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20Jul 2016

Declutter your home, make space in your life

Declutter your home, create a little zen in your life

Lately the world has gone a bit gaga over yet another trend. Unlike those that have you chasing fictional characters with your phone (although that was a fun Tuesday and we can’t recommend it enough), this 1 promises to transform your life… Through magic. And decluttering your life.

We know! Who isn’t interested in making their lives more magical?

Authors like Marie Kondo, of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising,” and our very own South African Kate Emmerson, of “Clear Your Clutter,” have got tons of people hooked on the magic of decluttering.

So we gave it a try. And we have to say… These aren’t your average self-help books, although they do give you loads of advice on how to clean out your home and store your stuff properly. What they focus on, though, is the philosophy of owning things, which inspires you to go from just tidying up to creating a more serene home.

Here are the top 5 lessons we learnt that will help you put a little magic back into your life.

  1. What’s 1st? 

Do a complete purge of everything you own, based on the relationship that you have with the items. Both Emmerson and Kondo tell you to evaluate this relationship based on whether you love the items, whether they add value, and whether or not you use them.

When it comes to purging, it’s best to do it with 5 boxes: Rubbish, Sell, Recycle (either for the environment, for charity, or returning to the rightful owner), Repair, and Relocate (to the rightful room or owner).

PRO TIP: Always think, “why should I keep this?”

  1. Next up: get categorised and take note

You might want to go room by room, but that’s old school. You should rather tackle your clutter by category instead. Start with 1 category, like clothes, taking them from everywhere around the house and then sort them according to your 5 boxes.

Categorising your stuff is also the perfect opportunity to put together a list of your home contents. Creating your home takes time and money. Years for some. But it can take just a few hours for damage or theft to ruin everything, leaving you with the mammoth task of starting over. That’s why we encourage you to put together a comprehensive list of your home contents and, obviously, get royal cover for your home. King Price Insurance offers unbeatable premiums and we want to make sure that we’ve got EVERYTHING covered so that you don’t end up having to replace your granddaddy of all leather armchairs with a pine easy-rocker. It’s just not the same.

PRO TIP: Like calls to like, so keep and store similar things together. For instance, you can store your gift-related, like cards, wrapping paper, and ribbons together in a neat box.

  1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

As we started getting further into the magical transformation of tidying up, we kind of started to realise that most of our stuff had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. It’s about respecting what you’ve been given and what you’ve bought with your own money. Think about your poor socks crammed unhappily into forgotten corners or your jewellery tangled in a heap. Probably sobbing from the discomfort.

That’s no way to treat your stuff.

PRO TIP: Each room has a main function and isn’t a dumping ground for everything else, so keep what’s relevant to that space… And nothing else. This will help treat your space and your stuff with respect.

  1. It feels SOOOO good

Both Emmerson and Kondo promote the philosophy of surrounding yourself with the things that you love and need. Basically, you should be inspired by your stuff and if it doesn’t make you happy and you don’t need it, then it shouldn’t be in your home.

We found that making decisions based on happiness gave us complete freeeeedom to let go of sentimental stuff, sale items, ill-fitting garments… A lot of these possessions were great in theory but didn’t actually work and needed to go.

PRO TIP: Making decisions based on joy starts in your home and leaks out into your life, helping you to decide which projects to pursue or whether you should say yes or no to optional obligations that come your way.

  1. There’s a line: keep what you need

Look, there were a few things in the books which we weren’t sure about… You know, whether your socks really do have feelings and whether you should chuck out paperwork. We used logic here and kept things like our tax returns and other “just in case” items, like a first aid kit, on hand instead of tossing them. It made sense to us to keep paperwork that we might not need, but to store it properly so that it wasn’t in the way.

PRO TIP: These items are important but not often used, so using clear labels will help you make it “idiot-proof” for when you do actually need them.