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Decluttering in December – 2 different strategies that work equally well

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❄️❄️I can’t believe it is already mid December.❄️❄️ We’re going to be heading into 2022 so quickly!

Since it is the end of the year, I want to spend some time on de-cluttering and getting organized. It would be nice to start the new year without the overwhelm of having to do so much in January and to start 2022 with year-end decluttering accomplished.

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As a prelude to that, here is a comparison of two de-cluttering and organization methodologies that have been popular at different points in time. I find that different parts of these methods can resonate depending on what you’re feeling in the moment.

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Marie Kondo’s philosophy of tidying up:

Marie encourages her audience to listen to their own inner voice and only keep what sparks joy.

On her website, she recommends a 6 step approach that includes setting the clear intention to tidy up, imagining your ideal lifestyle, finishing discarding first, tidying by category not location, following a specific order – clothes, books, papers and then sentimental items, and most importantly, asking yourself if the item sparks joy.

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In my mind, the pros of this approach are the clarity of her recommendations and a validation of what truly brings joy to your life and space. I think keeping what brings joy to you in mind is always a good thing.

The cons for me are that sometimes I just want to declutter a small space and leave it at that. In those moments, her categorization strategy doesn’t work for me, because for me, it is all about that particular location in that moment.

Peter Walsh’s strategy for decluttering:

Peter Walsh is also a veteran organizer and has an equally effective strategy for decluttering. In an excerpt of his book here, he has a basic flow chart for letting things go. He advises identifying treasures you’d want to keep and separating them from trinkets, things you’ve forgotten about and things that are malignant and bring back bad memories. He likes to categorize objects into 3 categories – memory items, I-might-need-it items and trash/recycling.

He also recommends separating items that you find worthy from items others may find worthy. Worth can come from an ongoing need, a specific plan to use the item in the near future or a specific plan to give it to someone in your family who truly needs the item.

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His plan of action includes starting your declutters with small 15 minute chunks of time and getting a friend to help. His strategies are very practical and take the shame or any sense of negativity pertaining to clutter out of the actual process of decluttering.

The pros of this approach speak to me when I just have a few minutes and want to feel like I have accomplished something.

I like that Peter Walsh and Marie Kondo each have different, equally valid strategies for establishing clear boundaries around a physical space and different ways for developing rules for what can and can not enter your home. They both advocate for being aware of exactly what you have and why you have it. That kind of clarity can be freeing and very functional.

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I don’t think it matters what approach you take as long as it is an approach that works for you and brings you freedom from clutter. I enjoy reading about strategies that work for different people because it is always motivational.

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Are you decluttering in December? What approach works the best for you? I’d love to hear your tips and experiences.


10 thoughts on “Decluttering in December – 2 different strategies that work equally well

  1. Marie Kondo method has helped me a lot with organising my clothes. I love the fact I can see all the stuff in the drawers without having to rummage to the bottom. This really works for me. I continue to have small areas of hoarding in my house.. but am motivated by the idea that your home should be a living space not a storage space. I do not want my whole house to become a cupboard which is the worst case scenario! I also am motivated by the fact that when I’m gone I do not want anyone to have to deal with a lifetime’s worth of my accumulated stuff, like I had to do when my aunt died. I think the real solution is to mindfully buy less in the first place.

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    1. I like being able to “see” everything as well. Otherwise, I never use what’s at the bottom of the pile. I’m not there yet with organizing things that way though. I like the concept of a “living space” vs. “storage space”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m currently reading Marie Kondo’s book. I can see the sense and I like the idea of keeping everything together and easy to find (and put away) but, like you, sometimes I don’t want a major sort out. In principle though, I like her ideas about joy and clearing the clutter in your mind

    Liked by 1 person

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