You all know Marie Kondo. She first became a household name when she released the best-selling book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” in 2011.
Her popularity was further boosted by the hit Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” in 2019. This is probably where most of you heard the concept of knowing “what sparks joy” as the main basis in decision making.
We at mubu are huge fans of Marie Kondo and also love the idea of having a neat, organised and uncluttered home.
We are sharing some ideas on how you can jumpstart freeing up your space with items that you don’t need.
But before that (and to convince you to start this project), here are the benefits you can enjoy when you have a clutter-free home:
1. You’re happier and release yourself from stress
Trust us, coming into a room with things that are all useful and “spark joy” will increase your happy state. The stress of having a messy and unorganised space disappears, as things are more manageable and visually “lighter”.
2. You build a sense of confidence and a feeling of competency
You were able to face a “problem” (the mountain of clutters in your home) and finally solved it. This will bring in a sense of accomplishment every time you see your upgraded space.
3. You achieve better focus, productivity and efficiency
The mere fact of finding things more easily will increase your productivity and efficiency. You spend less time going through the rubbles and you decrease your mental load.
A decluttered living area will also help you focus more as you go through your daily stuff with significant stressors being eliminated.
4. You practice being mindful and intentional
If you succeed in decluttering your space and you like the way it looks and makes you feel, you won’t want to revert back to the old you.
You will be more mindful of your purchases and more intentional with your actions as you become more aware of the potential impact of building attachment to things you don’t actually need.
So, are you ready to take the decluttering journey?
Tip # 1: Identify the problem and face your decluttering anxiety
Decluttering can certainly be overwhelming, especially when you think of the tasks ahead of you. Is it the closet full of 100 pairs of shoes and unused clothes? The mountain of papers in your work space? The items from 10 years ago that you stuffed in the closet? All of these could create anxiety, which could be the reason why you put off facing your decluttering task.
Identify and admit that you may have a problem with letting go and don’t let anxiety get to you. It’s now or never. The more you put it off, the bigger the problem will be.
Tip # 2 Visualise the outcome and have a checklist
We all need motivation. Search for decluttering motivation and visualise the end result to give you that push.
Start with a checklist. Identify the area that you should work on first and what you should do after sorting out your items.
As you go on with decluttering, we suggest that you take before and after photos. Why? This will be your inspiration to keep going. It's also giving yourself a pat on the back for doing a good job.
Tip # 3 Don’t do everything at once, pace yourself
For us, the best game plan is to pace yourself. It could be one room at a time or even just 1 drawer!
Also set a realistic timeline as you pace yourself. Those closets could take a loooong time to sort out. You can even try working on a set time per day. Before you know it, you have already crossed out your checklist.
Make sure your boxes are ready as you go through each room/closet/drawer. Have the “throw away”, “to give away” and “to keep” boxes handy, so that it is easier for you when you start organising.
Tip # 4 Don’t let Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) affect your decluttering move
Many people find it hard to let go thinking that they might need that item one day. They have the FOMO bug in them.
You need to change your mindset. Repeat to yourself over and over again the “I have more than enough” mantra. We live in a consumerist society and we have to break the habit of acquiring things or holding on to things that are not essential in our lives.
Channel your inner Marie Kondo and only retain items that give you true joy and toss out the ones that no longer serve you.
Tip # 5 Why not make decluttering fun?
A lot of people probably think of decluttering as a boring, tiring and time-consuming task. It doesn’t have to be.
It could even serve as a bonding moment with the family or close friends. Or why not listen to music or a podcast that you love while doing it? Or reward yourself after a decluttering session?
Tip # 6 Grab the chance to organise and redecorate your home
After you have decided what items to keep, organising is the next step.
If you have the budget, you can consider purchasing furniture with hidden storage or install vertical storage (wall mounted baskets, peg boards, recessed shelves, etc.). You can also add handwoven baskets and the likes that could serve as accents to the living area and at the same time for storage/organising home items. You can even add in labels especially in your pantry area.
Tip # 7 Keep going, maintain your clutter-free space
If you decided to declutter, also make the conscious decision to stop bringing in more items into your home. Every time you purchase, ask yourself if you really need the item and if you will still be using it long term.
Avoid impulse buying because that could lead to clutter build up. Try the 24-hour rule. Do not make any big purchasing decisions without sleeping on it. Also make sure to set a regular decluttering schedule, like doing it quarterly. Embrace the minimalist lifestyle. The more you practice it, the easier it will be.
Good luck on your decluttering and organising journey, you've got this! xx