The art of decluttering

An organized schedule, more often than not, gets carried out effectively when there is a well-thought-out strategy. But what about a having an uncluttered closet, workspace or room? Is it really that important to give your time and effort to such simple things?

Tidying guru Marie Kondo certainly thinks so. The 34-year-old organizing consultant gained fame with her 2012 New York Times best-selling book titled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But this 2019, Kondo has reached new heights and a bigger fan base when online media streaming site Netflix launched a series named Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which revolves around her practices when it comes to organizing.

In all of Kondo’s practices, there is one concept that really stands out when it comes to organizing — the process of decluttering. According to her, the first step when decluttering is to visualize how you would want to achieve that clutter-free space you so desperately want. You should ask yourself the question, what does a life free of clutter look like to me? Since we all have different perspectives, some might tolerate a bit of mess, some may not. But what matters is how would you want yours to play out? Remember that this is your personal space we’re talking about.

After visualizing your goal, you have to let go of things to make room for the ones that really matter to your life. The keyword here is “need.” When we discard these objects that just make a mess every once in a while, then we are freeing up space for the things that really matter, the things that we love. The second step is defined by two words, “spark joy.” It has been Kondo’s catchphrase at this point.

When choosing which items to keep and which ones to let go, all you have to do is to determine if said object can spark joy for you. That way, you’ll know which things really matter. Nostalgia is not your friend, the things that we can let go of must be set free. Or else, you’ll just get stuck trying to figure out what you’ll do next.

The next step is to acknowledge the possessions we chose to keep as if they were alive. This way, you’ll know how much these things really matter and if you made the right choice of not parting ways with them. These possessions reflect your state of mind and for them to be arranged means that you have a well-organized lifestyle. Once you’ve taken care of things, it’s all basic housework from here on out. But since you’ve already sorted things out, the process shouldn’t be as stressful anymore.

We might think of decluttering as just a fancy way of saying housework, but when you look at it closely, there is a certain philosophy behind it — there are reasons why we tend to pile up objects and why we create unnecessary mess. Kondo believes that we hold onto things for two reasons, fear of the future and preserving the past. But once we figure out the things that really matter? Not only does it lead to an organized lifestyle, it also reflects a person’s state of mind, someone who is not caught up in anything and is living life as neat as possible.