Anyone who has read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” would agree that imposing order on your surroundings can be an important — and satisfying — experience. In the book, Kondo shares an approach to declutter your home that focuses on neat folding and keeping only things that “spark joy,” i.e., focus on the things you want to keep, not the things you want to get rid of.
Personal finance columnist Liz Weston recently read the book and shared that Kondo’s method could apply to money matters as well:
Kondo recommends a definite sequence of categories: clothes first, then books, papers, miscellany and finally mementos. Dealing with less emotional stuff first helps give people practice discarding before they have to tackle the harder decisions.
“People who get stuck halfway usually do so because they start with the things that are hardest to make decisions about,” Kondo writes. “Things that bring back memories, such as photos, are not the place for beginners to start.”
Similarly, going straight for the financial categories where you feel a lot of shame or fear can make you want to avoid your finances entirely. So consider starting with tasks that feel the easiest to you.
Click play above to hear more from Liz Weston on how to declutter your personal finances.