Chances are you've heard a thing or two about Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo: her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ($11, eBay.com), is a bestseller and stars like Kate Hudson have been buzzing about her methods. Now, Kondo is teaming up with eBay to help you find joy in your stuff by paring down to just the essentials and selling off the rest. Read on for the tips she dished, exclusively for eBay, then get ready to roll up your sleeves and purge.
Keep Only What Sparks Joy
"One of my most important principles is to not choose what to get rid of, only what to keep. Only keep items which spark joy in you. Some people can feel joy in their hearts, other people just feel a little bit of warmth about an item. Keep these items confidently and display them in your home, regardless of what anyone else says. If something truly sparks joy, you will not agonize over whether to keep it."
Say Thank You, Then Goodbye
"Never decide to keep something because it 'might come in handy.' An item may be good, useful, and even beautiful, however if it only seems like it should make you happy, but it really doesn’t, then it’s time to thank it and say goodbye. That’s right, say 'thank you' to the item you’re going to sell. It will help you feel better about the decision you’ve made, and it will help you feel more gratitude towards the stuff you keep."
Discard, Then Organize
"When tidying, many people will worry, 'Where am I going to keep this?' I encourage you to first finish discarding. This is one of the most important rules of the KonMari Method—if you start to think about where to store items before you have completely finished throwing stuff away, you won’t get very far. Once you begin your tidying marathon, don’t pause, don’t stop and don’t quit. A good way to stay motivated is to imagine or keep a photograph of the kind of space you want to live in."
Tidy in Your Own Space
"When tidying, each family member should have their own defined area to help keep things from spilling over into anyone else’s personal space. The process will take some time and some messiness is really quite common. But the more items you decide to get rid of, the less time it will take for you to de-clutter once you have made all your choices."
Involve the Kiddos
"Most kids as young as three can choose what brings them joy. When tidying with children, it is very important for parents to let them decide for themselves what sparks joy and what does not."
Start with Clothes
"Your tidying campaign should start with clothes. With the kids going back to school, this is a great opportunity to make room in their closets. Each person should gather every item of clothing they own, from every corner of the house, and pile them all in their designated spot. Then, it’s time for the ‘joy check.’ Hold each item in your hands and choose the ones that spark joy. Ask yourself, 'Would I be happy to see you again next season?' or, 'If the weather suddenly changed, would I want to wear you right now?'"
Distinguish Between "Must-Haves" and "Nice-to-Haves"
"As you go through your clothes, you’ll find some nice stuff. 'Hmm, I have good taste', you might think. But have you really ever worn that nice sweater? How about that designer purse that you only used once? If you haven’t used it more, there’s a reason. Get rid of it and enjoy more of the stuff you do use. Since clothing, handbags and shoes are some of the bestsellers on eBay, you may choose to sell some of the fashion items that aren’t bringing you joy."
Conquer Your Shoe Closet
"Now that you’ve finished all your clothes, your skills are ready for the challenge of shoes. Gather your shoes from every corner of the house, and line them up on newspapers spread across the floor. If you group them according to type, such as sandals, sneakers, boots and dress shoes, it will make it easy for you to decide what to sell. Pick up each pair to see if it sparks joy."
Say Goodbye to Old Gadgets
"There aren’t many certainties in life but here’s one: that laptop you loved only a few years ago is already outdated. And, maybe that old calculator and tablet, too. But some people really love that ‘vintage’ stuff. So out with the old and get your fingers ready for the new."
Tackle the Kitchen Last
"Recreational items come in all sizes and uses, from golf clubs, tennis racquets to snowboards. You should keep with confidence any of these items that bring you joy, even if you don’t use them frequently, or, if it’s just the sight of them that makes you happy. I suggest putting these items where they can be seen. After all, seeing them might make you use them more often."
Pass on the Sentiment
"Many families have antiques that could be valuable to them, and which might have been given to them by relatives. The happiness was experienced as the relatives gave you the gift. Say, 'thank you' to these items for what they have meant to you and your family. The real waste is in keeping these beautiful and valuable items when they could be appreciated much more by someone else."