Last week Chrissie Swan posted this photo of the hallway in her house.
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Like thousands of others, she’s been swept up in the Marie Kondo decluttering craze.
(FYI Marie Kondo is a Japanese declutterer, she wrote a book, now it’s a Netflix documentary. Everyone is watching it).
It’s not hard to understand why it’s become a craze: it both solves a problem and is kind of therapeutic in a fun sort of way.
The whole premise works on the idea of mindfulness; that instead of just hurling stuff you don’t want into a garbage bag and forgetting about it – you actually kiss it and say thank you for serving a purpose.
Read more on tidying up:
Aren’t you forgetting something?
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Linen closet, beautifully tidied using the #konmarimethod! ⠀ ⠀ "??this (vertical folding) it's much easier to get things out and to see what you have (especially in draws where you pile tshirts and thing on top of each other, if you fold and stack vertically you can see everything ??"⠀ ⠀ Photo by @tara_louise_interiors.
Nice. Except for one glaringly obvious omission: where exactly do you dispose of said item once you’ve parted ways?
In a statement, Stephanie Ziersc, Acting CEO of the Victorian Sustainability Council, asked Konmari fans to consider an extra, important step:
“While we’re encouraged to hear households en masse are busy clearing out the clutter, the question remains where are we sending all those bags of joyless garments and items once we’re done with them? All that clutter doesn’t just disappear once you’ve given it a kiss and thanked it for its service.”
“Our simple request for Kondo-inspired declutterers is that instead of saying ‘thank you, next’ they instead find the joy in re-homing the items or recycling them thoughtfully and through the correct channels.
“In fact, there’s a Japanese approach known as mottainai that I suspect Marie Kondo would happily support. Quite simply, it encourages reflection on waste and action when it comes to reducing, reusing, recycling and respecting.”
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Valentine’s Day surprise! I am very excited to announce that I will be bringing the life-changing magic of tidying to a show on Netflix, where I will be guiding individuals who are at a crossroads to spark joy in their homes and lives ✨⠀ ⠀ I am thrilled for this opportunity to inspire mindful organization and share the KonMari Method of tidying. So far in my path, as I grew older and my passion for tidying deepened, my mission developed from tidying my room, to my clients’ homes, to Japan, and now to the world. Helping individuals undergo life-transformations and sharing the process through this partnership with Netflix is an exciting way to share the magic of tidying with more people. I’ll keep you updated on more details to come! ⠀ ⠀ It was a beautiful coincidence that this announcement fell on Valentines Day – I believe that tidying allows you to rediscover what truly matters to you, whether in your homes, lives, or relationships. Have a wonderful day filled with love and joy ❤️ ⠀ Photo by Drew Kelly.
A simple last step to tie things up nicely
It’s an excellent point and a step that could be applied very simply.
As Banish, an eco-friendly and plastic free online store, recently wrote on Instagram, “While It’s great to see everyone decluttering at the moment, make sure you dispose of your waste sustainably.”
If we’re being authentically conscious about getting rid of stuff, we actually have to think through where it goes when we’re done saying goodbye.
It’s not good enough just to stuff it in the recycling bin or out on the curb when there are more conscious ways of finding a new home for it.
Stuck for ideas?
How about one of these ideas from Victorian Sustainability Council:
- Consider selling unloved items on sites like eBay, Gumtree or Facebook.
- Contact your local charity group to see if they are willing to pick up your unwanted furniture.
- Gift your once-loved items to a friend or family member.
- Take your old TVs and computers to drop off points where they are recycled as part of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
- Drop your mobile phones and tablets off for recycling at MobileMuster collection points found at phone shops and post offices.
- Offer your good quality clothes to charities who will resell them for fundraising purposes, or potentially give them to disadvantaged people.
- Contact your local council to find out how your items can be recycled locally.