5 Japanese Art of Decluttering Tips

The Japanese art of decluttering has been made popular by the wonderful Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In her book, she goes into great detail about the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing and it truly is an art.

Although, sometimes clutter is unavoidable and hard to fight. I found the Japanese art of decluttering and Kondo’s methods exceptionally helpful because she gets into the psychological basis of these issues. This book has changed so many lives, I love it.  So insightful and just plain brilliant!

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Here are 5 basics ideas of the book, this just barely touches everything she has in it.  It is a must-read.

1. Does the item give you joy?

The principle of Kondo’s method is to analyze if the object itself gives you joy. She says to hold the object in your hand and then simply listen to your feelings about it. Does it give you joy? Does this shirt make me happy? If not, then get rid of it. That shirt hanging in your closet for the past year unworn is clearly not loved.


2. There is a RIGHT Method to Tidying Up

The Japanese art of decluttering your home uses a smart and efficient method to tidy up. But there is a right method to tidying up and a wrong method. Marie goes into these details in her book. Most people fail at decluttering because they use no method at all. We simply throw stuff away and straighten up when we feel like it.

To prevent clutter from coming back in the next few days, you need to tidy in the right order, according to Kondo.

There are only two tasks involved: discarding and deciding where to keep stuff. Discarding must come first. “Do not even think of putting your things away until you have finished the process of discarding…In the middle of discarding people start to think of where to put things.” This causes a halt in the actual work of discarding and then you don’t get rid of half as much as you need to.


3. A Little Bit At a Time Will Get You Nowhere

In the life-changing magic of tidying up, one of the core concepts is the fallacy we have that we should declutter a little at a time and over time, your work will be done. Kondo, however, disagrees with this approach and argues it gets you nowhere. The best way to declutter your home and life is to devote an entire day or week or however long to the project, and then do it ALL. Yes, don’t stop or do 10 minutes a day.


4. Arranging Your Clothes to Energize Your Closet

Her secret to energizing your closet is to arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right. This has the effect of making you feel lighter because lines that slope up to the right make people feel more comfortable, she says.

On page 79, Kondo goes into great detail about how exactly to accomplish this.


5. Never Start With Family Mementos

This is a tip I never personally would have thought of myself, but she says that starting your decluttering process with family mementos will bring failure. She argues that people have trouble discarding things they find have functional value, informational value, and emotional value. The process of discarding will go a lot faster if you start with the items that are easier to get rid of such as clothes. Things like photographs are notoriously hard to get rid of. Her preferred order of discarding is clothing first, then books, papers, and lastly mementos.

I hope you’ve learned a little bit from Marie’s book, but like I said, these 5 tips only scratch the surface of her insight and brilliance. Decluttering our lives is something we can all do and is something that has the potential to radically change our day-to-day lives on both a physical and spiritual level.

 

8 Habits of People Who Always Have Clean Homes

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It can be hard to always stay on top of your home and keep things clean and organized. You may begin to think that women who always have a clean home have some sort of secret. However, these are just habits that they’ve learned over the years. And down below, we’ve found eight that you can include in your daily cleaning regimen. So try them out and let us know how it goes!

Quick Note!

Hey, If you also want to know the 9 habits of people who have organized homes? Click here to check them out!

1. They Start Their Day Off By Making The Bed

Although making the bed is a task that takes two minutes, it can have monumental effects on the feel of your home and also on how you feel when you get home each day. I learned this very early in my life because of my Mother, an entrepreneur of a major cleaning company! She never let me or my brother leave in the morning without doing this step first.  

2. They Wash Clothes More Often

People whose home is always clean,  wash clothes regularly. They do not leave clothes to wash on the weekend, but instead, they wash as soon as they have enough clothes for a load.  Yes, this is true, it is better to just get them done with a load at a time rather than saving a few loads for the end of the week!  Don’t we all just want to relax on our weekend?  

Click here to get laundry detergent and save yourself from having to run to the store!

3. They Keep Papers in The Right Place

These people keep their papers organized and controlled. They separate them based on whether they will be recycled or stored in the proper folder for future reference. If those papers just get stacked up in a junk pile, then you put more work for yourself.  (..and no one needs that!)

4. They Clean the Refrigerator

They clean the refrigerator often. Dirt and clutter can accumulate in the refrigerator in the form of spoiled food or spillage. And sometimes, your refrigerator could need urgent cleaning without you knowing it (such as meat juices draining and spilling at the bottom of your fridge).

5. They Put Shoes and Coats In The Right Place

They make sure that shoes are not just thrown around the house. And the same goes for coats. A simple tip is to take off your shoes when you get home and put them in the closet. Make sure that you enforce this as a rule as well with your coats.

