Your short and simple guide to decluttering

My friend Tony Delamothe has launched into an orgy of decluttering after retiring. His guide is Marie Kondo, and he’s kindly summarised her book for me. Now I’m sharing it with you. I’m still in the cluttering phase, but I#d better chnage soon or I’ll be caught cluttered by death.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying– by Marie Kondo

Tidy by category.

Start early in the morning.

Stick to the order: 

1. Discarding, then

2. Deciding where to keep the things that haven’t been discarded 

The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hands and ask: “Does this spark joy?” 

(In other words, your *feelings* are the guide to decision making.)

If it sparks joy, keep it.

If not, throw if out. 

Don’t start with things that are hardest to make decisions about, such as photos. So adopt the following order:




Miscellaneous items

Things with sentimental value

Clothing (order)

* Tops

* Bottoms

* Clothes that should be hung (jackets, suits)

When you come across something that you cannot throw away, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many things you possess have already fulfilled their role. Acknowledge  their contribution and let them go with gratitude. What remains will be the things that you really treasure. 

Most people are left with between one quarter and one third of their original  clothes.

Hang longer clothes on the left of cupboard. 


Ditch unread books


Throw out anything that does not fall into one of three categories:

Currently in use

Needed for a limited time 

Must be kept indefinitely


Her sort of overarching philosophy:

We should treasure not the memories of past experiences but the person we have become because of those past experiences.


If there’s something that does not spark joy but that you can’t bring yourself to throw away, ask yourself: “Am I having trouble getting rid of this because of attachment to the past or because of fear of the future?” 

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