January 21, 2020

Tidy Home, Tidy Mind

Professional declutterer, Katrina Hassan, gives us a helping hand in embracing organisation for 2020.

You might have read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, and maybe even watched Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, but have you considered hiring your very own KonMari consultant?

As the New Year unfolds, we spoke to Katrina Hassan, certified KonMari consultant and founder of Spark Joy London (winner of Kingston’s Best New Business in 2019). She experienced the magic of KonMari in her own life and hopes to teach a thing or two to us lot too. So, we wasted no time in finding out how we can embrace organisation, get all the family involved in tidying (seriously) and enter twenty-twenty by sparking a little joy…

How can we embrace the KonMari method as we welcome in the New Year? 
The New Year is a perfect time to start using the KonMari Method in your home. The New Year can offer a fresh mindset to embrace change and work on improving ourselves for the future. Studies show that decluttering and organising your home has a positive impact on your wellbeing, and using the KonMari Method is the perfect way to achieve this. Instead of just tidying a drawer or room at a time, KonMari is a comprehensive tidying technique, where no item is left out. It provides an audit of every single item in your home, as you tidy by category over location. You follow a specific order of tidying; starting with your clothes, before moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental items. 

What can we do with the gifts we received over Christmas that don’t Spark Joy? 
I believe that the true purpose of a present is to be received. If that item does not bring you joy or isn’t going to fulfil a specific purpose in your life, you should feel free to let that item go with gratitude. Release your guilt too; the person who gave you the gift would not want you to hold on to it if it doesn’t bring you happiness. Passing it on to someone who will benefit from it (through donating to charity) also allows you to let the item go guilt-free. There is no use in that item gathering dust in a cupboard for years to come. You home is your living space, not your storage space. 

How can we involve all the family when it comes to tidying and organising our home? 
I’ve worked with many clients who fear their hard work is in vain because they live with others who are untidy. The truth is, tidying is contagious. In most cases, two things normally happen when a client embarks on their own KonMari tidying journey. Firstly, as my clients achieve a sense of order over their own space as they work through the categories, their level of tolerance for other family members’ mess increases. Secondly, as my clients start feeling more positive about their home, this inspires other members of their family to start tidying their own things. I’ve seen this happen again and again to even the most messy family members! They may start small by discarding a few things or starting to fold and store their clothes in a different way, but they start to change their habits and this should be celebrated. The home is not one person’s responsibility, it’s a shared space which needs to be maintained by all. I always encourage my clients to communicate with their family members about why a tidy home is important to them and to ask for their help in helping them to achieve it. 

Can we use KonMari in other areas of our life, other than our homes? Absolutely! KonMari encourages us to pick up every item, one at a time, and ask ourselves whether it sparks joy (and therefore whether we want to keep it). Asking this question over and over again, refines your decision making skills and allows you to hone your sensitivity to what brings you happiness. When I used the KonMari Method to tidy my own home, once I finished all of the categories I experienced a complete change in mindset about all of the areas of my life. I was re-evaluating my relationships, how I spent my time and most importantly, my career. I used to work as a primary school teacher in Central London and regularly averaged a 60-hour working week. When I had children, I realised this would not make me happy in the long term. I don’t think I would have ever have had the confidence to make that decision if it wouldn’t have been for the change of mindset that came from tidying my home. KonMari isn’t just about tidying our possessions; it extends to many different areas of our lives, and that’s why they call it the magic of tidying! You never know where your tidying journey will take you!

What is one thing that you think people should leave behind in 2019 and one thing to take forward into 2020?
Leave behind any negative feelings that you’re not good enough. Feelings of guilt or inadequacy only drag us down and steer us away from being present in our lives. In 2020, let’s give ourselves a little more grace by celebrating and expressing gratitude for the things that make you who you are. And if you are embarking on your own KonMari tidying journey, I wish you the very best of luck. 

Katrina offers a free thirty minute consultation. To find out more, visit sparkjoylondon.com or find her on Instagram @spark_joy_london

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