Happy Home, Happy Life

Our homes mean so much to us, we put lot of time and energy into making our home a really nice and comfortable place to be and yet we tend to clutter it up with unnecessary things we do not use. Almost every home has specific areas such as: garage, office room or closet in the guest room that are subject to becoming cluttered.

We live in an age of abundance. Many things that we take for granted today such as; electronics, T-shirts, shoes, toys and hundreds of other consumer goods, either did not exist or were much more expensive or inaccessible a few decades ago. We tend to accumulate more, simply because we can. We are able to fill our homes with stuff to the point that we feel suffocated.

However, we do not necessarily need to all turn into minimalists.  We can love and enjoy our possessions better when we keep them organized and decluttered. The Cambridge dictionary defines decluttering as “to remove things you do not need from a place, in order to make it more pleasant and more useful”. The success is to set up a space that works perfectly for each of our individual needs.

HOW TO DECLUTTER

As a consequence to over accumulation, home organization products and decluttering styles are booming. Home decluttering and organization has not only turned into a trend, it has turned into a business over a last decade. Decluttering experts have their own professional associations, some of them publish bestsellers, appear on reality TV shows and achieve celebrity status.  AOPE (Asociación de Organizadores Profesionales de España), a spanish association of professional organizers founded in 2016, already has over 70 members and organizes annual conferences.

The Japanese expert Marie Kondo , who has sold 5 million copies of her books worldwide, with a Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” and in collaboration with eBay is considered the most famous organization guru known worldwide. The core principle of the KonMari method is that instead of deciding what to get rid of, you choose what to keep and you declutter the rest. You go through items according to particular categories (clothes, books, miscellaneous etc…) not in accordance to its location in the home, and you ask yourself this question for each item: “Does this (shirt) spark joy in my heart?”

Alicia Iglesias, “a Spanish Marie Kondo” stars in the Spanish TV show “Las vidas en orden” offers her services and gives insight to her style of organization on her blog “Orden y limpieza en casa”.  She gives importance to the kitchen; proposing to create monthly menus and to keep the countertops clear of any appliances that are not used more than twice a week. Both Alicia and Marie Kondo defend throwing away everything that we no longer need, as well as the vertical folding of clothes instead of the traditional horizontal folding.

If you are looking for ways to declutter and reorganize your home, there are plenty of methods available that can help guide you.  The Four box method suggests to declutter room by room, by placing items into four boxes: “Put away”, “Give away/Sell”, “Throw away” and “Undecided”. The “Undecided” box allows for some flexibility if you are not sure what to do with a particular item. However this box should not be misused otherwise it can block the process of decluttering.

Would you dare challenge yourself to a decluttering challenge? One of the most famous challenges is #MinsGame. The idea is to declutter one item the first day, two items the second day, three items the third day and so on, until you reach 30 days. It becomes more and more of a challenge as the month goes on! You can make the challenge even more exciting by competing with someone and documenting it on Instagram.

WHEN TO DECLUTTER

In many cultures the practice of annual cleaning usually occurs in spring. If we managed to declutter our home before our spring cleaning, we could really spend time actually deep cleaning instead of sorting things that do not belong in our home anymore. The need of decluttering can appear during the periods of important changes or events in our lives, such as moving to a new home or with the arrival of a baby. There is no specific rule for when to declutter, it can be any time we feel we need to bring some order and peace into our life.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE CLUTTER

Once you go through the whole process of organizing and decluttering you can end up with huge piles of items that you just have said good bye to, but that can still be useful to someone else. Look for charity shops, secondhand bookstores and containers for second hand clothes in your area. In Marbella you can donate clothes and shoes to the Cudeca charity shop and books to the Shakespeare bookshop in San Pedro for example.

BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING

What is all the decluttering fuss about? You can end up being surprised by how satisfying and energizing it is once completed. Organizing gurus swear decluttering can change our lives for the better and make us happier.

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