Decluttering

A special event

Words by Rita Isceri

"Tidying up is a special event."
–Marie Kondo

Tidying up is a special event and must be completed in a short time and in a joyful moment.

Because tidying up is not, as we all think, a thing to do every day: once you have tidied up and assigned a specific place to each object, the game is done. You will no longer have to worry about looking for something for hours or losing days updating your wardrobe for the change of seasons.

Marie Kondo's magic power of tidying up has changed my life and I hope it can help you too!

Find Yourself

First, ask yourself what the ideal life you aspire to is, investigate why you aspire to this lifestyle, and keep it in mind while decluttering.

Decluttering literally means making room. When we hear this word, the first thing that comes to our mind is that we need to throw objects away. Instead, I like to think that, by decluttering, I'm deciding what to keep in my life, what is really important to me, letting go of the superfluous.

You could let go of an object because it no longer has a function or because it has gone out of fashion and you know you will not reuse it or because it is part of an old set that you no longer own. In any case, the main point is to understand that if that object still evokes an emotion in you, then keep it, but find a place for it.

It is essential to handle things one by one to understand whether to keep them and then decide on a place for them or whether to let them go.

It can happen, and it is perfectly normal, that you have doubts about keeping an object or not, in this case place it in an open box, so that you can always see its contents. The goal is to re- examine it after 6 months, to understand if during this period of time you felt the need to use objects inside it, if so, find a place for those objects, but I assure you that you will forget the existence of that box the day after filling it.

Go Through One Category at a Time

It is essential to store objects of the same type in the same space: if you are examining personal care products, it is possible that they are scattered a little in the bathroom, a little in your bedroom, and so on. The goal is to gather them all in the same place and find them a single location. This way you won't lose motivation by repeating the same process twice.

The spaces where you store things must not be scattered throughout the house: even more so if you share the house with other people. Try to clearly separate your space.

The way to organize your space must be as simple as possible: all the objects must be put away so that you can immediately see what they are; do not give weight to frequency of use, even the things you think you use less must be clearly visible. The Marie Kondo method recommends storing everything vertically, never overlapping objects. In this way, everything will be clearly visible, and you will avoid any kind of physical and mental effort when you have to put the object away.

Closet

According to Marie Kondo, clothing should also be stored vertically; in particular, on the left the longer ones, with heavier fabrics, while on the right the shorter, lighter ones (for example coats> dresses> jackets> trousers> skirts> blouses). This is a basic criterion that can be applied to all categories of clothing, moving to the right from the heaviest to the lightest in each category.

So do I hang everything? Absolutely not. My advice is to fold what does not necessarily need to be hung, while storing on hangers clothes, jackets, coats, and dresses that would be ruined in a drawer.

Books

It can be difficult to part with your beloved books, and in fact I tell you: DON'T DO IT! Or rather, only do it if you are really ready.

It is true that once a book has been read and placed in the library, they are unlikely to be reopened in the future, however sometimes books have an aesthetic value or are part of a collection.

If you decide to declutter books, start by analyzing generic publications and then move on to books to read, books for practical use (recipes, school, training, etc.), books to look at (photographs, etc.), and magazines.
I advise trying to read more books in digital format. I know that printed books have their charm, but maybe, when you can, also consider the digital alternative. The planet will thank you and your space will not be submerged by books.

Papers

This category includes receipts, bills, documents, etc., but not memories (to which a separate category is dedicated instead).

Here too we divide by category: in use; to be kept for a limited period; and to be kept indefinitely. Needless to say, the rest ends up in the recycling.

Stuff

This category includes CDs, DVDs, body care products, cosmetics, accessories, valuables (booklets, credit cards, electronic devices (digital cameras, cables, etc.), everyday tools (stationery, sewing tools, medicines, household cleaning products, handkerchiefs, kitchen utensils, crockery, other).

Here too the criterion is the same: to handle objects one by one and ask yourself whether they still have a function and whether they still transmit an emotion, and if so, to find a place for them. You can store candles, perfumes, make-up products, and jewelry on a marble or metal tray; in this way you will create atmosphere in the room and at the same time you will always have them at hand.

Memories

This may be the most difficult, but at the same time the most exciting, category. Gather in one place photos, airline tickets, souvenirs, and anything else that falls into this category and, handling them one by one, choose to keep only those that still evoke emotion in you.

How much time do I have?

It would be impossible to be able to analyze all the categories in a day or a week, but remember that tidying up is a special event, which must be done only once in a lifetime, so Kondo advises not to take more than six months.

When you are done, your home may feel more empty, but you will be surrounded only by what is truly important to you. Remember that no one is perfect, and over time you may accumulate more items, although now, before buying anything, I am sure that you will think twice and that you will make a more informed choice for yourself and for the environment.

Now the extraordinary event of decluttering is complete, but allow yourself ten minutes every now and then to recap what surrounds you to always be sure that you are surrounded by what is really important.

Rita Isceri

Rita is a 22-year-old interior designer. She hopes her writing will help people to live a better life. At her blog you'll find inspiration, fashion advice, recipes, and tips for living an ethical life surrounded by beauty.

Our Book, Inside Minimalism Vol.1

A collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. This book covers many topics such as slow and quiet living, curation, consumerism, and family. It is not a strict guide book or a rule book. Rather, it is a book we hope will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to take a slow and simplified approach to life.

Read Our Book

Available in paperback and eBook formats