Are you a Marie Kondo-er? Please take these two extra steps

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I, like many others on the planet, was busy tidying in the first few days of the year. After watching a few episodes of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I was inspired to give my house a rehaul. Cluttered house, cluttered mind, right?

For those of you who have been living in space and haven’t heard of celebrity de-clutterer Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method, I will explain.

It is as follows:

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Step 1.

Tidy all at once

Step 2.

Visualise the destination. I.e. your tidy, stress-free home

Step 3.

Tidy by category, not location

Step 4.

Follow the right order (clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, sentimental items)

Step 5.

Determine if the item “sparks joy”, if it doesn’t, thank it for its time and put it into the discard pile

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As a self-proclaimed sustainability advocate, there is one thing about the KonMari method that I dislike. Kondo doesn’t talk about how to sustainably dispose of the items that no longer bring joy. While I understand this is not part of her method, which focuses on the tidying act not the discarding act, I feel that it is an integral addition to her method.

But donating to charity may not be the best answer to sustainability either.

Since the onslaught of KonMari-doers, there have been articles published, including this one - Sustainability Victoria Issues Urgent Warning For Marie Kondo-ers - describing how Victorian charities have been flooded with items that no longer bring joy. Majority of which will end up in landfill either due to the mass influx of items to sort through or they are soiled when left out in the rain at the charity bins. So while individual homes are looking fresh and tidy, charities are having to deal with their mess and that irks me.

The same article suggests two extra steps to the KonMari method, both of which I joyfully support.

Step 1.

Consume Less. I wrote more about this here.

Note: this step takes place prior to tidying

Steps 2 - 5.

Follow the KonMari Method

Step 6.

After tidying, reflect on your waste and take action to reduce, reuse, recycle and respect.

In Japanese, this is called Mottainai

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After I completed the KonMari method and cleaned out my wardrobe so that only joy remained, I began selling the ‘disposed of’ pieces that still have a good run in them. Not only are they now going to new homes for a new lease of life (hurrah!), I am also slowly but surely filling my Mauritian holiday fund. That is pleasing in itself.

So I urge you, my fellow readers, to please take these extra two steps of: 1. Consuming less and 2. Reflecting on your waste once you’ve tidied. See if there is anything you can do other than throwing away to landfill or donating without thought. Doing this will not only help your home, but also help our planet.

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Lei xx