Tag Archives: Marie Kondo

Step 3 of My Tidyness Project: Papers

Do you have a few minutes? That’s really all the time you will need to spare to read this post.

Paper sorting is the least glamourous  section of the KnonMarie method.

She only has one rule: Discard everything.

“The basic principles for sorting papers is to throw them all away.” – Marie Kondo

Easy enough, right? If you have a few papers that you’re unsure if you can toss, she does go into further detail.

Dispose of them if the papers do not fall into one of these categories:

1. Papers currently in use.

2. Papers that you  need to keep for a short period of time.

3. Must be kept indefinitely. This doesn’t include sentimental letters.

 

Of the papers you must keep, she goes into how to file them:

1. Papers that need to be saved. Sort by frequency of use and store them in a clear plastic file.

2. Papers that need to be attended to. This would include letters that require replies, forms that should be submitted, etc.

3. Attend to #2! Get on your replies, people! If these papers need attended to, do so quickly then discard them.

 

She makes it clear that you need to discard of any manuals, used checkbooks, pay-stubs and greeting cards (unless they are sentimental, then you’ll deal with those later).

That’s it.

I have no pictures to show you because it was that uneventful. This took me 30 minutes to complete (and a week to post about but that’s another story).

I cleared out our file cabinet without looking back. This step was the easiest for me and I loved it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to toss my husbands papers per our agreement, but I hope he is able to breeze through this step as effortlessly as I was able to.

 

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Step 2 of My Tidyness Project: BOOKS

Let me begin by mentioning that I don’t really have many books so this was an easy one for me. I don’t like to keep a lot of books around for a couple reasons. First, I have a kindle. Second, they are so heavy to move! Have you ever filled a Uhaul moving box full of books and then tried to lift it? Me, too. It’s smart to spread them out amongst all your moving boxes or just give them away. People are always looking for free books.

Marie  Kondo has a few guidelines:

1. All books on the floor.  Grab your cookbooks, the books/magazines out of the bathroom and all the books beside your bed.  Sure, it would be easy to look at them all on the shelf and pick and choose but you must touch each book to see if it brings you joy. Warning: things are going to be dusty!

If you have a large collection and it seems overwhelming, separate the books into the following 4 categories: 1. General (pleasure) 2. Practical (reference and cookbooks) 3. Visual (photography collections and coffee table books) 4. Magazines.

2. Touch the books to see if they bring you joy. Do not start reading the books! To decide if you are going to keep a book, touch it to see if it brings you joy. Do not keep a book just because you think you might re-read it.

3. Sometime means never. If you haven’t read a book yet, you aren’t going to. Marie Kondo believes that books are time sensitive and that the best time to read a book is when it first arrives. If you have a book that has been partially read, you most likely aren’t going to finish it and the book has already served it’s purpose of being half read. Reference books and old text books are most likely not going to be used again.

Let’s review my progress, shall we? G1 and I keep most of our books in our hutch we made a few years back. I made an attempt to keep it pretty and neat, but it did seem a little mopey.

Bookshelf Before

 

Starting this project, I promised G1 that I wouldn’t ask him to get rid of any of his belongings nor would I take it upon myself to discard of anything that we jointly owned. But, as I am working my way through my tidyness project, he has seemed to peek an interest and offered to go through the books with me. I told him it might be a challenge to start with the books as he hadn’t gained any decision making confidence by first going through his clothes. As Marie Kondo predicted, He did struggle letting go of a few books that didn’t bring him joy, especially reference books and books he hadn’t read.

StackedonFloor

Since our book collection was rather small, I separated our books into books that belonged to G1 and books that belonged to myself. This way, I was only selecting which books to keep that I actually owned and G1 had a chance to do the same. I went first and then took this picture of G1 breaking rule #2. In his defense, it’s very hard to pick up a book and not thumb through the pages! It’s such a natural instinct!

Archer over-seeing our selection

Archer over-seeing our selection

 

For me, this went quickly. The confidence I gained by deciding which clothes to keep crossed over in deciding which books to keep. I kept only a few books and all of my interior design porn. Once I had finished with my books, I separated them into colors and waited for G1’s selection. I added his into the appropriate grouping and started to place them on the shelf.

Books of Joy

DetailsRed

DetailsBlue

DetailBrown

DetailsBlack

"Do I fit in White? Brown? or Green? "

“Do I fit in White? Brown? or Green? “

The aftermath?

DonationBooks

Now that I have completed clothing and books, I must say that the hardest part of my tidyness project is the actually removing the discarded items from our home. These books sat in our mudroom for a week before I was able to donate them to the library. Remember how I mentioned people love free books? As I was taking the boxes inside of the library, two ladies walked up and asked if I was giving them away. I told them I was donating them to the library and she said that she thought they were free. It was a little awkard but I was able to get them inside the library.

With the clothes, it was more about waving goodbye to all the money I had spent. With books, it was about how heavy they were and finding time to take them to the library. This is why we didn’t have many books to begin with: they are awful to move!

Just to remind myself where I started:

Bookshelf Before

 

And where I ended up:

ShelfAfter

 

The hutch is so peaceful, now and I am that much closer to finding my true style.

Next up on my tidyness project? Sorting Papers. Check out how I worked through my clothes and why I started my tidyness project.

