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Working on a Renovation? The #KonMari Method Works Here Too

If there’s a name that’s synonymous with a neat and organised home, it’s definitely Marie Kondo.

With the recent debut of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, the titular Japanese cleaning guru and author is once again taking the world by storm with her expert decluttering advice, which have spawned four bestsellers to date (including an ultra-cutesy manga).

Naturally, given all the buzz about the ‘KonMari’ method, it got us thinking: Could it be used to ‘tidy up’ a renovation as well? While Kondo’s techniques certainly aren’t meant for tackling a home renovation, we believe that her tidying principles are relevant, so here’s our own take on how they can “spark joy” at home!

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Before: Imagining what your ideal home will look like

In her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie begins her lessons by getting readers to envision and define their ideal lifestyle – or more specifically, a decluttered future where they are able to live comfortably with their belongings.

Much in the same way, planning for a renovation begins with picturing how your future home should be. What will it look like? What qualities does it embody? What sort of fittings, features, and furniture will it include?

Even if the details aren’t fully ironed out at a preliminary stage, asking these questions and having a plan creates goals that you can work towards to. Likewise, coming up with your own visual resources like mood boards and photo albums helps. Plus, they’ll come in handy when it’s time to put your ideas across to a renovation expert.

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During: Discarding and organising your belongings (and plans)

At its core, Kondo’s clean-up method is all about getting things organised and removing unwanted belongings beforehand is very much a big part of it; the reason is simple: getting your tidying (or in this case, renovation) done is going to be easier without unwanted obstacles in the way.

Before making the move to your temporary lodgings or shifting to a brand-new abode, give some thought to what you’ll need – and what you won’t. As Kondo advocates, getting rid of everything that’s unnecessary (e.g. worn-out furniture, old clothes) before organising what’s left, is the most efficient way of ensuring a fresh start.

Not to mention, having an open, uncluttered home makes space-planning much easier. With a blank slate, mapping out the positions of your furniture and built-ins is going to be less of a headache, as compared to picturing what things will be like in a room that’s in a complete mess.

Taking a step back, this process of elimination and organisation also applies to the planning stage. Stuck with too many renovation ideas? Break out the pen and paper, list down your to-dos, and start striking items off the list based on their importance to key renovation factors, such as your budget or practical needs.

Also read: 6 practical built-in ideas for messy homes

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After: Ask if it sparks joy, regularly

While Kondo sees tidying as a ‘do it once, do it good’ affair – whereby a big clean up should be a once-off task, instead of being a never-ending project – the fact is that clutter creep is silent, slow and accumulates across time, especially if you aren’t the orderly type.

Instead, we recommend having a consistent organising schedule and occasional sweeps of your (beautifully renovated) home to ensure it stays in tip-top shape year-round. Just remember: ask yourself if it sparks joy, regularly.

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