If you’ve been feeling less than great about the state of your home over the last year, you’re not alone. The year 2020 had us scrambling to adjust to the new normal and to establish new boundaries in such a short time. It’s little wonder that housework even made it to the top of our priorities list.

This is why we’re entering 2021 with a new attitude that embraces the mishmash of things that makes up our lives instead of constantly trying to edit it. This means allowing messes now and then and forgiving ourselves for not getting all the chores done or having a perfectly curated, Pinterest home.

Zakka is all about miscellany that improves our lives, and is uniquely expressed by each individual.

This concept is not new. The Japanese call it zakka. Loosely defined as “miscellany that improves our lives”, it is a more relaxed attitude towards one’s home and life. One might even call it the next step in the evolution of Konmari because it’s still about having things that spark joy while acknowledging that we need not control everything. The following mindset tips should help you embrace this new attitude.

Embrace the mess.

Even for the most fastidious, a spotless home isn’t always possible, especially if you have more people spending time in it. Everywhere you look, there’ll be something to clear up – unfolded laundry, toys on the floor, mugs on your desk, …Here’s my advice: don’t beat yourself up for not having a perfectly tidy, Konmari’d home. 

One’s home doesn’t have to be perfectly tidy to look good. Photo: SyledbyPT

Put things away when you can but don’t feel like you have to devote many weekend hours to tidying up, especially when that time can be better spent relaxing or being with family.

Accept that not all will get done on time.

It’s easy to assume that just because we have more time at home, chores should get done but what we often forget is that it’s not just about the time, but managing one’s energy as well. Things like working from home, taking care of the kids and planning meals are major energy-draining tasks, so it’s forgivable if you’ve not done any cleaning despite being home all day.

Show yourself some kindness, look at your to-do list as a guideline rather than a mandate and accept that not everything will be done by the end of the day.

Your home will accumulate bis and pieces, just as you accumulate experiences, and that’s okay.

Accept that your home is growing and changing with you.

Nobody’s home looks like the ones on Pinterest. Those pictures are usually taken right after redecorating. It’s far more likely that your home has accumulated bits and bobs such as travel souvenirs, your partner’s cherished items and ornaments friends and family have given you.

These may not all fit the original aesthetic you had in mind when you first designed your home but that’s okay. Ultimately, it is always growing with you and a well lived-in home is an expression of a well-lived life. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy.