If you’re following my series of posts on organizing and decluttering using Marie Kondo’s methods, then you know that I’m not exactly doing it in the recommended order. By all rights, I should be on fiction or kid’s books, or my cookbooks, but I don’t have enough boxes and I really prefer to be doing a category or subcategory in one go.
Also, if you’re committing to doing your whole house then there are these weird in-between stages and resultant clutter.
So before I tackled another big project, I decided to break it up and work on a few small ones and since I’ve been unearthing office supplies from all over the place, I thought those would work. I also have an unwieldy box of stationery, and the less said about my gift wrapping junk the better.
Beautiful, ain’t it?
Marie Kondo and I part company when it comes to books. Okay, not totally, but you can tell she’s not a true reader (30 total volumes in her collection? HA!). Either that or I’m just abnormal, which to be fair, is probably true.
See about 90% of the books I own are books I reread.
I’m a librarian with access to a pretty robust interlibrary loan system. We now live in an age where it’s pretty damned easy to find obscure stuff for comparatively little money. So if I just want to read something, it’s not that hard for me to get my hands on it.
If it’s going to go on my shelves, it has to be something I’ve read before and turn to again and again.
That said, I was game to try the KonMari method with my books. She’s certainly right about moving stuff into one place and about holding each item. And there’s a thing called weeding that we do in librarianship. Book lovers have a tough time with this concept, but basically it means you cull through your collection and you pull items that are no longer relevant to you, that are damaged, that maybe you don’t really love so much anymore. (Essentially the KonMari method).
But I have a lot of books.
Even after all this “tidying,” I’d be lying if I said my home was in order. It’s not. As I declutter spaces, I start moving some stuff out. For instance, when I did the clothes, I unearthed a lot of creative writing and a whole host of items for other categories. So now I’ve got these piles all over the place. Piles of annoying little, pesky things. Things that belong in the komono category.
By Marie Kondo’s rules, the next thing I should be decluttering are books. And I plan to.
Except I have rather a lot of them. Like everywhere.
And in the meantime, I have all this stuff all over the place. So once again, I’ve decided to go a little out of order.
I tackled what retailers call health and beauty products (meds, makeup, skincare, etc.) which I thought would be easy. Ha!
For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, I have a scary amount of it. Or had. I just chucked quite a bit. Also, I had an insane number of travel sized things–and yet somehow every time I take a trip, I end up buying more. Every time I have a cold, I end up at the drug store buying a bunch of very expensive OTC meds and cough drops. It has to be pitch black for me to sleep, and I have several very nice sleep masks, and yet I can never find them. I have three first aid kits and, again, can never find what I need.
I am going to see if I can put an end to that.
It took me the better part of a week, but papers are done – KonMari style!
To review: 4 boxes (okay, 3 boxes and 1 expanding file box), two file drawers, 1 bill-paying basket, and I don’t know how many other stashes of paperwork here and there.
If you missed the last post, this was the before (not the full horror of the before, but still):
Starting with papers may have been a bad idea.
The benefit to starting with clothes is probably that you have comparatively instant gratification. You can see the results pretty quickly.
Papers are hard.
New plan: after papers: clothes and then books.
On the other hand, I now totally get why Marie Kondo
commands suggests that you find absolutely everything in that category first. It’s because every time you realize you have more, there’s this horrible sinking feeling of doom.
To quote Stephanie Pearl McPhee, “ask me how I know.”