Lately I keep hearing people talk about decluttering, minimalism, zero waste and KonMarie method.
All these topics got me thinking, I wanted to see what this was all about. So I did a bit of research on each topic and I ended up wanting to learn more about declutter and Marie Kondo’s method. It looked like it had a great impact on a lot of people and they all said it was easy to do.
I saw videos upon videos upon videos on how to declutter and the steps to take. The video on how Marie Kondo uses her method to declutter was very interesting and although I do not agree with her 100% I still found her method very practical and easy to follow.
Marie Kondo says to ask yourself ‘Does it spark joy?’ in order to make a decision if that item stays or goes.
I feel that material things should not be able to have a hold on us and by saying it sparks joy it’s like you are allowing material items to have a hold on you. On the other hand I do believe that you should only buy clothes and material goods like decor pieces that you really love and express you. So you could say in a way I do agree with her just not 100%, more like 90% hahaha!
My questions I ask myself are more like this:
Will I need this in the future?
Is it irreplaceable?
Is it something I will never find again?
How valuable is it so me?
MARIE KONDO’S METHOD
As for her steps of declutter and cleaning your house they are as follow:
Declutter in categories and not by rooms as most of us do.
- Clothes: First you declutter and clean your clothes, wardrobes, night stands, chest of draws basically anywhere you have clothes.
- Books: All and any books within the house. Examples: Novels, cookbooks, manuals, magazines etc.
- Paper: All and every paper and documents
- Komono (Miscellaneous): This category is actually a bit of everything else in the house. The bathroom, the garage, and other storage areas, the kitchen. This category is sort of subdivided into smaller groups like makeup, skin products, kitchenware, household supplies, household equipment etc.
- Mementos: These are the more sentimental items like photos, keepsakes, souvenirs basically anything that has a sentimental value attached to it.
Marie actually says you should bring everything of the same item in one area and start to sort it out by keeping what sparks joy. She doesn’t start with sorting what you want to throw out. Another thing she says it to thank that item for the purpose it had for you.
HOW I STARTED
After all of this research, I decided to start with my most problematic area which was books and paper as on category. I had already done my clothes, as I do every change of season, so there was no point in doing the first category. Therefore I started with books and paper together.
The reason I did books with paper many books it was easier to do as one category. I turned my living room into a disaster area filled with paper, documents, books, file, notepads, catalogues, manuals and everything else you can imagine.
Once everything was dumped all in my living room I made designated areas for the different piles I was going to have.
My piles included:
3. IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
4. DOCUMENTS TO SHRED
5. DEAL WITH LATER (This was going to be a pile for items my husband will have to review when he gets home)
Then I started to sort all my papers into these categories. I had boxes for the shredding pile, black rubbish bag for the rubbish pile and a small foldup table for the filling, rubbish and deal with later pile.
I started from 5:00 pm and stopped at 12:00 midnight as I was getting too tired to continue. I ended up continuing the next day and the next and the next as I only had a few hours each day to do this process.
Once all was sorted I threw out the rubbish and took them to be shredded pile to get it shredded. I then tackled the filing pile by sorting it out into piles of same documents. I put all our bank papers in one pile, our taxes and social insurance and income slips in another pile and then another for home expense.
Then I took my box files and filled everything away and put it back into the office. I kept only last year and current year in these files and whatever else that needed to be kept for tax or vat purposes was put into files and then in a storage box. Everything is clearly labeled to be easy to find.
I then decided on what books to keep, what to donate or give away and arranged my keep books in my desk area. This was the easiest to do and also the fun part as I got to decorate the bookshelf in my desk.
Next up was the stationary, I know this is not books or paper but I wanted to finish off the desk area once and for all. So I quickly gathered all pens, pencils, sticky notes and any other stationary around the apartment and started to sort all of this too.
This was such a tedious process but sooo worth the time! I threw out what was not working, donated my extra and unopened pens and pencils and then I kept a few pens, markers, pencils etc. on my desk and the rest I placed in a small clear box for storage.
The only pile left was the one my husband had to deal with and I won’t lie to you, it actually took him a few days to go through but once he did it I filed away what he wanted and discarded all that he didn’t need or want.
Finally I could get to decorate my desk space! I added a few of my snow globes, my dried up roses from bouquet that my husband sent me when we were still dating. They were the very first bouquet of roses he bought me and it was Valentine’s Day. So basically I did some styling with these decorative finishing touches.
Now, writing this today I must say that there is still a small pile left that my husband has NOT gone through but at least it is under control. I am helping him so that by the end of next week it will be all done.
WHAT I LEARNED THROUGH THIS PROCESS
By de-cluttering my paper and books I found out a lot of things that we usually do not even think about or even notice about ourselves and our habits.
Here are some of the things I found out…
The strangest of all was how many things I actually used in the past but not anymore. So a couple of years ago I was into scrapbooking and crafts but I don’t seem to find the time anymore to do these things and my supplies have been sitting there. This also goes for my stationary for these hobbies too. This also made it harder for me to throw out, so I decided to keep half of what I had and told myself that if I didn’t use them in the next year then they would go too.
THE ACCOUNTANT IN ME
Another interesting find was that I being an accountant tend to hold onto paper more than what I should. I should be able to put a system in my life to tackle this paper mess and keep on top of it. This made me realize just how much I didn’t want to even see paper in my own home after 8hours of paper at work. I am still working on a system that will help both me and hubby to stay on top of things but so far it’s to discard anything not needed right away and then I have to areas for the rest. One is for filling and the other is for bills to be paid. So far, so good!
THINGS I NEVER THOUGHT OF
This one was a bit of an aha moment for me. I finally sat at my desk to work on my laptop when I realized 2 things.
One, I need to de-clutter my laptop! This is something I never even thought of but our screens can get very messy and cluttered so this was on my to-do list now.
Two, I need to keep track of what I need to buy to STAY organized. So this gave me another thing to consider when figuring out a system to stay on top of things.
Yep, you guessed right! Hahaha, I know, but I needed a better system of cleaning periodically so that clutter would not build up. For this I also have some extra motivation as I have allergies to dust so I think I am pretty sure I will be maintaining the desk clean unless I want my allergies making my skin all pretty again (eye roll). This will definitely be a priority on a weekly basis!
It was a very loooong process but I am so glad it is over and done with. With Marie Kondo’s method of getting rid of clutter it does seem like you are rid of it once and for all as long as you have a system and you actually do stick to it.
I think the hardest part for me is finding a system that works for both me and my hubby so as to stay on top of things. I actually think I will be the only one doing everything but hey at least it will get done.
Moreover, I want to keep items in my desk that make me want to work there but at the same time not to make it feel too crammed with stuff. This will also help when it’s time to clean.
Well enough said, as I can go on for hours but I don’t think you all want me to. (Wink)
So I am leaving you here with a photo of the after, a nice clean and workable space.
Let me know what you think of my space and if you have and tips on organization let me know in the comments below.