KonMari Update

Since I last posted I worked on a lot of things.  I have now completed the clothing category which was perfect timing because in Minnesota we have a charity called the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota that occasionally has pick-up days.  You’ll get a postcard in the mail announcing when they will be in your neighborhood.  All you have to do is bag and/or box up whatever you want to donate (as long as they are accepted items) and set them on your curb, label them with the postcard or a paper that says EF and they come around and pick them up.  Lucky for me, they are coming today!

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I had 8 bags full of clothes, outerwear, and even some stuffed animals.  The printer box is full of shoes, at least 10 pairs.  The small box is full of cookbooks.

My biggest success this weekend was my husband wanting to go through his clothes in the closet!  On the floor of his side of the closet he had a ton of pants that were in a very very messy pile.  We were able to donate almost every single pair because they were too small.  We were going to go through his dresser too but ran out of time.

On Saturday I pulled several books off my bookshelves that I had not read.  They were the kind of books that I keep around for a quick read, mostly Nora Roberts and Robyn Carr.  I felt I could easily get rid of those whereas most of my other books would be nearly impossible for me to give up, even the ones I haven’t read yet.  Then I pulled up two boxes of books we had in the basement to sort through.  One was a book of mostly coffee table type books.  I have a great love for Ireland so I have a few Ireland books that I was not able to get rid of.  I did pull out an old high school history textbook and a really old cookbook.  In the other box was all of my late childhood-early teens books.  I was able to pull out all of them and put them on shelves except for the American Girls books.  Those I was able to put in the box with the remaining coffee table books though.  I was able to eliminate an entire box out of our packed storage room!  I also started to go through the things in our office.  Some of these things are hard for me to pull out by category because I’m not sure exactly what I have.

Yesterday I worked through all of our paper mess.  I was able to pull a large stack that needs to be shredded, and an even bigger pile that could just be recycled.

Even though I am far from being done with this process, my house is already looking more clutter free than it has since we moved in!  It’s been a lot easier for me to put things away when I am done using them because I am loving the way it looks!

The next three weekends I will be out of town so I won’t have much time to work on KMing my house but I feel as though I’m at a good place right now.  I may work on it a few nights after work here and there.

KonMari Method: Day 5

On Sunday I spent a lot of my time going through my movies and tv shows.  I have been accumulating these items since I was in high school and have a lot of pride in my collection.  I’m a big lover of movies and tv shows so it was kind of hard for me to make a dent in this process.  I still have more than I should probably have but the whole point is sparking joy and without a doubt, these spark joy for me.  Some of these items are also joint items with my husband so I don’t feel as though I could get rid of them at this time without talking to him.

KonMari Day 5 KonMari Day 5 movies

These photos show my collection before I started the purging.  Rather than taking every single one of these items off the shelves, I ran my fingers across each one.  I might attempt to purge more but for now I am happy with what I was able to cull.

KonMari Day 5 purged

I will gradually be bringing these into my nearest Half Price Books to sell.  I don’t expect a lot of money but anything is better than nothing at this point.

This was probably the hardest category for me so far.  And yes, I know I went out of order but I was almost completely done with my clothes and after that comes books.  But for me, books is going to be one of, if not THE hardest for me to do.  Starting in May I am going to begin reading all of the books I own but have not read yet so I can make the decision on whether or not to keep them.  I have a feeling that I’ll be getting rid of a lot of them but I feel like I need to read them before making that decision.

UPDATE: Last night (4/21/15) I went through my movies again and pulled out approximately 20 more to sell!

KonMari Method: Day 4

Friday night was day 4 for me!  I decided to tackle my hoodies, sweaters and shirts.  This took quite a long time.  But I buckled down and am very happy with what I was able to get done!

kmd4hoodiesI had a HUGE hoodie collection.  They have always been my favorite type of clothing.  I cut down my collection to the ones that I absolutely love and cannot live without.  In the second photo you can see that it only takes up half of that shelf.  Before, they used to take up that entire shelf!

IMG_20150417_194000Next I took out all of my shirts.  Most of these I had hanging in my closet so I had a ton of hangers.  A lot of the regular t-shirts I had were hand me downs so I didn’t have a very hard time giving them up.  It felt so good to see all of this stuff go.  I started feeling lighter and more energized the more I was able to get rid of.

kdm4With the exception of a few button up shirts, all of the other shirts I was able to put in my dresser.  My nicer t-shirts all fit in with my tank tops.  And my long sleeved shirts and regular t-shirts all fit in one drawer.  I am already feeling so much better about things in my house.  I can’t wait to continue this progress!

I still had a little bit of time left over so I decided to also go after my nail polish collection.  I love nail polish so I had a pretty large collection.  I had purged some around Christmas time but I definitely needed to purge some more.

KMnailpolishIMG_20150417_232738Before I did this purge, I had the spice rack full plus some in my bin.  After the purge, I was able to get rid of using the rack and they all fit together in the bin!

I think from this point onward I am not going to do a post for every single day.  It’s taking too much time away from the actual process.  I would much rather concentrate my time on doing the actual KMing.  So ta-ta for now!  Perhaps I will do occasional updates.

