KonMari Method: Lesson Two
I have learned so much from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is often referred to as the KonMari Method. The second Pearl of Wisdom, concerning books, will be shared at the end of this post.
If you'd like to start decluttering along with me you can follow these 9 categories or make your own plan! I have found lots of helpful printables online such as this one From Juju Sprinkles.
For my own purposes (and for the Hopelively group challenge) I have created this infographic so that I will stick to my decluttering goals and get things done in order! Feel free to save this as a Pin to your organizational Pinterest Board so you can join me!
I probably should have added a 10th category for organizing your devices. I already had my phone and computer organized in a similar way. I routinely back up to an external hard drive, I organize my apps in folders, etc. After I created the above infographic I found this blogpost by Juju Sprinkles and it is so detailed I thought it was worth mentioning. If your battery drains quickly, you run out of storage or you have a hard time finding apps it will be worth your time to declutter your device. Be ruthless!
The second area I decluttered was BOOKS
- Start by removing every book from your shelves and putting them on the floor; however if there are too many divide into four categories:
- General (books you read for pleasure)
- Practical (reference, cookbooks, etc.)
- Visual (photography)
- One by one, decide if the book brings you joy
- Dealing with unread books, Kondo suggests that most people reread a very small percentage of books more than once. Books that have been read have already been experienced, she says. This includes books that you plan to finish reading.
- Discard books that you have already read, do not really intend to finish reading, or have read halfway through but never finished. (I donated my books to the local homeless shelter, they sell them and use the money to feed the homeless)
Most of my books are located in my school area. Not all, but most. When I got started my school room looked pretty crazy. That is because it is the end of the year and we are finishing up a lot of the curriculum we have been working on this year.
I sorted my books and purged some books that my children have outgrown. School books, etc.
Books I kept because they make me happy are pictured below.
The first set includes my Pearl S Buck books. I have collected these throughout the years and I have read them over and over and my children have read them as they have gotten older and we all enjoy them, so I kept each and every one. They are all on the shelf together with my other fiction books about China. I don't want to check them out from the library to read them. I want to sit on the beach and read them in the hot hot sun with an ice cold drink in my hand.
I kept one shelf of reference books. A couple of them are really old and falling apart, but the information in them is still useful and I reference them often.
The other end of this shelf contains some relationship books that spark joy for me and the people I relate to.
I had already loaned some of my cookbooks to several people who never returned them, so my cookbook shelf was pared down to mostly books I reference. I started out with about three shelves full of cookbooks. I donated the ones that I never use.
In my bedroom I keep the books that I have started but haven't finished or books that I am reading WITH someone else, personal book club style. Two of these books are ones that I have only read when I was at the beach, it seems a shame to finish them inside, so I am waiting patiently for the next beach trip to finish those. I know, I'm weird. More about this in the end…
Also, I keep my Bible right here. This is where I usually sit when I read it.
The last place I keep books is on my kitchen desk. This book (below) actually never makes it back to the bookshelf. It is usually here next to my 3 ring binder with any new recipes I am planning to try, my menu for the week, and any other notes about recipes I am making up etc. or else I'm carrying it to a meeting, it's sitting on my kitchen counter or getting doused in stevia …
As a homeschooler, I find it hard to keep down the piles of books and papers. While I truly do believe in decluttering, there is a certain amount of clutter that just goes along with homeschooling. Maybe not clutter per se, but stuff that is currently being worked on.
In the photo below, I did follow the KonMari method of standing things vertically. As you can see in the photo below, I used two magazine holders to corral my current projects. I'm writing a workout plan so those reference books are in the holder on the left, and I'm planning some kid friendly meals for a friend, so that project is in the holder on the right. In the floor is a file system I am using for our worksheets this year, but I probably won't do it this way next year… more on that later, probably on my YouTube channel because explaining it via video would be easier.
I still have a lot going on in the school room, but it is organized and I know where everything is at. That works for me. It's not the perfect set up, but it is what I have to work with right now and I don't feel that I have too many books… this space still needs work, yes, but right now I am only working on books.
Kondo suggests that books that we have been intending to read for ages should be decluttered. She suggests that you may have wanted to read the book when you bought it but that if you haven't read it by now, the books purpose was to teach you that you didn't need it. She also suggests that there is no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through, that their purpose was to be read halfway and that you should get rid of those books.
After typing that paragraph I went back to my Bible stand and removed the book Sandcastle Kings and tossed it in my donations box. I don't know why I held on to that book because within the first few pages there were several misspellings and grammatical errors that bothered me and I never could pick it back up. Guilt. That is why I had kept it. Getting rid of a book I hadn't read actually made me feel guilty.
You know what? I felt great after I got rid of that book. I hadn't realized it, but I felt pressured to read that book because it was given to me. Not only did I release that book, but the guilt I had felt to read a book I wasn't that into. Goodbye stress and negativity! I'm decluttering my mind too!
How's your decluttering going? Have you started on your books yet? Do you ever feel guilty about giving things away? I really want to hear how it is going with you!