There’s no better way to kick off a brand new year (other than having a glass of bubbly rose’) than to rid your home and life of stuff you no longer need or want. After all, an uncluttered home will reward you with a calmer mind. It’s true!

Marie-KondoDon’t you get stressed out every time you see that pile of magazines next to the easy chair? Or the old paint cans that have been left to dry up in the garage? Or what about the coupons your keep dragging home and shoving into that special jar in the kitchen never to be heard from again. They do have expiration dates, you know!

To help get us get motivated, I picked up a copy of a delightful book (who knew a tome about decluttering could be so engaging?) — “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”–which has sold millions of copies worldwide.

In this charming and eccentric memoir about her quest for a neat and tidy life, Japanese organizational expert Marie Kondo encourages us to spend however long it takes to clear out the clutter once and for all. No “throw out one thing a day” approach for this tidying wonder woman! Nope! According to her KonMari Method, it’s nothing short of a marathon, and well worth the effort.

Here are a few of the best nuggets:

  • Tidy a little every day and you’ll be tidying forever.
  • The moment you start to tidy up you will reset your whole life.
  • Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.
  • Don’t tidy up by location; tidy up by category, in this order: clothes, books, papers, kimono (miscellany), mementos.
  • Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore.

And here’s my personal favorite tip: Take each item in your hand and ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, by all means, keep it. If not, out it goes. But first, thank the item you are discarding for having given you joy when you bought it, and then . . . let it go.

Here’s a chat I had not long ago with organizer extraordinaire Julie Morgenstern, author of “Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life,” who also believes that in order to start any kind of de-cluttering program, you must first have a clear vision of where you are going.  Take a look:

In addition to these great tips from Marie Kondo, here are five items I’m sure that, once you pick them up, will absolutely not thrill you with a spark of joy whatsoever. Which means, dear reader, it’s time to give them the New Year heave-ho . . . today:

  1. Old. stretched out bras.
  2. Mascara you’ve had for more than 4 months.
  3. Bad-fitting clothes that even a tailor can’t fix.
  4. Wire hangers from the dry cleanerdry-cleaning-hanger-fb
  5. Old bottles of nail polish that have been drying up for years.

A date has been set in the Grufferman household to do a tidying up marathon (over a weekend). Does my family know? Absolutely not!  I am following Ms. Kondo’s strong advice to a “T”: “Never let them see.” And so I shan’t. Until it’s too late.

Happy New Year!

Until next time, remember this: We can’t control getting older . . . but . . . we can control how we do it!

Check out the latest episode of The Best of Everything on the AARP YouTube Channel by clicking right here!


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