Spring has sprung and that is a perfect time for me to share some thoughts on dealing with clutter and household organization.

It’s been shown that modern psychology can connect what we do with our living environment and the state of our minds. While a “creative mess” may be stimulating for artists, a messy and cluttered home can hardly be the platform for a cheerful and successful person or family. I myself feel chaotic and itchy when I spend too much time in a messy place.

In this blog, I will address how to get a jump-start on home organization with the help of the KonMari Method and my own words of organizational wisdom.

The KonMari Method

The brilliant Marie Kondo says “Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order”. Nowadays, I almost exclusively use the KonMari method to help my clients find new appreciation for their belongings and a way to manage their households with ease and joy.

Mari Kondo’s tidying philosophy goes way beyond simple discarding, storing, and organizing techniques. It is a mind-set and it makes a lot of sense. The KonMari method empowers its followers to convert to efficient, beautiful organization in their home that can easily be maintained long after the initial tidying.

It is noteworthy, however, to point out that there seems to be the misconception that living or working in a tidy and organized space implies the concept of minimalism. That is not the case in the way I view the KonMari Method. I love and enjoy my beautiful things and they greatly enhance my well-being. I choose to honor my belongings by keeping them well taken care of and thoughtfully displayed or stored. I believe that Marie Kondo has a similar view on one’s belongings and distinguishes them from “stuff” that’s useless and clutters our lives. It’s okay to be a “maximalist” and still apply the KonMari Method!

Check out the KonMari Folding Technique: https://goop.com/style/decorating-design/the-illustrated-guide-to-the-kondo-mari-method/

Organization Tip #1

Always Tidy with a System

The key to tidying and organizing is to do so systematically and with the heart in the right place. The basic premise of the KonMari method is to only keep what brings you joy and to chuck the rest.

Excuses like ”it once was a very expensive” or “I may need or want to use it again someday” don’t count anymore. An item that doesn’t spark joy in owning it, has no justifiable right to take up storage space in your home. Unloved, unused, or broken items can be given a last gesture of appreciation and should be tossed, donated, or recycled.

Start sorting your belongings by categories:
*Clothes
*Books
*Papers
*(Komono) Miscellaneous
*Sentimentals

The order is important because by the time you get to the sentimentals, you are a pro in determining what brings you joy and what doesn’t instead of getting lost in memories.

After discarding the unwanted items and with an overview of the available storage, start finding homes for your belongings and always return them there. Sort by purpose and materials. Make storage logical and efficient. Use drawer dividers, baskets and containers, hooks, helper shelves, or even hair ties for electrical cords.

Organization Tip #2

When there is no time for an organizational marathon, focus on the most impactful areas.

Entryways (foyers, mudrooms, etc) are high traffic areas and the first impression for visitors. Entryways are the first stop in the morning and the last stop in the evening and easily turn in to dumping grounds. Bags, shoes, mail etc. pile up easily and can cause feelings of unease when it’s the first thing you see upon entering.

With designated landing spots it will be easy to locate keys, sunglasses, shoes, hats, gloves, sporting goods or dog leashes. I am a big fan of baskets or attractive boxes in sturdy bookcases or cubby storages.

Use a sturdy simple bookcase by the entry or place it on its side to convert in to a horizontal cubby space that doubles as a bench.
Use storage bins made of varying materials from metal to wicker. The key is to designate each storage bin to a group of items that belong together and always return them to the same bin.
Attach a floating shelf with hooks above the storage shelf to hold keys, hats, or dog leashes. Or if hooks are not your style, place a beautiful bowl or plate on the shelf for your keys, lip care, or wallet.

Remember, the key is to return everything to its designated “home”. A tidy entry helps to leave the house in confidence and puts the mind at ease when coming home.

Organization Tip #3

How to maintain your beautifully tidied home?

If you kept only what sparked joy in you and found logical, efficient homes for your belongings, it should be easy to maintain order.

Show your appreciation for your belongings by placing them back into the carefully chosen place. This maintains their beauty and value and makes it easy to locate them.

If you don’t remember where you stored an item, try to think of its material or purpose and where other items like it are kept. Chances are that you will find the item you were looking for there.

Be mindful of the amount and quality of the things you add to your household. Ask yourself if there is a worthy home for the “newcomer” or what less appreciated item could be retired in its place. You always want to maintain a feeling of having enough.

Keep your household at a sensible 90% full. Less than 90% may cause the need (or excuse) to add items and more than 90% may feel suffocating. Check regularly if any given item still brings you joy . Donate or gift it to somebody, but never throw it in the trash because one wo/man’s trash……..

In Conclusion

Regardless of whether you are ready for a tidying marathon or just want to tackle a specific area in your home, spring is a perfect time to get motivated. Spring is all about renewal and rebirth.

While spring cleaning has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling counter-top, and possibly more open spaces, more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, and heightened creativity. According to Psychology Today, organization and order have been associated with choosing to eat more healthily and being more generous.

So, let’s open up cabinets, closets, storage rooms, and garages and allow the fresh air of springtime to renew and inspire our senses.

P.S. If “tidying with joy” does not come natural to you, check out my blog on “Getting Pumped to Tidy with Joy”.

The goal with D Conti Living is to offer interior design and feng shui services that complement each other. When feng shui and interior design work together, the result is harmony, joy, and abundance.

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