Health Tips

Decluttering: The Basics

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Find out how decluttering can help your home and start the New Year with a clean slate.

If you find yourself surrounded by stacks of unused goods and memorabilia that have accumulated over the years, it’s time to bid them goodbye and make room for the New Year.

Research has shown that being constantly surrounded by clutter is not just a symptom but also a source of stress. Tidying your space can reap you benefits such as increased productivity, improved ability to relax, and less frustration from trying to find things when you need them, among others.

Don’t know where to start? There are numerous ways you can execute your journey to a clutter-free home. Here are some easy decluttering steps taken from tidying expert Marie Kondo’s ‘KonMari Method’ to start you off:

Discard first

During the process of decluttering, be sure to discard all unnecessary items and avoid placing them in the same space until the entire process is complete. Ensure that everything to be discarded and decluttered is removed entirely.

Tidy up all at once

When you decide to start on the decluttering process, make sure to tidy everything up all in one day.  Clearing a little each day is going to take forever to complete, make it a one-time occasion instead so that the clutter is effectively removed.

Order of tidying

The KonMari Method involves a specific order of tidying – from categories of items that are easiest to part with to those that are the hardest. Start from clothes, accessories, books, miscellaneous items (for example, toiletries, make up and electrical items), followed by kitchen items and papers. The trick with papers is to discard everything, and keep only important documents that require action. Leave the sentimental items to the last as they are the hardest to part with. Photos, souvenirs and stuffed toys may be difficult to let go, but the KonMari Method encourages you to thank each individual item for being a part of your memories before discarding them. Be brutal.

Organise by category

When packing clothes and accessories, go through each by category (tops, blouses, skirts etc.). Pull each item out of their storage area and assess if they fit, or if you actually like it. The trick is to be ruthless and to only keep the essential. KonMari also includes a method of folding which involves folding clothes vertically instead of stacking them up. This method of folding helps to free up more space in storage areas and allows you to see everything more efficiently.

Determine if each item “sparks joy”

Instead of focusing on what you should discard, shift that focus towards what you wish to keep and what you cherish about these items. Question each item to determine if it “sparks joy”. This allows your emotions to tell you what is important and what isn’t, and the process of ridding things that lack positive energy can be a liberating one.

With these steps in mind, a little goes a long way. Preparing yourself for a clutter-free life has its liberating effects on your emotional and mental well-being too. So get your hands dirty and start decluttering for the New Year ahead!

Read more from our Decluttering series: Clear Out, House Always Wins! and Decluttering Gadgets At Home.

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