6. They Make Sure Dishes Are Washed After Use

People with always clean homes never leave dirty dishes in the sink and they do not allow the kids to do so either. A good tip is to get rid of the dirty dishes before going to sleep. This will give you fewer dishes that need to be cleaned in the morning after breakfast. My mother always taught me that it’s best to wake up in the morning without a chore first thing!  It helps you feel less stressed and more “put together.”

7. They Store Things After Use

These people also make sure to put all objects where they belong. Putting things back from where they were taken ensures that everyone will know where to look for things and keep the house clean and tidy.

8. They Dust & Vacuum Regularly

They vacuum daily or as often as they can. If you dust and vacuum the house weekly, your house will be cleaner and you’ll save time since you won’t have to do a huge cleaning every month or two. Things will stay presentable for longer.

Keeping the home clean and organized can feel pretty overwhelming, but thankfully, there are great ways to make this easier. Especially when you’re building daily and weekly habits that will cut down on cleaning time!

These are my top 8, and they work every time.  Being more organized helps all of us stay organized and on top of things, Like they say, Time is money!

What are things you do that help you stay more organized?

 

Simple Tips to Declutter Your Home

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Before you dive right in, figure out what your decluttering goal is. Do you merely want to get rid of visible mess, or do you want to create entirely new household organizational systems to use going forward? Knowing what your end goal is can help you prioritize tasks and figure out your next steps are.

Another trick to kickstart your decluttering? Start with what you feel is the easiest room first. For example, if you know you need to do an overhaul of your entire wardrobe, don’t tackle your bedroom and closet first. If you begin with a simpler decluttering job — say, cleaning out and reorganizing your spice rack or that beautiful junk drawer— it can empower and motivate you to tackle bigger decluttering projects.

The Best Way to Tackle a Cluttered Room

As you get ready to start the decluttering process, it helps to have a system in place that you can use as you clean and reorganize. One super simple, straightforward option is the “Four-Box Method” — using four boxes or storage bins, you can streamline your decluttering job. Here’s a breakdown of how just four boxes can make tackling a cluttered room a breeze.

Box 1: Trash

The first box will be your designated trash dump. Any items you want to get rid of that aren’t worth donating or selling go here.

Box 2: Give Away/Sell

Next, designate a box for items that are still in OK condition, but that your household could do without — like old books or toys, for example. Whether you want to give these things away to family/friends, donate them to charity, or sell them in a yard sale to make a little extra money is totally up to you.

Box 3: Storage

This box is for things that you can’t or don’t want to get rid of, but that you aren’t in need of on a day-to-day basis (think things like seasonal decorations). It’s also a good idea to make an inventory of items that you’re putting in storage as you go — that way, you won’t be left wondering what exactly is taking up space in your garage or attic down the line.

Box 4: Put Away

Lastly, have a box ready to place any items that need to be kept in your house, but relocated to their proper place. If you want to get really organized, you can have a few smaller boxes — one each for places like your bathroom, kitchen, or bedrooms — and sort misplaced items into their “homes” to save yourself the hassle later. 

Want one last decluttering pro tip? If you have the need for it, you can add a fifth box to this method: one for items that can be repaired/replaced rather than tossed out or donated, like a watch that needs a new battery. 

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

Tackling your bedroom may seem like an overwhelming project — especially if you’re just learning how to declutter efficiently. To start your bedroom decluttering off on the right foot, spend a few minutes tidying it up first: make your bed and pick up any dirty clothes that might be strewn across the floor. Once the visible, day-to-day mess is out of the way, you’ll be more motivated to move on to these problem areas.

Nightstands

If you have a nightstand that you use as a catch-all storage space for your clutter, now’s the time to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Unless you need access to something before bed — like a sleep mask or earplugs — the nightstand is not the place for it. Don’t forget to declutter the top of your nightstand, too: clear off anything that isn’t essential (lamps or alarm clocks, for example) and minimize the knickknacks and décor you keep displayed on top for a less cluttered look and easier cleaning.

Dressers/Drawers

Is there anything worse than messy, overstuffed drawers? If you’re tired of having to dig through a sea of disorganized clothes to find what you need every day, it’s time to sort each item of clothing in your dresser using the Four-Box Method. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in at least six months or it no longer fits, it doesn’t belong in your dresser drawers. Once you’ve pared things down, try folding your clothes into small rectangles and placing them face-up — instead of stacked atop one another — so you can easily see each item when you pull the drawer open. 

Closets

If you want to really declutter your home, it’s necessary to spend a significant chunk of time decluttering your closets, as they can be major havens for clutter. Before you start sorting things using the Four-Box Method, it’s a good idea to remove everything from your closet and lay it all out so you can easily see exactly what you have. This is also a good opportunity to wipe down any shelves and surfaces in your closet that rarely get cleaned.

