Forget Spring Cleaning – Tidy Up Instead

Tidying tips for people who hate to clean, cleaning tips

Forget Spring Cleaning – Tidy Up Instead

Tidying Tips for People Who Hate Cleaning

I hate cleaning house ─ unless I should be doing something else (like preparing my taxes or paying bills). When faced with options I don’t like, suddenly cleaning becomes absolutely necessary to do NOW, and almost fun ─ comparatively speaking, that is.

When I’m not cleaning to avoid unpleasant tasks, most of my cleaning usually happens right before we have company. We don’t have company over as often as I’d like, because, well, then I would have to clean more…

I finally realized having company wouldn’t be so daunting if I became more consistent in my cleaning habits. I further realized that what makes cleaning feel overwhelming is the fact that I have too much stuff. I spend a lot of time relocating stuff to areas our guests won’t see.

I need help reducing my stuff.

Enter Marie Kondo, author “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and her “KonMari Method.” I learned that it’s almost impossible to keep a home in order when it is overflowing with things I don’t need or use. Or, as Kondo states it, with things “that don’t spark joy.”

Marie Kondo’s “KonMari Method” of tidying up involves a two-step process. First, you must discard everything that doesn’t bring you joy. Next, you decide where to store what’s left. Of the two essential actions, discarding must come first.

Kondo’s tips on tidying up and discarding unnecessary stuff include:

  1. Tidy by category, not location

Working with everything in one category at a time helps you see the sheer volume of things you own in that category. This will also help you realize there is a lot you can let go.

For instance, with clothing, gather all clothing items in one pile and begin evaluating from there. If you need to break it down more, try working through one category of clothing at a time, such as all tops first, then pants, and so on. Choose to keep only those items that spark joy, or more simply, that make you feel good when you wear them.

  1. Follow the right order

Start with the easy things first and leave the hardest for last. Starting with your clothing helps you hone your decision-making skills and helps you build momentum so that by the end, it seems simple. The correct order:

1. Clothes

2. Books

3. Papers

4. “Komono” or miscellaneous items (such as accessories)

5. Sentimental items

  1. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

As you handle each item, think about how it makes you feel. Give yourself permission to let things go that don’t spark a sense of joy or pleasure. Appreciate the item for the season it served you, then let it go without regret.

Tidying up helps prepare your home for sale

Kondo states that tidying can dramatically transform your life, which she calls “the magic of tidying.” It can help you gain confidence and invite more enjoyment into your life and home.

Tidying up can also help you prepare your home for sale.

Creating order and reducing your stuff will increase your home’s appeal. When it’s time, it will be easier to move because you’ve reduced your possessions to that which you truly love and enjoy. As Kondo says “If you want to meet a beautiful home that is just right for you, take good care of the one you live in now.”

Tidying up for me is a work in progress. I’m hopeful it will bring a renewed sense of order that will make cleaning more enjoyable. And someday, when we’re empty nesters, our move to a smaller home will be easier.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo

Book Summary:  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

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