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Australia's first KonMari Consultant reveals how to spring clean your closet

KonMari Consultant Gemma Quinn

KonMari Consultant Gemma Quinn

Australia’s first KonMari Consultant has shared exactly how to declutter your wardrobe in four easy steps, and revealed ways to spring clean the rest of your home too.

Gemma Quinn, who lives in Melbourne, worked in business operations in the design and advertising industries, but found that in her spare time she enjoyed organising spaces.

Her aunt lent her Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and Gemma quickly realised that sorting homes was her true passion, as outlined by the KonMari Method within the book. 

The method is about connecting with yourself and your belongings in a way that allows you to organise your home and get on with living your ideal life – one full of joy.

To become a certified consultant Gemma had to attend a training course in the United States in 2016, complete practice tidying sessions with clients, which were assessed by KonMari, and pass an exam. 

She now works with clients across Australia and the world to ‘spark joy’ within their own homes, and has devised the perfect plan for spring cleaning your wardrobe.

BEFORE: Step one is to declutter the closet, removing similar items at the same time and deciding whether to keep them, or let them go

BEFORE: Step one is to declutter the closet, removing similar items at the same time and deciding whether to keep them, or let them go

AFTER: Gemma believes a decluttered bedroom can help reduce morning stress, as it's easier to find your work outfits and prepare yourself for the day

AFTER: Gemma believes a decluttered bedroom can help reduce morning stress, as it’s easier to find your work outfits and prepare yourself for the day

What is the KonMari method?

1. To begin your journey of decluttering and organisation, first commit to improving the way your life functions and flows. Gemma suggests visualising or creating a Pinterest board of your ideal life and what you want to achieve. This allows you to keep your eye on that goal when faced with the difficult decision of what to keep.

2. After committing to the process, the KonMari method suggests tackling your possessions in this order: Clothing, Books, Paper, Komono (things) and Sentimental Items.

Split each of these into sub-categories and work from easiest to hardest; this makes your task of organisation more manageable. Sticking to the order will allow you to refine your skills in selecting what truly improves your life, preparing you to deal with the more functional and sentimental items next.

3. Find three items that spark genuine joy to use as a guide when you find yourself struggling to decide on the value of a possession. Gemma says when considering, you need to be honest with yourself – don’t think about how much it cost, who bought it for you and what obligations might be associated with it. ‘Find a charity that’s close to your heart. This will allow you to let go of things because you know you’re helping people,’ she said. 

 

Step one is to declutter the closet, removing similar items at the same time and deciding whether to keep them, or let them go. 

‘The most important thing when decluttering and organising is to be honest with yourself. When we declutter and organise, we’re very often not just letting go of and organising our belongings, we’re letting go of and tidying our thoughts, emotions and our hearts too,’ Gemma said.

‘An organised space leads people to being able to think more clearly and focus on what is important to them, as they have less items competing for their attention. It can help people to feel less distracted and anxious, therefore they can feel calmer, and this can influence things like our relationships and sleep.’

Gemma believes a decluttered bedroom can help reduce morning stress, as it’s easier to find your work outfits and prepare yourself for the day.

'S-hooks are a great way to add functionality to your wardrobe, you just hang them on a rail and tie a bit of string to an item and you can neatly store almost anything,' She said (pictured here)

‘S-hooks are a great way to add functionality to your wardrobe, you just hang them on a rail and tie a bit of string to an item and you can neatly store almost anything,’ She said (pictured here)

Putting clothing under the bed can also help with storage

Ensure you use all of the space available to you for storage and purchase open boxes so everything within them is visible

Ensure you use all of the space available to you for storage and purchase open boxes so everything within them is visible

‘It helps you relax at night, you’re more inclined to read the book you want to or spend time with your partner, and it improves your sleep,’ she said.

Next, ensure you take down all the measurements of your wardrobe – including height, width and depth – to ensure your storage solutions will fit.

Ensure you use all of the space available to you for storage and purchase open boxes so everything within them is visible.  

She also likes using Clever Cubes, a portable and highly versatile storage unit that can be placed vertically or horizontally in the wardrobe for different looks, and with cotton or bamboo inserts, that are ideal for concealing toys, books and clothing

She also likes using Clever Cubes, a portable and highly versatile storage unit that can be placed vertically or horizontally in the wardrobe for different looks, and with cotton or bamboo inserts, that are ideal for concealing toys, books and clothing

'When organising I love to think outside the square! One of my favourite organisational hacks for a wardrobe makeover is using door knobs and baskets on the back of the doors,' she said

‘When organising I love to think outside the square! One of my favourite organisational hacks for a wardrobe makeover is using door knobs and baskets on the back of the doors,’ she said

‘When organising I love to think outside the square! One of my favourite organisational hacks for a wardrobe makeover is using door knobs and baskets on the back of the doors. This is an efficient and fun way to use previously dead space,’ she said.

‘There is very often a small void between a closed door and a shelf. Attaching baskets in these places is a smart way to create new storage space in your home. It’s the perfect place to store your smaller items like caps, sunglasses, socks or even your favourite sentimental item.’

She attaches the door knobs and baskets using Command Hooks from Bunnings, which are great for renters because they can be removed when you leave and you don’t need to drill any holes into walls or doors.

How to spring clean other parts of your home with Bunnings

1. The understair nook

An awkward understair area can become a practical and pleasant study nook with clever shelving, attractive storage, work-appropriate lighting and a benchtop desk. ‘Storing vertically makes the best use of space as it contains the items, making for efficient organisation. If done properly, you can use 90 per cent of your storage space,’ Gemma said.

2. Storage 

Ensure you’re able to pull out any item without disturbing others. A storage system that is easily accessible and provides a designated home for each item will encourage continued organisational habits. ‘Work out what makes you happy, be honest with yourself and give everything a home,’ she said.

3. Make an office

Set aside a peaceful spot in your bedroom for journal or letter writing. Having a designated place for the laptop and paperwork keeps other areas of the home purely for relaxation. ‘Storing objects in a consistent and beautiful manner eliminates visual noise and allows you to focus on your goals,’ says Gemma. House possessions in boxes and baskets for easy access – store lighter boxes on your top shelves. 

4. Garden

‘S’ hooks, hanging pots and pretty plants can turn a clothes rack into a vertical garden. Small homes can still be filled with greenery – hanging baskets are perfect for filling vertical spaces. 

5. Laundry

Even practical rooms such as laundries benefit from a touch of tranquillity. Open shelving keeps often used items to hand. 

6. Pantry

Put all foods of the same type together, shelf by shelf, with the items you use most closest to hand. Use containers in just a few colours for a cohesive look. 

 

‘S-hooks are a great way to add functionality to your wardrobe, you just hang them on a rail and tie a bit of string to an item and you can neatly store almost anything. This is great for awkwardly shaped items like tripods, bags and sports equipment,’ she said.

‘To maximise space, folding clothes makes more efficient use of the storage solution and allows you to see your clothes all at once.’   

She also likes using Clever Cubes, a portable and highly versatile storage unit that can be placed vertically or horizontally in the wardrobe for different looks, and with cotton or bamboo inserts, that are ideal for concealing toys, books and clothing.  

‘Finally, a shoe rack that you can insert into your wardrobe is a neat and effective way to see your shoes at a glance,’ she said.

‘It’s also really important to look after your items, therefore set time aside each for a tidy up and declutter.’    

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