All this while I have been dreaming having a minimalist house. That is, as simple as possible, for everything.
I want the house to be clutter-free with clean, simple look. To have the home stuffed with furniture and lamps and decorative items (and toys!) is the least that I want.
Funnily, having a simple house is not simple. And I have been putting off this dream until now.
Not that I am lazy to go after it but I don’t know how to begin.
As luck would have it, I think I have found the formula to having a tidy home. I have tested it with some of the items and I am very glad with the results.
The best thing is my wife, J and K are excited about it too. I made them part of the tidying up project and they never turned me down so far. Hence, this has become our family project. Kind of. Involving everybody in this project is also crucial as it will make sure the situation will not rebound. This is to prevent your house from being cluttered again.
This concept that I learned guarantees that there’s no rebound! I have yet reached that stage but I am confident of that if we follow the instructions outlined in a best-selling book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
The book (more than 2 million copies sold) is written by a Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo, who goes around houses helping people clean up the mess. And hell yes, she has a 3-month waiting list of clients!
Her approach is highly radical (it’s called KonMari Method – combination of the author’s name) and it’s not the usual tidying up one-thing-one-day approach.
In the first few chapters, Marie outlines a few myths that even some “gurus” make. That includes tidying by location. Marie says this won’t work and it’s not effective.
In a nutshell, there are only two steps in the KonMari Method: discard off things and store what’s left.
To me, the most important step to having a tidy home is the first step: throw (or donate) what you don’t want. Only by doing so can you have a clutter-free house and this frees up space in your house.
How do you know what to discard and what to keep? Here’s the best part:
Ask yourself this question while holding the item: “Does this spark joy?”
If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, discard.
That’s it. Simple and fast.
By following this process of eliminating, at the end of the day, your home will only fill with things that excite you. Isn’t it wonderful to have a house that is only filled with items that make you happy?
Plus, you will come to a rude awakening: you’ll realize that you have more than you need. This is due to our nature of accumulating and hoarding. Most of the things that are lying around the house taking up precious space are unnecessary and can be given or thrown away.
The book is not all about physical stuff of being clutter-free, it has also some spiritual elements in it. Marie would like you to thank the soon-to-be-discarded items for a job well done in the past. Another bonus you can get is you learn to detach from your past as you tidy up. Yes it’s about the present moment and being detached from the past.
Tidying up a house is a powerful process, both externally and internally, according to Marie. It’s a liberating and enjoyable process too.
I am still in the midst of tidying up but I can feel that what is taught by Marie in this book can help me achieve my dream of living in a minimalist home that is clutter-free. And the best part is your house will remain as tidy and it will not have rebound after the radical clean-up. Do it once and for all and say goodbye to troublesome daily tidying.
What’s more, this is a powerful skill to pass to our children. Don’t you agree?