The new year brings resolutions, a new outlook, and a fresh start—and what better way to kickoff 2018 than with a home that inspires tranquillity and peace of mind. People in countries across the world have unique ways of living simply, happily, and in harmony with their surrounding environment. From the Scandinavian concept of hygge to the Chinese philosophy of feng shui, each culture’s practices offers valuable lessons—and the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing is no different.

Start with the Basics

Before you begin decluttering and organizing your home, create a plan. Are you setting yourself a strict time frame? How much are you willing to get rid of and what will you do with unwanted items?

If you’re looking for some proven-to-work advice, consider investing in the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author. The premise of the book is to rid your home of unnecessary material things by gathering together everything you own and determining whether each item brings you joy. If it doesn’t—it’s shelf life is up. Kondo’s book offers unique guidance around living minimally and the importance of respecting all your belongings. For many, Kondo’s techniques are life-changing and inspire not just a tidy home, but a calm and motivated mindset as well.

Think Categorically

If you’re looking to do some purging around the house, but you’re not sure where to start—your wardrobe is an easy place to get the organizational juices flowing. One of the main takeaways from Kondo’s book is to tackle categories around your home, instead of rooms.

For example, you may have jackets hanging in your entryway closet, hung on the back of a bedroom door, or drying in a mud room. Rather than evaluating the importance of each coat as you move from room to room, consider Kondo’s advice. Gather together every jacket at once and ask yourself: Do I wear this regularly? Does this serve a purpose in my everyday life? Would I buy it again if I didn’t already own it? Does it spark joy? Do the same for shoes, shirts, jeans, toques, bathing suits, etc.

Once you finish with your wardrobe, move onto other things—even linens, cleaning supplies, and books can benefit from this method. Assess categories of things and weigh each item’s value against its counterparts for a holistic view of your belongings. Once you’ve separated the joy-inspiring items from the rest, use Kondo’s revolutionary space-saving technique to fold the things you’re keeping.

Try the Four Box Method

If Kondo’s method seems overwhelming or you’d like to start off a little slower, the four box method is simple. You decide: Is it trash? Can you give it away? Should you keep it? Or, can it be relocated within your home? Gather together four boxes and make your way through the house, placing anything that is cluttering up the house in the box it belongs in. This way, as you declutter you give older décor a new home and refresh your space.

Investing in storage bins and thoroughly labelling boxes of seasonal items are easy ways to keep your home and closets organized. Plus, these techniques are helpful whether you haven’t purged in years, or if you purge the items that are sitting around gathering dust once a year. If you’re ready to start the new year off with a fresh home, Kondo and her life-changing methods can help you get started.


Looking for more ways to introduce minimalism into your home? Check out these 8 Minimalist Interior Design Ideas.

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