Picture of cleaning bottles from Sight Unseen
If you are an avid Netflix fan, you will know about the latest craze on Netflix: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The 8-episode special features celebrity organising consultant – Marie Kondo, visiting homes to help owners clean out their entire house. The show focuses on Marie’s method of decluttering, called the KonMari method, where instead of focusing on throwing things away, she encourages people to focus on things that spark joy. Those that don’t, can then be discarded. Marie’s show has started a new wave of Konverts, each sharing on social media how the KonMari method has revolutionised their cluttered homes and spaces.
Feeling inspired by Marie Kondo’s show and also since Chinese New Year is just round the corner, we thought we should also jump on the spring cleaning bandwagon!
Spring cleaning is an important part of Chinese New Year as Chinese believe that cleaning the home in the days before Chinese New Year will clean away the bad luck from the previous year. Other than those beliefs, we think it is important to have an annual “stock taking” of the things we have collected over the year, and to re-evaluate whether those things are important to keep or throw away.
One thing we don’t often recognise as a cause to collecting many unnecessary items is trips to stores with layouts that encourage customers to purchase more. Stores like Daiso and Don Don Donki often place colourful and eye-catching items on open shelves at eye-level as customers queue to checkout. This encourages people to browse as they wait, easily convincing them to purchase one more item that they didn’t think of purchasing in the first place. Ikea is another example of effectively using it’s store layout to confuse and influence customers to buy more than they were actually looking for. The maze-like design forces people to wander through almost every single department, often with cheaper priced items displayed close to the walking path, to encourage customers to pick up random items and increase their overall spend.
Now, we’re not implying that we should completely avoid trips to these places, because after all, these stores genuinely stock some useful and beautiful items. However, the next time you are required to head to these stores (like pre-CNY shopping this year), you will be more aware of the subtle tactics these stores use to encourage bigger purchases.
Picture of a closet arranged from the KonMari Method
At home, there’s many items we can tidy up, but we like starting with clothes. We horde so many clothes from sales, only to realise we don’t actually wear them, nor do we really like that piece of clothing after purchasing it. Instead of immediately dumping clothes, you can consider how you could reuse them. Older, more tattered clothes could be transformed into dirty rags for cleaning at home, while newer more wearable pieces can be donated to the Salvation Army or to other charities. Give your clothes a new life after you have owned them!
Speaking of reusing things, our Botanically Cold Brewed Sparkling Teas come in beautifully glass-blown bottles. It is a waste to dispose of them after drinking since they can be used for other purposes. You can reuse them to keep extra sauces after cooking, place a bunch of fresh-cut flowers in them to decorate your home or simply use them as bottled water to serve to guests. If you want to recycle them, you could also place them in recycling bins or send them to traders and recyclers working with the government.
There are many more things we could discuss about spring cleaning at home, but we shall end off with Marie Kondo’s most famous question when tidying – does it spark joy? If it doesn’t spark joy, then you can thoughtfully dispose of it or donate it. Well, we hope your house will look spotless this festive season and here’s wishing you a Prosperous Chinese New Year!