KonMari Cleaning Adventure

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  I vowed to implement the cleaning methods she details in the book and write about it.  I did the cleaning.  And now I'm finally writing about my experiences.  :)

I started bright and early...after I had coffee and (maybe?) did yoga and after both of my parents went off to work.  I started with my clothes, per directions.

I pulled allllllll of the clothes from both closets.  (I keep my off-season stuff and the stuff that doesn't fit yet in the guest room)  I picked up each thing item by item and made decisions.  Honestly, I didn't have a whole lot to get rid of because I regularly go through my closet and get rid of things and I had just done that a month and a half ago or so.  I do have a good stack to go through and try on and really soul-search...but I figure I can probably get rid of a lot of the things in that pile.

No, this part really helped in that I reorganized the way my hanging clothes go.

Then I pulled out my purses, pajamas, jeans, tank tops, exercise clothes, and other miscellaneous stuff from the drawers.

Many huge piles.

Upon getting rid of things in these categories, I was able to store everything comfortably in the drawer it belonged in.  No more cramming.  Though, to be honest, I can't say that I particularly care for putting things in vertically.  I prefer the neatness of horizontal stacks (and, yes, sometimes things get caught on the top), but I can see everything and won't overlook the things I don't wear as often.  I'm still thinking about this one.

Partway through this leg of things, I got a little punchy and found myself a nice headscarf.

Back to the organizing of the drawers...

I am very happy with how my shoes are organized!  I feel like the little brown shelves in the closet could be better used, but I didn't have a better spot for my boots, so I think I'll keep it for now.

Next was books.  Most of my books are kept in my office.  In my room, I have my nightstand, a small bookcase, and a couple of shelves on the bookcase that holds my stereo.  The easiest thing to do was to drag the books into my office.

I hated transporting them this way.  I know that they're inanimate objects, but it felt a little disrespectful.  Anyway.  It was effective.

But my office was looking like this...

So once I dragged the books in there, I pulled out everything from my office that I could, which meant my room looked like this.

I made sure I had a clear path to the door in case of fire.  Safety first and whatnot.  But my theory was that by moving everything out of my office, I would have to deal with it before moving it back in.

I pulled all of the books from my shelves and separated it into fiction and non-fiction.

The nearer "island" is non-fiction; the further "island" is fiction.

And here's where I got stuck for a while.  I just wanted it to be easy to find whatever I was looking for.  So categorizing the non-fiction books became an issue.  How much did I want to break it down?  History separate from biographies, but what about collections of letters?  What about anthologies?  I finally forced myself to cull.

Again, I had done it recently, so I didn't have a ton that I was getting rid of.

By the time I almost finished with books, it was 7:00.  I hadn't had any supper.  I had run out of shelves (my mom kindly helped me find more space).  And my room still looked like this:

I pulled the discarded books out of my office and into the hallway.  The plan was to get them sold at a local used bookstore ASAP to just get the out of the damn house.  To finally cease and desist with the hemming and hawing and "maybe, one day I'll read this one...perhaps."  Nope.  I just wanted to get them out and move on with life.

I could have left everything in my room for another day, but that would have meant finding another place to sleep.  And I had an important meeting the next day.  So I decided to just move everything back into my office.

So, all in all, the do it all in one day KonMari cleaning method was a failure for me.  I had way too much crap to do the entire thing that quickly.  I didn't feel particularly overwhelmed, but it was kind of exhausting.  And certainly eye-opening.

However, the spirit of the method was a huge success for me.  I sold all of my fiction books (100? 150? 200?) at the used bookstore the next day.  I got a disappointing amount considering that many of the book had never been read.  But they were out of the house.  I felt lighter.  I will do the same with the non-fiction once I hear back from a friend about taking some of them.  For the clothes I'm going to contact a consignment store about buying what they'll take, then I'll donate the rest to a local charity.  I plan on doing that this week.  I think that pulling out everything in one category and dealing with it all before moving along was a big part of the success I did have.  I touched every item.  I considered it.  And I made a decision.

As for everything else...I've done a little bit of work on grouping the stuff still in my office to make it easier to go through.  All of the school supplies I could find are together.  I put all of the papers in one huge plastic bin so I can go through them.  And so on.  I'll probably tackle this stuff bit by bit.  Maybe a couple of categories a day on my days off.

My room is looking a lot better.  I moved some of the things I was wanting out of my room, such as a plastic bin under my desk that held random items, and into the office so I can deal with it when I get to it, as opposed to leaving it in a spot that made me anxious every time I saw it.

I decided that I want my stuff to be arranged, not haphazardly stacked and cluttered the way it had been.  I've also noticed myself dealing with things immediately as opposed to setting them aside for later.  I just got back into town this afternoon and I immediately unpacked and put away my things, which included some new clothes, as opposed to reverting to the old habit of basically living out of my suitcase until it naturally emptied itself (and I found a place to store my suitcase in my closet as opposed to under the chest of drawers!).

Bottom line--This book engendered a change in attitude for me.  I examine all of my belongings pretty regularly now and am constantly finding new things to get rid of that I hadn't previously considered getting rid of.  I feel a lot calmer in my room.  And I feel confident about getting my office to a manageable state in the near future.  Say, by the end of May.  I call it a success.

Read the book.  Learn the lessons you need to learn.  And adapt the method to what will work for you.


  1. I have a sudden itch to go clean my entire house...

    This sounds like a great de-cluttering method! Thanks for the helpful book review and inspiring follow-up post.

  2. I think I'm a quarter of the way through the book? Still waiting to get to the lightbulb moment instead of hearing over and over that her clients have never reverted back to clutter. ;) And wondering if she'll address little tornadoes. LOL!

    But, this morning I tried on 3 shirts and hated the way all of them fit. Put them in a pile. No more "maybe one day I'll fit into that again." If I end up losing the weight, I'll treat myself to new clothes.

    Thanks for sharing this Lori! And wow--hugs on culling that many books!

  3. I had this in my hands at the book store the other day but put it back. Partly because I'm already going thru things on a regular basis and I don't bring a lot of new things into the house any more (I used to have a little problem with that). I can certainly see the benefit of it but I'm not sure this woman has ever met someone like my hubby - my worst problem areas are the areas that would require his help and every time I suggest we work on them, he digs in his heels.


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