Nice and Neat

Tidying Tuesday

Category 4 is Komono (miscellaneous items) and encompasses all that is not clothing, books, papers, or sentimental items. But fear not–Marie broke this big one down into subcategories for you. Here is the list from her second book, Spark Joy:

I find the list itself very satisfying–it’s manageable, organized, and sets apart focused time with smaller categories. Charlene from Home with Charlene makes some lovely list-graphics for you:

Instead of going on about each subcategory, it might be more helpful to visually inspire you to action with end-result photos (a trick that always works for me):

Found the perfect mail-cubby shelf for CDs at a local antiques mall
We also still own DVDs–pared down to our faves
My aqua Urban Outfitters wall shelf in our 80s rental bathroom fits most of the makeup I use
Earrings on DIY earring frames, necklaces on IKEA Enudden towel racks
Electronic parts and pieces sorted into The Container Store’s signature clear boxes
Clear boxes also for medical supplies and toiletries make it easy to find what I need

Next up: Category 4 (Komono Pt. 2). Are you currently tidying? Please share your tips and trip-ups in the Comments below!

Nice and Neat

Tidying Tuesday

Having recently tidied Category 2 (Books), we’ve been revisiting our favorite volumes and are inspired to read more as an alternative to our nightly Netflix-and-chill routine. I love just looking at our bookshelves now, and feeling all the feelings those books evoke. Since I’m a paper hoarder, I found it more difficult to sort through Category 3 than Category 4 (Komono, aka All Other Objects). This is probably because so many of my papers also qualified as Sentimental (Category 5)…the final (and for me, the most-dreaded) category to cull. But for papers, I found a helpful (and lovely) graphic online, so if you don’t have the book, you can use this list to guide you through Category 3:

From Home with Charlene

When you get done going through a category, you get to designate homes for things. Whether you’re more dominantly left- or right-brained, this part can be fun. Come up with a system that works for you. Left-brainers tend toward storing things out of sight in more orderly systems, and right-brainers are good at arranging their belongings in intuitive, visually-oriented displays; both ways can spark joy. If you’re a neurotic hybrid like me, your system might depend on what it is that’s being organized. I swear by The Container Store’s clear box system for almost anything. Here are some of my paper systems:

It doesn’t look pretty but it works for me: files subdivided
into Auto, Bills, Insurance, Health/Wellness, & Pets

Broken down into smaller steps or projects, what seems like a monumental task can be finished in a few weeks–or a weekend, if you’re feeling focused. The great thing about Marie Kondo’s method is that you really and truly only have to go through the categories ONCE, and anything after that is maintenance. For instance, address your mail daily and it won’t pile up. I’ll take it right to my office and recycle, rip up into bits (quite cathartic), and/or file what I need to. Just like with clothing and books, every paper has its home (or destiny). You should see the giant Rubbermaid container in the garage, filled and waiting for the next free community shredding day.

Next up: Category 4 (Komono); this one also has subcategories to make it less overwhelming, so I’ll break down our own process here, too. Are you currently tidying? Please share your tips and trip-ups in the Comments below!

Nice and Neat

Tidying Up

Category 1 (Clothing) was relatively easy for both of us (even Jim is folding everything the KonMari way so that his drawers spark joy). The acts of purging our clothes and folding them using this method helped to create space for new things we might need or want, and it was much easier to see what those things might be. After tidying and storing our clothing, we were on to Category 2 (Books).

Also a less challenging category for us, I thought it was fun to revisit the volumes that make us happy, get excited about rereading some of them, and, yes, sniff them along the way. I sniff books and I don’t care who knows it. The goal here is not to end up with just 30 books, as some people have misinterpreted for this category. Everyone’s end result will be different, because different categories spark different levels of joy for each person. We personally have about two full bookshelves’ worth of books spread throughout the house, depending on where we use them. Our main shelves are in the front den by the window, near the two orange 70s armchairs we thrifted, from where I love to write letters and read (if I can convince a cat to relinquish her spot to the one on my lap). Bookshelves are one of the places we like to display our little tchotchkes, too, so tidying them was, overall, an enjoyable experience. One of my most favorite things on a shelf is a bird mug full of beautiful feather bookmarks, given to me by a dear friend. Here are some ‘after’ photos of our Category 2:

Next up: Category 3 (Papers)…this is definitely getting more challenging. After moving and finally able to make some time to REALLY organize the last few years in paperwork, I came to the realization that I’m a paper hoarder. This spills into the Sentimental arena (Category 5), since I’ve saved every card and letter I’ve ever gotten, plus all the memorabilia from everything I’ve ever attended. It’s bad. I’m hoping that with the new mental clarity and honed decision-making skills that come with this whole process, I will be able to let go of a lot more stuff in these areas. The big organizing nerd in me is looking forward to creating more efficient filing systems (and a huge heap for the next community shredding day event, too).

Are you currently tidying? Please share your tips and trip-ups in the Comments below!

Nice and Neat

Tidying Up

As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Marie Kondo and her Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book. After rereading both of her books, my husband and I are going through the categories to completion. We’ve done clothing, books, and papers so far, and experiencing the clarity and focus that comes with the process has made me a disciple for life. When only the things that you truly love and use have found space in your home, the intangibles also fall into place. Things like your hopes, dreams, goals, and true passions become clear. For someone with focus issues like myself, this feels like nothing short of a miracle. After reading ALL the organizing books out there, I am so grateful to have found hers–they are a revelation and true organizers’ bibles. Last night we watched her show, which premiered on Netflix yesterday. She is tiny and mighty! The joy she receives just from being who she was meant to be is apparent in her brilliant and sweet smile throughout the show. I think I cried four times. I know for sure now that the organizing path is being made clear for me to pursue further. More on that later. Here are some ‘after’ photos from finishing Category 1 (Clothing):

Do your drawers spark joy?

I’m excited to go through all of the komono categories next. I really enjoy communing with my things because it’s as if our belongings truly know if they’re serving us well or not. The ones that speak to us are the ones that we should keep and honor in our homes. I also enjoy finding the right homes for those things that aren’t staying, so in a way I guess those things spark a different kind of joy.