Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo is the organisational queen that everyone’s talking about. She’s quickly changing lives with her simple, addictive organisation and tidying methods. Her two books, ‘the life-changing magic art of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organising’ and ‘Spark Joy’, have sold millions worldwide and those on the waiting list for private consultations with Kono, well they must be the patient sort. What makes her methods so special? We’ve selected 5 of her golden rules from both books to give you a taster of how easy it is tidying the home.
1) Tidy by category, not location
You’re probably trying to sort your whole bedroom at once weren’t you? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Kondo says to think outside the box and o organise by category. For example, gather ALL your socks in one place, put them on the floor and choose which ones to keep and which ones to throw away. There is an order to this method too. Start with clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and then sentimental items.
2) Spark Joy
Deciding what to throw away is a hard task. Ask anyone who has attempted to fill a bag of clothes for the local charity shop, only to rifle through it at the last moment, pulling out items they can’t bear to part with. Kondo suggests that instead of deciding what to throw away, decide what to keep. A simple switch that makes all the difference. Hold each item one by one and ask yourself, ‘does this spark joy?’ Kondo says to only keep a an item that you feel a spark of joy for, however small. Like when you’re favourite top has just come out of the wash and is ready to wear again. That’s the feeling.
3) Be careful of nostalgia
There’s a reason Kondo says to leave your sentimental items until last. You’re not ready for it until you have gone through the process of sorting all your other categories and learning the art of deciding what sparks joy and what doesn’t. Also you need to avoid stopping all work completely while you sit on the floor reading old diaries. Of all your sentimental items, keep your photo sorting until dead last.
4) The vertical fold
Kondo has gone so far as to develop her own folding method. Instead of folding flat into square, you fold and then roll the item and store them ‘stacked’ vertically beside each other. Not only can you fit a whole lot more into your drawers, but you can see all your items at a glance so there’s no need to mess it all up looking for a particular top.
5) Your own personal art museum
If you follow all Kondo’s methods correctly what you should end up with is a home that’s like your own personal art museum. A home that proudly and neatly displays all your best items in a way that ‘sparks’ joy as soon as you enter each room.