The new Marie Kondo show Tidying Up on Netflix has everyone talking about decluttering. Like a modern-day Mary Poppins, Marie Kondo has found a way to make tidying up a little more delightful – with her spark joy method being the spoonful of sugar many needed to finally deal with their stuff.
A quick look at the #mykonmari thread on Instagram shows just how popular tidying up has become. Across the world, everyone is stepping up to the five-step challenge laid out in Tidying Up. If you are also ready to KonMari your life, we have five tips to make sure the process really does spark joy in a meaningful (and sustainable) way.
1. Decluttering will only work if the whole family is onboard
Many of the people in the show are completely wrung out by the responsibility of keeping tabs on a whole household of stuff. But as soon as everyone is onboard, the mood of the household lightens significantly.
The KonMari method makes each individual in the household responsible for their stuff. Even kids are taught to fold their clothes and decide what items spark joy for them (and we’ve also seen evidence of this happening in real life on the KonMari Australia group on Facebook). If you want to
have a big clean-out, empowering every member of the family will ensure you can maintain an ordered home in the long term.
2. A big clean out lightens your mental load
Many of us don’t realise how much brain space is occupied by things: things we want to buy, things we need to clean up, finding lost things and the guilt of hanging onto things we don’t like or need. We get to see first-hand the impact of a clean and organised space on the mood of families. Now imagine that feeling on steroids after you have dealt with your clutter – it won’t completely change you life, but it will make each day feel far more manageable.
3. Call your local op shop before dropping goods off
Not only is it this season for cleaning out, but a large number of unwanted Christmas gifts also find their way to op shops at this time of year. So call ahead to see if you local op shop is accepting donations. If they aren’t, contact other organisations near you, as many shelters and refugee organisations accept items such as clothes, general household goods and toys.
4. Tidying up is a way to practice gratitude
Before discarding an item, Marie Kondo encourages you to thank it. And if you have never spoken to your wooden spoon collection or your clothes before, this might seem like a strange thing to do. But the beauty of this exercise is the feeling of gratitude that comes from directly acknowledging the abundance around you. Because how often do we really stop and take stock of how lucky we are to have a myriad of wooden spoons to choose from and clothes for every mood?
5. Organise your home for the life you want to lead
The way your home is organised can inspire you to do new things (hello, new year resolutions). Do you want to cook more, but can’t stand your cluttered kitchen? Or is there a hobby or side business you are keen to start, but don’t have space in the spare room to make it happen? Decluttering makes room for what’s to come next. As you are tidying things a lot messier before they get tidy – and when there is stuff everywhere, it’s important to keep that future vision in your mind as inspiration to soldier on.
While we take so much pride in cleaning, Marie Kondo has found a beautiful way to articulate how profound the impact of tidying up really is. And we’ve been so excited to see a lot of people asking their Home Assistants for help with decluttering! Here’s to the magic of storage boxes and tidy drawers.
– The Mother Ducks