The whole world has been buzzing about Japanese organizer, Marie Kondo, and her approach to decluttering. If something doesn’t ‘spark joy’, you should thank it for its service and say goodbye. It’s not about finding things to throw away; it’s deciding what to keep.
With the KonMari method, you’re supposed to gather everything, by category, in one place. It’ll help you get a better grasp on what you’re working with (such as getting into the ‘book’ mindset). And what better place than your storage locker? If you need to take a break and come back to it, you won’t need to worry about tripping over piles at home.
If you organize properly now, you shouldn’t have to do it again. Whether it’s at home or in offsite storage, here are five categories to go through item by item:
If it doesn’t spark joy, it needs to go. Chances are, if it doesn’t fit or make you feel good, it’s not worth keeping. Marie Kondo also has a particular folding method to keep your ‘joyful’ items upright, visible, and easy to access.
Nope–KonMari isn’t about getting rid of most of your books. If the idea of reading it again (or for the first time) doesn’t excite you, but the idea of getting rid of it makes you upset, you can keep it for now. It likely holds another type of value for you.
Whether it’s bills, receipts, notes, tax documents or something else, gather everything together. Organize into paper that needs attention, paper you need short-term, and paper you need forever. Anything that doesn’t fit into one of these three categories needs to go.
Komono (Miscellaneous Items)
This is a huge category that includes things like seasonal items, CDs, skin and hair care products, kitchen items and furniture. Are there remnants of an old hobby you probably won’t revisit anytime soon? Did you keep a gift from someone so you wouldn’t feel guilty? Everyone goes through this category in their own way.
Think about why you want to keep these things. Is it because it belonged to a relative who has passed away? Does it mark a stage in a child’s life? Sometimes having a photo of a sentimental item is just as meaningful as the item itself. You could put the item on display or repurpose it into something else (such as a pillowcase out of a shirt). This is the toughest category for many, so take your time.
One caveat to the KonMari method: while some say it should work for everyone, not everyone assigns the same amount of value to the same items. You might find that most things ‘spark joy’ for you, and it’s tough to part with anything at all.
If you want a stress-free, clutter-free home but you really can’t bear to say goodbye to more than a couple of items, offsite storage is your next best bet. But shhh…don’t tell Marie Kondo we said that.