This is a guest essay from Claudine Gamboa, the Philippines’ first KonMari consultant-in-training.

When I was a young 10 year old, I would get into a series of what I thought to be decluttering. I would stay up all night when everyone was asleep and do this ritual of removing everything from the cabinet beside me and my sisters’ bed and rearrange. I had no right to throw anything away that was not mine; just feeling as though there was progress happening in this act of “tidying” comforted me. 

When I enter a room I get an impression when it’s happy. It’s happy because it has attention. When we declutter, your most cherished possession are brought to light. After the act of touching each item, it brings them back into the waking world and there is great satisfaction in knowing that you have not forgotten that beloved book underneath all the other books that were just so-so. Let go of the so-so.

1. Peace of Mind

It’s great to get it out of the way. Finally! Those days are over when you’re stomach growls from the stress of just having glanced at a pile of mess that has been untouched for weeks. Decluttering my personal space gave me a feeling of relief and accomplishment. 

2. Control over things

It’s nice to know where things are, and to see your room more luminous in the morning sun. To be able to breath without fear of contracting an allergy, and to be able to invite your family over without any insecurities. Decluttering once and for all gives you that boost of confidence you need to show how well you are living your life because you have achieved something great: Ownership over your things (Instead of things owning you!).

3. It gives you perspective

In the practice of KonMari, we are instructed to place the items on the floor of the specific category you are working on. On the clothes category for example, this becomes a wake-up call. Seeing the amount that you own will give you perspective and insight into your purchasing habits. And even the selection process will filter what your style is really like.

4. It’s neat, yet democratic

One of the key messages of Marie Kondo (in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) is to be able to be Joy Sensitive. You need to hone your sense of joy. This was such a great and important message because what gives us joy may be very irrational. A collection of stickers? A tiny turtle? A cute Japanese newspaper? What the KonMari can confidently say to that is: “Why the heck not?” 

That’s the joy of decluttering right there. Keeping that broken brooch from Lola, but discarding the “cute” sweater gifted to you by mom (Sell it maybe?). We do decluttering because it is for ourselves and not for others. We must do it without regrets, always with care, and with a capacity of self-love.

Live mindfully!

Claudine Gamboa ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on The Spark Project to gain first priority clients for her first business, Claudemari Decluttering. She is running a whole day Workshop on July 15, 2017 for those interested in tidying their homes. She also offers one-on-one sessions to tidy your home, starting with your clothes, using the KonMari Method. Email her here.