February 17, 2016

KonMari Method - Books

Hello, hello!

Now that I've officially finished all of the clothing categories, I can move on to books.  I haven't kept too many books over the years and having bought a Kindle has really helped with not stockpiling too many books.

I have been a bit conflicted at the idea of getting rid of what 'few' books I have, though, because the majority of them I've arranged artfully in my bookcase as a means of interior decor.  In considering how I felt about this, I decided that if I was going to let go books that didn't bring me joy, then I should use the freed up bookcase space for something that does bring me joy - such as quilting fabric.  Then the decision on how to approach the books was immensely easier!

All my books.

The hardest items in this category were my Piers Anthony books.  As a teenager, I was a huge Piers Anthony fan.  In fact, I bought nearly everything he wrote.  Most of the collection is still in Canada but I did bring a few series to Sweden, including his Incarnations of Immortality, Apprentice Adept and Mode series.  While I haven't read these books in many years, holding them in my hands brought back fond memories of those times.  In the end, I decided that I would keep the Incarnations and Adept series and I'm passing along the Mode series to a friend who requested my Nora Roberts and Nemi books/comics.  As KonMari herself says, if it brings you joy, keep it with confidence and that's what I've decided to do.

Joyful books.

And here is my much smaller stack of books.  One quilting book, a few recipe books, my Harry Potter and 2/3 of the Piers Anthony books and some ElfQuest books.  I thought over the ElfQuest books for a while, too.  They were a large part of my life growing up and during my young adult years but that chapter of my life has closed a long time ago and I'm content with that.  But at least for now, I'm content to keep and appreciate these books.

Tidy bookcase.

And here is the tidy bookcase.  I decided I would take the National Geographic magazines into work to use with my students.  I should probably let go of the crafting magazines but I'm not quite ready for that yet and I decided to put all of those heavy-feeling magazine holders down on the bottom, making each shelf above a little lighter feeling.  I also moved the fabric down a shelf so there is room to put more fabric when the time comes.  Oh, and I moved my recipe books out here because they just weren't in an easily accessible location in my kitchen so I'm hoping having them out here will help with seeing and using them more frequently.

I also decided to use the old rucksacks and overnight bags I had decided to donate from last week's tidying to put the donation books into and take down to the second-hand shop in small, more easily-managed groupings.  For the sake of the count below, however, I've grouped all of these smaller bags as equivalent to one large rubbish bag.

Total donation/rubbish bags to date: 4
Total attic boxes emptied: 2

February 14, 2016

The KonMari Method - Bags, Accessories & Shoes

Hello, folks!

It's been quiet on the blogging front but I'm back with more progress on my KonMari project.  Today I'm sharing my decluttering of bags, scarves and shoes.  Let's get started.

First up, bags.  Now, I don't own very many handbags, which is probably a good thing, so I decided to also lump in other types of bags, such as rucksacks, shopping bags, overnight bags and toiletry bags, etc. and then suddenly it seemed like a lot.  Funny how that happens.  Here's the initial round-up.

Variety of bags - can't remember the count.

Most of the rucksacks I'd had for decades - at least one was still from high school.  Whenever I find such things I wonder to myself why I Earth I still have it and more to the point, why did I pay good money to ship it overseas to another continent?  Madness, I tell you.

Now, there was one particularly hard decision in this culling.  That shabby purple messenger-style bag, second in on the bottom row - that has long been my traveling/holiday handbag.  It's fabulous because it has a good, wide shoulder strap that bears weight evenly and plenty of room inside for one's purse, sunglasses, travel guides, camera, water bottle, documents - you name it.  It's been through so many countries with me: Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, France, Denmark and of course Sweden.  Needless to say, it's been well loved and well used and as a result, it's been steadily falling apart.  It wasn't easy but I thanked that handbag dearly and decided it was time to let it go.  I also let go the lovely orange leather handbag I loved and used until the strap broke, had it fixed and continued to use it until the strap broke a second time.

Remaining Bags: 15

Next I moved on to scarves and other accessories.  I do love scarves.  I wear them with my jackets outdoors and I also enjoy wearing them as part of an outfit indoors.  The collection has grown and grown and grown.  Some I buy myself and many are gifts, knit by my granny or given as Christmas gifts or gifts from students.  I also decided to include belts plus the hats and gloves/mittens from my foyer closet here.

Scarves, hats, gloves and belts - oh my!

Doing the 'joy check' on the hats, gloves/mittens and belts was easy and very little was left.  The scarves were harder.  Some really made me pause and consider but you know instantly when you're holding a 'joyful' item.  Final tally: 2 belts, 4 hats, 3 gloves/mittens and 8 scarves.

Accessories: 17

The final clothing category is shoes.  I pulled out all my outdoor shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes, flip flops and even grabbed the old hiking boots from the attic and my figure skates (close enough, right?).

Beginning Shoes: 19

This category was actually easier for me because I had already ear-marked a number of shoes that needed to go, either because they weren't comfortable or because they were old and falling apart or hadn't been used in years.