 

 

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Step 1 of My Tidyness Project: CLOTHES


Here’s what Marie Kondo says about tidying your clothes:

1. Start with your clothes and gain momentum. Clothes are much easier to sort than mementos. You will gain momentum and confidence, as well as hone in on your decision making ability before moving on to more challenging areas.

2. In this order: Tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events, and shoes.

3.Gather all your clothes onto the floor and touch each individual pieces. Check your laundry, other closets, and your car. If you miss any item of clothing, it automatically goes into the discard pile. Cut throat, right!? She reasons that if you have already forgotten about it than it must not bring you too much joy.

Rule of thumb: While going through your clothes, items you can’t part with (old t shirts for example) shouldn’t automatically be delegated as loungewear.

“Precisely because no one is there to see you, it makes far more sense to reinforce a positive self image by wearing clothes you love.”

Great advice. Self confidence comes from inside when no one is watching.

I got started on this one right away! Many times in the past I have gone through my closet and discarded quite a few items, but not at this level. It was so exhilarating.

Standing Closet Before

Closet #1 before I discarded.

 

Since I am all about being true to myself and my mission of self-discovery, I must admit that I didn’t pile everything on the floor in front of me. Nor did I start with off-season clothes. Nor did I follow her order. I did gather all my clothes from every corner of the house. I started in one of my three closets, pulled every item out and put them on the bed and sorted them into either a discard or keep pile. Then I re-hung all the items back up. Then I moved on to the next closet and then my drawers. So I hit every clothing storage area, just not in the order she suggested. Sorry Marie Kondo.

Tall Closet After

After: breathing room for the items that bring me joy.

After I finished my tall closet (my other 2 closets belong in a hobbit home) I was feeling good and ready to conquer the other two closets.

Short Closet Before

Closet #2 Before

Short Closet 3 Before

Closet #2 and #3 Before

 

This is when I started to utilize the floor. I was so confident tossing items into the discard pile. I think I had always wanted to get rid of them but somehow felt responsible for them. Somewhere along the line I paid money for these clothes so discarding them felt like throwing money away. Those items that I received as gifts were even harder to push aside. Marie Kondo says they have already served the purpose of being a gift and the act of receiving that gift had given you joy. It’s ok to pass them along. The giver wouldn’t want you to be burdened by holding onto something that doesn’t bring you joy. Most items I effortlessly tossed away. I began to feel confident, empowered, lighter and even happy!

BeforePile

That’s a lot of clothes to be carrying around on your back. Since I was feeling confident and tossing clothes left and right I felt that I could deviate from Marie Kondo’s order a bit. After I was done with the hanging clothes in the closets, I moved onto my drawers, starting with the top drawer and visiting every drawer on the way down.

hangingafter3

Closet #2 After the purge!

Once I had finished my drawers, I moved onto shoes and everything else left in my closets: accessories, scarves, bags, swimsuits, belts, hats. Wow, I had a lot of stuff!

When you’re done discarding it’s time to put it all away. Marie Kondo has a few pointers:

1. Either fold or hang your clothes.

2. Fold items into rectangles and stand them upright so you are able to see every item of clothing.

3. “Arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right.”

3. Lay socks folded and roll tights.

Everything that was hung before, I re-hung and then arranged my closet so that my clothes were able to rise to the right. Imagine drawing an arrow from left to right. On the left is your dark, long and heavy clothes and on the right your lighter and shorter clothes. I’m not sure if they are supposed to be color coded or not, but mine ended that way. Within each color section I had all my cardigans and long tunics/tanks and heavier sweatshirts and moving to the right I would put the lighter materials and shorter blouses. Voila. Closets are done.

Folding my clothes was more of a hassle because of the time it takes. But in Marie Kondo’s defense this gives you an opportunity to touch each piece, pouring energy into each item. So I folded all my socks into little rectangles, rolled my tights, and moved through the rest of my drawers quite quickly.  After I had folded every item into a rectangle, I was able to stand them on edge and see each shirt. I was surprised to see I hadn’t used up my entire drawer!

Folded Socks

Folded Drawer

 

I felt liberated after finishing with my clothes. I surprised myself with my ability to pick and choose with such confidence. Once I started rolling, I didn’t want to stop until I looked over at the giant pile of clothes I had to physically discard. As I looked at that pile, all I could see was money. Layers and layers of cash that was about to be stuffed into garbage bags to be hauled off to a new destination. Ugh.

I decided to look through it and sell what I thought might go quickly on Ebay. That ended up being 3 items. Not a huge dent but a start. I went through again and gathered all my “trendy” items in an attempt to sell them at Plato’s Closet. That ended in a deduction of 20 items and my wallet gaining $60. Progress!

I posted an ad on our local chapter of “Buy Nothing”, a community Facebook page where you can get and give for free. Turns out a lot of ladies were interested and someone picked up the bags the next afternoon. The recipient took what she wanted and passed it on, even adding from her own closet. The bag quickly became the “sisterhood of the traveling bag”. I felt amazing! I had done it. All of my extra clothes were gone. Liberated, confident, excited.

The first time I chose an outfit post-declutter, it took me very little time because I loved everything in my closet. By choosing to keep only the things that bring me joy, I was left with items that all worked together or if you will, my style! It is actually fun to get dressed, now.

Now that I have completed the first phase of decluttering, I am ready and motivated to move onto the next phase: books.

 

See Part 1 of my Tidyness Project.

 

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