KonMari, one year later. Here's what I've learned.

KonMari, one year later. Here's what I've learned.
(Ignore the box of glue. We just moved this stuff around today, and I forgot to stand the sticks upright again. SHAME!)

When it came time to KonMari my stationery/office supplies, I was blown away by how many pens we own. And markers. And highlighters.

I got rid of a lot, but I also kept a lot because I LOVES me some writing utensils. I found mugs and vases and whatever around the house and divided the writing instruments into groups. The kids have their own shelf with stamps, pencils, and their colored pencils. I have my stuff--Sharpies, colored pens, dry-erase markers, highlighters, colored pencils. Underneath these shelves are cabinets with Play-Doh, stickers, and paper for the kids.

What I've found since we started organizing art supplies--the kids are GREAT at putting this stuff away. Everything has its place, and it looks cute on the shelf.

Last year around this time, I picked up the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I wrote about my experiences over by here.

It's one year later, and I'm still living the KonMari life...to some extent. I still haven't sorted through my photographs (the last stage of tidying), but I'm working on it. I don't empty my purse every single night, but I do clean it out more frequently than I used to (which was never). While we no longer keep most of our shoes in the front hallway (or try not to, as I turn around right now and see that this is a lie), I'm still a slob about tossing my boots to the back and letting them fall where they may. There's a pile of kids stuff in the back of our basement that needs to be dealt with.

But that's small potatoes compared to how life used to be. Here are some things I've realized over the past year.

*Yes, I'm writing a post about tidying like I'm some kind of goop-guru, but the truth is I'm a hot mess. You're not going to walk into my house and think #goals, which is fine. I'm not trying to live everyone's best life. I'm just trying to survive my own. So if the house isn't perfect, I'm okay with that. That said, open up most of my closets and dresser drawers and you will experience the tidiness. My shelves and drawers--the places only I see--are a source of pride. Perhaps one's house is a metaphor for her life: I'm outwardly scattered, but I've got my stuff together deep down. I've been in other houses where the stuff people see is immaculate, but open a closet door and AVALANCHE! We're all dealing with stuff, and we can't control everything. Taking control of my closets is my little way of dealing.

*If you're going to do any part of KonMari, DO YOUR CLOTHES. Tidying clothing is the first step of KonMari for a couple of reasons: 1) there's a lot of turnover due to wear and tear and things going out of style, 2) we all have more clothes then we need, and 3) your clothes are your own, and you keep them in places that usually belong only to you--closets and dressers. I love what KonMari has done for my wardrobe. I don't hold on to stuff that doesn't fit or that has seen better days. I toss socks and underwear that are past their prime--and I do all this at the moment. If I put on a sweater and think "ew," I don't put it back in the drawer, I put it in a donation pile. My drawers are a source of peace now, not frustration.

*My house tidies up fast. You might walk in and see a pile of crap on the stairs or Legos strewn about (or, hey, those shoes I just mentioned in the front hallway), but it's not hard for me to clean up, because everything has its place. We may not always put it in the right spot right away, but once it gets there, it's done.

*Doing a little work first makes life easier later. I take several rolls of toilet paper out of the big Costco thing right off the bat and store them on a little shelf in the bathroom. I keep bars of soap stacked and ready to go. I take my bags of single serving snacks out of the box and store them in a row inside an old shoebox--easy to see and easy to grab. I try to keep my bathroom counter and the tub area free of, well, everything--all shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes, you name it. That makes it easy to wipe down what needs to be wiped down, theoretically. (Same with my kitchen counters. Less clutter = easier cleanup.)

*I love my office space. I keep my pens and markers upright in little jars on a designated shelf, which looks really cute. My drawers are not cluttered, and it's easy to find what I need. My bookshelves are filled with books I absolutely love. I have an entire shelf for cookbooks. I have one spot for my to-be-read pile. When I finish a book, I give it away or donate it. I don't hold on to books I don't need, which I know I'll never look at again. If there's anything KonMari has given me, it's the ability to let go of stuff I don't want or need right away.

*I've designated a magazine holder for each of my kids. And that's where I put everything they bring home from school. Then on Sundays I go through the papers--stuff I want to keep goes in the "keepsake" folder (and I'm VERY stingy about putting anything in there). Stuff with important info I'll need later goes in the "important" folder. And I deal with timely stuff right then--order forms, permission slips, that sort of thing. At the end of the year, I'll toss the "important" stuff I no longer need, pare down the "keepsake" folders and put them in the kids' "keepsake" boxes (starting a new folder for the next school year).

Have you done KonMari? How has it changed your life?

***

I wrote a book! It's YA novel, THE SOUND OF US. You can find the details right here! Kirkus calls it "a winning story about a teenage voice student that hits all the right notes."

I also wrote another book, Any Boy but You, (You've Got Mail in the Pokemon Go era). You can buy it here.

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