Canada’s only certified master in the Konmari Method shares her tips on how to simply and effectively de-clutter

There’s no question, when you a tidy up and de-clutter your space, it makes for a more zen, organized headspace. I work from home, so often even find myself tidying up first thing in the morning so that I can start my day feeling organized and calm — I do realize that this is probably not the most efficient way to keep my apartment clutter-free. So, looking to take it one step further, we chatted with Ivanka Siolkowsky, Canada’s only Certified Master in the KonMari Method (aka Marie Kondo) about the six basic rules of tidying up, and how minimalism and hanging on only to items that “bring you joy” can also bring you peace of mind.

For those who are somehow not yet familiar with the KonMari Method, can you briefly explain what it is?

Based on professional organizer and best-selling author Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method is a system for organizing and tidying up, leaning on principles of minimalism and mindfulness.

The main benefits of this world famous decluttering philosophy are making organization less intimidating and more enjoyable for people looking to simplify their lives. With the clear structure of the KonMari Method, tidying an entire house is not only attainable, but also a peaceful process.

The method refers to 6 basic rules of tidying up, can you explain these?

The KonMari Method is a two part system: discarding and organizing, which are governed by six basic rules:

1. Commit yourself to tidying
Dedicate a significant portion of time, whether that’s a full day or a weekend, to immersing yourself in the project, as well as maintaining an open mind throughout.

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Before you start the process, imagine how you want your house to look when you’re done. Taking it one step further, picture your overall dream life to which you aspire.

3. Finish discarding first
Before you even think about organizing, first discard all the items you no longer wish to keep. This is the key to effective organization.

4. Tidy by category, not location
Tidying by category is the only way to get a sense of all the items you own, as well as avoids simply moving items from room to room, without actually discarding.

5. Follow the right order
The correct order to tidy is: clothes, books, papers, kimono (miscellaneous), and finally sentimental things.

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy
For every single item you own, ask yourself if it brings you happiness. It’s important to pick the item up, hold it, and notice your emotional reaction to the item. Only the items that truly spark joy should be kept.

Can you talk about the connection between this method and what it does for people mentally and for their headspace?

The KonMari Method encourages people to become more present in their physical environments and more emotionally connected with their belongings. One of the six rules I mentioned before, encourages people to hold an object and ask themselves whether the item brings them joy. This allows people to let go of their rational thinking, and let their emotions create their reaction. The whole process is very meditative and grounding!

Is there a specific time of year or time in someone’s life when you suggest they undertake this method?

The KonMari Method requires the entire process to be done in one chunk of time. Rather than slowly chipping away at items over a long period of time, commit to tidying in an entire day or weekend. This can be done at any time of year, but is extremely effective during times of transition. This could be anything from the changing of the season, relationship transitions, or simply feeling an urge for a fresh start. Who doesn’t love a fresh start?

How can tidying up your space transform your life?

A huge component of the KonMari Method is visualizing your ideal life. The goal is to create an environment that reflects that dream. The KonMari Method is all about learning to appreciate the things that bring you joy, and encourages you to release the things that don’t.

This philosophy easily transfers into other areas of your life. After a whole weekend of practice, you’ll be surprised at how often you look for other ways to simplify. It’s amazing how much of your life will transform once your mind is open to a more minimal way of living.

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