Spark Joy: How to Declutter Using the KonMari Method

  |     |   Cleaning, Decor Tips, Life at University Square

It’s springtime, which means it’s officially time for spring cleaning. Before you run screaming for the hills (We’re at 7,000 feet, guys, is running uphill really a better plan than cleaning?), we invite you to consider a new way of cleaning and decluttering your home: The KonMari Method. The KonMari Method is focused on helping you get rid of clutter forever. Here are five tips to help you tidy up your apartment and keep it that way!

Find What “Sparks Joy”

The idea of throwing things away is probably one of the most miserable thoughts we deal with when cleaning. Instead of thinking about what you’re losing, focus on cherishing items you love. As you declutter, hold each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, it’s time to go. Part of this process is physically touching every. single. thing. in your home and asking this question. It’s about getting more emotionally in tune with what compels you to keep things, and more realistic about what actually brings joy to your home.

Clean By Category

The key to effective tidying, according to the KonMari Method, is tidying the right categories in the right order. Use this order to start tidying your home: clothes, books, papers, and miscellaneous. You can break down each category into subcategories, but the key is keeping them in this order. Did you notice how the order works from least emotional attachment to greatest emotional attachment? Consider, for instance, which is harder: tossing a sweater you never wear and don’t love, versus throwing away a letter from a friend. We love this method because it gives you time to build up to the hard stuff.

Tidy All At Once

This method takes some time, and depending on how much stuff you have can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Don’t rush the process, but also don’t let it get too drawn out. Resist the urge to read every piece of paper you come across. Resist taking extended breaks. Resist bulk tossing.

Stop Decluttering By Room

Many of us grew up using the “clean each room” method of decluttering and tidying. But think about what you risk when you clean this way. Think of how many times you might move an item from one room to another to avoid dealing with it. Instead, use the categories above, and gather all items from that category in one place at one time to declutter. That means when you start with clothing, open every drawer, and pull every item of clothing from socks to scarves to Halloween wigs, and have at it all at once.

Picture Where You Want to Be

This might be one of the most important steps of the KonMari Method. The method asks you to clearly define where you want to be and how you want to live after you’ve finished decluttering. It’s not as simple as saying, “I want to live clutter free.” It needs to be more specific than that. Think about how you envision living, and ask yourself why you want to live that way. This helps you really take hold of the decluttering mission you’re about to undertake, and creates a stronger commitment to the task at hand! Why do you want to be tidy? What difference will it make in your life? Consider this long and hard, and then get started.

Part of what the KonMari Method teaches is to have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. The first part of discovering this place is to get rid of everything that doesn’t belong. It may be hard, but during this spring cleaning season we invite you to give it a try and see what a difference the KonMari Method can make in your home! Want to learn more about the method? Check out “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, the founder of the KonMari Method!

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