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What to know before you go “Kondo”

What to know before you go “Kondo”

Even if you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” chances are good you’ve heard about it.

Following the book’s suggestion to let go of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” has become something of a national obsession.

As one who specializes in helping people downsize, I absolutely agree that decluttering is a great idea.

But, as is true with so many do-it-yourself ideas, doing it yourself takes more effort than you might expect.

Should you be inspired to take on downsizing as a D-I-Y project, here’s what you need to know before you get started.

You need to have a clear purpose. 
A burst of energy may get you started downsizing, but it will take more than that to get the job done. Before you begin, think about your deeper motivation. Do you want to have more space? Less distraction? Are you getting ready to move? Where? When? Why? Having a clear idea of your goal will help keep you on task when your motivation and/or energy starts to flag.

Have a realistic appreciation of the energy it will take.
Going through your stuff is not only physically demanding, it’s emotionally taxing, too. To keep on task, break the project into mini (or even micro) steps. Take on a little bit at a time, and stop before you’re exhausted.

Estimate the amount of time you think it will take and multiply it.
However long you imagine it will take you to go through your stuff, it is guaranteed to take longer. To get an accurate idea of the time you’ll really need, estimate the amount of time you think it will take, and double it. Double it again if you’re doing it alone, and you’ll probably be close to the time you’ll actually spend.

Think about what you’ll do with the stuff you’re getting rid of – before you get started.
Before you take everything out of your closet (or anywhere else) think about what you’ll do with it. Taking stuff out of one place and putting it in another isn’t decluttering – it’s just moving piles. Go online to see what organizations will be available to take your stuff, and schedule a pick up before you get started. That way, you won’t be left “holding the bag”.

Think about who can help you.
Most people find it emotionally draining to sort and toss. So, before you get started, find someone who can help you through the process. It doesn’t have to be a professional – although that will definitely make it easier. Having someone there, even if it’s just to ask “What do you want to do with this?” will help you stay focused and keep the process moving.

BOTTOM LINE:
Before you jump into downsizing and/or decluttering, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Plan your time, know what you’re going to do with your stuff. And get help! I’m  happy to be there for you

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