10 Ways to Declutter Your Home Like KonMari

There is a Japanese way of decluttering that boils down to finding a specific place “for the leftover” stuff once you’ve completed all other home decluttering methods. This is a tried-and-proven method according to the Japanese cleaning professional, Marie Kondo. It’s named after her and is called the KonMari Method.

The KonMari method of decluttering homes is one of the simplest, yet unique, ways to eliminate messes and organize an individual’s life by way of decluttering their home. There are so many areas that can be decluttered, whether it’s a room, the bathroom, or even the kitchen. In fact, there are many other places, such as the closet, and the garage, where you can follow these steps on decluttering and tidying up. It doesn’t matter if you have an apartment, or a home, you can follow these steps fairly easily with a little patience and time. Yes, even you can learn them quickly once you get the hang of it.

Detach yourself from objects

The philosophy focuses on detaching ourselves from specific possessions which we tie ourselves to mentally. There are certain ways an individual may want to clean their house or apartment, but it’s when we “bump” into those things that we find difficulty in throwing them away, even if we don’t use, or need them! Maybe it’s because it becomes a painstaking task and that keeps us from wanting to clean after we have accumulated so much. The step to take is to detach ourselves from these mental attachments we seem to have with various things. This, in fact, can be very difficult, mainly because we’ve convinced ourselves we need to have these things. Also, the best approach in decluttering your home is to start with one room at a time.

Main rule applies to everything

KonMari has one rule that she applies to everything. Some of the easiest rules can also help you with the tedious tasks you must do around the house. When you collect all your stuff, or tidy up each room, you will have a lot of extra things that you didn’t realize you had, such as: papers, pencils, books, plates, cups, clothes,… etc..

These things seem to multiply in amount so, KonMari devised a simple way to “tidy up” any place regardless of which room it is in the house. You’ll be able to do it too with a “yes, or no” answer to this question, “Does it spark joy for me?” This simple rule can be applied to everything!

The answer to KonMari’s question

KonMari’s simple rule applies to anything you either keep or get rid of. In fact, if you answer “yes” to every single item while you are tidying up, you’ll be able to sort out everything easier.

On the other hand, if you answer “no,” then you throw it out. Gone are those days of asking yourself, “Have I used this in a year?”

Here’s KonMari’s way as a step-by-step implementing of cleaning, while you declutter.

You should start right away to clean, or tidy up your home or apartment.

  1. Simply focus on the “discarding phase,” which KonMari calls the “tidy marathon.” You can make it a special event with music in the background, take-out food, and soft drinks to make it an enjoyable experience as you complete your “tidy marathon.”
  2. Miscellaneous items can be done first, since these are the most tedious. These include: books, papers, clips, miscellaneous things, knick-knacks, and whatever else you have on your shelves, in your drawers, and on your countertops.
  3. The next step is called the “sentimental” step which applies to those things that, for some reason or another, you can’t depart from. These can be stuffed animals, roses, or gifts from exes, specific clothes… etc.
  4. Do not store these items at your friends, partner’s or parent’s home. Why burden them when you can simply throw them out, or keep them, if you are going to need or use them.
  5. Empty your closet. Take out everything including hangers and all miscellaneous things (i.e. caps, scarves, belts, and hanging accessories,… )
  6. Dump ALL this stuff (clothes, knick- knacks, and junk you may have collected throughout the years), in the center of the floor, or on top of your bed.
  7. For shelving ideas, you can add 2 or 3 pieces of art deco such as vases, framed photos, a lamp, a plant, but that is it! No need to clutter your shelves with things that will ultimately collect dust.
  8. Canisters in the kitchen may hold your basics, such as: flour, sugar, and blended coffee. You can simply place this set of basics near the counter after you’ve cleaned the counter space by wiping it down. If you put this simple set of canisters near the kitchen sink, you’ll benefit by having them close-at-hand. This is going back to the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) technique.
  9. Simplify your life by keeping each category of things in the same place instead of scattering them all over the place. For example, you can keep all your cleaning products in the same spot in the kitchen and the same goes for all your shoes which are best stored in the same spot in your closet.
  10. Use a cheat sheet and itemize categories. While you are going through the pile of stuff, mark off what category you’ve worked on so that it is eliminated from your list.

