Does this item spark joy?

A renowned tidying expert, Marie Kondo, inspiring people around the world with her ability to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity. If you have not heard of Kondo, you should definitely check out her show on Netflix; ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’.

Kondo’s method of organising is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time (check out the order below) and then keeping only those things that ‘spark joy’, and choosing a place for everything from then on.

Inspired by Marie Kondo; we’ve interviewed some of our own GC team members who are now absolute fans of the show to share their thoughts. We have also included our top 5 tips on decluttering your home after we’ve done our part!

What do you love about the show?

Jordan: What I love so far about the show is that it really pushes people to take stock of what they value in their life and how things and what we own can really contribute to our joy or to our dissatisfaction if we’re leaning towards over consumption.

Ellina: I like how emotional the show is. You never think about how important your home is and how having a cluttered home is like having a cluttered mind.

Can you give us any examples of how you’ve been applying the KonMari method?

Felix: Me and my girlfriend started watching Marie Kondo’s about a week ago. We live in a really small apartment so we really have to care about how many things we have and things were starting to build up. So we decided to sell our stuff at Glebe markets. We just filled up two bags of our things and just went there. Set up a stand. Brought some friends there and sold all of the stuff that we didn’t need.

Ellina: I love Marie Kondo and I’ve been simplifying my life for around a year or two now and I’m loving it. I have less things in my closet and in my room in general. It feels really simple and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything as well. Ever since then, when I buy something I’m very conscious. Instead of buying 100 singlet tops that’s 5 dollars each, I can buy a nice singlet top that I like and that I know I can wear forever where I can wash over and over again without it having to deteriorate. Quality>Quantity

What have you learnt about ‘spark joy’?

Izabella: What I’ve learnt about ‘spark joy’ is that when you have something special, you shouldn’t simply hide but you should actually showcase it and put it in a very special place to you so you’ll be reminded of the good things that happened.

Our 5 Tips on Decluttering Your Home

After learning a bit about the show, we’ve applied the KonMari method into our homes and here are our top 5 tips on decluttering your home. To start with, you should follow Kondo’s order of cleaning which is;

1. Clothing (tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, shoes)
2. Books
3. Papers
4. Misc or Komono (CDs, DVDs, skincare products, makeup, accessories, electrical equipment, household equipment and supplies, kitchen goods, hobby related things)
5. Sentimental Items

Tip 1: Free up space for the things we love.

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We’re not just talking about material objects but start to visualise the kind of life you want to live. It goes without saying that when we start to organise our space, we begin to understand what it means to have a clear mind. Cluttered space equates to a cluttered mind which can lead us to a stressed mind. By discarding things that doesn’t spark joy, we’re freeing up space for the things we love and also begin to appreciate our home.

Tip 2: Set a strict deadline when selling and donating items.

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Selling items takes time and patience. It also takes up space and the risk of it always being with you. So when is a good time to finally let go and donate the item you’ve tried selling?

Give yourself a strict deadline and stick to it. Make sure you write down the date on your calendar in order to set a clear schedule. If something does not sell within the specified window of time, it is time to donate it. It is also important to then store the items you plan to sell or donate in an area that does not interfere with your daily life.

Tip 3: Deal with subcategories rather than a whole category.

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Have an endless amount of clothes sitting on your bed? Feel like you’ll never get to the bottom of the pile?

Start by making a checklist with all the subcategories you have to go through and schedule days for each pile. Tops today, pants the next day and so on. This will get rid of the anxiety and overwhelming feeling that you’ll never get through this. We’re taking this one step at a time!

Tip 4: Keep things that only spark joy.

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We know. We’re also guilty of the ‘but I paid for it!’ or ‘someday I might need this’ moment. The KonMari method asks you to grab one item at a time, and find that ‘spark joy’ feeling. If you can say without a doubt ‘I really like this!’ and that it continues to make you feel happy, then keep it.

There is no numerical limit on the number of items you should own. The whole process is about learning what items spark joy for you. Once you are convinced, you should be able to hold each of the selected ‘spark joy’ moments with confidence. You have already proved to yourself what’s important to you. So if you find that the quantity isn’t what you expected in the end – don’t worry! You know that you will be cherishing those items you keep. For reassurance, Kondo herself owns 15 sets of pajamas! Clearly she found what sparks joy for her.

Tip 5: Treat your possessions with respect.

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Is anyone else guilty of the neverending mess before heading out to an event? From the unworn clothes you decided not to wear piled on the bed to the aftermath of your makeup table? We are.

This is where Kondo encourages you to respect the items for the use they provide you. This means storing each item so they can easily be seen at a glance. By providing each item room to breath, and even acknowledging the items with a mental ‘thank you’ before putting them away, you’ll start to appreciate each item for being in your life. Think of it as there is a home for every item. You won’t throw away the things you love on the floor or back in a messy pile because you respect them.

At first, you may feel hesitant to let go of certain items and that’s alright! Once you go through the order of cleansing, it may take one, two or even five times before you are truly able to let go of the things you don’t need or may ‘sort of’ spark joy. As you go through the list, you’ll start to become more grateful and appreciative of your home.

Let’s Spark Joy.

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