In March, when we all were first taking refuge at home as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, I published a blog post entitled, “Coronavirus Lockdown: Is Your Home a Sanctuary?

A recent New York Times story inspired me to revisit the importance of decluttering now to create a true sanctuary and inspire daily lifestyle “joy.”

The Times story focuses on people buying new or fancier things to create sanctuaries and nice backdrops for Zoom calls. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but my fall KonMari challenge focuses on letting go of things that are cluttering your living space and your lifestyle, not acquiring new things.

The deepening autumn and approaching winter encourage a natural seasonal hibernation, making it a perfect time to declutter.

To keep this fall KonMari challenge transformation manageable, especially as we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s focus on one trouble spot in your home that really creates anything but joy every time you see it.

Fall KonMari Challenge Sage of Interiors Christine Thorn living room with fireplace and autumn fireMaybe it happens in the living room, the bedroom, the closets, or the study or home office. If you’re moving piles to sit down, can’t find things you’re looking for, or simply wondering what all the stuff is and where it came from, this is the perfect challenge for you.

The first step is to make a careful assessment of your trouble spot and then create a vision for what you want it to be instead.

Once you have a vision, then you have to commit to it by putting in the time and effort necessary to complete your transformation.

As you begin the decluttering process, remember that you should only put in the space those things that are appropriate for that space.

Now it’s time to begin going through everything in your trouble spot—as well as anything you’re considering adding, while asking yourself the essential question, “Does this sparkjoy/peace/calm/happiness?” (As I explained in another blog post, that doesn’t mean joy in the ecstatic sense. Joy in the KonMari sense is about whether the things we have are vital to how we want to live our lives.)

As you assess things, set aside those that no longer spark joy—essentially all the things that no longer have an essential purpose as part of the lifestyle you want to have. These items are to be thanked for their service, and then they have to go. Even though we’re in a pandemic, you can do contactless drop-offs at places like Goodwill.

If you’re not sure how to proceed with the assessment and decluttering process, Marie Kondo’s simple and structured method will help. Simply review the KonMari categories and proper order of tidying on my website and follow that order as you declutter.

All the things you choose to keep must be given a home where they belong, and where they will live with you in harmony to spark that daily joy.

You’ll find your enthusiasm and momentum build as you proceed and see the tidying process begin to rescue your trouble spot, and when you’re finished it’s  time to enjoy yourself in your newly tidied trouble spot. This mini KonMari application will hopefully inspire you to dig deeper into the process truly making your home a joy filled space.

I’d love to hear about your journey with my fall KonMari challenge—what was most challenging, what worked for you, and how you feel at the end of the challenge.

Contact me by phone at (203) 772-8883 or email some notes to me at [email protected]. It also would be great to see before and after photos of your trouble space.

As always, also feel free to get in touch if you need help, or want to talk about the KonMari Method and all the ways it can help transform your life.

I’m available for virtual KonMari sessions, and have resumed in-home consulting that incorporates all the proper precautionary measures and social distancing. The details are on my Packages & Rates page.

If you’re enjoying hot tea by the fire on a chilly autumn evening, check out my other blog posts, take a look at my YouTube videos, and follow me on Facebook and on Instagram.