Tidying Up the KonMari Way: Halfway There, Part 2

I’m halfway through my KonMari journey. It’s been a rewarding process, and I’m eager to finish so I can enjoy a clutter-free home. (You can read part one of this post here.) I’ve completed clothes, books, papers, and bath and beauty products; I have a lot of komono, or miscellaneous items, left, including the kitchen, home and office supplies, general home decor, and seasonal decor. Before I tackled the remaining categories, I had to do something about my second bedroom/office, which I use as a sitting room. It’s a catch-all for everything I have to put away quickly when tidying up for guests or right before my housekeeper comes. I can’t wait until I can enjoy reading and watching TV in this room!

I decided to take everything out of the closet, console, and etagere and sort it into plastic bins by category. Then, when I get to home supplies, office supplies, the kitchen, etc., I can grab that bin and sort it with the other items in that category. Here’s what they looked like before:

Closet CollageThis has been a thorn in my side for so long! I tried to store things in an orderly manner, but nothing ever seemed right. One of the things Marie Kondo says in her book is that your possessions will tell you where they want to go; you just have to listen to them. Now that I’ve had some experience with her method, I understand what she means. One of the reasons I’ve kept my KonMaried spaces tidy is that everything is in its right place. I really hope listening to the closet, shelves, and drawers in this room works, too!

The drawers are a mishmash of pens, business cards, tape (why can’t I ever find tape when I have several rolls in these drawers?) and old reading glasses, which I no longer need because I have a prescription for both far- and nearsightedness now.

Drawer close upI took everything out of the drawers and cabinet and sorted it into the bins.

Empty drawers

Bins labeledI did the closet next.

Empty closetI thought I was finished, but then I closed the door.

Behind the doorSee all that Tupperware? I ordered it from my friend, Robin but never washed and put it away in the kitchen. This is why I need the life-changing magic!

Everything sorted with dogs

Now that I’ve sorted everything into bins, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the komono. 

Tidying Up Komono List 5 checked

In her book, Marie says it’s not necessary to do komono in order, especially if you live alone. I don’t have much electrical equipment, I purged my kitchen a couple of months ago when I was following another organizing program, and my household supplies are minimal. I’m saving the kitchen for last because it will be pretty easy for me to re-declutter.

I think home decor probably falls into “other” on the list. I listened to my house, and it told me that I should do Christmas decorations, then all other holiday and seasonal decorations, then general home decorations, including knick knacks, vases, candles, jars, bowls, and serving pieces, so that’s what I plan to do.

Most of the things in those categories are in my garage, and although I’m not looking forward to working in my garage in a Houston summer, I am eager to check off decorations on my list. Once I finish going through those, I can quickly complete the other categories and move on to sentimental items, which is the last KonMari category.

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Tidying Up the KonMari Way: Halfway There, Part 1

After facing - all tops ver 2

The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, p.182

I’m about halfway through the process of tidying my house according to Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingI’ve done clothes, accessories, books, paper, and bath and beauty products. I’m working on komono, which Marie defines as miscellaneous items, including office supplies, kitchen supplies, electronics, and utility items.

Books on nightstand after

Marie Kondo developed the KonMari Method of decluttering in Japan; her book was recently translated from Japanese into English, and it has quickly become one of the most popular organizing books in the United States. KonMari is more than just another organizing program. Marie asks her clients and readers to rethink their attachment to possessions. She believes that when your home is filled with things you love, stored sensibly and neatly, your whole life changes. It’s absolutely crazy to say this, but I think she’s right.

The KonMari Method of decluttering is quite simple:

  1. tidy by category, not location
  2. keep only the things that bring you joy
  3. discard completely before organizing

Makeup close up

The life-changing magic occurs when you release things that aren’t useful anymore or make you feel sad, guilty, or embarrassed and embrace things that make you feel good about who you are and what you are doing with your life.

The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life. The yardstick by which you judge is your intuitive sense of attraction, and therefore there’s no need for complex theories or numerical data [about how many of each item you should keep/discard.] pp. 64-65

Like many people, I have a home full of stuff. I thought I had a manageable amount of stuff, but the more I tidy, the more I realize I have many things I don’t need, want, or use. I’ve held onto things because they have sentimental value or I might need them someday or I spent money on them and to give them away would be a waste. I have five closets and a garage filled with stuff that makes me feel sad or guilty every time I see it. That’s no way to live!

When I first heard about the KonMari Method, I visualized what it would be like to touch everything in my house, from the top of the entry way closet to the bottom of the bathroom cabinet, and decide whether or not it brought me joy. I just knew it was the right way for me to go through all of my belongings once and for all.

Close up of white shelf

Of course, when someone introduces a new idea, there is the inevitable backlash. Some people confuse KonMari with minimalism or think it’s just about being extremely neat. Others think it’s too time-consuming and impossible to do if you have a family. KonMari isn’t about getting rid of everything you have and living an austere existence. It’s not about turning your family into a platoon of tiny tidy-ers (although, that may have its benefits!) It’s about choosing to surround yourself with things that are beautiful and useful and bring a smile to your face when you see them.

When you discard everything that doesn’t bring you joy, you have room for what does. You find a place for everything you own, and, because there is room to breathe in your cabinets, closets, and shelves, you don’t have to shove things into an already-crowded space, which leads to more calm in your home and in your mind. As a fellow KonMari adventurer said, we don’t have a storage problem, we have a stuff problem.

