Many households today are full or overflowing with all things we have accumulated over the years. This physical clutter often leads to mental confusion and overwhelm, so it can be greatly beneficial to have a thorough clear out.
As someone who regularly supports clients through KonMari tidying sessions, below are my top five tips on helping your host declutter their space.
Get clear on the expected outcome by asking your host how they would like the space to look and feel once the decluttering and organising is completed. Keep this ideal front of mind during the tidying process to help keep you both on track.
When using the KonMari method to declutter we will empty a space (such as the wardrobe or garage) completely before assessing each item and putting back only what is necessary. As you could imagine, this can be quite overwhelming and there are plenty of opportunities for distraction. Block out the time you have for decluttering (I suggest a 3-5 hour window) and plan your breaks. Know which categories you are willing to sort in that time frame and make a pile of everything else, it will be dealt with in due time.
‘Trashing someone else’s stuff is not letting go, it’s theft’ – The Minimalists. Always get approval by your hosts before throwing something out. If your host asked you to declutter while they are out, keep a pile of items to trash, for them to approve at the end of the day. You don’t want to be the one responsible for throwing out something valuable or of sentimental importance.
It is easiest and most efficient if you organise things by category rather than by shelf or by room. Often people have items of the same type stored in several areas of the house. Organising by category means collecting all of the light bulbs (or toiletries or books or games etc.) into one space and then decluttering and storing them.
Before you decide on the permanent home of any item, each of them should be reviewed for quantity and quality. Remove any unwanted or unnecessary items first, then reassess your storage needs according to what remains.
If your host is unsure about whether or not to discard an item ask investigative questions such as ‘when was the last time you used it?’, ‘how or where did you get it?’ or ‘what is the story behind this?’ These questions often lead to a decision, but if not, keep the item. Don’t let your opinion of ‘I think it’s amazing’ or ‘I think it looks a bit tacky’ influence your host as it may lead to remorse in the near future.
Article by Michelle Anderson
Certified KonMari Consultant and founder of The Tidy Effect
You can connect with Michelle on Instagram