I’m a BIG fan of Marie Kondo. I love her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, because I think she brings a peace and serenity to people and their homes while encouraging us to be mindful of what brings us joy and learn to let go (with gratitude) of those things that no longer serve us. I think it was my mom that first told me about the show and I thought it was brilliant! The KonMari method really resonates with me. Personally, in my home, I try to declutter a few times a year. Especially because my apartment in Singapore is small. So limited space also sort of makes it a requirement. I do it almost seasonally, usually on a Saturday after a long week when I just want to chill but also want to be vaguely productive. But you know, like you and everyone else, I get busy. I travel a lot and things pile up and I tell myself, “I’ll deal with that later” and then when later comes, I’m like, “Why on earth do I still have this?!”

So… being introduced to the KonMari Method, I decided to do it according to her system.

The KonMari Method™ is this (from her website): it 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.

That emotional connection we have with inanimate objects (“things”) that we hold onto has an impact on us. And the psychological transformation one goes through with any change is a big thing not to take lightly and also applies to decluttering our homes. So I think it helps to change perspective into this way of thinking about things (physical or emotional) – to appreciate the joy it once brought us… then let it go.

So instead of just stopping at tidying up your home… why not work next on tidying up your life and overall well-being?! Think of your life like your home. Remove the clutter that no longer serves you. Create space. Ask yourself, does this spark joy in my life? Does this still serve me? Does this help me get to the version of myself that I want to be?

So I thought about all the other things I could KonMari in my life, and have put a list together to help guide you through how I think about it. Like the KonMari method, I saved the more sentimental things to tackle last. Hoping this helps you too!

Digital Clutter

  1. Your phone – I start with this because it’s probably already in your hands, so no excuses not to start. If you don’t already have your phone in tip top shape, consider if you really need all those apps. (Ahem, if you’ve been dating someone for a while, you don’t need that Bumble app anymore, looming in the background… but just make sure you delete your account, not just the app. Otherwise your profile may still be out there in the interwebs and breaking hearts you don’t even know about.) While you’re at it, sort out your notes and tasks lists stored on your phone. If you need a little more help with this, there’s a bit more on that later on down the list.
  2. Emails – OK, you know how you’ve seen the memes that there are two different types of people: those with zero inbox and those with the pop up that says like 14,937?! I’ve been guilty of being that 14k inbox gal. Somehow any other notification bothers me, except I learned to ignore the inbox. So I suggest if you’re not already an inbox master – sort this out next too. Save the important emails you need and file them away in a folder. If you told yourself you’d get back to someone and it’s been 6 months, chances are, they aren’t waiting on you anymore so just move on. We also get A LOT of junk email. You probably signed up for something and now you’ll get “special offers” until you die. Well, actually they’ll keep sending to your inbox until forever. So do yourself a favor, unsubscribe from anything you really don’t need. (But don’t unsubscribe from us because, well, that would just be silly). I promise, anything you actually need later, like a deal at Bath & Body Works, you can just search for later. No need to clutter your inbox!
  3. Files on your computer – In this case, save any finished work and delete drafts that you no longer need. Ensure your folders and desktop are neat and orderly.
  4. Subscriptions – Save your money! If there are any subscriptions you’re no longer using or find valuable, go into your account and shut it down.

Mental Clutter

  1. Ideas – Get them on paper. I personally keep a lot of notes – categorized by different thoughts. There are even a few book ideas I keep in my notes and just add to it, hoping one day I’ll make the time to write it. The human brain isn’t designed to keep too many lists and things in your mind. So take a second and just get it out. It’s easy to store in your phone notes or tasks list. Like the items above, if it’s no longer something that you want to pursue, just remove it from your never-ending “to do” list and let it go. For the things you do keep, revisit often and see what you can accomplish from your list. You’ll want to keep this from becoming the mental form of a physical “junk drawer” full of stuff you’ll never really use but keep around “just in case”.
  2. Unfinished business – Open ended, unfinished business can become a drain on your mental energy. It may even leave you feeling guilty or unaccomplished for not completing a project, having a conversation with someone you ought to have, or not following up on something important. Even if it will take you time, if it’s still important to you, just do it. Tie up your loose ends.  But if it’s no longer important to you, adds value, or, again, sparks joy in your life. Then let it go.

Emotional Clutter

  1. Negative thoughts – Speaking of letting go… those worries, negative thoughts and regrets that pop in your head from time to time are also like having a corner of your room that’s just an utter mess. You think you’ll deal with it later but it throws the whole room off. It is important to let go of all the negative thoughts and emotions that get you down. I know that’s easier said than done. Trust me. But the truth is, eliminating unnecessary thoughts, fears, and worries help reduce your stress and improve your mood. Practice mindfulness and start to self-regulate your thoughts. Try to process, understand, accept, and then let go of these thoughts so that you can move forward in the direction you want to go.
  2. People – You probably knew this would be on the list. Easiest to start is to remove anyone toxic from your life. That’s a no-brainer and hopefully something you’ve already done. But what about the people who aren’t toxic? Start to think about the people in your life. Who still brings you joy, inspires you, and truly supports the person you are and the person you are still growing into? Now, who are the people in your life that feel like they’re there out of obligation, don’t respect boundaries, or maybe they served a different purpose in a past chapter of your life? Whatever it is, you’ll know who your people are. If when you think about some people and it makes you feel bad, or they’re the type that make it about them (as if your only role in the friendship is to serve them), then think hard if these people need to be on your journey or are too draining. The best type of friendships and relationships are a two-way (supportive) street. But don’t mistake it for the positive type of friendships where no matter how much time has passed between calls or visits, you can pick up right where you left off. Because that bond is cemented in your hearts. But if you decide that you want to let someone go, just have a mini moment of gratitude in your head for the role they played in your life (even if it was negative and a lesson learned) and then just let it go. No need to inform them. This is just for you.

Remember, this is all about you. So decide whatever still serves you based on who you are today and the version of yourself you are striving to become.

I wish you tidy homes, tidy lives, and so much joy!

author

lisa val verde

COO/CMO

Singapore

During her 10+ years marketing everything from concept to commercialization on a global landscape, Lisa has found that her greatest opportunity is to empower and encourage any woman with a burning passion and a desire for change to pursue whatever lights her spirit on fire. With Wildernest, Lisa is able to help other women break down their own walls to achieve their full potential, and enable a community of passionate women to create thriving businesses and become catalysts for change.

read lisa's full story