Finding Joy through Decluttering

Decluttering never ends…

Yes, I confess: I watched the Marie Kondo show on Netflix. Yes, I bought her book and read it… So, am I now totally brainwashed: a KonMari convert, a decluttering fundamentalist? 

The short answer: no.

Sure, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been feverishly decluttering like it’s my one and only passion in life. I’ve tossed (or recycled) dozens of bags of paper, books, clothes and other crap that had been hiding in the closets.

Of course, this is nothing new. I mean, I do this sort of thing more or less frequently, with varying levels of enthusiasm and results. There is the once-every-ten-years-or-so clear-out that usually leads to a total overhaul of the decor and a completely new look for the flat. And there is the annual (sometimes bi-annual) wardrobe clear-out. Hell, I’ve even read my fair share of books on decluttering!

However, none of this has never led to permanent change in the sense of making my flat (or my life) more organised. Sooner or later clutter creeps back in; as life gets busy, my closets get crowded and messy. And eventually I can’t stand it anymore and start decluttering, and the cycle goes on.

spring cleaning

Breaking the cycle?

So, do I believe that KonMari could finally break the eternal cycle of mess and decluttering? That after this one, massive clear-out I would never have to declutter again, and my closets and wardrobes would remain tidy and organised for ever?

Err, no. Sorry, I’m just too cynical for that.

The fight against clutter is never-ending, and I’m sure I will have to toss a lot of stuff in the future, too. And I have certainly not given up buying stuff. However, we all know that today’s newly-acquired treasure is very likely tomorrow’s trash cluttering our valuable storage space…

spring cleaning

Changing my attitude

So, even though I’m not expecting KonMari to provide lasting results as far as eliminating clutter is concerned, I do expect a change in my attitude towards my possessions. Let me explain.

The most important thing about KonMari is that it’s not about reducing your possessions, or leading a minimalist life, or never buying anything anymore. It’s about valuing what you’ve got and keeping and cherishing everything that ‘sparks joy’. And getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t.

And that is the fundamental difference between my  old, more or less failed attempts at decluttering and my current undertaking: there’s a positive message at the core of this project. The aim of decluttering is to bring more joy into my life. And as a predominantly negative, the-glass-is-always-half-empty person, I could really use some more joy in my life.

The Verdict: Has KonMari helped me?

So, this time around decluttering has been a very positive experience, for two reasons.

First, because I don’t have to feel guilty for getting rid off (recycling, donating, tossing, whatever) all the crap I’ve been storing at the back of the closet. Never mind if it was a gift, or a bad (but expensive) purchase. The only relevant question is whether it brings me joy. And if it doesn’t, it has no place in my flat, or in my life.

And second, I’ve been able to make space for the stuff that actually does bring me joy. And once everything will be organised and displayed properly, I can also see everything I have. And then I will hopefully use / wear it more, too.

So, getting rid of stuff I neither need nor want has been almost a purifying experience, so far (the process is far from over). And I  didn’t have to get rid of my beloved style and art books, or my somewhat eclectic collection of coffee mugs, or my numerous striped t-shirts. After all, they all bring me so much joy, and serve me well in my daily life.  

Buying less but buying better has been my mantra for years, and I feel that this project has helped me refocus on that. Good quality, durability, sustainability, and fabulous design have always been high on my list of criteria when making purchasing decisions. Now I’m going to add joy to that list, too.

spring cleaning 1300 x 800

Would you like to see more examples of my decluttering efforts?

Let me know in the comments.


Linking up with:

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleStyle ElixirA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashThe Fashionista MommaTina’s Pink FridayMummabstylish 


  1. mummabstylish
    7 February 2019 / 8:09 pm

    I just find it so hard to get rid of things – just looking at your mug picture! I need to get rid of some mugs, but then I want to buy more – kind of defeats the object eh? Thanks for sharing on #chicandstylish my friend. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • Tiina
      11 February 2019 / 11:15 am

      I find getting rid of things very easy. I guess I’m a bit of a minimalist at heart… Besides, we only ever use a tiny part of our stuff, so what’s the point of storing the stuff we never use?

