Marie Kondo's top tidying up tips

Private Property South Africa
Anne Roselt

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organising guru, bestselling author and star of Netflix's hit show "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo."

Her method differs from the regular room-by-room or bit-by-bit tidying, which after a while, has you back in the same position. The Marie Kondo method involves tidying by category which takes longer to do, but you only need to do it once to make a huge change in your life and home.

The categories areas follows:

1. Clothes

She recommends that before anything else you start with your clothes. Begin by taking all your clothes out of your wardrobe and drawers and pile them on your bed.

Once you have done this you will appreciate how many clothes you do have. Then pick up each item individually and see how it makes you feel. Decide whether it is an item that you really love, if it does not "spark joy," then it is time to let it go.

2. Books

In each case you only keep the items that you will use in the future and "speak to the heart. " Ask yourself do these items bring me joy and do I see them in my future, if not then thank them for their service and discard or donate them.

3. Papers

Kondo recommends that all paperwork should be stored in one place and in two groups. Papers to be saved and papers to be dealt with. Be ruthless with what you keep, for instance how often do you use electrical manuals, most are available online. Do you really need to keep old payslips, bills and bank statements. Generally, the only papers you need to keep are contracts and insurance policies.

4. Miscellaneous items

These include items in the bathroom, kitchen and garage. The kitchen is an area that has many miscellaneous items and may often look cluttered because of it. Only display your favourite items on the counter top. Everything else should be put away.

5. Sentimental items

Probably the hardest category of all. Ask yourself why you are keeping an item, does it really bring you joy? If it was a gift, Kondo recommends quietly thanking the person who gave it to you and the gift for its service and then donating it to the charity pile. This does sound a bit crazy but it does help to take away the feelings of guilt.

The benefits of tidying up by category are many:

  • It gives you an opportunity to decide where things belong. The remote control for instance may belong in a tray on the coffee table rather than lying around haphazardly. Pens belong in a ceramic holder and mail in a box on the desk.
  • When tidying room-by- room, you may end up creating spots in each room for the same items. For example, you may have a spot for medicine in your bedroom and bathroom when the items could be stored neatly in one location.
  • Tidying up by category highlights the amount of items you have. This not only teaches you to be grateful for your possessions, but makes deciding which items bring you joy versus which items don't a lot easier.
  • It makes the decluttering process more effective and efficient.

Tidying up using this method does take time, each episode of "Tidying Up" takes place over a month. Don't rush the process. Rest assured once you have finished you will feel a huge weight off your shoulders, your home will feel like a sanctuary and if you have done it properly, you will never have to declutter again.

Read more: Decluttering with Marie Kondo

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