02 Nov

Decluttering and KonMari: How far is too far?

If you haven’t heard about the KonMari method for streamlining your life, you may have been living under a rock. It’s all the rage for people looking to declutter, going beyond practicalities and delving into the realm of philosophy and emotion when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to toss or give away. Does it bring you joy? If not, get rid of it – that’s one of the main tenets of the method passed down by Marie Kondo, declutterer extraordinaire.

The minimalist lifestyle, however, is not for everyone. As much as it would be nice to curate a magazine-perfect home in which everything sparks nothing but happiness, life gets in the way. What’s more, some of us just don’t want to get rid of everything but the essentials! For most people there has to be a middle ground, and we think it lies in two important concepts besides clutter reduction: organisation and clever storage.

Those who live in limited space, like a CBD apartment, will find these two mantras especially important. So read on to find out how to label, tidy, make clever use of space and take advantage of mini “valet” storage such as Boxi, a new and exciting service started last year in Auckland, to make life that little bit smoother.


Organisation tips

Staying on top of messiness means having a place for everything – and everything in its place, to borrow the clichéd expression. Keeping a well-ordered house is something many of us can only dream of, but there are a few ways to move towards that goal. Don’t expect “life hacks” and tutorials for how to make jewellery stands out of empty bottles here, just some very basic, tried and true tips to stay a little more organised.

  • Group like things with like: It’s simple, but effective. Often your belongings end up stored and stashed in whichever cupboard or drawer was handy at the time. If you are doing an overhaul, have a think about more careful placement – a corner or cupboard for craft supplies and stationery, all home maintenance supplies like lightbulbs and screwdrivers in one drawer, paper files in a designated cabinet.
  • Label whatever you can get your hands on. Another obvious but genius organisation “hack”. A label on your pantry staples, your TV or computer cords, your miscellaneous boxes of bits and pieces and anything else will not only make it easier to find things, but will also just make you feel like your world is more under control.
  • Take some time to tidy each day. Just ten minutes each evening of putting stray objects back in their place can help you to remain organised throughout the week, and it does wonders for sanity to wake up to a house that’s not a disorganised shambles. Wander through each room and collect items as you go, then drop them off in their homes as you make your way around.


Storage solutions

If you’re not prepared to become a minimalist and let go of everything that doesn’t bring you notable joy, you are going to need someplace to put that shameful excess. With so many of us living in apartments, townhouses and other forms of high-density housing, particularly in ever-expanding Auckland, a bit of creativity is often required.

  • Get things up high! Wall-hung shelves in the living room to hold knick-knacks and books, strip magnets or hooks in the kitchen to hold utensils, wall-mounted shoe racks in the bedroom, even an organiser slung over the back of a door – it all helps to free up floor, cupboard and drawer space. If your belongings are attractive, they can even function as decor!
  • Utilise under-bed space with low boxes which will slide in and out to give access to shoes, bedding, or whatever you decide to stash under there. This will also help you to resist the temptation to throw things under the bed willy-nilly, which results in a stress-inducing mess a few months down the track.
  • Ottomans which double as storage chests are a godsend for small spaces. That’s where you can keep throws, magazines, books, DVDs, board games and whatever else is cluttering up your living room. Couches and coffee tables with drawers underneath can take this multipurpose furniture/storage concept to the next level.
  • Seasonal storage is key when room is at a premium. A mini storage service like Boxi can help hugely with this – get those ski jackets and thermal underwear out of your hair during summer, and then switch them with the bikinis and beach towels in the colder months. You don’t have to hire a whole unit, and don’t even have to drive anywhere – just order boxes, pack them up and have them picked up, taken away and stored until you need them.

There you have it: handy, time-tested tips to help you feel like a domestic god or goddess with everything under control. The completely uncluttered, minimalist life isn’t for everybody – but a middle ground can be reached! How do you keep things organised and stored away?