Next, ask yourself a few key questions as you decide what items you want to keep: when is the last time I wore this? Does this piece of clothing make me feel good when I wear it? Do I have something similar to this that I like more? It’s also a good rule of thumb not to keep something for “someday” — like if it no longer fits but you’re keeping it around just in case it fits again one day. That mindset is how clutter accumulates!

When you’re putting away things you want to keep after the purge, make sure to put your most-worn items in easily accessible spots, and then organize things however works best for you — whether that’s by color, season, or occasion.

 

Decluttering Ideas for Your Bathroom

Although bathrooms can be relatively small spaces compared to other rooms in your home, that doesn’t mean they can’t accumulate just as much clutter. Here are some decluttering ideas that will make your bathroom more organized than ever before.

Purge Your Beauty Products

Some of the biggest culprits of bathroom clutter are beauty products: makeup, skincare products, hair accessories, and more. It’s also good to break the habit of accumulating duplicates of things — for example, don’t open a new bottle of shampoo if you still have a couple days’ worth of product left in an old one.

Take Stock of Your Medicine Cabinet

You might open your medicine cabinet every day, but when’s the last time you actually cleaned it out? Take everything off the shelves, and toss anything that’s old or no longer usable — like stretched out hair ties or expired medications — then wipe down the inside before returning the items you’re keeping to your medicine cabinet.

Create Hidden Spots for Storage

Short on storage space? There are plenty of handy tricks that can create a more organized bathroom instantly. If you keep finding bobby pins strewn all over the place, try attaching a magnetic strip to the inside of a cabinet door and sticking your bobby pins on it for easy access. You can also use a file organizer as a handy spot for your hair tools by attaching it to a wall or the side of a sink cabinet. For smaller items like makeup brushes, cotton balls, and cotton swabs, have labeled jars dedicated for each and then set them on your counter or a shelf for easy access that won’t look messy.

Your Living Room Declutter Checklist

Your living room is where a lot of household action takes place — meaning it can be a magnet for clutter from everyone in your family. If you want to make your living room a clutter-free zone, follow this simple, three-step declutter checklist.

Step 1: Sort Through Toys, Books and Magazines

If your living room acts as de facto storage for books, magazines, and children’s toys, it’s a good idea to do a sweep of these items and sort them using the Four-Box Method. Donate old books to a local library or school, recycle old magazines, and toss any toys with too much wear and tear to donate or sell.

Step 2: Reduce the Number of Knickknacks

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying décor in your home, but too many knickknacks in your living room can make it harder to make use of the space — and harder to clean around, too. Take stock of things you have sitting out on tables and shelves, and decide what you might be willing to part with: are there old picture frames, throw blankets or potted plants you no longer care for?

Step 3: Create a Permanent Storage Spot for Everyday Items

Instead of just leaving things lying on your coffee table, designate a basket for everyday items — like remotes, chargers, and video game controllers — and then stow the basket under an end table or in a drawer for easy access.

Decluttering Tips for Your Home Office

There’s nothing less motivating than trying to get work done in a home office that’s messy and disorganized. If that sounds a little too familiar, check out these quick and easy decluttering tips for your home office that will help make it a productivity paradise.

Remove Items That Don’t Belong

The first step of decluttering a messy home office? Removing or putting away any personal/household items that don’t belong there, such as toys, dishes, or workout gear. Your workspace should be for work only — non-work-related items act as reminders of other responsibilities, which can be distracting when you need to focus on work.

Sort Through Documents and Papers

If your desk is barely visible thanks to a jumble of papers, now’s the time to sort through them. Make three piles: one for papers to shred or toss, one for documents to file away, and one for things you need to take action on. If most of your work-related documents are digital, go ahead and spend some time organizing and cleaning those up, too. Even though digital clutter isn’t visible, it can be just as detrimental to your productivity. 

Organize Your Desk Drawers

One simple hack that can work wonders? Organize your desk drawers according to what items you use most frequently. For example, you might fill your topmost drawer with everyday items — like a notepad, pens or phone charger — while the bottom drawer is home to things like your hole punch or envelopes. Pro tip: Within each drawer, have the most used items towards the front for easy access.

 

Clean Up Unruly Cords/Cables

Just the thought of a tangled knot of cords can be stressful — and your home office is the last place you want to feel stressed. One of the easiest decluttering tips for a home office is tying cords and cables together with zip ties so they stay together and look more streamlined. Once they’re together in one convenient bunch, you can tape or hook them under or behind your desk so they’re out of sight and out of mind.