Remaining Shoes: 10

And since I had already tidied the bags, I was able to put all of the shoes I was donating into the bags I had decided to donate - win, win!

Total donation/rubbish bags to date: 3
Total attic boxes emptied: 1

February 05, 2016

The Konmari Method - Hanging Clothes, Socks & Hosiery

Hello and welcome back to my Konmari Method journey!

I've been systematically working my way through the clothing sub-categories and this time around I tackled hanging clothes, socks and hosiery.  Now that I've gone through the tops and bottoms, which is the bulk of my wardrobe, these smaller categories are much easier and quicker to blast through.

Hanging clothes encompasses coats, jackets and dresses.  I also threw in to this category my house coats, night gowns and the two random sets of lingerie-style clothing I have.  I started with the outdoor coats, including fetching down the three coats from the attic.

Total coats: 9

This category was super easy, because I already knew that I wasn't going to keep any of the three coats from the attic and that I love all my current coats, with the exception of the rain coat but it's a necessity living and biking in Malmo so it has to say (although if I manage to find a different one that I like better, it's gone in a heart beat).  I didn't take an after photo of this category, mostly because I forgot.  The coats at the top of the photo are gone and the ones along the bottom remain.

Next I tackled dress jackets, dresses, house coats and the lingerie stuff.  One dress I had already re-homed with a friend from work so here's what was left to go through:

Jackets, dresses & lingerie: 20

Most of the dresses stayed, as they are still quite new buys and I love them.  The house coats stayed - one for summer and one for winter and one night gown that matches one of the house coats.  The other two random pieces of lingerie, which I've had since university and I'm sure no longer fit - buh-bye!  As for the dress jackets, one is actually mine (I kept it) and the other three were hand-me-downs from my mum.  They're lovely but in the time I've had them, I've never worn any of them so I kept the one I really liked and decided the rest would better benefit someone else.

Final count: 10

Next I moved on to socks and hosiery.  I had some socks left over in the box of clothing from the attic and then pulled out all of the current ones from my closet to go through as well.  I was shocked at the volume of panty hose, though!  I'm sure this is true of every woman's panty hose collection - they seem to multiply of their own accord and you always end up with odds and ends because they get runs and holes in them and you forget which are damaged and need throwing out while you're racing in the morning to get dressed and to work on time, etc., etc., etc.  Anyway, it was time for a serious go-through and tidy.

Honestly, I didn't count...

So herein are collections of everyday dress socks, work out socks, cosy socks, leotards, panty hose (in various sizes and configurations) and a pair of tights.  Needless to say, all of the socks from the attic box went immediately.  I weeded out the work out socks and decided that while I like some cosy socks, the amount I had was ridiculous for someone who wears them only occasionally.  Nearly all of the everyday dress socks stayed, as I wear them all the time.  The leotards also stayed, as I love them (I'm sure my childhood self would be abhorred to hear me admit that).

And then there were the panty hose...  There was really nothing left to it but to go through every single one and assess them piece by piece.  I started with all of the footies sizes, most of which cut into my foot so they were all removed.  Then knee-high hose - I threw out all of the ones with runs and holes and paired up what was left; 5 pairs in total.  Finally, the full-length panty hose, all of which I tried on one by one (and boy, did that work up a sweat!).  From that I got 4 pairs that fit and are run/hole-free and I have to say, I was very thrilled with those that were left - they definitely sparked joy, since I didn't think they fit at all but were so nice.

Final count: 35

I also took the time to roll up the panty hose so now they're all neat and easy to see and access in my shelving unit.  I know Marie Kondo says to not roll up your socks (and I realise there is evidence that this wears out the elastics in them) but folding my socks is beyond my sensibilities.  It's a give and take balance.

That's it for today.  I'm really nearing the end of the clothing section and I'm seeing a dramatic difference in my closets, which has made me soooo happy!  I'll share photos when it's all done.  Stay tuned for more shortly.

Total donation/rubbish bags to date: 2
Total attic boxes emptied: 1

February 02, 2016

The Konmari Method - Bottoms

Hello again!

So last week I shared with you my initiation into the Konmari Method and progress starting to declutter my tops.  I should also mention that I was very efficient and two days after decluttering my tops, I took the giant donation bag into the second hand shop and dropped it off - soooo satisfying.  Then I couldn't wait to tackle the bottoms so here we go!

Before: 50 bottoms

Okay, so this sub-category was easier than the tops, even though it included trousers, shorts and skirts, there was already remarkably fewer items and the vast majority of them have been sitting in a box in the attic so I already knew that they wouldn't be staying.

After: 20 remaining

Now here is a more dramatic after photo!  I admit that there were a few pieces that were difficult to part with in this category but I've come to terms with it and said my thank yous and good-byes and into the donation bag they have gone.  I even threw out two old pairs of jeans directly into the bin.

These few items have been nicely hung or folded and added to the closets, which are looking much fresher, thinner and tidier.  I didn't take a new photo of my closet yet, as it doesn't look too much different from last week but once I get to the panty hose, etc., it should see a significant face-lift.  What is it about panty hose that makes them breed like rabbits?

Total donation/rubbish bags to date: 2