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Decluttering/KonMatri à la Sally-Ann

Well, it’s finally bitten me – the KonMari/decluttering bug the Japanese use. Better to have a few things you love than a household of things you barely use. It’s so addictive once you start, it’s hard to stop! I am not a hoarder by nature – I’m actually a total minimalist – but I end up keeping things I don’t really want to, in case. Mostly in cupboards. This past week I’ve tossed out dozens of books, piles of clothing and enough paper to set up an entire recycling factory (yes, I have recycled it, not thrown it out). It’s been the most liberating thing I’ve done in a long time.

I love the thought of giving away things that mean/meant something, but that I know I’ll never use again if I’m honest, instead of them lying in a cupboard. It’s hard when you start but when you get going, oh my goodness… I’ve acquired all this ‘stuff’ over the years, till eventually I realised it owned me rather than the other way round. Here are my tips (learned not from anyone, but my own experience) which I hope help you to do some of your own KonMari-ing. If there’s such a word.

Pick a room: I know this doesn’t follow what I think I understand by the classic way of doing this – but this is KonMari-a-la-Sally-Ann style – it works for me! I started in my private office. Start on your books – really, WILL you read all those books? Many are out of date, or you no longer want all those ancient recipes – give them to the Hospice shop. Now arrange your books and you will have better looking shelves with room for other things – like your hubby’s photo (in my case).
Give away what you can’t use: I have a few people and organisations I give to – there’s always someone who needs what you don’t. Your church, your domestic help or even the person standing at the robots without work.
Don’t get side tracked: Make time, and if it’s a lot of work, pick a section and finish that section. Even 15 minutes a day will work.
Get rid of all the paper: this is my biggest problem – articles, journals, magazines – I had to realise they were taking up space and I ‘freed’ myself from them by joyfully tossing them into the recycle bin before even looking at them. Just do it.
Forget perfectionism: it is not going to happen. For me, I decided I’d do 2 phases. Phase one was getting rid of everything I thought I didn’t need. Phase two is where I will now go over it all and hopefully do a further declutter until JUST what I really need and use is left. Don’t wear yourself out either – take your time.
Do it in bite-sized pieces: sometimes our lives are too busy – even if you pick a drawer a day – have a plan and do that drawer today – and so on until you get there. In fact, a confession – I don’t think you ever really get “there” but it doesn’t hurt to try. Make time every day for a mini-declutter if you don’t have the luxury to do it in a major way all at once.
Don’t be afraid of space: I love open space around me – I don’t have to fill it with tables or items on a desk. I’m aiming to have just my computer, filing basket, and a few other things around me – not the piles of paper and zillions of pens and pencils I collect. You know what I’m talking about.
Decluttering never ‘ends’: be at peace with this right now – it needs to be ongoing – this is just the start. My fear was that when I die one day some poor soul is going to have to trawl through all my junk – I don’t want to do that to anyone!! Apparently “death decluttering” – (horrid name) is probably another name for this practice. You start this death decluttering decades before you plan to die. And when you do one day, you have just what you need. It’s wonderful! I’m starting early. And I plan to make it a lifelong, ongoing practice.

Now! What else can I get rid of today?