There is something you need to know about me…I love stuff!!
Cookbooks on my countertops motivate me to cook, oils & soaps in the bathroom create a relaxing atmosphere and books piled high on the nightstand encourage me to unplug before much needed shut eye. This fascination with stuff is a little difficult to admit. As a real estate agent, you can typically hear me chattering on to my clients about abolishing distracting clutter. You would think I was the queen of the minimalistic era, however, I must confess, I love stuff! Then it happened, one night while searching for something to watch on Netflix, I came across Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method. The aesthetic that evokes simple, subtle and unobtrusive beauty really speaks to me. I realized watching the series, that surrounding myself with the “stuff” that inspires, can work well, IF they are items that “spark joy.” Otherwise, it is best to consider giving items away or disposing of them, in order to live a more healthy, carefree life.
Even if you’re not planning on moving in the foreseeable future, there are countless benefits to decluttering and getting organized and countless methods, too. The KonMari Method – which achieved popularity with Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up– has become a cultural phenomenon since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo began airing on Netflix on Jan. 1 (https://konmari.com/pages/netflix).
TIDYING UP BY CATEGORY
The thought of tidying up so we’re surrounded only by items that make us feel warm and positive is certainly inspiring. Perhaps that’s why I’ve enjoyed watching the Tidying Upseries, which shows Kondo helping people transform cluttered homes into serene and organized spaces, including a family of four struggling to downsize.
In another episode, she helps a grieving widow afraid to get rid of things that remind her of her beloved late husband. Instead of having painful reminders all over the house, Kondo recommends creating a treasure box of special items that can be displayed in a location in the house that sparks joy.
Most tidying methods take a room-by-room or little-by-little approach but the KonMari Method (https://konmari.com/) encourages tidying by category, not location. The order allows you to hone your joy-checking skills as you move from the easiest category to the most challenging:
- Komono (miscellaneous items)
- Sentimental items
KEEP ITEMS THAT ‘SPARK JOY’
Kondo’s philosophy is really quite simple: keep items that ‘spark joy’ and discard items that don’t. If you’re not yet a ‘Konvert,’ the clothes category offers helpful insight into how the KonMari Method works. Pile all of your clothing on your bed (and if you’re not able to complete the task in one day, place them on spare bed). Pick two or three outfits that spark joy and measure other pieces of clothing against those.
Now, pick up each piece of item and decide if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t – perhaps because it never fit properly in the first place or isn’t the right colour – it’s time to find it a new home. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell and/or donate and what you want to recycle or throw away.
Learn more about special waste management events and how to dispose of hazardous waste at https://www.durham.ca/en/living-here/garbage-and-recycling.aspx.
WHERE TO DONATE
Many people feel guilty letting go of items but expressing gratitude towards those items promises to lessen that feeling. You can donate unwanted items to organizations such as the following:
- Canadian Diabetes Association
- Salvation Army
- The Brides Project
- Habitat for Humanity Restores
- Humane Society of Durham Region – Donate
Generally, Kondo recommends storing clothes and nearly everything else vertically so it’s easily visible. She also uses boxes, dividing items into like-sized categories and ensuring everything has its own space. While Tidying Up focuses on the act of decluttering, Kondo is always careful to emphasize the intended result: a home that better empowers the life you want for yourself.
If you’re looking for a new home to empower the life you want for you and your family, please know I am dedicated to providing the best client care possible and will be by your side to protect your interests and help you through every step of the process. I look forward to working with you!