rid of things feels amazing. It’s a reminder that you are in control of the things that you have in your home, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that every single thing you own is either beautiful or functional.
REMOVE TAGS AND PACKAGING STRAIGHT AWAY
I know I’m not the only one who does this…
You buy something in store that you’re not completely sure about, then you take it home and decide to put it away with the tags still on, or leave it in the box for a while.
That way you have a few days to think about if you’re going to keep or return it.
What actually ends up happening though, is you forget about it all together.
That outfit sits in your closet with the tags on for years, until you eventually throw it out or donate it.
If you’re not sure about something in a store, then you probably shouldn’t buy it. If you do buy it anyway, then remove the tags and packaging as soon as you get home.
By keeping things with the tags and packaging still attached, you are not taking ownership of the item so it never begins to feel like it’s truly yours and you’re even less likely to ever use it.
So commit to buying only what you’re sure about, and if you do decide to take a gamble, then commit to it and remove all the labels. If you still decide its not for you, then you can always sell it on eBay to get some money back.
TIDY ALL AT ONCE
Instead of doing a little bit at a time, dedicate a whole day to tidying your home.
If you do a little bit of housework here and there while your mind is on other things, then you won’t be fully present in the exercise, and you will end up keeping a lot more than you would if you devote all your attention to the task.
You’ll also find that if you do a room a day over the space of a week or two, by the time you finish the last room, the room you first started with will be messy again, and you will never have an entirely tidy home from top to bottom.
It might sound daunting at first to spend a whole day de-cluttering and organizing, but once you get into it, you will see as mentioned in my last point that getting rid of things actually feels great, and you will feel a great sense of accomplishment from transforming your home from a cluttered mess to an organised, joy sparking sanctuary.
In such a digital world, it’s questionable as to why so many of us still hang onto so much paperwork.
Utility bills, bank statements, payslips, employment contracts etc are almost always available online with just a few clicks of a button, so there is no excuse to be storing so much paper.
It can be so easy to open the post and leave letters on the side to deal with later, and before you know it, they just end up in that drawer (you know the one) in your home, not to be seen again for five years.
Contact all your service providers and ask them to switch you to paperless billing and statements. This will reduce the amount of post you receive dramatically.
Now when you do receive post, make sure you deal with it immediately and as soon as you have, shred the paperwork or scan it onto your computer for future reference if necessary.
To Finish Off…
I really hope you enjoyed this post and these tips will be useful to you.
Make sure to check out the awesome books by Marie Kondo and go away and spend some time working on de-cluttering your own home.
Let me know your favourite tidying and organisation tips, whether from Marie Kondo herself or any other source, and I look forward to seeing you back here soon for more lifestyle and organisation tips!