I blame Marie Kondo for the hys­ter­i­cal lev­els of de-clut­ter­ing we are cur­rently wit­ness­ing. For my money, some peo­ple ap­pear to be tak­ing the craze to a whole new level. The ques­tion of does it, or does it not, spark joy is more likely to spark anx­i­ety. It’s all so black and white – and per­ma­nent. No won­der it’s stress­ful.

De-clut­ter­ing has come to mean ruth­lessly rid­ding items that may or may not be tak­ing up space. While many of us would ad­mit we are hold­ing on to more than we need, if you set a goal of do­ing a mas­sive purge, you’re more likely to get over­whelmed and fail than you are to suc­ceed.

In­stead, be re­al­is­tic about what you have the space for and what you don’t. And the most strate­gic thing you can do with that knowl­edge is to or­gan­ise the things you value most in an ef­fi­cient and use­ful way.

Clos­ets, for in­stance, are of­ten a com­mon source of clut­ter and con­fu­sion. Most of us have heard the di­rec­tive to purge any­thing you haven’t worn in the past year. But fash­ion­ista or not, that can be a hor­ri­fy­ing prospect for those of us who at­tach sen­ti­men­tal­ity to our clothes.

A re­al­is­tic com­pro­mise would be to re­or­gan­ise your wardrobe. For in­stance, hang every­thing on qual­ity hang­ers – in some or­der, such as all your shirts to­gether, fac­ing the same way. You can then ar­range them in or­der of colour, or sea­son. Again, the goal here is to be able to find and see what you have with ease.

Or­gan­is­ing is a process that can be re­vis­ited a cou­ple of times a year – and if you get rid of some stuff dur­ing the process, then you’re do­ing just fine.

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