Kimberly Cantor is a third generation neat freak. It’s in her blood to want a spick and span household, and with a family, a dog and her stress levels rising, Kimberly knew there had to be a better way. 10 years of trying to keep her family’s clutter organised, she was left drained and disheartened.
Enter the KonMari Method. As she worked through each of Marie Kondo’s guides, Kimberly felt herself getting closer and closer towards tidying salvation. ‘Let Go’, ‘Spark Joy’, and ‘Everything In Its Place’, became part of her daily mantra and is now an effortless ritual. This way of life had to be shared!
As South Australia’s only certified KonMari™ Consultant, Kimberly helps liberate people (and their homes) from clutter to create calm, organised and simple spaces.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Kimberley and chat about her top tips towards having an organised home!
How to create an organised home
Using the KonMari method
Create an ‘Out Box’
Our homes tend to become one big inbox.Things always coming in, nothing ever going out. Don’t wait for the clutter to get a hold. Create an ‘Out Box’. This can simply be a cardboard box located somewhere in the home. As you go about your daily life, keep an eye out for items that are no longer bringing joy or serving a purpose. Get the kids on board too. Socks with holes? That itchy jumper that you just can’t tolerate anymore? The book you’ve read but didn’t love? Send them to the ‘Out Box’ and when full, sort into trash or charity!
Create a ‘Handbag Transition Zone’ and unpack your bag daily
If you’re one to switch up your handbag with your outfits, then this one’s for you. You’re going to think I am crazy, but try unpacking your handbag daily – it will take you less than a minute. Place your keys, wallet, phone, lip balm and anything else you travel with daily on a dedicated shelf or drawer. Thank each item for supporting you during the day. Ensure you dispose of old receipts, parking tickets, snack wrappers et cetera as you go. If you practice this daily, you’ll not only squeeze in some additional gratitude, you’ll keep your handbag in control and won’t have to rummage through weeks of accumulated stuff looking for what you need.
Ditch the convoluted storage systems
Keep your storage simple. Fancy storage solutions are often a trap, and can sometimes cause you to keep more than you need, more than you love, or more than you realise! Ensure everything can be stored vertically as this saves space. Be certain that everything is visible and accessible with little effort.
A place for everything, and everything in its place
The secret to maintaining an organised home is to ensure every single item has a home. It might sound almost too simple, but it works! Clutter is created when things don’t end up where they belong after use. A designated place for everything is crucial.
Break up drawers by inserting boxes
This is particularly important for the ‘junk drawer’. Every house has one. Corral loose items in boxes, and turn an unstructured drawer or shelf into a configured grid where you can see everything at a glance. The walls of the boxes help delineate the space, helping you store like with like, whilst maintaining order.
On a budget? Never underestimate a shoe box. Get creative and use their lids too!
Don’t confuse Mementos with Memories
For some, it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s important to realise that our memories aren’t in our possessions, they are within us. Say you choose to discard that Eiffel Tower figurine that you purchased as a souvenir in Paris to signify your time there. Ask yourself, will I lose the memories of that beautiful holiday, simply by letting this item go? True memories are forever etched into our minds, and we won’t lose them simply by discarding the objects associated with them.
Drop the guilt. It’s OK to let go of things that don’t bring you joy
It’s not wasteful to pass on possessions that aren’t being loved or used. Wasteful is leaving things to languish in a box, at the back of a dark cupboard. True to the KonMari Method, my suggestion is to thank these items for serving their purpose in your life, before letting them go, sending them on a journey to bring joy to somebody else.
The Kettle Boil Tidy
The average kettle takes 3 minutes to boil. Associate and use this time to conduct a swift tidy of your kitchen. You’ll be surprised at how much can be done in 3 minutes.
Asking yourself if something sparks joy is so synonymous with the KonMari Method, and it’s actually an incredibly useful way to look at the world. It is paramount in a decluttering session, and something that my clients take with them for life. If an item brings joy to our heart, then we are more likely to love, respect and take care of them, and that includes putting them away and keeping them tidy.
Treat Common Areas as Flex Space
Like a flex space in an office environment, common areas in the home are for everyone to enjoy and make use of. Encourage family members to be respectful of the next user. Get them to complete a quick tidy at the end of each day, returning their possessions to the dedicated place in their bedroom. This will not only help avoid any build up of clutter but also ensures family members remain conscious and accountable for their belongings.
About Kimberly Cantor
Kimberly Cantor is South Australia’s only certified KonMari® Consultant, decluttering expert and professional organiser. Her business, An Organised Home, helps families and individuals declutter, organise and simplify their homes with long lasting, life changing results.