Brisbane City Council’s Kerbside Collection will be in St Lucia on 24th April. With a few days still left for homeowners to throw unwanted items by the kerb, maybe it’s time to consider something new.

Tidying up can be a tedious task. Most people put it off until the last minute, particularly in the face of numerous other tasks and daily responsibilities. All too often, people just end up putting things in the trash that can still be donated or used by others, or that would just end up destroyed when they could still be recycled.

In preparation for St Lucia’s upcoming kerbside collection, here are some tips to help you get organised and sorted out, the KonMari way.



KonMari is a method that was developed by a Japanese woman named Marie Kondo, who has taken her knack for organising things to a whole new level and is now providing consultancy services to people who want to transform their place into spaces of serenity and organisation. Her acclaimed KonMari method involves organising things by placing them into different categories, assessing what needs to be thrown out, and what things to keep that “spark joy.”

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook


The Japanese are known for their simple, practical, and minimalist approach to life. Proven effective, KonMari imposes a very strict approach to de-cluttering. The main idea here is to only keep items that you really love. The unitiated sometimes calls the method brutal but soon enough realise that it definitely promotes efficiency, not only in the home but in every aspect of one’s life.

With kerbside collections coming up, de-cluttering the KonMari way can definitely help with the all-important decision of what to keep.



According to Ms Kondo, “Tidying up by location is a fatal mistake.” We have all been guilty of cleaning up in the traditional way, decluttering room by room, thinking that this is the most effective way to tidy up. Using the KonMari method, however, one should gather everything of the same type all at once. For instance, decide on a category like “clothes”. Or “shoes”. Or “books and magazines”. Gather up all such items all over the house, make a pile, and start going through them.

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook

This step allows you to focus on one category to REALLY tidy up instead of organising them in different parts of the house at different times in the day.


Keep Only the Ones that “Spark joy”

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest,” said Ms Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

It’s difficult to decide what to keep especially if one unearthed several items that bring nostalgia. In this case, the emotions will guide you to help you KNOW what to keep. How will you “know”? That’s where the next steps come in.

  • Tidy everything all at once. There’s no point doing this on a “partial” basis. When you decide to tidy up, make sure that you include everything. Doing this allows you to complete everything in a shorter period of time, instead of doing everything partially that could take you months.
  • Visualize what you what you want to achieve. Before you start throwing things away, first paint a picture in your head on where you want to be. Something like, “I want to have a more organised home.”
  • Ask again why. If you see a more organised home, ask yourself why. Once you get the answer, you are ready for the next step.
  • Assess your items, do they “spark joy?” There’s a huge pile in front of you, which of these items bring you joy? Which ones don’t? Answers to these questions will help you sort everything out, only keeping the ones that make you happy, which is exactly our goal.
  • Declutter by category. Instead of doing your room first, go through everything and just place them in categories. Have boxes for clothing, houseware, books, etc.
  • Do it in the right order. Ms Kondo follows this order when tidying up: clothes, books, papers, and then miscellaneous.
  • Discard before tidying up. It’s time to throw away the stuff that don’t mean anything to you anymore. Do this first, before you place everything back.
Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook


Assume That Everything Has To Go, Then Decide Which to Keep

Ms Kondo believes that people cannot change their habits without changing their mindset. Usually, when one declutters a room, one looks for items that they can get rid of. The KonMari method, instead, sets a mindset that everything has to go. With this line of thought, one will only be able to focus on items that brings happiness to one’s heart. These are the keepers. Doing this will really make the whole de-cluttering a lot easier.


And Then What?

After identifying what to keep, you will be left with piles that are sorted per category, that you have decided to let go. Consider options to recycle and donate. Remember, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This is also why previous kerbside collection areas experienced problems with “scavengers” sifting through their trash and leaving unsightly piles on the streets.

Photo credit: Courier Mail

Photo credit: Courier Mail

Given enough notice, there are a lot of organisations that can pick up recyclables and donations, or you can leave them in drop off bins for groups that accept donations. Here are some of them:

These items can be recycled, not thrown. (Photo from: Hard Rubbish Information's FB Page)

These items can be recycled, not thrown. (Photo from: Hard Rubbish Information’s FB Page)

This way, anything that can be useful to others isn’t at your kerb, providing a dis-incentive to would-be scavengers.

After making your donation and identifying recyclables, what is left would be your trash for kerbside collection.

Make sure you follow the required dimensions and check first if the items can be donated instead. (Credit:

Make sure you follow the required dimensions and check first if the items can be donated instead.                                (Credit:


Follow the kerbside collection guidelines

Put your stuff out the weekend before your kerbside collection date, based on the guidelines, as instructed. Do not bring them out too early. Keep an eye out for them, so that they stay neatly stacked where you have placed them. Then sit back and wait for them to be picked up, as you enjoy lounging in your newly de-cluttered home.

Go ahead, make Marie Kondo proud.

Photo credit: Marie Kondo / Facebook