Go through the extra stuff, and throw it out

These steps tell you to “go through every item” you have. When you do go through everything, you’re probably going to have some things that you simply can’t answer yes or no to. Simply put those items in their own box with a question mark label on it, and then, when you have finished sorting everything out, you can come back to this box and try again. This box of stuff is representative of the “extra stuff” you have accumulated throughout the years. Somehow, you must mentally detach yourself from these items. When in doubt, throw it out!

Finally, just try to answer truthfully the main question that the KonMari method suggests. “Does it bring joy or spark joy to me?” Decide if you feel any type of “spark” or enthusiasm when you have it in your hands. This is the KonMari method at its finest. The core of her method in cleaning and tidying up is just this. You’ll see, over time, that your place will look a lot neater.

Also, when you feel you need to clean up your home you can also declutter by adding shelves if you do not have any. Shelves work wonders for homeowners and those living in small apartments. You can utilize the KonMari method with shelving while at the same time decluttering your living space. Tidying up everything initially is the first step in the KonMari method.

For most of us, clutter accumulates over time, and with these methods, or steps, as suggested by KonMari, you will be better organized. Time and patience are two of the main things that people should have when they start this type of project. After successfully completing this project, you’ll find that you can do it quicker and much better the next time around. Every time you work at it, you’ll find your place that much more organized and neater.

Tax Deductions For Home Business

Home businesses enjoy more tax advantage than a business that is located in a commercial area. But a lot of home business owners do not take advantage of these tax deductions because they do not declare their exemptions that they are entitled to. So it is important to know all the deductions you can avail of.

The basic concept you need to remember is that any income you may incur is subject to tax. Here is the formula that is applicable whether you are a home business owner or an employee:

Gross Income – Expenses = Taxable Income

But note that the expenses in this case include miscellaneous deductions and the depreciation on your assets; this is where you need to focus on because most of the tax deductions can be found.

To give you an idea of the different items that can be included in your deductions, here is the list of deductions you can include in your expenses, miscellaneous deductions, and depreciation:

Expenses:

Expenses that should be included in the tax deduction of a home business include the payroll, the supplies, the materials, and the interest rate on business loans among others. There are many other kinds of expenses that can be included and you may consult with the IRS or your accountant if a particular expense you incur can be included.

Depreciation:

The depreciation of your assets should likewise be included whether it is the depreciation of your real estate property or equipment for business use. But you should also remember that the IRS has many difference depreciation schedules for these types of assets so you need to know the rules in these types of write-offs.

Miscellaneous deductions:

Then there are the miscellaneous deductions that you can take advantage of. You need to track the different expenses you incur during the whole course of doing business because you will need a proof for each of these transactions when you want to deduct these from the tax you have to pay. Some of the most common miscellaneous deductions you can avail of include auto expenses, books and magazines, cleaning expenses, meals with clients, educational expenses, advertising, and licensing and regulatory payments.

Home Business – Help People Get Out of Debt

People pay you for helping them get out of debt. This is a home business that provides a very worthwhile service. You have these people provide a list of their current cash expenditures by various categories. Then you coach them on ways to eliminate unnecessary expenditures. They can pay down their debts with this extra money.

Qualifications — You should feel comfortable discussing financial matters with strangers. You should be knowledgeable about using budgets to control personal expenses.

Startup requirements — The following requirements should be completed before you start business operations:

* Determine if you are allowed to operate a home business in your area
* Have access to a telephone that is available most of the time
* Have or purchase a listing adding machine
* Set up a home office with basic office equipment and supplies
* Determine and satisfy all governmental and insurance requirements for your home business

Getting clients — Place classified advertisements in your local newspaper or on the craigslist.org website. Describe your services in plain language. Include your telephone number or e-mail address for potential clients to contact you. You also may want to include a range of likely fees for your services.

When discussing your services with potential clients, you need to show them the benefits. You can help them get out of credit card debt, or even get out of all debt. Then you need to agree on the fees for your services. The general rule is — the more detailed work your clients do, the lower your fee can be.

Filling out the cash expenditures summary — You need your clients to summarize their actual or estimated cash expenditures for a typical month by various categories. These categories might include auto and travel, clothing, drugs and medical, education, entertainment, food and groceries, gifts and donations, household expenses, miscellaneous expenses, and rent or mortgage payments.

