As cathartic as spring cleaning is, it can also highlight just how many things accumulate in the home. Suddenly, you can become aware of how oppressive mess feels around you and start to wonder how to have a clutter free home. But how many of us have started a tidying project only to lose interest halfway through? You may have heard of Marie Kondo, the queen of tidying, and the growing popularity around her tidying technique – the Konmari method. There’s no time like the present to employ some of her tips to help you declutter your house, so we’ve broken her method down into five easy steps.
1. Start with categories – not rooms
The secret to the art of decluttering begins with focusing on categories and not rooms. This might seem counter intuitive, but it’s easier to know what to keep and what to get rid of when you have all of one category laid out in front of you. Make a list of all the categories you want to combat, and tackle one category at a time, going into each room and collecting whatever you can find that falls under it. Make a pile in one place of all the things you have collected for the next stage of the decluttering process. Marie Kondo typically focuses on the following categories:
- Office Supplies
- Health and beauty
- Pet items
2. Does it spark joy?
You may have seen this term banded around online and while it may sound cheesy, it is an important part of knowing which things to keep. Once you have your category in a pile, pick each item up, one at a time, and ask yourself if it sparks joy or not. Not sure what sparking joy feels like? If, when you hold an item in your hands, you feel a little thrill or an overall feeling of peace and happiness, place it in its own ‘keep’ pile. Anything that stirs no feelings or indifference can go into a separate pile. Once you have worked your way through one category, you will have a pile of joy-sparking items and another of items you no longer need to keep, whether they’re to go in the bin or to a charity shop.
3. Leave nostalgia in the past
Decluttering is serious business and there’s little room for nostalgia. When it comes to sentimental items such as children’s artwork, try scanning them and keeping them as digital files, framing one or two for your home and recycling the rest. If you feel conflicted about items that belonged to family, try the ritual of saying goodbye to these items before letting go of them. This might sound strange but can alleviate feelings of guilt for getting rid of things that meant a lot to your family on your way to becoming clutter free.
Get rid of anything that’s run out, broken, a duplicate of something you already own, or expired. You’d be surprised how much this will account for!
4. Smart Storage = Clutter Free
Once you have ascertained what you’re keeping and what you aren’t, restrategise your storage solutions. Take the clothes you want to keep (things that suit you and that you’ll actually wear), and rethink how you have been storing them. You can store much more when it’s folded than hung so fold as much as possible and store vertically in drawers so you can see exactly what you have when you open your drawer. Tops, jeans, scarves, underwear, and jumpers are all things you can fold. Marie Kondo recommends folding a top into thirds length ways, into thirds across, and then in half so that it can stand up rigidly in your drawer.
Products such as soaps and shampoos can be decanted into clear glass pump bottles. Not only does this look so much tidier, but it also helps you know when you’re running low, and means you get as much out of the bottle as possible. Aside from glass bottles, you don’t need to buy fancy storage solutions. Marie Kondo advocates using items you already own, such as shoe boxes inside cupboards and drawers, and spare food storage containers. The main thing is, everything should have a place.
5. Choose Décor that Complements a Tidy Home
Now your home is deep cleaned and clutter free you can reassess your home décor. If you have old furniture which is worn, faded, or just doesn’t flow with the aesthetic of your home, it probably isn’t sparking joy. Say goodbye and start again, choosing items which are neutral and universal to last for years to come. Here are some of our favourite rugs which promote minimalism and space:
For a natural look with a statement pattern, we love the Clarence Elmas Cream rug:
The Bedale Traditional Persian Inspired rug really opens up spaces with its gentle pattern:
For something a little darker, a deep red tribal rug can provide a pop of contrast in a minimalist room. Our new Clarence Istanbul rug is perfect for the job: