To touch or not to touch … that is the question

I love Marie Kondo and Tidying Up With Marie Kondo is one of my new favourite shows. I’m sure you’re not surprised. Shows about decluttering are my guilty pleasure. Hoarders is my MAFS.

My favourite thing about Marie Kondo is that she looks so fragile and proper, yet she’ll happily stand on a person’s kitchen bench to get their cabinets in order!

My second favourite thing is how tactile she is — she touches EVERYTHING because touch is the key to her process. Touch an object to see whether or not it ‘sparks joy’ and then either keep or turf it.


Except for when it isn’t.

Because there’s another school of decluttering thought out there, the idea that touching something connects you to it. That picking up a pair of jeans you haven’t worn for nearly a decade creates an attachment — a physical and emotional attachment.

And the longer you physically hold on to it, the harder it will be to let it go emotionally.

So who’s right — do you touch everything like Marie Kondo or do you declutter with kitchen tongs?

The answer is … you do whichever works for you. Because the most important thing is your determination to have a clutter-free life. Once you have that, you can figure out which path gets you there quicker.

I love that the Konmari method encourages people to be grateful for their belongings and I do think this will help them to be more mindful of what they buy in future .

But I also think that some people just need to throw out that box they haven’t opened in decades. Yes — without even opening it (never mind thanking it!).

(Of course, to ensure everything is disposed of thoughtfully you really should open it or at least have someone else do it!)

So if you’re the sort of person who can touch everything without getting emotionally attached, then go for it. But if you’re not then you’ll might want to call in some reinforcements…

How to declutter when everything sparks joy!

If you’re sorting through your wardrobe and falling in love with everything again then maybe ‘touching’ isn’t a good idea. Maybe you need a more practical solution rather than an emotional one. Here are some tips:

  • Ask a friend to help you. Let them do the ‘touching’ while you sit a safe distance away like a judge on Australia’s Got Talent! Practise saying “it’s a NO from me”.
  • Do the ‘coathanger test’ to REALLY see what you wear. Turn all your coathangers around to face the back of the wardrobe then after you wear something put it back the right way around. After a few weeks you’ll easily see what items you don’t actually wear.
  • Make a rule that anything ripped, anything with holes and anything with loose elastic is automatically out.
  • Keep a donate box in your wardrobe so next time you try something on and then decide you don’t want to wear it (too short, too uncomfortable, too tight etc) you throw it straight in before you change your mind.


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