Be sure they include items that are paid for with pocket cash. This could be included under miscellaneous expenses, unless it is a large amount.

Coaching your clients — Now you can sit down with your clients and review their cash expenditures summary. You and the clients need to decide where to cut back on various items. Certain things that were once considered essentials may have to be eliminated. These are such things as eating out, expensive vacations, gifts or donations, newest fashions in clothing, luxury items, fancy food or groceries, and any items that are unnecessary.

In extreme cases, the client may have to move into a less expensive house, defer making payments to a college fund, or even get a second job.

Solving problems — Probably the main problem you will have is getting clients to change their habits. One way to change habits is to try it just for one day. If successful, try it for another day. Eventually, your clients may be able to change their habits for an entire week or month.

Collecting your fee — I recommend collecting your fee at least monthly. Eventually, you will have accomplished your goal, or the client will discontinue your services. You don’t want to have a big fee owing you at that point.

Final thoughts — Helping clients get out of debt can be an enjoyable home business. However, if any potential clients seem argumentative or difficult to please, it’s probably better to pass on them.

Are You Making These Common Home Organization Mistakes?

Now that the holidays are done with, you can start to focus on the future. It’s important to reflect on the past so we can learn for the future. More succinctly, we have to think over which areas we overlooked and were found out during the holiday party this year so that next year dear Aunt Margaret will not have any ammo to throw at us.

Drawers are probably the most commonly overlooked home organization obstacles. That is why they are usually the first target for preying relatives. Sidestep disaster by getting drawer organizers to clean up that chaos. Cutlery trays are ideal for sorting silverware into neat sections, while knife drawer organizers will show everyone that you’re organized and safety-conscious. Junk drawer organizers are perfect for all those miscellaneous items such as paper clips, stamps, coins, rubber bands, coupons, change, pens and more. Junk drawer organizers come with lots of little compartments, so you can put each item into its own section, and avoid clutter and confusion in one go. Whatever your drawer disaster, kitchen drawer organizers are the first step in restoring order in your home, not to mention your pride.

Sinks are a different sort of embarrassment, but no less poignant. Tip out trays can help avoid the inevitable sideways glances from a slimy sponge or one that is just plain nowhere to be found. Tip out trays discreetly hide behind the cabinet front and tip out when needed. Not only will your sponge be easy to find at all times, but it will also have a place to hang out besides for under a pile of dishes. The next time someone offers to do the dishes, watch their face as you whip out one of these tip out trays.

Dish storage is also important because a stack of dishes, even clean ones, feels like clutter. Have a large dish rack that will hold all of your dishes, or at least most of them, and try to make space for it somewhere out of the way.

Closets have a tendency to overrun themselves, despite your best efforts. That was before closet organizers came into your life. With individualized tasks for each style, closet organizers are tailor-made home organization made easy. For example, if you have a problem keeping your ties in order, a tie rack will be your savior. If you have a surplus of small random items such as socks, kids’ toys or art supplies, basket organizers can help. Shoes always running amuck? A shoe tree or shelf shoe racks can tuck neatly into your closet and help clear away the clutter. Hanging closet organizers can give you additional storage in a space that seems limited, as can stackable drawers. When everything has a place, it is so much easier to keep things there.

Bathrooms can easily earn you “ick” points, as well. An unprepared bathroom is a boon to any hostess, so be prepared. The best thing you can do for your bathroom is keep it well stocked. Make sure you have plenty of towels, toilet paper and soap on hand and ready for use. If you have to, bring in additional bathroom storage to contain the miscellaneous items you store in your bathroom and to give yourself additional space for all the extras you want to stock up on. If you can accomplish this, then, aside from a regular cleaning the day before, all you need is a quick five-minute clean up before guests arrive. Just take a baby wipe and wipe down sink and toilet surfaces.

If you can accomplish these organizational key points, you’ll see how different your next holiday party can be. Remember, though, that if someone wants to find fault, they always will. Just keep telling yourself that nobody’s perfect, but you are pretty close to it. Even Superman has to wash his cape sometime. And isn’t that just when the doorbell rings?