My KonMari Challenge! Phase 4: Komono Part 1

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Things are going well with my KonMari challenge but with less than nine weeks to go, I’m well aware that I need to speed up if I’m going to get it done by the time baby arrives!

Last time I told you I’d started on the ‘Komono’ phase of the challenge (miscellaneous items). Such a huge category, but thankfully it it easily broken down in to much smaller sub-categories which can be sorted in a relatively short space of time!

So here are a few of the sub-categories I’ve tackled lately…

Stationary Supplies

I inherited a beautiful old bureau from my Great Aunt, but until very recently haven’t had the space in our home for it. However, we redecorated our living room in October and rearranged the furniture, and now we have the space! We keep most of our stationary and office supplies have been upstairs, but they have now been reorganised into the bureau downstairs which is much more convenient!

I didn’t have tonnes of unwanted stationary but we did have a huge surplus of pens, which have now been sorted and a large number got rid of. In the process I have realised that we have a lot of free pens – time to stop picking those up I think!

Laundry

Our laundry cupboard had become a real nightmare and totally disorganised. I pulled everything out and had a good sort! Again, we didn’t have much surplus here, but I did get rid of some unwanted sheets and also realised that we really need to invest in some new bedsheets and flannels, the latter of which have mostly become rags! I also used a large cardboard box to organise all the smaller items such as tea towels – these have been rolled and stood on their end so we can see them all easily. Bedsheets are folded and placed inside the matching pillowcase along with a sheet, and then stored in an IKEA bag – this makes it really easy to find the full set when we need it.

Towels folded and placed side by side on their edge.

 

Utensils

My utensil drawer has been driving me bonkers! It had got into a real mess and things kept catching every time we opened the drawer – argh! I decided to harness ‘the power of the pile’ and get ALL our utensils out on to the kitchen table. By the time I’d got the ones from our utensil jar, the smaller ones we keep with cutlery, and the ones on the draining board, the pile was so big I almost forgot about the drawer itself!

Thankfully I remembered and got rid of quite a few things that we don’t use or have duplicates of. The drawer is much better although still a little messy! However I’m hoping to find some baskets or something which could help to organise the contents a little better!

Utensils heaped on a table
Utensils – before and after I opened the utensil drawer!

Cables

Thank goodness for my husband! We had so many random cables and out of the lot, I could probably recognise about four of them, whereas he could tell me the purpose of everything in the box! It was really tempting (particularly for him*) to keep lots of them because they might come in useful at some point – but in the end, we decided that unless we were likely to use them in the next year or two, they weren’t worth the storage space. We got rid of quite a few, hooray! The reality is that if we find we’ve chucked one which we really need (which is probably unlikely), we’ll be able to get hold of one from Maplin or somewhere.

I had thought our cables box was fairly organised, but apparently not, because in addition to cables, I unearthed some binoculars, a pot of beeswax, a pair of pliers, two torches, various batteries, some dry wipe markers and insect repellant, amongst other things! Glad I know what’s in there now!

*mainly tempting for him because he has dreams of reliving his bachelor days and setting up a surround sound system with football on one TV and PlayStation on another. But with friends spread countrywide, several of whom have children, he has had to admit that the likelihood of that happening is minimal!

Adios cable nest. Your services are no longer required. #konmari

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Coins

At first glance this sounds like a bizarre category – do we really have that much change around our house that it needs it’s own category?! But thinking about it, actually yes we do! We have had several bags of coins sitting in a tankard since at least the last time I was pregnant (which is the last time I sorted out our change)! In addition to this, I have had one of those jars which you’re supposed to fill and then smash open for years. It’s all chipped around the coin slot because every now and then when I need some change I’ve gone in with a knife! And not only these, I also have a bowl of foreign coins (which lately has absorbed various UK coins) in my bedroom! If I had been making my own list, I would never have thought of creating a ‘coin’ category – but actually you can see it is necessary!

Anyway, I’ve sorted through them all and put them into coin bags ready to take to the bank – a grand total of £34! Not bad!

Coins stacked into various denominations

CDs

We began this category with two basket towers which were full of CDs. We last sorted through them just after we got married almost seven years ago. The silly thing is, we haven’t actually had a CD player in the entire time we’ve been married! These days, when we play music at home we now use our phones and a wireless speaker. So it seems kind of silly to keep all these CDs when they just gather dust!

Towers of CDs
Two towers full of CDs!

It was actually quite a difficult category – music tends to hold a fair amount of sentimental value! My husband found this particularly hard – in fact, the majority of CDs we own are his and he really loves them! I think the key thing which was helpful to remember is that this isn’t about minimalism or even decluttering really, it’s about only keeping the things which bring joy.

We separated our CDs into three categories initially: those we wanted to keep; those we wanted to keep digitally; and those we were happy to part with. We ended up making a fourth category in the end: CDs we wanted to keep but in a wallet rather than in cases.

In the end, we got rid of thirty or forty CDs, and have approximately the same again which we will just keep digital copies of. We’ll try and sell them and then donate any we are left with. My husband had sixty or seventy which he was happy to keep without their cases. We will put these in a CD wallet so they’ll take up much less space. In the end we kept just over two baskets of CDs in their cases. Not bad at all considering we started with eight baskets! I want to find a nicer way of storing them but for now they’ve gone back in the baskets.

Three baskets with the remaining CDs
A considerable reduction!

Craft Supplies

Wow – now this is a big category! I love crafting, but I don’t have a particular niche. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at sewing, felting, lino-printing, knitting, drawing, and painting! I’m not especially good at any of them of course, but it’s fun to have a go! This has meant I have a basic set of tools for each of these things. I also have a deep drawer almost full of fabric because I love buying it and hate getting rid ‘in case it comes in useful’ – an expression my Dad uses regularly which is fairly deeply engrained! The fabric drawer even includes old items of clothing from which I thought I might salvage some fabric. Time to dive in and see which of my craft materials ACTUALLY spark joy!

I began by getting all my craft stuff out on the bed. Look – there’s loads!

pile of fabric and craft-related items on a bed

I sorted the fabric into stuff for the textile bank, scraps which my daughters nursery could use for craft, and larger bits which will either be put on eBay or go to charity. I kept a few pieces – those for which I have a particular project in mind, or which I really love! But I realised I had an awful lot of fabric which was OK, but that I couldn’t really see myself using.

I also kept most of my tools (e.g. for lino printing or painting) as I like having the things on hand to use when I get the urge!

Drawer full of folded fabric. the fabric is stacked side by side (rather than in a pile) so each piece of fabric can be seen.
Love seeing my remaining fabric so neatly in drawer a quarter of the size!

I have a large sewing box which opens right out – it’s great for organising sewing bits! However, recently it has all got in quite a mess, so I’ve been right through it and got rid of a fair few items which I know I’m not going to use!

Image of sewing box, slightly open to show contents
The sewing box is now all sorted and reorganised!

The craft category isn’t quite finished, because I need to go through all of T’s art and craft supplies – I had a good sort last year but the drawer has become really chaotic in recent months! Her craft supplies and the kitchen will be next on my list I think!

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