The Art Of Decluttering: Happy Home, Happy Mind

The Art Of Decluttering: Happy Home, Happy Mind

      Have you ever wanted to declutter your home but then became so overwhelmed that you just quit before you even began? I have done this more times than I could count. It’s so hard to know where to start or what we should get rid of. So let’s drive into cluttering and how we can work on decluttering without throwing in the towel before we begin. 

        Did you know that it's estimated that only 20% of the things we own are actually used. (LexisNexis study). Disorganization (not lack of space) causes 80% of household clutter. (Soap and Detergent Association study). In the average home, getting rid of clutter would eliminate approximately 40% of housework. (Soap and Detergent Association study). Source. So why do we tend to live in clutter? 

       There are many reasons why people might live in clutter. Some people might have a busy lifestyle that leaves little time for tidying up, while others might struggle with procrastination or indecisiveness. Additionally, some people might have emotional attachments to their possessions, making it difficult for them to let go of items even if they are no longer useful or necessary. Clutter can also be a symptom of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit disorder.

Why decluttering is important for our health

     Decluttering can cause us joy for several reasons. First, getting rid of unnecessary or unwanted items can help create more physical space in our homes or workspaces, which can lead to a sense of relief and freedom. Additionally, decluttering can help reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm by making our environments feel more organized and peaceful. Finally, decluttering can help us feel more in control of our lives and our possessions, which can boost our sense of confidence and self-efficacy. Overall, decluttering can be a powerful way to improve our mental and emotional well-being, as well as our physical surroundings. Ready to jump in? 


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      Today we are going to be diving into The Book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. You may have heard of this book, it’s become very popular all over the world and used as a very practical guide to organize and declutter your home. 

     The author, Marie Kondo, introduces her KonMari method, which encourages readers to tidy by category rather than by location. The book has been praised for its practical tips and inspiring message, which has helped many readers transform their homes. 

     Why is the KonMari Method so popular? 


Marie Kondo breaks down the steps to decluttering in such a way that it doesn't feel like a big job. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable tasks can help make them feel less overwhelming and more achievable. This approach can help increase motivation and productivity, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, smaller tasks can be easier to prioritize and schedule, allowing you to make progress towards your goals in a more efficient and effective way. 

So what are the categories? 

      There are 5 categories. I will list them here: 

  1. Clothes

  2. Books

  3. Paper

  4. Komono

  5. Sentimentals.   

     Each category has a list of things in That category that you will declutter and organize first. We will get into that in a little bit. Why are they listed this way? Because clothes are typically the easiest to start with. Most people have a ton of clothes that they don’t even wear. Books, paper, Komono, and sentimentals. Sentimentals are last because they are obviously the hardest to part with, but easier once you gain momentum and motivation. 

    So before we start breaking down categories, there are a few ground rules. First get rid of things that do not spark joy. Literally hold each object in front of you. If it doesn’t spark joy, thank it and say goodbye. Donate, give it away, whatever you need to do but it will no longer have a home with you. This is a practice that takes a bit of work, but once you decide what sparks joy, it can become quite exciting to say goodbye to things that do not serve you joy. Next, Everything left that sparks joy must have a specific home or space in your home. If you can’t find a space, then you don’t need it. Now that we know this, let's get down to business. 


Also be sure to download and print the checklist at the end of this post if you’d like to try this method!

The First category: Clothes

       Marie Kondo recommends decluttering clothes first because it is a relatively easy category to start with and can help build momentum for tackling more challenging categories later on. Additionally, clothes are often the most visible and tangible source of clutter in our homes, so decluttering them can have a significant impact on our physical surroundings and our mental well-being. Finally, decluttering clothes can help us practice decision-making skills and learn to let go of items that no longer serve us, which can be helpful in other areas of our lives as well.

      Here we will break it down:

  1. Adult Clothes

  2. Adult Shoes & Accessories

  3. Children's Clothes

  4. Children's Shoes & Accessories

  5. Seasonal Items

            (Gloves, Costumes, Swimwear, etc.)

Now let’s move on to the next category. 

The second category: Books

       Most of the time books just take up too much space. We either have already read them or we say we will get to them but never do. Again hold each book individually and ask yourself “Does this spark Joy?”

  1. General Books

  2. Practical Books (Textbooks. Phone Books & 


  1. Visual Books & Magazines

  2.  Children's Books

The Third category: Paper

      Sometimes we hold onto paper receipts, paper bills, papers just in general. Well it’s time to let go of that which doesn’t serve us. Only keep the important papers. Organize them in a binder. The three main categories of paper to keep are: currently in use, and keep for a limited time, and must be kept indefinitely.


  1. Medical Records

  2. Contracts, Insurance Warranties &

  3. Instruction Manuals

  4. Financial Documents

              (including bills, receipts, coupons)

  1. Notes & Business Cards

The fourth category: Komono


       What’s Komono? In the context of Marie Kondo's decluttering method, "komono" refers to a broad category of miscellaneous items that includes everything from kitchen gadgets and office supplies to hobby equipment and home decor. The term "komono" comes from Japanese and roughly translates to "small things" or "miscellaneous items." By grouping these items together into a single category, Marie Kondo encourages people to take a more holistic approach to decluttering and to think more critically about what they truly need and value in their lives.

  1. CDs. DVDs. Video Games &


  1. Skincare & Makeup Products

  2. Accessories

  3. Valuables

  4. Electrical Equpiment & Appliances

  5. Household Equipment & Supplies

  6. Food

  7. Kitchen Utensils & Food Supplies

  8.  Linens

  9. Children's Toys & Other Items

  10. Craft/Hobby Supplies & Gift Wrap

And the fifth Category: Sentimental


         We saved the hardest for last. Marie Kondo acknowledges that sentimental items can be some of the most difficult things to declutter, and she encourages people to approach the process with care and thoughtfulness. Rather than simply discarding sentimental items, she recommends taking the time to appreciate and honor their significance in our lives. This might involve creating a special space or display for these items, or taking photos or making digital copies of them to preserve the memories. Additionally, Marie Kondo encourages people to focus on the positive memories and emotions associated with these items, rather than the physical objects themselves. By doing so, we can learn to let go of the items themselves while still holding onto the memories and emotions that they represent. Ultimately, the decision to keep or remove sentimental items is a personal one, and it's important to approach the process with compassion and self-awareness.

  1. Photos. Albums, Scrapbooks &


  1.  Special Event Items

                          (Wedding. Baby Shower. Etc.)

  1.  Journals, Cards & Letters

  2.   Awards, Memorabilia, Souvenirs &


  1.   Heirlooms & Passed Down Items

  2.   Children's Art Projects & Keepsakes


      If you’d like to pick up the copy of The Book:  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. This book goes into way more detail than I can about the practice of decluttering, How to organize and fold your clothes, and much more! I can promise that it is an excellent read and will give you a new outlook on keeping a tidy home. 

Until next time, busy bees!

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As promised, The Decluttering Check list:


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