Organizing your Home the Japanese way

Organizing your Home the Japanese way

Most of us live with such a hectic schedule and busy lifestyle that it often becomes nearly impossible to relax and find an inner state of peace. However, at some point, we all feel the urge to press the pause button on our brains and place everything on hold, even if only for just a

Most of us live with such a hectic schedule and busy lifestyle that it often becomes nearly impossible to relax and find an inner state of peace. However, at some point, we all feel the urge to press the pause button on our brains and place everything on hold, even if only for just a few moments. During this pause mode, we tend to turn to something we enjoy and

give it all our energy while completely disconnecting from the outer world. It could be a

stroll around the house after dinner, a bubble bath, reading a few pages from a book or

even eating a quick snack while listening to your favorite music. I believe this brief

mental break is one way that helps us survive everyday stresses.

I have noticed that whenever things get too stressful, my desire to have a clean nest

Increases. It normally occurs when a number of things in my life become uncertain that I feel

the irresistible urge to clean out my pantry and sort my closets. However, I never found a

reasonable explanation to my behavior.

It wasn’t until recently, when I saw a book titled, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

Up”, that I started to make the relation between the two factors of stress and cleaning.

In this very interesting book, the author Marie Kondo claims that house organizing and

decluttering could be used as a form of therapy, and if done correctly, it could change a

person’s life significantly. “When you put your house in order, you put your affairs

and your past in order, too,” Kondo writes. “As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t, and what you should and shouldn’t do. When you’ve finished putting your house in order, your life will change dramatically.”

In her book, Kondo combines the beautiful spirit of the Japanese culture, to which she

belongs, and her experience as a counselor for growing families and businesses in New York City. She visits homes and businesses, provides them with advice as well as a step-by-step

guide in how to make their space more organized for life. She is so busy that her services are booked three months in advance.

You might be surprised to learn, writes Kondo, that decluttering is an art that has quite a bit of science behind it. There are many myths when it comes to house organizing. Kondo debunks some of the most common myths about decluttering and shares how to best organize your space using the Mary Kondo way

Myth # 1: Don’t try to organize your entire space at once; tidy a little at a time.

Wrong, writes Kondo. She suggests the best way to tidy a place efficiently is to do it quickly, before you start to give up. As long as you do it correctly, then quick is fine. According to Kondo, “A tidying marathon doesn’t cause rebound. If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set. if you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order.”

Myth # 2: You should not aim for perfection when it comes to tidiness.

Well, maybe perfection is a little out of reach, but if you aim at least somewhere close to that high standard, then you won’t need to re-do the job over and over. According to Kondo, “I can tell you from experience that you will never get your house in order if you only clean up half-heartedly.” Here is what she suggests. “All you need to do is look at each item, one at a time, and decide whether or not to keep it and where to put it. That’s all you need to do to complete this job.”

Myth # 3: Storage is a convenient way to tidy your place.

Nope. Tidying should never be translated into storage, writes Kondo. Although those adorable and colorful bins and containers might seem to provide a solution to the clutter problem, it is a temporary one. “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved,” writes Kondo. “But sooner or later, all the storage units are full, the room once again overflows with things, and some new and easy storage method becomes necessary, creating a negative spiral.”

Myth # 4: Tidy one room or location at a time.

Contrary to common belief, it’s best if you start tidying by category rather than by location. In her book, Kondo claims that when you tidy by location, it is likely to find that you stored the same types of items in different locations around the house, making it more difficult for you to stay organized. “Tidying by location is a fatal mistake,” she writes.

Myth # 5: You don’t have to discard everything.

When it comes to tidying, we are all very picky about what to keep and what to toss, and sometimes, we tend to keep things we really are not going to end up using. If the process of discarding is not done efficiently, we most likely are going to end up repeating it in a few weeks or months. For this reason, writes Kondo, it’s best if you always discard efficiently and make sure you get rid of everything you are not going to use before you even start the organizing process.

Myth # 6: Hanging it is better than folding it.

It is commonly believed that hanging clothes works best for tidying. However, Kondo

claims that this is a common misconception and that if done in the right way, folding

could be the most efficient way of tidying your closet and saving space. “Although it

depends somewhat on the thickness of the clothes in question, you can fit from

twenty to forty pieces of folded clothing in the same amount of space required to

hang ten,” writes Kondo. Moreover, “By neatly folding your clothes, you can solve

almost every problem related to storage.” Inspired by her Japanese spiritual beliefs, Kondo also impresses her clients with an added benefit to folding, in addition to saving space. Folding could be one way to transfer positive energy from your body to your clothes. “When we take our clothes in our hands and fold them neatly, we are, I believe, transmitting energy, which

has positive effect on our clothes,” she writes.

Myth # 7: Start with photos, frames and albums.

Kondo argues, that sentimental value items are the most difficult to get rid of and, therefore, it would be smart to keep them to the end of the process. “The degree of difficulty involved in selecting what to keep and what to discard differs greatly depending on the category,” she writes. “People who get stuck halfway usually do so because they start with the things that are hardest to make decisions about. Things that bring back memories.” Instead, start with paper clutter, kitchen cabinets or even toys and games.

Now that you know some of Marie Kondo’s best techniques for decluttering your space

and making a change in your life that will bring more peace, it’s time to get off the couch and start the hard work….look for the reward and remember, sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.

By Mona Hassan


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