Finding Joy in Organizing

Four tips from an organization expert for decluttering during this time at home
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Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the news lately, you’re not alone. Many people around the world are working from their homes, and feeling anxious about what’s to come. There are things we have control over, though, and we’re here to help.

We sat down with Fernanda Kirk, CH&L‘s Senior Production Coordinator, who is also an organization expert, minimalist and KonMari Consultant in training.

The KonMari Method, created by tidying expert Marie Kondo, encourages tidying by category–not by location–beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.

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“The KonMari method is a way for you to deeply examine your personal relationship with your belongings,” she says. “The method guides you to determine your ideal lifestyle and only keeping items that spark joy.”

Fernanda practices minimalism, too, and it’s been the best lifestyles change she’s ever made. “Minimalism gave me the tools to clear my life of all the unnecessary clutter, and the best thing about my tidying journey was that it sparked my desire to learn how to live with less.”

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She’s been particularly prepared for times like these, already aware of how organization and decluttering can minimize stress. “As a minimalist you are aware of your belongings and you only buy things when you need it. So while most people were buying things out of panic, I knew exactly what I had and what I needed to get by in case we had to go on lockdown, so there was no reason to worry,” she says.

Here, Fernanda has provided four tips for organization and decluttering during your time at home.

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1. Clean your space

The process of decluttering will not only give you the opportunity to go through all the things you own, but also to do a deep clean of your space. Once you decide what you want to keep, before putting it back, take the time to clean that area. Once you are done you will notice how light and airy your space will feel. In a time when things seem so uncertain, it can be immensely helpful to feel like you have something under your control.

2. Donate

Once you’re done decluttering your space, you will have many items that no longer bring you joy. Before throwing those items in the trash, think about who might benefit from them. Now more than ever, nonprofits and small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, so your items could be of great help. If you can’t bring those items in right away, consider donating money or your time.

3. Online shopping

After you are done decluttering your space, you might want to buy some new items. Maybe you realized your style has changed and your closet doesn’t bring you joy, or you want to buy some organizing tools to freshen up your recently decluttered space. Hold the urge to shop online. Companies know that people will be stuck at home for the foreseeable future and they will tempt you to buy things you don’t need. The goal of decluttering is for you to own less and be content with the items you choose to keep. See how life is with your newly made space before rushing out to fill it back up.

4. Unplug

Staying home can be a great way to catch up on chores and clean your space, but it can also lead to anxiety by not being able to go outside or to have a normal routine. Being connected 24/7 can feel overwhelming during times like these, so make sure you unplug when it feels like it’s too much. Keep in touch with loved ones and check in with yourself often, making sure you are taking good care so that you can help others if needed.

For more information about Fernanda’s work, visit or find her on Instagram @fernandasckirk.

Categories: Interiors