Q: My friends and I are so inspired by Marie Kondo’s TV show, but where does it all stop? One of my resolutions was to get organized. So I went all KonMari on my bedroom one Friday evening and though it took me all weekend, it felt amazing. My friends are attacking their entire house but nobody has finished. How can I help them keep going?
A: As you already probably know, clutter is incredibly stressful, even if we don’t recognize it, and not being organized affects every aspect of our lives. Clearing out the clutter makes room for the good. Good energy, good thoughts, and better items that are more useful or, (I have to say it) “bring us joy.” I am also a huge fan of Marie Kondo, and her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up inspired me, along with many, many others. Kondo’s strategy to organize by categories was especially eye-opening for me. Who knew I could feel so free after clearing out those three junk drawers in my kitchen!
Unfortunately a whole house is too big of a category for most of us who don’t have the luxury of days or weeks with Kondo and a film crew. You were smart limiting yourself to your bedroom! For anyone considering applying the “KonMari” method to their own homes, first consider some goals. Why do you want to declutter? How do you want to feel inside your home? What about your home makes you feel the most stressed or uncomfortable, and will just decluttering accomplish it?
Take on any decluttering project in a way that matters to you and in an amount of time that you can actually accomplish. Try thinking through a particular category, including where you want that category to live. Clear that space out and gather any organizing bins or shelves you might need. Set a time frame and stage an area that’s convenient but not too much in the way of your daily life. Who wants a giant mound of unjoyful items in the middle of your living room or, much worse, on your bed when it’s time to sleep?
Prioritize your clutter, too. Perhaps just “tidying up” all the visible surfaces in your house is a good start, as long as you remove the offending items completely or put them where they belong, rather than just scooping them into... a drawer. Trust me, out of sight is very much not out of mind. It’s its own special type of stress, and before you know it, you’ll be cleaning out all your drawers, not just that category’s worth.
Declutter and organize via whatever method inspires and motivates you. For your friends, not knowing how far along they’ve gotten, perhaps you could simply help them clear out what they know they’re parting with by suggesting a quick trip to a favorite charity. That will make room for good thoughts, including how to prioritize the rest of the project.
Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, TV personality and author of the book Love Coming Home: Transform Your Environment. Transform Your Life. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.
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Did you try Marie Kondo’s “KonMari” method and got overwhelmed or are you wondering how to start? Here are Jennifer’s tips how to plan your next decluttering, organizing or storage project!
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