Tidying Up with Marie Kondo for Landlords

The Marie Kondo method has been ‘sparking joy’ in peoples’ lives around the world.

The hit Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo features the organisational guru assisting A-list celebrities and families alike on the path to decluttering. 

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At a time when we’ve spent so much of our days inside, it’s understandable that people want their spaces to be a haven – and not a home for hoarding! Families in particular seem to find the method useful for keeping their home clutter-free.

But is this method a good fit for everyone? And can landlords benefit too?

What is the Marie Kondo Tidying Up Method? 

It’s a simple (yet also time-consuming) way of clearing out your entire home from top to bottom. The ‘kondoing’ order of tidying starts with clothing and ends with more sentimental items. If you don’t emotionally connect with something – or it doesn’t ‘spark joy’, as Marie says – it’s time to get rid of it. 

Or is it? 

Sparking joy with Marie Kondo may not be for everyone, because not everything in our homes spark joy. Your TV remote and the toilet plunger may not spark joy at all, but you certainly can’t do without them! 

How To Start the Marie Kondo Method?

If you’d like a more in-depth checklist, you can pick up one of Marie’s books, like her best-selling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.

But just how long does the Marie Kondo method take? This really depends on both the size of your home and the amount of stuff you have in it – as well as the number of people you have available to help you.

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, we’ve created a quick cheat sheet so you can try the tidying up method in a jiffy. 

A Landlord’s Guide to Sparking Joy

Landlords should always be looking at ways to update their properties to appeal to the market so let’s take a look at how landlords could spark joy in their rentals (and their pockets!). 

  • Renovations: Looking to clear some space and open your property for the new year? You should have an idea when updates are needed in your properties and plan accordingly so you have the money saved to tackle them. During the 2020 lockdown,  it was claimed that homeowners spent an overall average of £2,608 on home improvements. Tackle the most needed updates first. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that can really impress potential tenants, as well as gardens.
  • Update Wear and Tear: Do you offer your rentals fully furnished? The UK government’s reform of the Wear and Tear Allowance (October 2015) means individuals that let residential properties can actually get relief for the cost of replacing furnishings – so do a quick search online to see what’s available for you.  
  • Smoke Alarms: Landlords can remind tenants to check their smoke alarms regularly every month, but did you know The National Safety Inspections UK recommend that you have a professional check them yearly? And what better reminder than to check at the start of the new year. Failure to maintain fire alarms could leave you liable, so find a tradesperson online and organise an annual inspection, with paperwork to confirm it was all cleared.
  • Update Certifications: Ensure you’re up to date at the start of this year by also checking that your Gas Safety Certificate and Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) are up to date. If your appliances need an update, you’ll want to ensure your tenants have a safe environment by considering an update for your Energy Performance Certificate as well. 
  • Build on your education. Take the time to learn all you can about landlording. Whether you attend regular webinars, build a like minded community or read a little every day, staying on top of the latest news is vital to your success.

But while you can take inspiration from the Marie Kondo Method to keep on top of your portfolio, the method was originally designed for keeping your home clean and tidy. 

Marie Kondo Method

It’s a particularly useful method for tenants as it makes moving a lot easier, as well as keeping their rental home neat as a pin!

Marie Kondo Tidying Up Method for Tenants 

Organise and sort everything in your home into categories in the following order:

  • Clothing. Grab your clothing and sort into various piles. For example: you can pile your shirts and tops into one pile, trousers and jeans into another, moving on to nightwear, sportswear, etc.
  • Books and Stationary. Find your books, binders, or any other objects in this category. Look for stationary, notes, or any other desk items you’d like to declutter or free up space with. 
  • ‘Komono’. Moving on to the term ‘Komono’ – this Japanese method of decluttering is the focus of miscellaneous areas and items in your home. That includes decluttering skin care, small items that pile up, or dust-gathering gadgets.
  • Mementos. Lastly, we move on to ‘mementos’. These are items you may be more emotionally attached to. Wear your grandmother’s home-made jumper every Christmas? If it sparks joy, don’t toss it! However, mounds and piles of clothing can become too overwhelming.
  • Spark Joy. Time to spark that joy! Marie Kondo recommends using words such as: “inspire joy,” “thrill of pleasure,” “speak to your heart,” “moves you,” and “love.” By picking up your items one by one, see if that item ‘sparks joy’ for you. Don’t forget that ‘tossing’ means recycling or sending to your local charity shop. You can give your items a second life by giving to someone who will appreciate it. 
  • Categorise. When you’ve got the items you love, categorise them neatly back into place. Try colour coordinating your closet or grab containers at your local homeware shop for organisation.
  • Furnishings. We’d like to add a final tip that includes ideas for decorating a rental home. Buying versatile furniture is an investment in the long run. Modular sofas, folding chairs and tables might not ‘spark that joy’ but they can really make your house feel more like your home.

Once you’ve established that everything in your home now sparks joy, make sure you protect it! So many tenants invest in expensive pieces of furniture, like flat screen TVs, or their everyday laptop and mobile, without insuring them. Make sure you cover the items you love and that have cost you most with Contents Insurance as soon as you can.  

Whether you’re looking to banish the clutter at the start of this year, or refurbish your property – we hope that you too can spark some joy with the KonMari method!

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