Aug 17, 2014
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Tag: declutter

Spring Clearing

Spring Clearing

00KonMari Method, KonMari With KidsTags: , , , , , , , , , April, 17

 

Spring is here! It’s been a wet winter here in Northern Califorina, which was exactly what we needed and now we’re ready for some sun. Spring is a great time to get energized to clear and clean your home. In my community we are about to have a “swap” where some amazing mamas organize a day when we can bring all the stuff that we are ready to pass on, and perhaps find stuff that brings us joy. At the end of the day everything left is donated. I’ve been asked to share some tips for de-cluttering, and thought it would be a great resource for people beyond my local community.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

First things first, get a garbage bag and a box and go through each room of your house and the garage looking for the obvious things that are no longer serving your family or are garbage. This would be a fairly quick pass through with the idea of finding the stuff that you know you are ready to let go. You might find that this is enough.

 

Clear by Category

 

Now if you want to get serious about clearing the clutter, you’ll need to collect categories of it (or subcategories if you’re a busy mom). This free checklist will guide you. I suggest checking out the Kids section of the checklist; focusing on kids clothing and toys since they grow and develop so rapidly will serve you well. Small doable steps are a great approach to adapting the KonMari method for a mom. I love how Kendra (a local mom) describes her  de-cluttering process:

I like to pick an easy category to start with – I konmari’d my little one’s pants. I threw them all on the floor, pulled out our favorites and then it became really obvious which of the ones that were left didn’t make the cut for us anymore, then (this is the hardest part for me) I actually got the keepers all back in the drawer. Voila! Now her pants drawer is freshly organized with cute little folded pants, I have a bunch to give away and I feel great! 

 

Edit Ruthlessly

 

If you’re attempting to fully de-clutter, be ruthless.  Don’t keep too much stuff, because you’ll just have to go through the categories again and again. That is a waste of your time. Being honest with yourself the first time through might pull at your heart strings, but it is well worth the time (and discomfort!). To help you edit, ask yourself these questions as you go through your stuff:

Is it necessary?

Does it bring me joy? (Does it give me a positive feeling? Or does it give me a negative feeling?)

Having less stuff means less dealing with stuff. Less stuff helps you align with your values. Less stuff means more time connecting with your family and friends.

 

Letting Go

The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more joy you will feel. Marie Kondo’s  suggestion to actually say “Thank you” to your things as you let them go helps you maintain your attitude of gratitude. If talking to your things seems weird, you can say it in your mind, or find a way to remember how grateful you are. This act of gratitude can alleviate the momentary guilt you may feel about letting go.

 

Homes for Everything

Once you have gone through all your belongings, it’s storage time. Make sure each thing has a specific and permanent home. Creating homes for everything takes time; these strategies can help. Use the magical folding method for cloth. Place books and paper vertically.  Store related items together i.e. like with like.  Divide storage into squares by using boxes or trays.

 

Return Things to their Homes

After you use something, put it back where you got it from- right away, every time. Sounds easy enough, but it takes practice.  If you forget, gently remind yourself and your family. Make sure the home for each thing is simple and clear. With practice you’ll figure it out.

 

Control the In-flow

Once you’ve spent the time and effort developing your “joy meter” and de-cluttering your home, you don’t want to bring a lot back in.  Bring your “joy meter” with you when you go shopping (or to the swap). Trust that feeling and don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Now that you understand what things are necessary, and what things bring you joy, use that wisdom. If you stay true to your joy, you wont have much for Spring Clearing next year.

Join a Challenge Group On Facebook

We learn best in community. Facebook is a great place to find your tribe. Especially these days there are lots of groups dedicated to KonMari or Minimalism. If you are looking for a KonMari with kids challenge group join our community!

5 Steps to Avoiding a KonMari Rebound

10KonMari MethodTags: , , , , , , April, 16

5 steps to avoiding a konmari reboundThe fear of rebound is real. In both of her books , The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy Marie Kondo frequently mentions how no one has ever rebounded after following her method of tidying. A “rebound” would mean going back to living in a cluttered and messy house after you have completed the method. The idea is to tidy your home by going through all the things you own by category, choosing to keep the things that “spark joy” then thanking and letting go of the rest. No one wants to be the first to fail at the method.

“Thinking of your life after KonMari is the key,” according to Ms. Mitsugu Ando, the Manager of the KonMari Consultants in Japan who recently led a private seminar in San Francisco, California. I was honored to attend the seminar and the notes I took will help you stay on track with your tidying.

 

Follow these steps in order and you will be forever safe from having a KonMari rebound.

1. Imagine your Ideal Home and Life

The first and most important step. Think about the life you want. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How are you spending your time? To answer these questions write down your objective and goals, or create a board on Pinterest, or create a vision board from images cut from magazines pasted on a poster board. However you choose to express yourself, this activity will serve as your guide post to keep you motivated to complete the KonMari Method in your home.

2. Focus on the Positive

One of the ways the KonMari Method stands out from the other methods of decluttering is that it is all about focusing on what you want to keep in your life. Focusing on what brings you joy and surrounding yourself in these joyful belongings will increase your joy.

3. Decide your “Click Point”

The KonMari Method is not minimalism. There is no set number of things you should keep. As you go through your things by category, ask yourself, “how much is enough?” You decide for yourself what is the right amount of things for you.

4. Designate a Home for Each Thing

Once you have gone through all your belongings and kept the joyful things, it’s storage time. Make sure each thing has a home. Some basics of storing are the magical folding method for cloth/soft things, vertical placement, storing like with like and dividing storage into squares by using boxes.

5. Return Things to their Homes

After you use something, put it back where you got it from. Simple enough, right?

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Image: KonMari Media Inc.

Five simple steps that will lead to a forever tidy home. Nothing to be afraid of friends. My favorite lesson from the seminar is to forget all the “rules” of the method and tune into your inner guide. It’s all about finding what “sparks joy” for you. So you be the judge about these five steps. Joy or No Joy?