This article was first published on Medium in August 2019. The Art of Moving all Your Clutter to Another Room: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
KonMari is a popular way to “tidy-up” but if you have company coming over in 30 minutes you don’t have time to sit down and read a 224-page book.
Whether it “brings you joy” or causes you anguish, it’s currently sitting in the middle of the dining room table and it does not belong there. Sure, it’s been there for 3 weeks now and you hardly notice it as you carry your dinner from the kitchen to the living room at mealtime, but your impending guests will assume you’re a slob. (To be fair, they wouldn’t be wrong.)
You need to “clean” and you need to clean “fast.” Welcome to the art of moving all your clutter to another room.
Step 1: Identify a “stash zone.” This is a room you don’t use or don’t use much. Think closet, basement, or office. Look for corners. Places you wouldn’t normally walk. This space doesn’t even have to be clean, it only needs to have room for more stuff.
Step 2: Move the big stuff. Large boxes. Computer monitors. That broken dehumidifier. The box for your 6-year-old 55-inch TV which has been sitting next to your entertainment center all these years and you’ll never use, but it’s in too good of shape to get rid of because you never know when you might need a large piece of cardboard. Stack it like you’re a professional Tetris champion. (Don’t worry, it won’t disappear. [I know, I was hoping it might too.])
Step 3: Next take the small things. Group similar things together. Group dissimilar things together too. Have a lot of cables? Throw them in a box. You haven’t needed that 30-pin iPod cable since 2014, but this isn’t the time to throw it out, it’s time to get it off your chaise lounge! You can always throw things out later. Maybe. We’ll see.
Pocket knives, wall chargers, possibly dead batteries, half-used deodorant sticks, the left flip-flop which has been missing its mate for at least 16-months: it can all go in a single bag. Be honest with yourself, it’s all the same. Might as well label it: stuff I won’t even remember owning three hours from now.
Step 4: Vacuum and repeat. True masters of this method will clean the living room by moving everything to the dining room. Clean the dining room by moving everything into the office. Clean the office by moving everything into the basement. Clean the basement and move everything into the garage. And clean the garage by simply moving to a new house and letting someone else deal with it.
Step 5: Final touches. Being “clean” and “tidy” is all about presentation. A quick dusting of visible surfaces before guests ring the doorbell is a must, but you can always take it a step further. Place a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō on your coffee table. (For extra status points, take a few seconds to highlight or mark random phrases throughout the book incase anyone decides to flip through it.)
Hopefully, this cleaning method helps you achieve status and prestige among your friends and family. Just remember to keep them away from the stash zones.