KonMari Method: Day 3

Last night I went for something small and easy (for me) because I had other things going on yesterday and didn’t have a lot of time to devote to KM.  I chose to do makeup and jewelry.  I don’t often wear makeup and when I do it’s only mascara and eyeshadow.  Maybe eyeliner depending on the occasion.  I don’t like lipstick or foundation or blush (which I don’t need because I have no problem blushing lol).  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry either, never have.  The only jewelry I wear 24/7 is my wedding ring and my little silver hoops.  I take my ring off when I do dishes, garden, and put lotion on otherwise it never leaves my finger.  I take my earrings out to clean them and clean my ears but other than that I almost never wear any earrings besides these unless it’s a special occasion.  I’ll wear a necklace occasionally and have a couple of favorites when it comes to that.  I used to wear beaded bracelets that I had made but one of my cats was obsessed with biting on them and pulling it so they stretched out and got annoying.

KonMari Day 3

Before I kept my earrings in one of those small clear tackle boxes that you can see in the top left photo at the bottom of the picture.  My other jewelry I kept in the bottom of one of those three tiered snap containers from Target.  My makeup fit in the next two tiers.  I was able to fit all of my jewelry in the bottom tier of the snap container and my makeup and tools in another, leaving one completely empty which I will probably use for hair accessories after I KM those.  I’m not quite sure what I will now use the little tackle box for now and who knows, maybe I won’t even need it!

I still had a little time left before I needed to get to bed for work in the morning so I decided to go through my chapstick and lip balm collection and my little Victoria’s Secret perfume sprays.  Two years ago I was going crazy ordering things on VS around Christmas time and they had all kinds of freebie deals going on.  So I wound up getting probably 4-5 packages of their mini perfume sprays for free.  I gave a couple away as gifts but kept two for myself.  I went through each one and smelled them to see if there were any that I really didn’t like.  After that I had only gotten rid of 1.  So then I decided I would just keep one of each scent (I had 2-3 of certain scents).  Then I moved on to my chapstick and lip balms.  I love chapstick and have to have it with me at all times.  For many years my favorite was Burt’s Bees.  That place has now moved to the EOS lip balms.  They’re a little awkward to have on your person though so if I’m every going anywhere I don’t have a purse I will bring a Burt’s Bees with me as the next best thing.  After I purged my chapsticks and the mini perfume sprays I was able to fit them all in the awesome bowl I used to hold my chapsticks.  This is a bowl I could never ever get rid of.  I got it when I was in France in 2009 at a place called Taize which is basically a non-denominational monastery.  The monks there make this awesome pottery and have so many different colors and types of pottery.  I loved this bowl the second I saw it.  I also bought a votive holder that they made too in a different color.  Those two items spark joy without a doubt in my mind!

kmd3Stay tuned for more progress!

KonMari Method: Day 2

On Tuesday I did not have as much time to work on KonMari as I would have liked.  But it was my mother-in-law’s birthday so we went out for dinner to celebrate.  We didn’t get home until 7:30 so I just dove right in and got done what I was able to.  I pulled out more socks and underwear, not much but better than nothing.  Then I decided to tackle my tank top drawer and my work-out clothes.  I have a lot of tank tops that I use for layering and for sleeping.  I get really warm when I sleep so I always have to sleep in a tank top.  I started with 45 tank tops (this did not include my nicer tank tops that I have hanging in my closet).  Many of these I never wear and probably never would.  I was able to cut that number in half.  Most of those I will be able to donate but there were a few that were too stained or holey (thanks to my cats) to pass on to someone else.

KonMari Day 2 Tank Tops

Before I KMed this drawer, I had to push down on the piles to get the drawer to close!  Now I have plenty of space to add my t-shirts that I have hanging in my closet.  I can’t believe how much room I have now!  It feels so great!

Next I went to my bottom drawer where I kept all of my work-out clothes.  I had sports bras, racerback tanks, pants and capris (along with my large collection of lotions).  I didn’t really have a lot of work out clothes but the drawer was just messy and in need of some KM folding.  I started with 8 work-out tops and was able to get rid of  4 that I just really didn’t like and have never worn.  I had 10 bottoms and only got rid of 1 pair.  I might re-think that and pull out one more but I haven’t quite decided on that one pair yet.  I did not get rid of any sports bras (of which I have 7) but I am also thinking about revisiting those.

KonMari Day 2

The best part of KM folding these clothes was that they were all able to fit in my smaller top drawer where my swimming suits had been.  I was able to free up the entire bottom drawer!

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I can’t wait to get started on my closet so I can remove some of the things that are hanging that shouldn’t be and KM fold them to go in this bottom drawer and my tank top drawer!

I did not do any KonMari on Wednesday because I was working on finishing a library book before I have to return it today after work.  I am hoping to start KMing at least one of the categories of clothes in my closet today.  I’m just really glad that it is getting close to the weekend so I can have all day to KM my things!

Stay tuned for more progress!

