Decluttering expert Marie Kondo could hold the solution to one of the key challenges faced by downsizers.

Stuff. We collect plenty of it over the course of a lifetime. In fact, for many empty nesters, the idea of downsizing sounds wonderful. The problem is what to do with all the belongings they have managed to accumulate over the years.

If that sounds like you, it could be time to check out Marie Kondo’s new Netflix program.

Kondo is a Japanese tidying consultant. (Yes, people really do make a living out of these things.) And it turns out that her KonMari method of decluttering is proving a big hit – and not just with empty nesters.

The central idea promoted by Kondo, is to hang onto those objects that spark joy in your life, while letting go of the rest.

We can only assume that vacuum cleaners and ironing boards are somehow exempt from this rule of thumb. But for empty nesters, Kondo’s guidelines could come in handy when deciding what stays – and what goes – as part of the move to downsize.

But here’s the thing. Having a solid tidy up isn’t just liberating, it can also be very lucrative.

According to Gumtree’s 2018 Second Hand Economy Report, 90% of Australians have unwanted items lying around the home. One person’s trash is very much another’s treasure, and Gumtree estimates we could each pocket an average of $4,200 by selling our surplus belongings. That sort of cash could provide a welcome boost to your hip pocket in the process of downsizing.

It can make decluttering an important step towards transitioning to a new life in a more manageable downsized home. Happily, a growing number of developers recognise that empty nesters are demanding more storage space. So downsizing doesn’t have to mean getting by with the barest of possessions.

Nonetheless, if having too much stuff is dragging you into the past, rather than letting you enjoy an exciting new future, it may be worth taking a closer look at what Marie Kondo has to say. It could help you experience the liberating power of letting go. 


Greg Oddy is Director of Sales and Marketing at