Last month I started writing about my decluttering journey, which technically began nearly a year ago when I first watched Marie Kondo’s tv series “Tidying Up”. My blog mini-series does begin with the show and then continues on with her books, but will also include other organizational-guru authors. If you have not yet read Part One go here and Part Two is here.
To recap: my family moved into our current house when I was in grade seven. I relocated to Toronto for university and my post-grad. Then I decided to travel, and live in England for a while before going on to Ireland. I have moved back to Canada and am currently staying with my parents until I get my life sorted (ie. a job and an apartment). This is relevant because I have never actually decluttered and now have to sort through everything. We are talking four suitcases worth of stuff from Ireland, three shipped boxes and two suitcases from England, an entire bachelor apartment from Toronto, and seven-ish years worth of stuff from my childhood. Needless to say, it doesn’t spark joy.
Thus far I have completed Categories One, Three, Four, and Five. As I mentioned in KM&Me Part Two, I skipped my books and am doing those at the end. Seriously, I go all Sméagol when anyone goes near my precious novels and working on those would completely derail the rest of the process.
CLOTHING: I will say right now a good half of my wardrobe was hand-me-downs from friends and relatives that I kept because they fit rather than because I really liked them. My family has never had a lot of money and I had to save for school and travel, so brand-new clothing was not a priority. I did pick up a book from the library (I plan to review it later) that will hopefully help me revamp my wardrobe. My fashionista bestie has been telling me for years I need to do this and she will be assisting with shopping for “adult” clothes. In exchange I have started assisting her own tidying adventure, and we’ve done her closet but still need to finish her dresser.
I first went through my clothing to see if anything was in poor condition or clearly from my teenage years (hello grade eight grad dress), as that was an easy discard. Then I tried everything on and also chucked whatever didn’t fit anymore. Before hanging and folding I tried to do the whole spark joy thing, but until I can afford to replace some items a few things are still in my closet because I need them. Nevertheless, I halved my wardrobe and donated four or five bags worth of clothes, shoes, and purses.
PAPERS: You will not comprehend just how many boxes I had to go through. I found letters passed during high school classes, university notebooks, story ideas written on anything from napkins to A3 paper, so many magazines I could have started a store, and much more. A lot of it went into the recycling, but I still have a one box worth of documents I need to go through. It is mostly things for my taxes, visa application stuff, bank statements, mementos I plan to scrapbook, etc. I want to get a file cabinet for all my important papers, so I was going to hold off on this last box until I could buy one. However, my accountant wants to get started on my taxes so I might need to do that sooner than I hoped.
While dealing with this blizzard of paper I listened to “The Clutter Connection” by Cassandra Aarssen, an audiobook that summarized and analyzed the KonMari Method, as well as one I barely listened to that wasn’t really helpful at all and my mom kept laughing at how bad it was. I don’t plan to review any of these as they were mostly just to help me stay sane during this step of the process.
KOMONO: Now, I did do a fair bit of my bedroom miscellanea while rearranging my furniture because, if I didn’t, I would have had nowhere to put all the boxes I pulled from the basement. However, there was still about three boxes worth of stuff I simply put aside for when I reached this step. I think it only took me about two days to get through it, and by this point I was listening to music as opposed to audiobooks. I realized later when I was reorganizing my parents’ linen closet that I missed the top shelf of my closet and had to go back to cull my stuffed animal collection.
I also did my shelf in the bathroom closet and chucked a lot, but probably not as much as I should have. I cannot afford to buy all new make-up right now, let alone the quality stuff fashionista bestie recommends, so that has to wait too. I just realized I have forgotten a few random bits from the basement and have not yet done my DVD/CD collection (stored behind my parents’ entertainment unit), so I’ll need to remember to do that. I also want to go through everything in my room again at the end as I’m sure there is more I can easily part with.
MEMENTOS: I don’t think I have a lot of random keepsakes. I tend to put photos and souvenirs in scrapbook albums or displayed in the china cabinet rather than leaving things floating around. I need to do this yet with my UK and Ireland mementos, but have not yet made it to the store to buy a couple of photo albums. Once I do, I plan to recycle anything I did not end up using so it won’t clutter my space.
I also have a stack of diaries since I was a child that I’m keeping, as well as a binder full of letters from my bestest of best friends. We live in different towns and love getting snail mail so we decided to become penpals. I don’t often go back and read them, but I kind of like the idea of passing them on to her kids when they’re older so they can know what their mom was like before she became a parent.
Stay Tuned for Part Four!