This year is going to be the year to declutter. Marie Kondo, the Japanese author of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is now a Netflix star, showing people how to rid their lives of unused ‘stuff. Kondo’s decluttering system is based on the KonMari method, a Japanese folding technique that allows you to store clothes in a kind of filing system that allows you to see each item at a glance. People all over the world are learning how to fold their T-shirts and underwear. But of course, folding and storing is only one half of the solution. The first part is deciding what to keep and what to throw away. Kondo’s advice is to put together all the items in your house that belong in the same category, and to keep only those things which ‘spark joy’ (in Japanese, tokimeku). The other items are thanked for their good service and disposed of. According to Kondo, this is the essence of tidying up. It is not a process of throwing things out but of finding the things you want to keep and which bring about the most joy.
There are obvious financial benefits from decluttering and tidying. Unwanted items aren’t just rubbish – they can be sold to someone else who finds joy in them. While each item sold might have a small value, if there are lots of them, you can make a tidy sum. One hundred items sold at twenty dollars each is two thousand dollars. Selling online is a great way to use spare time in the evenings productively. Once the decluttering and tidying is done, having a mindset of only keeping things that spark joy will limit the amount of new stuff you spend money on. Decluttering is a great way to save.
Liz Koh is an Authorised Financial Adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 273 847. For free eBooks, go to www.moneymax.co.nz and www.moneymaxcoach.com