While the world seems to be going crazy for Marie Kondo and the Japanese Art of Decluttering — Australia’s own organising expert provides a male’s perspective.
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With almost 20-years in the industry, including five seasons on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Peter Walsh spoke to The Courier-Mail off the back of his Master Class appearance at Porter Davis’s World of Style last week.
Walsh said he’d seen it all, and perhaps the worst was a home in the United States, which took 80 people 10 weeks to declutter.
“By the time we finished we found about 3500 pairs of shoes and nearly 4000 handbags,” he said.
“When we were decluttering the clothes from the master bedroom, it was on the first floor … we opened some windows that looked out on to the front yard and threw some tarps down and started throwing the clothes from the master bedroom.
“By the end of the day you could step out of the window on to the pile of clothes.
“The stuff that came out of the house filled a 10,000 square foot (929sq m) warehouse that we did a huge yard sale from.”
Walsh said it was scientifically proven that clutter was linked to the stress hormone cortisol.
“It’s been discovered that in homes where there is a lot of clutter, women particularly exhibit high and continuing levels of cortisol,” he said.
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However, he said, there was he huge anecdotal evidence.
“When we talk about clutter, we talk about being suffocated, we talk about feeling buried in the stuff, we say that we can’t breathe there is so much stuff.”
He said the first thing to ask yourself before you start you decluttering journey was “what is the vision I have for my home”.
“If you can define what you want from your home, the mood, the feeling, the activities, the shared spaces, if you can start there, then the second question is, do the things I own help me create that vision,” he said.
“If you want to be more organic, live more organically, then you want to live simpler, live more honestly and live in a more pure way, live in a more harmonious way.
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“That’s the same reason you get organised and if being organised helps you live your life, emotionally, psychologically, socially and financially in a better way, then that’s the reason to get organised and that includes paying your bills regularly on time and living as an adult being responsible for the things you own, rather than being a slave to the things you own.”
For more on space saving hacks, the benefits of downsizing and the importance of an organised home grab a copy of this Saturday’s HOME section in The Courier-Mail Real Estate liftout.