I love reading or learning more about decluttering and organising your home, and yes, I can be pretty OCD about it. The good news is that is also what makes me good at my day job!
In the last few years, as my household grew from a couple to family and my life changed with the opening of THE FIFTH COLLECTION, I found that my house was accumulating more and more things; blame it on the kid, blame it on the grandparents, or blame it on being too busy. Regardless, something needed to be done.
When I heard about this book, my first reaction was to dismiss it. I have heard and read all there is out there and it always sounds better than it is is, but when a friend and fellow Collector recommended it again, I thought I had nothing to lose. Plus there had been a lot of hype around this particular book.
Special note: don’t clutter the house even further, so I downloaded the book to my Kindle. (Full disclosure: I did wind up getting the physical book to gift to someone I know will definitely benefit from it… no spoiler as it is going under the Christmas tree!)
Before I go further, you should know that the book started a huge movement with thousands of Kondo videos on YouTube. So much so that it has become its own verb, a bit like Google. You can now “Kondo” stuff and be understood by the OCD masses.
What I learned?
Anyway, here’s what you need to know about the Kondo technique in a nutshell that can be implemented immediately after finishing the book:
1- When starting to sort, group things by category and not by room, otherwise you end up going back again and again on the same thing.
2- Start with your clothes and then work through to books and papers, and leave the sentimental pieces to the end.
3- Every time you pick up an object, ask yourself if they bring you joy.
4- You don’t need special or fancy containers or organisational systems to keep your house tidy.
5- You think you know how to fold your clothes till you read this book.
What I loved it so much about this book is that I think the approach is sustainable and maintainable, meaning that it’s easy to keep order once you have completed your first Kondo. It does require getting everybody else on board though, such as explaining to little one why we don’t keep candy wrappers even if they are colourful and pretty.
Here are some other takeaways:
1- We all have special attachments to the items around us, and that’s OK.
2- We all feel guilty about the gifts we received from a loved ones and simply don’t like it so we store it somewhere for years… before throwing it out anyway.
3- Marie Kondo does not tell you stop buying, be frugal etc… she tells you enjoy what you buy because you can see it and use it.
4- Cleaning your surroundings is like cleaning your head, and once in a while it’s a must-do.
5- Dressing up, cooking, reading becomes a pleasure again because you know what you want to enjoy versus editing the clutter before making a choice.
Finally, how it relates to THE FIFTH COLLECTION.
Here are the few tips I would give, when you are done sorting through everything that you own and you have a better inventory of your life: resell what can be resold and “up-cycle” them to things that bring you joy. Everything else, donate so somebody else can get the benefit. Live happily ever after.