By Ana de Villa -Singson

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to dig deep and spend 10 – 15 minutes just looking for a favorite blouse you want to wear?  Was there a time when you urgently needed a document which you stashed somewhere but couldn’t find it?  Or the time you came home needing to relax in your room only to come home to a room filled with memorabilia from 10 years ago with everything in it except for much needed rest and relaxation?  And still… do you ever despair because you just don’t have enough storage space?

When things are hard to find, when you can’t breathe in a very crowded and cluttered room, when you are wasting valuable time looking for things which just aren’t where they are supposed to be…IT’S TIME TO ORGARNIZE!

Organizing can be a daunting task…it’s like trying to fit in an elephant into a refrigerator!  We needed an expert!  And so..the AAA ORGANIZING CLUB called in Christine Dychao, the first New York-certified Konmari consultant in the Philippines; one who is much in demand for corporate and even personal consultations. A familiar face in  the  corporate workshop circuit, Christine very generously shared time and conducted 3 sessions for the AAA ORGANIZING CLUB.

Konmari’s philosophy to organizing comes in stages. First, one must tidy up. Why?  Because clutter accumulates if you don’t tidy up.  As pointed out by Christine, clutter has costs attached to it.  Clutter costs time spent trying to find things, money spent when you purchase something you already have just because you couldn’t find it.  Clutter costs us good health and wellbeing.  Peace of mind is hard to find when knee deep in clutter.  And lastly, clutter costs us space, valuable space for things that matter to us.

 There are 6 rules to tidying up. 

One of the hardest rules in tidying up is to discard items.  We keep things for many reasons:  sentiment,  mindless accumulation, future use, a fanciful wish that you will fit into a dress size 2 sizes smaller, a hope that one day you can share it with someone important, impulse buying.   It can be stressful to discard items. When faced with a dilemma on whether to keep or discard an item, Christine advises us to ask ourselves these 3 questions: 

  1. Does this item spark joy?
    2. Does it provide  functional joy?
    3.  Will it lead to future joy?

Konmari also provides a system for tidying up.  You don’t just tidy up everything and anything in one marathon session.  Tidying up happens according to categories and can take time, weeks or months in some cases. There’s a system in place too.   The easiest category, CLOTHES,  should be tidied up first while the most difficult category to tidy up, SENTIMENTAL ITEMS, is tidied up last. 

See the Categories listed sequentially in the  KonMari Method below:

And when you’re done tidying and have a mountain of discarded items to give away, think of donating to any of these worthy causes:

Okay, you’ve passed the hurdle and tidied up.  Stage 2 comes next. It’s time to ORGANIZE TO SPARK JOY. Here are some pro tips from Christine.

I can attest to Christine’s teachings and advise.  Inspired by our first session with her, I immediately set about tidying up one of my clothes shelves.  The shelf in question is a rather long and deep one. It’s around a meter deep and 3 meters wide; a lot of room in which to cram quite a lot of clothes.   In the process of actually digging deep, I found 4 gym  leggings of exactly the same color, brand, size.  Stuck at the very back, I kept buying the same item not knowing I already had it deep in that pile.  I tidied up and discarded a few items which were dispatched to Caritas Manila and bought plastic drawers from Muji. In stead of folding my clothes, I rolled them up Konmari style, making it easier to pull out items from below without pulling out everything else with it.  The result?  A much happier…and better dressed me!  I found so many clothes I thought I didn’t have.  It felt like I had gone on a shopping spree…I had discovered an entire wardrobe that was stashed unseen and unworn.  Hurrah for tidying and organizing!  Hurrah for Konmari!  And the biggest Hurrah for Christine…our Clutter Buster. 

Christine taught me to spark my joy by decluttering.  Follow the Konmari method she taught us in the AAA ORGANIZING CLUB and spark your joy too!  Happy tidying up!  Happy Organizing!!! And Welcome to your clutter-free space of peace and wellbeing! 

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