Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In the mood for: The KonMari Method - books!

I recently posted about my foray into the KonMari Method of decluttering, as outlined by Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  The KonMari Method breaks down decluttering into several categories.  Kondo says that it's more efficient to declutter and organize by category rather than by room.  So, you start with clothes, then move on to books, then papers, then komono (miscellaneous items), then mementos.  It seems to me that komono is just too huge of a grouping to count as just one category.  I made more categories for myself, including linens, dishes/ceramics, kitchen tools, bakeware, glassware, tchotchkes, jewelry, and bathroom supplies (including grooming supplies, beauty supplies, and beauty tools - I am so high maintenance).

So, on Friday night, with drinks in hand, Brian and I started looking at our bookshelves.  We had recently pared down our collection quite a bit, so we were in an okay place.  But, we could always do more, right?

Here's the before:

I have a thing for colors and color-coding. 

Since we're turning our office into a music room for Brian, those amps will no longer be in the bookcases.  But, since our cats are assholes, we really shouldn't have anything on the bottom shelves.  Because they spray.  That's why we can't have nice things.


There's that little asshole now.  One of them, anyway.

Who, me?

Kondo says that you should take each and every book down and put them on the floor, just like with your clothes, and touch each book and ask whether it sparks joy.  Well, we'd already done that fairly recently (about six months ago).  Sure, we weren't asking about joy-sparking, but we did physically touch each and every book, and we got rid of a lot.  We didn't put the books on the floor - instead we put them on the dining room table... and we broke the damn thing.  I'm not even kidding.  I blame Brian.

Anyhoo, we left our books in the bookcases (which is not the Kondo-approved method!), but looked through all of them, and touched most of them.  I let go of some books I'd loved and had for years (Jane Eyre, 90% of the Thomas Hardy books I read in my Honors Seminar class in college), but kept other books I'd loved and had for years (my original copy of Pride and Prejudice and For Whom the Bell Tolls, that were my mom's from college).  Brian and I were the ultimate arbiters of our own books - if he wanted to keep something, I didn't argue and vice versa.  

We ended up with four bags and one box of books.  Not too shabby.

And here's the library after.  It's not a huge difference, but it's pretty good.  (Oh, and those magazine holders are full of magazines, and those magazines' days are numbered.  Who needs to keep old magazines when Pinterest exists?)

We didn't go through ALL of our books, just the books in the bookcases.  There are still some books in the office, scattered throughout the house, and in my parents' attic.  Again, this is not the official KonMari Method, but whatever.   For 30 minutes on a Friday night, I think we did pretty well!  

According to Kondo, I'm supposed to do papers next, but that seems terribly overwhelming.  So, I will probably move on to one of my own categories, like linens.  We have a linen closet, and we only use about 25% of it.  I think I have full and queen sized sheets, but haven't had a full or queen sized bed in over a year.  There is a momentum about this project that I'm enjoying.  Going through my clothes was a little tiring, but now that it's done, I feel better, lighter.  It does lift a weight to set yourself free from all of this stuff that you don't need.


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