Have no fear, you're not alone!
In fact, a survey conducted by Wakefield Research showed that more than half of Americans have a clutter problem. Maybe not like someone from A&E's Hoarders, but enough to make them feel less productive.
Regardless if you work at home or in the office, decluttering your space will set you up for success. To take control of your clutter, let's turn our attention to the KonMari Method, an organizing technique founded by Marie Kondo.
If you haven't heard of her by now, Marie Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant, author and the star of Netflix's hit show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo". Her simple approach to decluttering has motivated people around the world to getting organized.
Kondo believes that by adopting the KonMari Method, you will never revert to clutter again.
With the influence of her tidying philosophy, here are 6 steps to follow while doing your spring cleaning.
1) Dedicate Your Time
Before starting the decluttering process, you need to prepare yourself mentally and commit yourself to tidying up. The actions we take and the habits we develop are a direct reflection of our mindset. According to Kondo, success is 90 percent dependent on our mindset. The other 10 percent of our success comes from skills, strategy and knowledge. With that said, if you want to stay tidy you need to be all in and get your mind right.
Most people hate cleaning and will often push it off until its absolutely necessary. This inability to make time for it often leads to failure and disorganization. Kondo suggests the most effective way of maintaining a clutter-free space is by doing it all at once. Instead of organizing little by little, you should tidy up your space in one go around. Eliminating clutter in a short time span brings instant results, which empowers you to keep your space in order afterwards.
2) Visualize A Clutter-Free Space
In this step, Marie encourages you to visualize the life you want to live. Use this as an opportunity to clarify why you want to declutter and the lifestyle you want to lead once everything has been put in order. Decluttering should be viewed as a positive change that will spark joy in your life forever.
Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what your ideal workspace would look like. Now take that vision and store it in your head so you have a clear idea of what you want. This will help you stay motivated throughout the tidying process. Your goal should be to create a space that feels natural to you and improves your well-being.
3) Discard Items Before Organizing
Focus on discarding items first. Most people will attempt to store everything without getting rid of things. Avoid doing that because it can ultimately lead to more clutter and a relapse in keeping items organized. You must figure out what to discard before you choose where to put things.
To determine what you should keep or discard, start by making a big pile of all the items you own. Once you have everything in front of you, touch every single item and decide if it sparks joy. If you have no attachment to the item, then it's time to get rid of it. Before getting rid of something, Kondo recommends you sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose. Consider pretending the objects are alive and have feelings. It is important to show respect for your belongings and appreciate the use they provide you with.
4) Sort According To Category, Not Location
Most organization methods encourage you to tidy based on location. Typically you would go room-by-room and pick away at stuff until everything seems organized. The problem with that strategy is clutter tends to get shuffled around from one area to the next and we fail to see that we're repeating the same work.
What's different about the KonMari method is it emphasizes a person to organize by category, rather than location. This helps to prevent confusion when trying to sort through items stored in various spots. It also enables you to see exactly how much items you have since you are grouping them together in one place.
5) Go In Order
As you sort items for discarding, Marie urges you to stick with a specific order. In Maries's method you would begin with the category of clothes, followed by books, documents, miscellaneous items and mementos. You can further segment each item into subcategories to really hone in on what does or doesn't spark joy.
Obviously not all those categories will apply to your workspace, but the same approach holds true. For example, you might organize paperwork today, and your personal items tomorrow. The key is to set goals and decide when you will tidy by a particular category. By organizing in an orderly fashion, the decluttering process will become much more effective and efficient.
6) Does It Spark Joy?
If you answered the question above with a yes, then you have identified which items to keep. For all the items that don't spark joy, toss them away. Kondo reiterates that by discarding things, we're freeing up space for the things we love.
Don't keep things "just because" or for the "what ifs". You might say you "need" those extra pens or file folders on your desk, but in reality you probably should get rid of them. Although the KonMari Method does not set limits on the number of items you should own, only choose what you keep based on whether or not it speaks to your heart.
The KonMari Method is intended to bring joy to our lives and be as simple to follow as possible. If you can say without a doubt that you truly love an item, then keep it. And if it doesn't inspire you, then discard it or sell it. With a high success rate, the KonMari Method might just be the decluttering solution you're looking for!
Think you can get money for your clutter?
For those interested, try to sell your old items at one of the major online marketplaces below. We included sites that charge selling fees and ones that don't take a cut of your sales. Like they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure.