Sustainable Lifestyle For Beginners

Welcome to Smart Money Green Planet, a sustainable lifestyle blog for beginners.

Hi, I am Reshma and I run the sustainable lifestyle blog, Smart Money Green Planet.

I write about home and garden ideas, as well as, natural skincare recipes to inspire you to achieve a minimalist home, develop a love for organic and edible gardening; and introduce you to an alternative non toxic, natural skincare routine.

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How to Declutter your Home Using the KonMari Method

How to Declutter your home

Every mom needs a break, but every mom will only take a break once she gets the chores out of the way.  That is not stereotyping, that is just how most of us are programmed.  Are you are a mom looking for ways to declutter without thinking of it as a stressful chore that sucks the life out of you? Let me familiarise you with the phrase ‘does it spark joy?’

To lessen the clutter in your home without the stress, I’m going to show you how to keep clam and declutter your home using the KonMari method.

What is the KonMari method?

Have you heard of Marie Kondo or the KonMari method?  Almost everyone has come across the name Marie Kondo.  If not, then you should definitely look her up.  She is the current queen in the world of decluttering. 

Marie Kondo rose to fame when her series: Tidying up with Marie Kondo first aired on Netflix.  She is the author of the best-selling book called ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’.  This book, which is available on Amazon, transformed the lives of thousands of people by changing how they view clutter.  Her process of how to declutter a home is known as the KonMari method.

Does it spark joy?

Marie Kondo is famous for saying that she wants to spark joy in the world of tidying. Once a space has been cleaned, she asks, “Does it spark joy?”  In fact, when using her method, the KonMari method to tidy the house, she wants us to ask ourselves whether a piece of item brings us joy.  If not, then it is time to let it go.  The KonMari method focuses on keeping and cherishing only the items that you want in your life. 

Stress and anxiety are never good

We all know how stressful and tiresome it can be to keep on top of housework.  We are accustomed to buying and hoarding a lot more than we actually need.  Most people will carryout a decluttering exercise once every few years.  Since they do not keep on top of it, the clutter piles up and they end up in the same situation over and over again. 

So here are 4 main tips to use from the KonMari method to get you started with the deep decluttering that you have always wanted to do.

The Big 4 tips of how to keep clam and declutter your home using the KonMari method

Tip 1 – Imagine your new home

Marie Kondo says to visualise your home. How do you want it to look?  Let the vision ‘spark joy’.  Once you imagine your perfect home, you will feel motivated to start the decluttering process.  Always maintain this vision freshly in your mind to remind yourself of why you are decluttering.  Keep this vision to motivate you whenever you feel like giving up.

The first clean will always be the longest and most tiring.  However as you keep up with it, subsequent cleans will become easier and faster.  The KonMari style is by no means an easy solution or a one time deal.  It is a way of life which you will find yourself adapting to once you have successfully done a full house declutter.  The method will transform how you view items, how you declutter and how you image your home to be, now as well as in the future. 

Tip 2 – Tidy up in one go 

Tidying up in one go does not mean that you tidy it all up within one day, it simply means that you should tidy each category in one go.  For example, when you start to sort through the clothes, make sure that you sort all of the clothes in every single room before you move on to the next category.  If it takes you 3 days to go through the clothing, then so be it.  It is better to have one category fully done than to have several half-done categories. 

Involve the family

Always involve your partner.  Let them be responsible for decluttering their items.  If your children are older, get them to measure their clothes against themselves and then make 3 piles:  One to keep, one to donate and one to discard.  By involving your whole family, including your partner, you will find that once you start sorting through the category, you will slowly get into it and finish off sooner than you expected.

Earlier I mentioned that I will show you how to keep clam and declutter your home using the KonMari method.  Whilst this method encourages you to do the category in one go, you do not have to stick to the plan rigidly if the thought of seeing mountains of clothes makes you anxious.  Continue decluttering by category, but break it down into areas.  For example, instead of taking out all of the clothes that are in your room, remove the clothing closet-by-closet, drawer by drawer. 

You can always go back to the KonMari method of doing it all in one go once you have mastered the first lot of decluttering.  The advantage of doing it bit by bit is that you are still sticking to the KonMari Method, but you will not feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.  Do what you can and once you have done the first lot of declutter, you will be able to declutter a lot faster in the future.

Related Article: 5 Tips to Help you Sleep Well

Tip 3 – Category decluttering

Have you envisioned your perfect home and decided whether you will tidy up in one big go or in little chunks? The next step is how to start the decluttering process.  In the KonMari method, you start decluttering in the following order:

  1. Clothing – start by removing the clothing from your wardrobes and drawers. Make a pile of the items and then sort through them piece by piece.  Ask yourself, does it spark joy?  If not, then put it one of 2 piles, to be thrown or for charity.  Do the same for shoes, linens, towels etc.  Marie Kondo has a way of folding and storing clothes, which you can find in her book on Amazon
  2. Books – once you have successfully organised your clothing, it is time to move to books.  This category also includes magazines.  Ask yourself if the book sparks joy?  If the answer is no, then it is time to let go.
  3. Paper – we receive tons of paper-based mail everyday.  Sort through the paper in one go.  Invest in an office paper shredder. Keep it next to you as you go through the paperwork. 
    • Shred confidential paper such as credit card bills, bank statements and utility bills.   Recycle non confidential paper, such as a envelopes, flyers and newspapers.  
    • In order to reduce paper in the future, sign up to paperless services for credit card and bank statements. You can also sign up to a mailing preference service.  In the UK for example, you can sign up to MPS online to remove your name from the mailing directories.  Within weeks of signing up, you will see a drastic reduction in the amount of junk mail you receive. 

Extend the paper to digital decluttering

In addition to paper mail, we receive a lot of information digitally. Therefore, you could extend this decluttering exercise to your digital items as well.  Commit to spending one day going through your emails and deleting any unwanted, meaningless emails, clear up your folders on your laptop, delete unwanted photos and text messages from your phone. 

Organising a drawer
Organising Drawers

The Last 2 Categories

  1. Komono – all kinds of miscellaneous items found in the areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage etc.  Go through each of the items and if you plan to keep them, store them in separate category boxes. Itemise and label each box with the things you plan to keep. 
  2. Sentimental items –We spend a lot of time reminiscing and rummaging through our memories when we come across sentimental items. Therefore, Marie Kondo encourages us to sort through sentimental items at the very end.  By sorting through them last, you have already made sure that the rest of the house is clear.  Therefore, you can now take your time and go through the items that matter the most to you.  These could be photographs, birthday cards and other items that spark emotions such as such handmade mother’s day gifts from you children.  Put majority of these items in itemised boxes as keepsake, place the photographs in albums and keep a handful of items on display.  Anything else that does not make you feel joyful should be discarded or donated.  For example, a travel souvenir a friend gave you when they visited a place for the third time in a row.  Would it really spark joy?

Tip 4 – Space, Space, Space

Finally, organise your space thoroughly.  Once you start, keep the vision of your perfect home with you all the time and organize your space thoroughly.  Assess the space you have and how much you want to free up from clutter. By visualising your lifestyle and space, you will make the right choices of what you want to keep, store and remove from your home.

Before I sign off

I use the KonMari method to declutter my home of the first 3 categories on a regular basis.  It really does help to declutter the rooms in such a manner.  The key to remain clutter free is to keep on top of the clutter.  You can achieve this if you keep clam and declutter your home using the KonMari method on a regular basis.  If you keep on top of the clutter, you will spend less and less time in the future.  The stress and anxiety reduces with each clean.  In the long run, you should reduce how much you buy, clear out unwanted items and declutter at least two to three times a year. 

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