Have you ever felt a strong sense of satisfaction after tidying up your home but annoyed because the clutter and mess seem to return all too soon? The truth is, many of us tidy up our homes by rearranging items, or only throwing out things that are spoilt instead of really thinking about what we actually need.
Introducing the KonMari method by Marie Kondo, author of Spark Joy – An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying that’s sold millions of copies worldwide. Marie’s finely tuned method focuses on throwing out things in your life that don’t really bring you any joy, and only keeping those that do. The result? A far tidier home, and much happier residents to boot.
“Only two skills are needed,” says Marie. “The ability to keep what sparks joy and chuck the rest, and the ability to decide where to keep each thing you choose and always put it back in its place. The important thing is not deciding what to discard but rather what you want to keep.”
Sure, this method requires some time and effort, but there is a reason everyone’s talking about it – it really works! Here are the three golden rules:
1. Tidy By Category, Not By Location
Tidying room by room inevitably sees you shuffling things around without getting rid of anything. “This makes it impossible to get an accurate grasp of the volume of things you actually own,” says Marie. “The correct approach is to tidy all the things in the same category in one go.
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When tidying clothes, gather every item of clothing from the entire house into one spot. This allows you to see objectively exactly how much you have.”
2. Follow The Correct Order
The KonMari approach follows a specific order: clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items and, finally, sentimental stuff.
“Deciding what to keep and what to discard will go much more smoothly if you begin with items that are easier to make decisions about,” says Marie. As you gradually work towards the more difficult categories, you’ll start to hone your decision-making skills.
3. Does It Bring Joy?
The dilemma of what to keep and what to throw away exists because we don’t look at our belongings, especially clothes, in the right way. You have to ask yourself whether something sparks a feeling or joy.
“When deciding, it’s important to touch it by holding it in both hands,” explains Marie. “Pay close attention to how your body responds,” she adds. “If it sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill. If it doesn’t, your body will feel heavier.”
Try thinking of clothes like people – they’re not all meant to be worn to death, just like not every person you meet will become a friend for life.
“When you come across something you can’t throw away, think carefully about its true purpose in your life,” Marie suggests. “You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. Let them go and all that will remain are the things you really treasure.”
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Text: Bauer Syndication / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew