The Japanese art of decluttering and organising has become a pop culture phenomenon, thanks in large part to bestselling author Marie Kondo. Her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has become an international hit, and she even has a new Netflix series. She has managed to transform a usually very mundane task – decluttering your life – into something that is fun and even joyful.

Why declutter? Many people report a renewed energy, increased happiness and a sense of inner confidence. If you are looking to tidy up your own life, here’s what you need to know about her popular KonMari method.

Tip #1: Tidy up by categories

Most people try to tidy up on a room-by-room basis. They might start in a bedroom, for example, and then move to the living room or another room of the home. But guess what? Most people simply make that an excuse to move one giant pile of papers from one room to the next. Instead, you should make an effort to focus on a certain “category” – such as books – and think about ways you can tidy up that entire category before moving on to the next one.

Tip #2: Keep only what sparks joy

When making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away, it’s too easy to hold onto things that are just holding you back, and perhaps even forcing you to invest in complex organizational systems. To avoid that problem, only keep what sparks joy. Hold an item in your hand – if it sparks joy, you keep it. If it does not, then you throw it away.

Tip #3: Eliminate as much paperwork as possible

In today’s digital world, you don’t need to hold onto as much paperwork as you might think. In fact, much of the information – like billing statements – can be found easily online. So don’t worry about having massive filing cabinets or boxes filled with papers and documents. Throw out as much as you can, thereby freeing up valuable space.

Tip #4: Opt for simple, practical storage systems

Yes, it’s possible to spend thousands of dollars on expensive filing, storage and organizational systems. But guess what Marie Kondo’s favorite storage item is? A shoebox. As she points out, a simple, practical shoe box is one of the best ways to hold onto smaller items that you might be struggling to find a home for later.

Tip #5: Fold, don’t hang

With the exception of heavy coats and expensive suits or dresses, you can fold almost all of your clothing. This helps to free up a lot of space in your closet. Instead of rack after rack of clothes that you don’t wear anymore, you will have everything packed away neatly in a drawer or cabinet. This can free up a lot of extra space in your home.

With these five simple tips from Japanese lifestyle, you can really tidy up and declutter your life. You can start to lead the life you want to lead, and, best of all, you can surround yourself with items that bring you joy and help you get the most out of life.

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