KonMari Method: Day 1

Wow!  It has been a LONG time since I have posted anything on this blog!  So sorry for the neglect but I’m back and working on what could possibly be one of the biggest projects of my life.  I’m sure many of you have heard of the latest decluttering trend called the KonMari Method which was created by Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

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I’ve been seeing this book floating around for a few months but didn’t really start thinking seriously about it until the last week.  I started doing some research online trying to find before and after photos and testimonials from other bloggers who have tried it.  I was able to find a few that basically broke down the gist of the book with a few photos of their progress.  I decided that if I were going to do this I would need to document my progress from the beginning to the end to help me realize just how much stuff I had.  So as I go along and work through the different categories I will be taking photos and posting updates.  When I reach the end (which could be anywhere up to 6 months from now) I will post a summary of what I was able to accomplish.

The book breaks down into the different steps of the process.

1.  Visualize the lifestyle you want.

2.  Work by category, not by location, and in the order she provides – Clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous, sentimental.  She wants you to work from what she feels is the easiest to the hardest so you can get the hang of the decision making process.

3.  Gather every item in one category in one place so you can see exactly how much of that item you have.

4.  Take every single item into your hands and ask yourself if the item “sparks joy” – sounds a little time consuming and weird but it works.

5.  Store items vertically, not horizontally – especially when it comes to folding clothes.  She has a special method to folding clothes and it allows you to see each item.  Rather than having to search through a stack of t-shirts to find the one you’re looking for, you can just scan the rows and find it right away!

6.  Do it in as little time as possible – many decluttering methods say to do a little bit every day.  Kondo believes that if you follow that approach you will never complete the decluttering process.  She wants all of her clients (yes, she helps people tidy their homes for a living!) to take no more than 6 months to complete the process.  Out of all her clients who have completed the process, 100% of them have continued to have a clutter free home.  After this process, there will be a place for everything so the only “tidying” you will be doing is just putting things back in their place when you’re done using it.

The best part of this method (for me) is that you don’t have to buy any kind of storage tools!  Kondo believes storage experts are basically hoarders because you aren’t really doing anything besides hiding the clutter.

Now you might ask why I am going to spend so much time on this project.  The simplest answer is that I have way too much stuff.  My husband and I live with two cats in an 1167 townhome that is very cluttered.  It’s hard for me to feel completely comfortable and relaxed in our home because I just look around and see all of the clutter.  I am (and my husband is too) one of those people who holds on to things they don’t use in the present but feel they might need them at some unknown point in the future.  I am also a sentimental person so I hold onto things that have a special meaning to me even when they are long past use and are just packed away in boxes.  I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed by this, especially more recently and it makes me hate living in my house.

I purchased the Kindle edition of the book yesterday and began reading it even though I felt like I had the gist of the process down from my research.  I’m glad I did buy it because even though I’m only 40% of my way through the book, I’ve already come across other tips like hiding the garbage and donation bags from your family so they don’t feel the urge to look through what you are getting rid of and try to keep it or guilt you into keeping it.

Despite my having read that particular tip yesterday I decided to start the process with my husband around.  He was watching TV in our bedroom while I decided to tackle my socks and underwear drawers.  While I was able to significantly decrease what I had, it was a mistake doing it in front of him because he was getting a little mad at me for throwing away so much.  He said I was pouring money down the drain.  Needless to say I will be doing this alone from now on.  But don’t worry!  I will only be doing this with stuff that is 100% mine.  Kondo believes that if you are in a family situation trying to do this but one or more of your family members isn’t on board, you should leave their stuff alone and just continue doing your stuff.  Chances are they will be thoroughly impressed by your progress and will want to join in on their own.  No conflict that way and no forcing someone to do what they don’t want to do!

So, as I said in the last paragraph, I decided to tackle my socks and underwear drawers.  I was so excited to start that I forgot to take before photos but I can tell you that both drawers were filled to the brim.  After I had pulled everything out of the drawers, I couldn’t believe how many I had!  I started with 68 pairs of underwear.  68!!!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was able to throw out 50% of them.  I plan to go through them again when my husband is not there to comment on what I’m throwing away.  I had even more pairs of socks!  102 pairs!  That is such a ridiculous number.  I was able to cut out 40% of those without too much grumbling from my husband but I am definitely going to go through them again to weed out some more.

KonMari Day 1

My sock drawer (top left) now had room left over for me to put my 3 swimming suit sets!  I was hoping to combine my underwear and socks together in one drawer but that didn’t work last night.  Perhaps after I comb through them again I will be able to achieve that goal.  As you can see, I still have too many of both socks and underwear but I still feel as though I did a good job with what I was able to do.  I love the KonMari way of folding too!  Look how nice it is to be able to see all of the different colors and patterns without having to thumb through stacks.

I can’t wait to start tackling the rest of my clothes!  I didn’t get much done yesterday after work but I am already starting to feel some of that stress lift away!  I am not looking forward to the book category after I complete the clothes.  That will probably be one of the hardest categories for me.

Stay tuned to see more of my progress!