Jan­uary is a time to de­clut­ter isn’t it?

West Sussex Gazette - - COUNTRYFIL­E - With Blaise Tapp

Iam de­lighted to re­port that, half way into Jan­uary, my year has be­gun largely how the last one fin­ished - in a flurry of baked pro­duce con­sump­tion, along­side the odd glass or two of booze.

In keep­ing with my ten­dency to ig­nore all fads, I have, once again,shunned Dry Jan­uary and have ab­so­lutely turned my back on Ve­gan­uary.

Of course, I have made some ef­forts to lessen my girth and do up my top but­ton and, so far this year, I have yet to con­sume any­thing in bat­ter nor have I so much as looked at a bag of chips since be­fore Jools Hol­land’s Hoo­te­nanny .

I have, how­ever, nearly fin­ished the bumper box of pork scratch­ings that my wife’s sib­ling bought me for my birth­day the other week. If Carls­berg did broth­erin-laws…

While I can hap­pily go a week (well Sun­day night to 6pm on a Fri­day), with­out al­co­hol pass­ing my lips, the idea of en­dur­ing the dullest of months with­out the aid of any­thing stronger than Tizer leaves me cold.

Hats off to the mil­lions of peo­ple who have binned the take­away menus and spent this month’s beer money on in­tro­duc­tory gym mem­ber­ship, but I have been there and have the sweat soaked T-shirt.

But Jan­uary isn’t just about hang­over free Sun­days and cel­ery in your lunch­box, as more and more of us are us­ing this month to de­clut­ter our homes, and it is an ob­ses­sion that has now be­come big busi­ness.

Marie Kondo isn’t some­body I had heard of un­til last week but ap­par­ently she is the high priest­ess of tidy­ing up, so knows a thing or two about sling­ing out junk. She has flogged some 11 mil­lion books and is now the star of her own Net­flix show, which has given her a new army of fans.

You might have heard of her - she is the Ja­pa­nese guru who en­cour­ages Amer­i­cans to say thank you to the inan­i­mate ob­ject that you are about to chuck into the great dust­bin in the sky.

Her meth­ods, known as Kon­Mari, are be­ing adopted by peo­ple across the world, who yearn af­ter a clut­ter free home or place of work.

In the in­ter­ests of re­search, I have spent some time study­ing her meth­ods and it is fair to say there are lots of them, which means that you have to be re­ally ded­i­cated if you want to avoid be­com­ing the next star of Hoard­ers from Hell or what­ever other tele­vi­sual de­light Chan­nel 5 has planned for the ea­ger masses.

Her key rules are dis­card and or­gan­ise not to men­tion ask­ing your­self if a par­tic­u­lar pos­ses­sion “sparks joy”. Hand on heart, I am not sure how many of my things make me go weak at the knees but that doesn’t mean that I want to con­sign them to his­tory.

Most hu­man be­ings are slaves to self im­prove­ment and be­ing able to see the car­pet in your liv­ing room is usu­ally high up on the list of pri­or­i­ties for most house proud grown ups.

Not this one. I have al­ways been of the opin­ion that a desk is not a desk if you can see any of the sur­face be­neath the piles of yel­low­ing pa­pers and Post-It notes.

I might not be per­fect, but it works for me. I am pretty sure that I won’t be say­ing a sin­cere thank you to my half chewed biros as there is still plenty of life left in them yet.

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