The KonMari method starts by discarding, then organise your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go. According to Marie, if you adopt this strategy, you’ll never revert to clutter again. Now open the wardrobe or linen closet. The first rule of decluttering is that you have to get rid of things in order to get organised. Yes, it can be a heart-wrenching process, but it will feel better in the long run. Part of the question of whether an item sparks joy is to take into account why do I have this item? Will I want to wear or use this again? Have I worn or used this in the past year? Has this item outlived its purpose? The answers will help decide whether to discard or keep.
Remember, change is as good as a holiday
It’s at this point that regret can set in (‘What if it sparks joy one year from now?’). Of course, there will also always be sentimental items you can’t part with – it could be your wedding dress, or a hand-knitted rug from your grandmother. Given they won’t need to be accessed regularly, try to limit those treasured items to just one storage box. Building a wardrobe that works harder for you also means that you’ll be buying fewer products overall, which might leave room in your budget for higher-quality, more sustainable goods.
Now clean out the area
Take everything out and dust or vacuum and then use a natural cleaning product to wipe down all the surfaces. For a complete refresh, it might even be an idea to give your wardrobe, pantry or linen cupboard a lick of paint and add some lighting. This is always a great time to address moisture. Any moisture in the air can cause mould and mildew, with spores attaching themselves to leather shoes, skirts and jackets. A dehumidifier will help stop this.
Clean what you are keeping
Dry-clean or wash all clothes and linens before they are stored so they are ready to use. Don’t store the clothes in their plastic dry-clean bags as they need to be able to breathe. Lavender-based cleaning products are good for moth prevention. Pack away reverse season garments to create space and help identify any gaps. Come Spring, coats and heavy jackets, as well as flannelette sheets and heavy doonas can be put into vacuum bags, which are good space savers.
Clever Storage Solutions
You can never have enough storage and if you’re really serious about having more space it is critical to incorporate wherever possible, particularly in under-utilised areas. If you’re renovating, consider extending all storage cupboards, including kitchen cupboards, to the underside of the ceiling to maximise space vertically. You can also incorporate storage under the floor with a lift-up hatch door, or in the roof space with a pull-down ladder. Consider furniture with a dual purpose. Inside bench seating, a coffee table or under a bed are handy and readily accessible storage areas. Store rarely used items, such as Christmas decorations, in the least accessible storage areas.