Rental Living: Kon-venient Packing Tips

Coined by Marie Kondo, tidying expert and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, the KonMari method has revolutionized the traditional ways we organize and pack our items.

The method gives priority to keeping items that “spark joy” and in tidying one’s home by category as opposed to location.

The Netflix show and phenomenon has affected more than just overly-cluttered homes, to reflecting on our lifestyle and living choices. The perfect time to clear and declutter your life comes when moving into a new rental, where you will have to consider what items to take with you and what items to leave behind.

Here are some Kon-veneint packing tips for new tenants.

Say Goodbye to Items that Don’t Spark Joy

Even if you don’t know much about the KonMari method, you’ve likely heard that it involves “sparking joy”. The sixth, and arguably most important rule in tidying up is to “ask yourself if it sparks joy”. While it may seem odd at first, Kondo brings to light the reality that we often keep things that we barely use or think of.

Before starting to pack, hold each item in your hands and ask yourself “how much joy does this bring me?” If it’s something that sits forgotten in your closet 364 days a year, maybe it’s time to say goodbye. Kondo reinforces that letting go of something can help you move forward and focus on what’s really important in your life. By saying thank you, you are expressing gratitude and acknowledging your past.   

As a tenant, your contract will include conditions that you will have to abide by, meaning that there are restrictions to what you can do to your new place. To avoid damaging walls, ceilings and the floors, let go of large photo frames or similar items that need to be fixed.

Plan Your Ideal Lifestyle

Moving into a new home also means that you’re moving into a new part of your life. It requires a lot of planning and preparing, meaning you can’t get away with packing the night before. The basic rules of tidying include imagining the ideal lifestyle.

The KonMari method recommends sketching or describing your ideal place to get a good picture. Even making a Pinterest board could help in clarifying how you envision your new life to be. For a rental, you have to consider how long you will be staying and what you will or won’t be using in the duration that you are there. Is the place furnished? Will you have to bring your own appliances? Make a mental or physical note of how your new rental will affect your lifestyle and how you live.   

For example, if you’re interested in Toronto houses for rent, you may imagine a quiet lifestyle, with a garden in bloom and your own car parked in the driveway. However, if you’re renting in one of the many Toronto condos, the ideal lifestyle for you may be living close to transportation and catching the city view from your balcony.

Pack by Category, Not Location

The KonMari method emphasizes a specific order to tidying household items: clothing, then books, then papers, then komono (miscellaneous items), followed by sentimental items. Similarly, tidying and packing comes hand-in-hand so the categories proposed are a great way to start.

Sort your items according to categories, and label your boxes, so that you won’t have to worry about accidentally sealing it and forgetting the contents inside. Including the five categories of that Kondo mentions, you will likely have to add more categories of your own when it comes to moving. By sorting your boxes by category instead of by room, you are able to easily locate what you need during the move.

Tidying up and packing can seem overwhelming and stressful, but Kondo’s method approaches the daunting task as a way of healing. With emphasis on looking in oneself and to the future, the process will help you declutter both your house and your heart.