KonMari with Claire: My KonMari Experience
If you missed part one of this post, catch up here.
My husband and I jumped on Marie Kondo’s bandwagon of joy by spending a few late nights binge watching Tidying Up after our toddler went to bed, read her first book at any break we got and decided to get to work!
First, in true Marie Kondo fashion, I thanked our house. Now I’m not totally in tune with things like she is, so I just found the spot in my house where I could see the most of it and is the most open. We’ve spent seven years in this house and it’s seen our life change so much, all the good with all the not so good. From our engagement to starting our family!
With the KonMari Method, you tidy your house by categories and not room by room. That’s the true secret to this method. The five categories of the KonMari Method are:
- Komono (miscellany)
My husband wanted to get us started on a Sunday night. Don’t do this. The one and only reason I agreed to start on a Sunday night is because I know my husband and I know if I didn’t take him up on this right at the moment he suggested it, we would have never started.
Our clothes alone took us over four hours. We did have our toddler distracting us for the first hour and then needing his bedtime routine taken care of. But, while I did that, my husband was still hard at work going through his clothes. One by one, we held each item to see if it sparked joy. At the end of just my clothing, I donated 118 clothing items and accessories and also had some for the garbage. I still had a lot of clothes hanging up because there are certain materials I just don’t trust to be folded or they are special occasion items. My husband didn’t hang up anything except his suits, jackets, ties and belts. Once everything was properly folded, he went from three dresser drawers to two, and I went from five to three!
As far as “sparking joy”, this is something that really resonated with me. There were things I just knew it was time to part with that I admittedly didn’t ask myself if it sparked joy for me. I held the item, thanked it and moved on to the next one. Some items were much harder and I really had to think about them. My husband, on the other hand, said asking himself that question just didn’t do anything for him. Personally, it makes sense to me to surround yourself with things that spark joy. Those things help make you happy!
A few days after we finished our clothes, I asked my husband if he wanted to start on the books. He said no and that books were going to be very hard for him. I offered to pile his books up for him to go through but he declined, so I didn’t push it further. I did end up going through my books, and while I didn’t have many to go through (I prefer audiobooks), I ended up donating quite a bit, narrowing my books down to about twenty. To my surprise, a few days later my husband was ready to tackle books. And even more shocking, he also did papers and sentimental items all in one weekend. I let him skip komono mainly because I know that is just how his mind works and would be best for him.
Next for me was paper. I didn’t really have much for the paper category so it was fairly easy. We already have a simple system in place for things like taxes, bills and important receipts. Our wrapping paper was just sorted and organized after Christmas. All my important papers are in this box!
Here’s a helpful tip for paper:
nstruction manuals and paperwork that comes with products when you purchase larger appliances and other items can usually be found online through the manufacturers website, so it might not be necessary for you to keep the actual paper copy that comes with the product. Go online and download it to keep it on your computer and toss or recycle the paper. After all, how many times have you sought out that guide since you purchased it?
On to komono, or miscellany. This is basically any shared living space like the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, garage and such. Komono is not room by room. Instead, it is divided into subcategories. My husband and I agreed that I would complete komono, setting aside a few things that he would need to go through, and he would deal with the garage.
It was very hard for me to stick to the subcategories of komono and not start tidying by room. When I’ve purged items and tidied in the past, I would always go room by room, and I feel this could be why I would never finish the whole house, or why I would always accumulate more stuff I didn’t need. I believe this is because by gathering everything in one category to see all at once in front of you, you really see what you have and realize that you might have multiples of something you only need one or two of. Yes, it’s okay to have multiples of some things, as long as everything has a home and sparks your joy.
With komono complete, I am most happy with how our kitchen turned out. I was able to organize already stored items better and even remove some items off of the counter that we hardly use and keep them in places that are still easily accessible when we need them. The counters look so much cleaner and I feel like everything flows better in there now. I also have a drawer in our kitchen dedicated to towels and cloths because I like to limit our paper towel use and just throw the towels in with the laundry. I’ve had issues keeping all these towels in this one drawer before KonMari, but now they all fit nicely!
Sentimental items is the last category. Here I tackled photos and albums, souvenirs, the box of things I kept from our wedding and anything else that had a significant memory attached to it. There really wasn’t much left for me after completing the other categories. There were some hard things to go through here, but that’s why this is the last category in her method – because by now, you are much better at sorting out what brings you joy to keep and what you can thank and move on. Out of this category, I discarded mostly old photos. I was able to store all the photos I kept in one photo storage box, except for a few larger photos too big for the box and our wedding album. For the rest of the items, I neatly organized them and packed them away or displayed them appropriately.
After everything was finished, we ended up with three loads in the back of my SUV for donations, over $400 made from selling unwanted items online and many bags of trash. I’m happy to report that even though a short time has passed between completing my house to writing this post, I am much happier at home and have continued to follow the KonMari Method! I even took this a step further by tidying up my digital clutter. I unsubscribed from a ton of emails to stores I no longer care to shop at and cleaned up my social media accounts.
The KonMari Method is doing wonders in our household! In the past, I would always try to tidy before going to bed, but I was so tired that I would never finish and just end up putting off until the next day. Now when I wake up and go to the main living areas of our house, I smile because it looks so much better. There’s less mess and less things to put away. For me, the hardest part about this was not being able to go room by room. We kept with the categories and we have no regrets!
To help you KonMari your home with your busy schedule, I put together a handy checklist for you to print. It will help you KonMari your home in 30 days or less!
I’d like end this post with a few ideas for your donations:
- Give stuffed animals to your local police department. When an officer arrives at a scene where a child has to see their parent(s) injured or even taken away from them, the child can find much needed comfort in a stuffed animal given to them by an officer.
- Blankets and towels are much needed and very useful at your local animal shelters and rescues.
- Some hospitals take newborn baby clothes and accessories to send home with families that need them.
- Men’s and women’s shelters often take clothes and toiletries. A favorite item is business wear for people to wear to job interviews.
- Many nonprofit organizations have resale shops that also accept donations.
Don’t forget to call the organization you are donating to and make sure they accept what you have to offer them.
You can follow along with Claire and her motherhood adventures on Instagram @daytodayclaire.
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