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Why Declutter?

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

The KonMari method does require time and effort. But once you have made up your mind, all you need to do is apply the right method.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

You would rather start tidying right away? That is precisely why so many people suffer rebound after tidying up.

3. Finish discarding first

One characteristic of people who never seem to finish tidying up is that they attempt to store everything without getting rid of anything. When things are put away, a home will look neat, but if the storage units are filled with unnecessary items, it will be impossible to keep them organised, and this will inevitably lead to a relapse.

4. Tidy by category, not location

For example, when tidying clothes, gather every item of clothing from the entire house in one spot. This allows you to see exactly how much you have. It’s very important to get an accurate grasp of the sheer volume for each category.

5. Follow the right order

It is: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and finally, sentimental items. Have you ever run across old photos while tidying and found that hours have passed while you were looking at them? This is a very common blunder, and clearly illustrates the point of tidying in the proper order, which is designed to help you hone your ability to distinguish what sparks joy. Clothes are ideal for practising this skill, while photos and other sentimental items are the epitome of what you should not touch until you have perfected it.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Remember: you are not choosing what to discard but rather what to keep. Keep only those things that bring you joy.

Extracted from Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying (Vermilion, £12.99) by Marie Kondo

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