Decluttering 101: Tips from Marie Kondo, Francine Jay and other domestic goddesses who are coming to your rescue before Chinese New Year
1. Throw away anything that has outlived its purpose Look at each item in your space and ask yourself, "Why should this stay?" If you can't think of a good enough reason, it belongs to the bin. Don't even think of how it can serve you in the future. It's harsh, but it's the first step.
2. Throw away anything that doesn't bring joy This Marie Kondo tip is heaven-sent. Once again, all you need is a quick scan around your home and pick out things that make you unhappy. A distasteful gift from a colleague? An unfinished knitting project? A memento from an ex? What's past belongs in the past, and in the bin. The mental and physical toll of keeping an unused item around is greater than throwing it out.
3. Start a capsule wardrobe Play fashion editor and narrow down your clothes to things that you'd actually wear and need. You gain a lot from dressing with less. With less clothes, you make quicker sartorial choices, spend less money, and challenge yourself to think of style solutions every time you're faced with a curated list. Basics and timeless items are key: A classic white shirt, a comfy pair of jeans, a well-tailored suit, a pair of well-made shoes and you're set for life.
4. Keep your family and friends out of it Think of this practice as your safe space, with no judgments necessary. When you're tidying up, it really helps if your family member or best friend isn't around to talk you into or out of keeping something.
5. Return your bedroom to its intended nature A messy bedroom can prevent a good night's sleep. Keep technology-based distractions out of your bedroom or if you can't help it, far away from your bed as possible. Your night stand, for example, should only contain things that make you calm and aid in a well-rested sleep: Essential oils, an alarm clock or that moisturiser you've spent way too much money on.
6. Take one day at a time It can be overwhelming to clear your stuff in one day, so start by dedicating half an hour every night before you go to bed. You'll go to bed knowing you've done your part for the day. Integrate this into your life and sooner or later, you'll find that decluttering comes naturally.
7. Implement the Four Box Method Take four empty boxes and mark them with these four action words: Throw, give away, keep and relocate. Now you're all set.
8. Invest in quality bathroom amenities You really don't need three kinds of facial cleansers if you invest on one that does its job well. Store fewer products in your bathroom cabinet by picking key items that serve its purpose. Use each product to its entirety before purchasing new ones, and remember to throw away expired products or items you haven't used in more than three month.
9. Use clear jars in your kitchen One simple step can streamline the storage in your kitchen. Not only do clear jars promote a cleaner and stylish look, it also saves time when you're scrambling looking for a particular herb. Since they're clear, you can also stack them up and store them away easily, maximising space on your counter and in your drawers. They also reduce your environmental footprint.
10. Be mindful of what you bring into your home And we don't mean the occasional drunk stranger. Don't bring home items just because they're free, cheap or have been gifted. A crucial step to decluttering is prevention: The less things you bring home, the less things you'll have to throw away.