Pro Tips to Master Your Clutter, the Japanese Way

It’s that time of the year where your home is a mess - yellowing books from your college days gather dust on your shelves, your clothes lie in "Organised" heaps on your bedroom floor, you have makeup from five years ago still taking up space on your dresser. The words "spring cleaning" strike fear into your heart.

Are you a minor hoarder? Do you believe that your home will never be a clutter-free nirvana full of zen touches that would impress the most fussy of friends and family members? Have a little faith - here are some carefully curated tips from Japan's eminent goddess of neat, Marie Kondo, to help you get that spring cleaning started! So go out and get your tidy on!

What is the KonMari Method

Japan's - and possibly now the world's - most popular organisation queen Marie Kondo, who also wrote the bestseller housekeeping manual "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", has sparked an entire revolution of decluttering and methodical trashing that will apparently change your life.

Here are four of the top tips and mantras the softspoken, unconventional Marie swears by:

KonMari Tip #1

Does This Spark Joy?

Ask yourself this question every time you pick up an item you are considering tossing out. Your aim must not be to throw out as much as possible but rather to make sure that the items you keep are ones which make you happy. Don’t scoff at this seemingly airy-fairy method of elimination - you will be surprised at how many items you hoard because of superficial attachments or never use because of buyer's remorse.

KonMari Tip #2

Do the Vertical Stack

Storing your items vertically allows you to pack so much more when you have limited drawer space. By stacking vertically, you can also access the exact shirt or tie you want by the colour rather than having to rifle through stacks of horizontally stored and folded items. Having a system where you organise by colour also helps you locate a particular item faster.

KonMari Tip #3

Sort and Rehome

When you are "purging", the natural tendency is to clean room by room. Try to declutter by category and not by room for example, books, clothes, personal documents rather than bedroom, kitchen and study room. Why so? Simply because these general items tend to be scattered across the rooms of your home.

Once you have sorted and discarded, try to place new items in their respective "homes" quickly to prevent clutter from building up.

KonMari Tip 4

Fold, Fold Fold!

Or rather, KonMari believes that every item in your home, especially your socks, have "worked hard" and deserve respect when being kept and returned "home" to their respective storage areas. Here we have illustrated her folding technique:


The more folds, the less wrinkled the item will be when you take it out to wear.

Folding reduces the amount of space taken up by things, which increases your storage space!

This is especially the case for cotton shirts, underwear and winter wear.

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