Something in the spring air seems to motivate residents in the San Francisco Bay Area to clean their homes and toss out “stuff” they no longer want. From San Jose to Concord, homeowners will spend countless springtime hours sifting through their personal belongings in order to decide which items stay, and which don’t. But for the uninitiated, those tough decisions can be labor-intensive and emotionally unsettling. What follows are some tips from someone who’s made a career out of teaching others proper unwanted items purging etiquette- Marie Kondo.
Who is Marie Kondo?
Marie Kondo is the 30-something, Japanese “queen” of tidying up, a successful author and star of her own Netflix TV show. That’s because Kondo is well-known for her KonMari Method™ of going room-by-room to reduce clutter and restore one’s mental outlook by purging items that no longer bring joy. Possessions that don’t survive the cut are then donated or discarded.
Kondo’s 6 Rules for Purging Unwanted Items
The KonMari Method™ includes these 6 basic rules:
- Commit yourself to tidying up.
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
- Finish discarding first.
- Tidy by category, not by location.
- Follow the right order.
- Ask yourself if it (unwanted items in question) sparks joy.
Now that you have the idea, it’s time to “cleanse” your dwelling.
Bringing More Joy to Your Home (by discarding those Unwanted Items!)
Choose a rainy spring weekend to start organizing your belongings and purging unwanted items from the premises. Here’s how to make the decision-making process more seamless, efficient and mentally cleansing:
Focus on Categories, not Rooms
Reducing clutter in your home may initially seem overwhelming, but using the Kondo program should make it much less intimidating. To get started, choose a given item category instead of a specific room. For example, you may store most wardrobe items in your bedroom, but there are no doubt other clothing items and shoes scattered around your home.
Sort through all of them in one day and discard clothes and shoes that you haven’t worn since the internet was in its infancy- not to mention your teenager. Donate items that are in good condition to the local homeless shelter or Goodwill and toss the tattered ones on your junk pile.
Don’t Let Nostalgia Cloud Your Judgment of unwanted items San Francisco!
Okay. You loved your dear departed Aunt Millie, but does that Victorian flowerpot that she gave you years ago really match your modern décor? You don’t fish, so why do you still have those fishing rods that your next-door neighbor set on the curb when they moved out last summer? And, why do you keep a box full of greeting cards from your ex?
Bottom line: If an item no longer brings you joy, it’s time to toss it or find it a new home.
Respect Your Possessions
Another key aspect of the Marie Kondo approach is treating your personal possessions with respect. Why are those customized golf clubs still dirty from last fall’s outing? Is that your expensive party dress that’s hanging all wrinkled in the closet with the hem draping the floor? Ask yourself how you would feel if you were treated that way.
Fold Clothes and Towels
Wadded up hand towels and wrinkled clothes not only look tacky, they also take up way too much valuable space. Kondo recommends folding those items neatly and then stacking them vertically on closet shelves. In most cases, you can get at least twice the folded towels and clothes in the same spot that once contained fewer unfolded items. If storage is at a premium, find another dresser to provide more space and organization.
How many people in Fremont or Union City still have tax returns from the 1990s stuffed in a file cabinet somewhere? In the Digital Age, do you really need to hold onto all those old bank account and credit card statements? Spend a few hours sorting out your paperwork into two piles- “save” or “discard”.
Obviously, any papers that contain sensitive information must be shredded. The others can be tossed in the recycling bin. As for those prized food recipes from mom, if they still bring you joy, store them out-of-view in a more organized fashion.
Furniture and Shelving
Alright, you’re making progress. Now it’s time to tackle unwanted items of furniture and shelving units because those tend to eat up a lot of living space. Go room-by-room through your home while contemplating the emotional value of each possession. Do those rusty metals shelves that you’ve been using since your college days at UC Berkley honestly look good sitting in the corner of your garage?
When was the last time you used that old kitchen table in the basement that’s buried under dusty books and magazines? Unwanted items like chairs, couches, tables, lamps, old TVs and even shelving units are all unwanted items that can be donated to a worthy cause in Oakland, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek or elsewhere.
If you are a homeowner, business owner or property manager located within the greater San Francisco Bay Area who’s in need of some junk removal or junk hauling assistance, call the expert junk haulers at: (510) 421-1730. In addition to junk pickup and junk removal services, we’ll also be happy to help you clean up, and we can even conveniently drop off your donations at the local charity of your choice!