Decluttering vs Organizing

People are always looking for ways to organize their things and after moving three times to three different countries in a span of six years, I got tired. It seemed no matter how organized I was, or how many organizers I had, things still got pretty cluttered. I even designed my own furniture bespoke with dividers in each drawer for crying-out-loud. That didn't matter, because I was still moving with a lot of crap, so even after hours of organizing, clutter would just recur in a few days. 


ORGANIZING: To arrange all the things you have into a system, without necessarily reducing.

DECLUTTERING: To remove unnecessary items, so you have less things to organize.

I decided to get rid of anything that I don't find TRULY BEAUTIFUL or USEFUL in my life. And when I explained this to my friends here in Manila, I kept getting told that my principles sounded like the Kon Mari Method. I was intrigued. 

Discovering The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up of Mari Kondo was indeed life-changing. I didn't get the book at first. Before buying the book, I watched some of her you tube videos first, to see if her method called to me. And after these first few videos I watched, I was hooked! 

  1. Kon Mari Method of Basic Folding
  2. Decluttered Underwear Storage
  3. How to Tidy Your Office Space
  4. Kon Mari Declutters a New York Home

We need to DECLUTTER FIRST before organizing so that the clutter doesn't just creep back in. It makes so much sense - a lightbulb moment!

But what makes the Kon Mari Method of decluttering different, is asking yourself "Does this spark joy?" It is a fantastic way to deal with the emotions our stuff inspire in us - whether we want to admit it or not. 

I used to ask myself all sorts of questions that temporarily helped me declutter:

  • Have I used this in the last year?
  • How often do I use it?
  • Should this be part of my 33 things (or some other random number)

But asking myself DOES THIS SPARK JOY? has totally simplified the process of decluttering. It's a game changer. 

I Kon Mari-ed my own closet and things, and my husband was so impressed with the difference in my closet that he also wanted to Kon Mari his own. This snap of his decluttered closet - we got rid of 1/3 of his clothes - was even featured in Mari Kondo's Instagram. I was ecstatic, of course!

Since embarking on my decluttering journey using the Kon Mari Method, I can say that it's true. Once you apply the Kon Mari Method to different categories of your life, the change is permanent - barring, of course, a shopping spree of unnecessary things. Because once you get used to having ONLY what sparks joy in your life, you will realize that we live with a lot of things that DON'T SPARK JOY. What do I mean?

  • If it makes me feel guilty for not having used it
  • If I feel bad that it was gifted to me and I don't like it
  • I realized it's not my color/cut/size
  • I've outgrown it
  • It's not my style anymore

If any of these statements are true, or if you touch something and it doesn't inspire a sudden lift in your spirits ("Spark Joy") then it must be disposed of.

We've come a long way since then, and have helped families create more mindful spaces, not just in Metro Manila but also as far as the USA, through actual and virtual decluttering consultations. 

I can't wait to share them all with you. 


*As the sole breadwinner of my family, supporting a hubby who has cancer, I am proud to be an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase through the links in this site, I may receive a small amount that helps me with purchases for my family's needs. Thank you!