If you’re sick of hearing the famous “Konmari” phrase “Does it spark joy,” you are far from alone. The good news is, there are reliable, time-proven ways of getting organized without Marie Kondo.
Today we’re discussing six of our favorite techniques for sifting through a household of stuff, none of which require reflecting meditatively over your housewares.
1. Reach out to an online community.
Joining a Reddit sub, Facebook group, message board, or other online support community may make the difference between success or further delay in dealing with your clutter.
Having support from people who are going through similar struggles, and who are thus unlikely to judge you for yours, is nearly universally helpful. Prepare yourself for success by connecting with a support group before you hit an emotional wall, lose motivation, or get distracted by life.
If you know Konmari won’t work for you, though, it’s important that you DON’T join a Marie Kondo-inspired group for support! Try to choose a group whose ethos you find inspiring and sustainable; like weight loss, decluttering is only going to work long-term if you utilize the method that really clicks for you.
2. Employ the 20/20 rule.
When you’re considering practical items in which you have little to no emotional investment, asking whether or not they spark joy isn’t going to help you decide whether or not you should hang onto them.
A more precise metric is the “20/20” rule: If you could replace the item within twenty minutes for no more than $20, you are unlikely to regret throwing it away or donating it.
3. Take it in stages.
Even if you’re highly motivated to sort through your clutter, it’s important to break the project up into manageable chunks. Belongings pile up around us because we’re unable or unwilling to tackle decisions as they arise in the moment, so attempting to “fix” the situation in a matter of days or even weeks may not be realistic.
Instead, set aside an hour or two per day, and keep those sessions broken down into thirty or forty minute bursts punctuated by ten-minute breaks.
When your brain realizes that working on your clutter won’t require huge marathon sessions, but will instead be consistent and usually brief, you are more likely to succeed in sustaining any changes you make.
4. Use specific categories.
“Miscellaneous” isn’t a good label when you’re moving, and it likewise isn’t helpful when you’re considering what to keep, trash, or donate.
Clothing, books, movies, papers, housewares, toys, games, craft supplies, and tools are all good starting categories, but you’ll also want to create more specific categories that make sense for your lifestyle.
For example, if you have a broad category like “hobbies” that takes up a whole room, it’s going to be tricky to organize. Ask a friend or loved one to help you create categories if you’re struggling; sometimes it’s easier to see patterns when the chaos belongs to someone else!
5. Preserve the image of sentimental items.
Whether you decide to scan your holiday card collection or take photos of your (now grown) child’s elementary school art, preserving an image of items you want to remember can in some ways make the beloved sentiments even more accessible to you.
Think about it this way: is it easier to pull down a box of papers and sort through it, or click through beautiful photos?
This strategy works equally well for collections of tchotchkes, so if you don’t want to store something but can’t bear not to see it again, snap a nice photo, take a deep breath, and let the item go.
6. Remain open to a shift in perspective.
For some, getting rid of excess belongings is liberating and enjoyable, but because you’re reading this article, this probably doesn’t describe you. That’s okay; you may feel a range of emotions as you sort through your stuff.
While this process is perfectly understandable, you may find it helpful to decide to remember that having so much wealth that we end up spending days, weeks, or months sorting through it all is a problem most people—throughout history AND worldwide today—would consider a dream come true!
As you bring your organization efforts to a close, you should begin to have a clear idea of the items you want to keep and what kind of storage solutions would make your life easier.
That’s where we come in. Dallas Custom Closets is standing by with storage solutions dfw to help you realize your vision of the perfectly organized modern home. Call today to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.