We all have an inner Marie Kondo hiding somewhere deep under the piles of laundry and overstacked dishes. As the plates from my takeaway dinner still patiently wait in the sink, I realize we all need some inspiration.
And where’s a better place to look for it than to see some real-life examples from people who have their organizational skills up and running like a nuclear power plant?
Get ready to browse through the soothing images of perfectly ordered pantries and shelves, through meticulous layouts and wonderfully neat rooms, and wardrobes, and storage boxes... and indulge in the calming effect of absolute order. These people do indeed make it look like transforming cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration is like a walk in the park, and I am up for it.
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There are two types of people—the ones that do everything they can to delay cleaning up their home up to the very end until they see a tumbleweed of dust heading from one corner to the opposite corner of the room, and another type of people who were born (or passionately learnt) loving organizing their space, and there’s just so much we can all learn from the latter.
So in order to find out how to take your first steps into the organized world and lifestyle that sparks joy, and leave all the chaos behind, Bored Panda reached out to Alice Bauer, a Konmari™ premium consultant who works in Switzerland and Austria.
“The best motivation to start is to envision yourself with your ideal lifestyle,” Alice stated. You may want to ask yourself: “How do you want to live? Picture this as precisely as possible with every detail. What kind of atmosphere should your home have? What do you want to see first when you wake up in the morning? What is your morning routine? What do you do for fun? Do you love to cook and like to cook for your friends in the future? How must your home be to support you best on a daily basis?”
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This self-reflection is the beginning of radical tidying up, which is a lifestyle change, according to Alice. “Create a vision board and add adjectives to amplify how your ideal lifestyle should feel. Warm, light, open, or welcoming, cozy. I love to work with vision boards together with my clients so that they can come back to their vision whenever they feel like it.”
But Alice warns that tidying is a demanding process where you constantly make decisions about what to keep. “There are good days and you feel absolutely great, your self-esteem is high and you go smoothly with the flow; on the other hand, there are difficult days when you cannot motivate yourself properly and your goal is far away,” she explained.
“Then the magic of the vision board comes to play and reminds you exactly why you’re tidying. You want to change your life—somehow,” she added.
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Alice’s trick is to try and tidy up by category instead of location. “The majority of my clients all used to tidy by location, which in my opinion is nonsense. Instead, tidy by category so that you can get an overview of how many pairs of scissors you actually own. You cannot get how many you have if they are scattered all over the house.”
Moreover, when tidying up, you have to stay patient. First, you decide what to discard, and only after, you work with the items you’re left with. “After completing the sorting of all categories, you think about storing what you are left with. Not earlier. That will teach you how to be patient and patience is exactly what you need to finish the process.”
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If you’re on a lower budget, Alice recommends selling things you don’t want anymore on eBay, Etsy, or whatever is available in your location. “But pay attention. You will never sell everything you have planned to sell. I would suggest that you pick out a number of items to seriously sell. Reselling is time-consuming and needs effort. Good pictures need to be taken, a text has to be written, posting, answering inquiries. Think about this aspect carefully.”
“Until an item is sold, it is still lying in your house probably for weeks or months until you cannot see it anymore and just donate it,” Alice said and added that essentially, “someday never comes. Trust me, I know.”
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Bored Panda also talked to Amanda Scanlan, a certified platinum KonMari® consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. If you’re wanting to tidy up and organize things but are lacking motivation, Amanda said that a great place to start is to figure out your why. Ask yourself: “Why do you want to tidy up? Will it make your life easier and happier? This invites you to imagine how you truly wish to live your life. You may like to consider what an ideal day or week looks like for you—What are you doing? How do you feel? Who is with you? What is the quality of that relationship and connection?”
“Connecting with this vision and really feeling into what it is like to live in your tidy home is not only important to find the motivation to start, but will also be a motivator to help you complete your tidying up thoroughly so you can put your reclaimed money, time and energy into living that life,” she explained.
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Aside from this, Amanda suggests thinking of joining a Facebook group, tidy challenge, or engaging a Consultant or buddying up with a friend to share your goals. Sometimes a little push from the others is all we need.
Amanda also said that tidying your home does not need to be an expensive undertaking, “it’s not about Instagram-worthy storage solutions.” Instead, “Tidying up can simply be a process to understand better what energizes and sparks joy in you, and then finding a home for all the items you have chosen to keep in your life.”
“This can be achieved through using items you already have—shoe boxes can be repurposed and used as drawer dividers for storing clothes or keeping like items together; phone or tablet boxes are great for keeping smaller items together like batteries or pens; large glass jars are great for storing food or dishwashing tablets.”
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According to the KonMari consultant, you may even find that you have storage items already that are no longer needed, “such as repurposing a letter organizer as a device charging station or magazine holder to store your papers that need actioning.”
However, if you do need to buy storage items, Amanda recommends holding off until you have finished discarding, since this way you are only finding solutions for the things you truly wish to keep in your life. “Another benefit of holding off is that working through your tidying journey starts to free up mental space; this can result in becoming more creative and resourceful with using what you already have to meet your needs,” she explained.