  2. Arlene
    7 February 2019 / 10:24 pm

    yes I would like to see more of your decluttering efforts. Those mugs make me want to go out and buy some!! Ha! I keep saying I’m going to declutter the bottom of my closet where my shoes are kept. The shelf thing I placed in the closet to hold a lot of my shoes broke and now the shoes are all over the bottom of the closet and I STILL haven’t tried to fix the problem. What’s my problem? I can’t get started somehow on it. Help me! Arlene from NJ

    • Tiina
      11 February 2019 / 11:17 am

      Oh dear, shoes… My shoes are all over the place at the moment. I have no idea where to put them. And I have way too many! Even after I decided to get rid of he ones I never wear (or that hurt my feet). I guess tis is still a work-in-progress, in many ways.

  3. 8 February 2019 / 2:27 pm

    what an interesting post!, thanks for sharing your experience on this KonMari method, love a reality test!
    Probably, the positive attitude makes a difference, as decluttering is sometimes frustrating. I believe in enjoying what you already have (striped t-shirts, art books and cute mugs look like fabulous things to enjoy!), and totally support your decission on buying better things with a fabulous design!.
    Looking forward to read your remarks on this subject!

    • Tiina
      11 February 2019 / 11:21 am

      Thanks! Having less, and only keeping what I really like makes me feel better. Lighter, somehow, or more in control. Like I’m not being weighed down by too much stuff. If that makes any sense… Anyway, so far I’ve only separated the stuff I want to get rid of from what I want to keep. The real test will be to actually get rid of the bags of unwanted clothes…

  4. Flora
    9 February 2019 / 1:19 pm

    We have moved 4 times in the last 25 years downsizing every time. Our last move was 6 years ago to a flat which after 49 years of married life we call our last home in the way young couples talk of their first home. My son was delighted with our drastic decluttering as he had helped clear my parents home and the job will fall to him again when we ‘go’. However, buying on average 4 books a week, and even passing many of them on to Emmaus, in 6 years we’ve filled 3 of those Billy bookcases. It truly is an up hill struggle but aren’t we fortunate we can afford what we want and then choose to keep or discard?

    • Tiina
      11 February 2019 / 11:25 am

      Yes, decluttering is a never-ending task. And it would not be realistic to stop buying new stuff either. Our tastes change over time, and something we liked a few years ago now feels ‘wrong’ somehow. And yes, books, it’s not like we’re going to stop reading, right?I’m trying to resist the temptation to buy new art books (because those are the books I’d want to keep, instead of passing them on) as my book shelf is pretty full.

  5. 12 February 2019 / 1:12 pm

    I’m so with you! I have recently started and I am really enjoying the process. I think living together for 30 years is a long time to collect junk. We want to down size so it’s time to hold on to the things that ‘spark joy’ and charity the rest! xx Maria

    • Tiina
      13 February 2019 / 1:39 pm

      That sounds great! It makes no sense to hold on to stuff you never use (or even particularly like). I just had the good people from the local recycling centre come and pick up a lot of stuff, and my living room looks so spacious suddenly. I’m over the moon!

  6. 14 February 2019 / 9:42 pm

    Hi, Tiina
    This is the best decluttering message I’ve ever seen. I love how you assert that decluttering is neverending! That is so true. Even the most organized and decluttered person is always putting effort into keeping their surroundings that way. And then you nailed Marie Kondo’s message that things only exist for our joy. Keeping that in mind helps to keep the extra fluff away. This is a very encouraging message.

    • Tiina
      15 February 2019 / 7:19 pm

      Thanks, Angie! What I really liked about KonMari was the positive message, that your possessions should bring you joy. I think that is the best incentive to fight clutter.

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