Move Over, Marie Kondo: 3 Alternative Ways To Declutter Your House

Declutter Your House
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Japanese lifestyle consultant Marie Kondo became extremely famous for her KonMari method of tidying and decluttering, which involves (in a nutshell) getting rid of any items which do not “spark joy”. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work for everyone, some people end up finding joy in almost all the items they own, which is great for them but doesn’t help them declutter! If you have given the KonMari method a go and feel that it’s not working for you, maybe it’s time to try a different approach. Here are some alternatives.

1. One in, one out

The ‘one in, one out’ method of decluttering is simple but effective, and it might work for you if you do not feel ready to take the plunge and try one of the more minimalist, sometimes ruthless approaches outlined below. There is one key rule to this method: for every new object you put in your home, you need to get rid of an old one. You might want to start by looking for items to throw out (or, even better, donate) which are in the same category as the new one; for instance, if someone gifts you a beautiful new sweater for your birthday you could take an old sweater to the thrift store. If you don’t have any objects of the same category in your house, broaden your horizons and find something – anything – that you don’t use anymore!

2. The 90/90 rule

The 90/90 rule was developed by lifestyle consultants The Minimalists, a duo composed of former corporate employees Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who both decided to take back control of their lives by ditching their consumerist mentality and embracing the principles of minimalism. As they see it, minimalism is not really a focus on having less, but on making room for more.

The Minimalists’ 90/90 rule is simple: for every object you own, ask yourself the question “Have I used this in the past 90 days?”. If the answer is no, then you need to ask yourself “Am I likely to use this in the next 90 days?”. If your answer to the second question is no, it’s time to get rid of that object.

Of course, this method might not work for certain items which you only need at a certain time of the year, such as your Christmas decorations, your skis or your bikinis. For those items, you might want to modify the second question to “Am I likely to use this next winter/summer?” and verify at the end of that season that you did actually use the object in question. If your season-specific items are taking up too much space, you might want to keep them in a unit such as those provided by Storage Area.

3. The 20/20 method

This last method, also developed by The Minimalists, involves getting rid of anything that you can replace in less than 20 minutes and for less than $20. Depending on your financial situation you might want to adjust that limit, but the principle behind the method is sound!