How to create a clutter-eliminating lifestyle
You may have heard of KonMari. It’s the organizing trend created by Marie Kondo that’s sweeping the nation, social media and now TV. In a new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, Marie travels across the country working with families and teaching them the art of decluttering and organizing their homes.
If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s books, you’ll understand her step-by-step method of simplifying and organizing by keeping only what “sparks joy” in your life. It’s a clutter-eliminating lifestyle that’s not for everyone, but it can be an extremely helpful introduction to an organized lifestyle for many.
While the concept of “sparking joy” seems simple and effective, there is much more that goes into the process of helping people to organize their lives, homes and offices. At Simply Placed, rather than relying on one method, we employ a customized approach that works for each client’s unique need, personality and lifestyle.
How a Professional Organizer can help you
Getting organized is a personal journey for each person. Often there is a feeling of sheer overwhelm – organizing a home or an office is a big undertaking. With the guidance of a professional to help you understand how to break it into manageable pieces, we take away the overwhelm and leave you with a game plan for success.
Letting go of things that once held value isn’t an easy process, either. Often, there are emotional ties included. It is important to not minimize those feelings or the amount of time that it might take for you to go through your belongings.
Our approach also varies a bit from Marie’s methods. For example, her method of organizing begins with all clothing, then books, then papers, then other rooms, with memorabilia at the very end. In reality, it’s not always practical to process and make decisions this way without feeling overwhelmed.
Instead, we often break down an organizing session with clients by focusing on one room at a time (like a kitchen, or office), or one space at a time (such as a file cabinet, or a desk). We also help clients to organize non-tangible things, like an Email inbox that has taken on a life of its own, or digital files that need structure. We even help clients organize entire offices, such as our team organizing day last summer with JayMarc Homes.
Organizing is a process, not an event
Rather than asking if something sparks joy, perhaps the question could be does it support your priorities or needs *right now*, regardless of its use or value in the past. If it doesn’t support what you need now, you shouldn’t feel obligated to allow your space to become a storage unit for things you don’t use and love anymore. If something isn’t adding value to the space, your work or your life, let them go.
When we work with clients, we like to use the acronym SPACE to teach organized systems and habits:
- S -Sort. Bring like items together so you can see what you have.
- P -Purge. Do you love it, use it, need it? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, what could you do if you didn’t have it? Use these questions as a framework to help you make decisions about what you keep and what you let go.
- A – Assign a home. Everything you keep needs a clear and consistent home. This makes it easy to find things when you need them and makes it even easier to clean up. Keep like items together and keep things close to where they are used.
- C – Contain. Once you know what you’re keeping and where it’s going to live, decide what types of containers you need to store your things.
- E – Establish new habits. Thinking long and short term, identify what new behaviors or routines you will use to maintain your organized and clutter-free space. Consider an approach of tidying up as you go, as well as making a monthly habit to spend some time to maintain your organization.
In the end, whichever method you choose, it’s about honing your skill at making decisions and finding what you need in your life. Once you’ve mastered that, the next step is about creating habits about maintaining that room or that space in the future.
Are you ready to declutter and bring organized systems into your life?
If you need help starting an organizing project in your home or office, or help finishing a process you’ve started and are having trouble moving forward with, contact us for a free 15-minute consultation. Our professional team will work with you to customize a system that will make organizing and maintaining your home, office or any space a habit that will “spark joy” in your life.