So down the Internet rabbit hole I went.
You know how it goes. You started on Pinterest to look with envy at the perfectly staged bedrooms. You get distracted wondering how that Wisconsin mum of 3 manages to keep an immaculate home and up cycle furniture in her spare time. I can barely keep my 1 year old from climbing our bookcases. So I will try to help you get straight to helpful advice from a variety of view points.
First The Clutter Guys by Matt Baier. Two professional homes organisers they have some great tips on how to efficiently de clutter your home. The common mistakes sections is really eye opening . It seems we all make the same mistakes. We buy storage solutions that essentially turn us into organised hoarders. What these boxes, baskets etc become is just another barrier. They give you another place that is only dealt with “later”, but later never comes. I highly recommend this as a starting point. Down to earth, non-judgemental advice on how to de-clutter your home. They even have a range of podcasts which are ideal if the only spare time you have is during your travel time.
Podcasts were a new thing for me so I went hunting and I found The Mimimalists podcast on clutter. Minimalism is not for everyone, and this podcast really forced me to look at the reasons behind my clutter both psychological and societal. Josh and Nick (The Minimalists) have stripped back all aspects of their lives to the bare minimum. Their goal was to gain time and focus to achieve their life goals and pursue passions. Their ethos is to only keep that which adds value to their lives. For them value isn’t added by most material possessions and minimalism isn’t the end result of de-cluttering but a tool to live by. While I admire the commitment these guys have to their lifestyle, I quite like my stuff. Some of it anyway. I have to admit to having too much if it and I found the advice offered by Josh and Nick a good internal sounding board for how far I wanted to take my de-clutter. They challenge you to ask questions of yourself. Why am I de-cluttering?, what does my life look like when I finish the de-cluttering process? These are important answers because the vision of your decluttered life and how you live it will be what stops the clutter creeping back into your life. I will absolutely be coming back to these guys later.
Someone frequently referenced by everyone above, both positively and negatively, was Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo. Her original book: The life changing magic of tidying up. Was a best seller across the world along with her follow up; Spark Joy: an illustrated guide to tidying up. After some more time down the internet rabbit hole I bought Spark Joy, as this was the central concept of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method that struck a chord with me.
The KonMari methods main differences are;
- Sort by category and not by room
- Decide to keep only those things that “spark joy” rather than focus on what you want to chuck.
- Find everything a designated home after the big sort. Without proper storage, you will build clutter again.
Her theory is that by sorting a little at a time; that room, this drawer. You only end up moving clutter from one space to another. She also recognises that there is a helpful shock factor in seeing all of you clothes/books/make up in one big pile. From there you are to hold each item and ask yourself, Does this spark joy? She recommends starting with your favourite items so you can get an early feel for the joy they give you and use that to guide the rest of your sorting.
Once you have kept only what gives you joy and discarded the rest, you need to get on with the task of assigning your joy filled belongings a permanent home. The KonMari method includes detailed information on how to organise, fold and store in every category to increase the joy.
After reading all of this advice, I decided the KonMari method would work best for me but with a little bit of forethought and input from The Minimalists and The Clutter guys.
As Marie Kondo demands, I will be starting with my clothes. Hopefully the dread I feel in my cloth cluttered bedroom I will soon be replaced with joy.