Moving or downsizing is a great excuse to finally tackle all the clutter and forgotten piles of junk that accumulate over the years. That doesn’t have to be the only reason, however, to clean and organize your home. Thanks to Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo, decluttering and tidying up your home no longer has to be a tedious process.
In fact, her signature KonMari Method™of tidying up aims to remove the dread from getting organized and takes a more mindful approach. Kondo’s method “encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”
Tidying Up At Home
While it might seem like a strange way to think about tidying up, Kondo’s work as an organizational coach, best-selling author, and host of her own Netflix series, has encouraged people across the world to minimize their clutter and organize their lives. Since removing clutter is integral to home safety for seniors and fall prevention, here are some ways to implement the KonMari Method™of tidying up in your own space:
Commit to Tidying Up. It’s easy to procrastinate on your spring cleaning, but if you follow the KonMari Method™ you have to make the commitment to getting it done. Schedule it on your calendar, as you would any other commitment, and be sure to follow through. You can enlist family and friends to help you, but be sure to let them know that you have the final say in whether or not something is removed from your home. The process of tidying up is deeply personal, and no one should release your possessions without your permission.
Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle. Often times, clutter can hold us back without us even realizing it. Envision what your ideal lifestyle looks like and jot a few notes down to help you stay focused. What does a life with less stuff look and feel like to you? Does it mean more freedom? More time for a hobby? Less time struggling to figure out where things should go? Write down the feelings or ideas that come to mind when you think about living in a clean, organized house, and return to it when you need a push to continue tidying up.
Finish Discarding First. Before reassigning possessions to a new location, make sure that you have completed organizing within your entire category. For example, if you are going through all of the clothes in your house, finish combing through all of it and decide what will be discarded, what will be donated, and what will be kept before putting anything back into closets, drawers, or storage.
Tidy By Category, Not Location. Part of what makes the KonMari Method™so special is that it takes a completely different approach to tidying up than what you may have experienced in the past. Instead of going from room to room to organize your space, Kondo suggests moving through the house by category. For example, if you are organizing clothes, pull all of the clothes out of the bedrooms and place them in the living room to be sorted.
Follow The Right Order. In order to achieve tidying up by category rather than location, Kondo suggests beginning with all of the clothes in the house, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally sentimental items. By progressing through your tidying up in this way--from easy emotional tasks, to more challenging--Kondo believes that you will have a more successful, long-term outcome.
Ask If It Sparks Joy. With the KonMari Method™, a signature factor of whether or not to keep something is determining if it sparks joy in your life. Kondo suggests that if you are on the fence about keeping certain items, you should hold them in your hands for a few moments in order to determine whether or not they spark joy. If they do not, you shouldn’t feel bad about letting go of it.
Home Safety For Seniors
Although the KonMari Method™is meant to apply to households of all ages, seniors can experience an added benefit from the process. For those who want to remain in their own homes as they age, tidying up can be more than just emotionally cathartic; it can also serve as a preventative measure to combat a senior’s risk of falling. Clutter is a contributing factor for senior falls that occur at home, which can lead to injuries such as broken bones and traumatic brain injury.
At Medical Guardian, we take home safety for seniors quite seriously, which is why we offer a variety of medical alert devices that work both inside and outside of the house. Our products are meant to serve a range of needs and budgets, so that you can live independently in your own home, feeling safe and secure.