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Spring clean with the KonMari Method

Student Life
It is springtime, no matter what the weather forecast says. This means it is time for a spring clean, and what better way to do it this year than with the KonMari method?

If you have been living under a rock, here’s a quick overview of what the KonMari method of organising is. It was founded by a Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo, now bestselling author and star of Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ show. Her method encourages tidying your messy house by category, not by location, and promotes the idea of keeping only the items in your life that “spark joy”. (Items, not humans - please don’t put your least favourite housemate in a bin bag.) There are five categories altogether, so let’s get right to it.

1st Category: Clothes

Start with your wardrobe - take every piece of clothing you own and make a big pile on your bed (or somewhere it fits). Then, take each item one by one and notice what feeling holding this item brings to you. If it “sparks joy”, keep it. If it doesn’t, say “thank you” to it and get rid of it. The “spark joy” moment is different for everyone. As Marie says, “you can define spark joy as things that make you happy.” Not only do you concentrate on the feeling of joy that the item creates but also remember the vision you have for your future. What do you see yourself wearing and how will it make you feel? Marie also suggests specific ways of folding each type of clothing to help you see each and every item.

2nd Category: Books

After you have folded your clothes properly, move onto books. Books often represent our values and interests. The process is the same - make a big pile, hold each book and decide whether it sparks joy and hence deserves a space in your new life. If it doesn’t, appreciate what it has given you and move on. People are often very attached to their books but as Marie says, it is okay to get rid of as many or as few items as long as you focus on keeping only what truly “sparks joy”.

3rd Category: Papers

Papers might seem as the most daunting category. However, if you think about your ideal lifestyle, you probably don’t see yourself spending time searching for the right paper every time you need it? Marie suggests to keep and distinguish three sub-categories of papers; those that need immediate attention, those you need to keep short-term, and those to be kept forever. Clearly labelling your papers is crucial for your life declutter. Just think how much lighter you will feel after the process is finished.

4th Category: Komono (Miscellaneous)

Miscellaneous includes everything from the kitchen, garage, bathroom and much more. This might be the biggest task in terms of volume but if you have got to this point, you will be a “spark joy” expert. You are almost there, keep going!

5th Category: Sentimental Items

Finally, move on to the items in your home that have sentimental value to you. Marie recommends tackling this category last as sorting these items might be the most difficult. Here are the last few tips to finish your clear out. First, focus on what to keep, not on what to declutter. Second, stay committed, think about the end goal. Find a way to store all items so that they are easy to find and don’t forget to only keep what “sparks joy in your heart”.

Have you done a spring clean yet? If not, give it a go this weekend, we believe in you!

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