Since bursting onto the interiors scene in 2015, professional declutterer Marie Kondo has been setting us some serious #organisinggoals. Her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising showed us a task as seemingly mundane as clearing out a sock drawer could actually bring us joy, and we've been hooked ever since.
And now Marie is creating more buzz – this time with some tips on getting our home tidy for Christmas guests. Because it's not just about the tree and turkey you know!
1. Do a 'Joy Check'
We're seeing this as a 21st Century update on the William Morris classic quote, 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'.
Marie's thinking is that 'we become so accustomed to living in our space that it is difficult to see it objectively'. She therefore suggests taking a walk through your house, imagining you are a visitor. As you move through each room, try to look at it from a fresh perspective – both in terms of what's there, and what you have hidden away in cupboards and baskets.
'Take this opportunity to ask yourself if these things really spark joy,' says Marie. 'If they don’t, thank them and let them go.'
2. Decide where things belong
'Did you discover anything laying around the room haphazardly?' asks Marie. Errr, try pretty much everything, Marie! But apparently, that won't do at all. 'Having a vague idea that something should be kept “around here” isn’t sufficient,' she tells us. 'The remote control goes in a gold tray on the right side table, pens on the counter go in the ceramic holder, and the pile of mail goes in the pending box on your desk.'
In other words, to achieve a tidy home, EVERYONE needs to know where things 'live' and keep it that way.
3. Keep a neat kitchen
Marie admits that the kitchen can be the most difficult room to keep tidy due to the number of different items it contains. 'The key to making it look as neat as possible is to display only your favorite items on the worktop,' she advises. 'Anything that can go in a drawer or a cupboard should be put away.'
Marie has one last note of genius – and that's to make sure the dishwasher is empty the day guests arrive. That way, you have somewhere to put dirty plates as the build up over the course of the day, rather than starting on the back foot.
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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