The process of facing and selecting our possessions can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish choices we made in the past. p.183

I’ve already experienced the life-changing magic in my master suite. I’ve completely sorted through my bedroom, bathroom, and closets. My bedroom furniture, which I bought last summer, brings me so much joy I’m actually making my bed every morning. My bathroom contains only the products I use. My clothes are hung beautifully in one closet, and my lingerie, socks, and t-shirts are neatly folded in my spacious dresser – one drawer is even empty! I keep my Stella & Dot samples in the second closet. This week, I went through everything, choosing which items to sell in my sample sale and arranging the items I’m keeping in trays. When I get dressed in the morning, it’s like I’m walking into a boutique, with beautiful clothes and accessories picked just for me!

S&D Closet

Almost everything in my bedroom is perfect now – it’s the craziest thing to walk through the door, knowing there is no clutter! There are some things I’d like to change – the duvet and pillow shams don’t bring me joy – and I want to remodel my bathroom someday, but for now, everything is as it should be. Freed from disorder, guilt, and sadness, my mind can imagine a life in which my home supports me instead of weighing me down.

Before I move onto the next komono, I have to do something about my second bedroom, which I use as a sitting/TV room. It’s a catch-all for the miscellaneous items I can’t put away because my cabinets, chests, and closets are already full, so I don’t really enjoy being in there. I have a plan for what to do with all of it, and I’ll share it with you in my next blog post, appropriately titled Tidying Up the KonMari Way: Halfway There, Part 2. :)

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Tidying Up the KonMari Way: Sock Folding

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo has overtaken my life (in a good way!) Her magical tidying method has changed how I feel about my home and the things in it, and I love sharing my KonMari journey with you. (You can read my introduction and other posts in the series here.)

Folding clothes is an important part of Marie Kondo’s method. I wrote about KonMari folding here, but I found another way to fold socks that may work even better. It’s still the same idea – you fold your socks so they can stand up in a drawer – but the process is slightly different. It’s sock origami, and it works for long socks and short running socks.

This video from Northwest Edible Life shows how to fold long socks:

So much better than rolling them up and stretching the opening of one sock over the the ball!

Many people wear short socks for exercising, and the traditional KonMari folding method won’t work. One of the members of my KonMari Adventures Facebook group (it’s a closed group, but you can ask to join) shared this picture of how she folds her short socks:

How to KM fold short socks

Genius! It is easy to fold your socks the KonMari way – I promise! – and your drawers will look so tidy, you’ll want to keep them that way.

Happy folding!

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Tidying Up the KonMari Way: Folding

By now, you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Marie, a Japanese cleaning expert, developed what she calls the KonMari Method of decluttering based on three principles:

  1. Tidy by category, not location.
  2. Keep only the things that bring you joy.
  3. Discard completely before organizing.

These three “rules” of KonMari will change your life, I promise – they’ve certainly changed mine! In her book, Marie explains why traditional decluttering methods fail, how to tell if an item sparks joy, and what to do when something no longer does (thank it for serving its purpose in your life and discard it without guilt.) I’ve written many blog posts about my decluttering journey (you can read my introduction here; links to other posts are at the bottom.) I’ve found the process to be effective and liberating. Completing each category, knowing I won’t have to declutter in the future, gives me more satisfaction than I could have imagined.

Today’s KonMari lesson is a little different from the others. Instead of showing you before, during, and after pictures, I want to introduce you to the KonMari method of folding. Marie goes into depth about folding in her book. She prefers folding to hanging most clothes, including t-shirts, pants, and jeans. I think some of that is due to the Japanese having smaller closets than we do, but it’s also easier to see what you have when everything is stored vertically rather than horizontally.

Aileen, a lifestyle blogger at Lavendaire, created videos on KonMari folding for her YouTube channel. First up: folding shirts and tank tops.

YouTube Preview Image

The key to KonMari folding is to fold everything into rectangles, then into thirds. When you do this, you can stand your clothes vertically instead of stacking them in piles. Think about your stack of folded t-shirts. Can you see what’s on the bottom? Do you wear anything from the bottom third of the pile? Standing up your t-shirts allows you to see what you have and prevents you from piling them up too high.

I started folding my t-shirts this way before I learned about KonMari. I saw these nifty Pliio® Clothing Filers on another blog and purchased them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You can also get them on Amazon.

Pliio Small Filers

Folding your shirts with the Pliio® filers gives you the same result as Marie Kondo’s method but with a little more structure. Marie prefers to use items you have around your house (or in the case of folding, your hands) instead of expensive organizing products, but these bring me joy, so I’m using them for my shirts. :)

T-shirt Folding Collage

This is what my t-shirt drawer looks like:

T-shirt drawer

Marie also recommends folding socks into thirds and standing them up; she folds stockings in half and then rolls them up like little sushi rolls. (You could do your socks like that, too.) Again, the purpose of storing them vertically is so you can see what you have.

Here is Aileen’s video on how to fold socks and stockings:

YouTube Preview Image

This is my sock drawer:

Socks and Stockings

It really doesn’t take more time to fold everything the KonMari way than it does to stack t-shirts or ball up the socks (which is a big no-no in Marie Kondo’s world,) and the presentation is more aesthetically pleasing, which means you’re more likely to keep everything in your drawers folded properly. My drawers – I kid you not – still look like this weeks after I KonMaried them.

Marie has a video on YouTube of how to fold the perfect underwear drawer. The top drawer in my dresser is shallow, so I don’t fold my lingerie like she does – I lay it out like you would see in a department store – but this method works well if you have deeper drawers. Marie suggests using things like shoe boxes to corral your socks, stockings, and underwear, but I prefer these pretty containers and dividers from The Container Store. What can I say, they bring me joy!

YouTube Preview Image

Folding is a big part of Marie Kondo’s organizing style. I’m in a KonMari Facebook group, and folding shirts and socks and underwear into thirds then standing them up in drawers is something most members do (I swear!)

Blogger and illustrator, Juju Sprinkles, created this darling illustrated guide. Happy folding!

Wrinkle Free Folding

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