A year ago my friend walked into the office with Marie Kondo’s book—the Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Till then I had no clue about Kondo or the Japanese technique of cleaning. The friend seemed excited to tidy her wardrobe armed with the book which I never really understood.
In fact, I then had mocked her by sketching her standing amid a pile of clothes reading Kondo’s book. I did that probably because I don’t need someone to tell me how to declutter my wardrobe. I am one of those people who can get distracted sitting kilometres away if I get to know that the skirt from the skirt section is placed in the shirt section of my wardrobe. I even colour coordinate my wardrobe and I know it could be a bit too much.
Coming back to the 34-year-old tidying expert, today Kondo has a Netflix series, 1.6 million Instagram followers, 1.03 lakh Twitter followers and was recently seen helping comedian Hasan Minhaj declutter his office. Now all those things got me interested in Kondo and I went through her six basic rules of tidying that she lists out on her website http://konmari.com.
The six rules are commit yourself to tidying, imagine your ideal lifestyle, finish discarding first, tidy by category, not by location, follow the right order and finally ask yourself if it sparks joy.
In fact, the tidying process in no different from dealing with your finances. All these rules are applicable to decluttering and streamlining your money matters as well. A cluttered financial life can clutter your mind too. If you have a good financial plan in place and your money in order, you are likely to feel more in control of your money as well as your life.
If you are wondering how to start the journey of tidying your money life, let’s start with a basic plan.
Firstly, go through all the financial instruments such as insurance, mutual funds, stocks, bonds and deposits you have accumulated over the years and list it out on an excel sheet with the name of the product, amount you invested, current value, total returns and maturity date.
Similarly, you should also list out all physical investments such as real estate and gold. I find excel sheets convenient, but if you like apps or writing down in a notebook, take your pick. You can find the details in your mails or you can go back to your bank details to find the payments made for the investments. Besides your investments, you should also list your income and expenses.
Once you have a complete picture of your investments and your net worth, your next step is to discard the products that are bad for your financial portfolio.
It could range from a toxic traditional insurance plan you bought to save tax to a dozens of mutual funds from the same fund house. You can find a lot of information on the products you have invested in online. However, if you are not sure about how to identify the investment products that are redundant, you should seek help from a financial planner.
When the toxic instruments are removed from your portfolio, it gives you room to add the right investment products that fit your financial goals. What are you waiting for? Along with tidying your wardrobe, go clean your money box too.