Everyone Needs a Sanctuary: The Art of Decluttering

‘Stuffocation: the fact of being overwhelmed by the stuff one has bought or accumulated’.  We have all, at some point in our lives, felt stuffocated by our clutter.  We have been weighed down by the burden, been aware of our inefficient tidying techniques, and yet, continued to allow our floordrobe to grow.  The overwhelming feeling of stress that comes with de-cluttering is often buried by a mountain of excuses, along with the delusion that our 90’s trouser-skirts will, one day, have their second chance on the runway.  De-cluttering simply means tough decisions, and tough decisions are easily demoted to the bottom of our to-do lists.

However, the trauma of tidying has now been treated, as if by magic.  Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has spent 113 weeks on the New York best seller’s list to date and has introduced to the world an innovative way to clear your clutter.  The Japanese organising consultant focuses on the importance of being mindful and promotes the spirit of Zen, guiding you through a peaceful de-cluttering process.  The KonMari Method eliminates stress in three simple steps:


  1. Does This Spark Joy?

Kondo forces you to cut your ties with superficial clothing, with shirts that will button once you’ve lost ten pounds and with items that no longer make you happy.  By discarding these unwanted and unnecessary clothes, you will be left with a wardrobe that not only serves a purpose and brings you joy but will also allow you to rediscover your style.

  1. Clear Clutter in Categories

Resist your instinct to organise by room and decide to tidy by category; clothing, books and, finally, documents, leaving the sentimental items to last so as to avoid slipping into a nostalgic hole.  Cleaning by categories will also prevent further clutter epidemics.


  1. Forever Fold

At first, you may deem this folding method as the devil in disguise as mastering this fabric origami requires a certain level of concentration.  The challenge, however, is a small price to pay as this vertical folding technique allows you to view every piece of clothing at once whilst maintaining neat rows.  Kondo’s ingenious method is guaranteed to leave you stress-free – a medal is deserved!

A tidy house is a tidy mind so while Kondo focuses on de-cluttering your home life, your mind and soul can rest easy in the safe hands of Oprah Winfrey.  The Oprah Winfrey Show promoted Paul Walsh’s idea that a cluttered home creates cluttered thoughts.  Simplifying your life, creating a vision and setting priorities is sure to tidy away your emotional burdens – and then, maybe you too will get a medal – everyone will get a medal!


Both Kondo and Oprah transform the act of de-cluttering into an art, showing it to be simple yet pivotal to our physical and emotional well-being.  These easy steps eradicate the pressure of those tough decisions and your goal of living a minimalistic paradise can finally be achieved.

Published in Inquire – the University of Kent’s student newspaper.

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