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!