I wrote a post about the basic steps in the KonMari method, and have tried this method in our home. I found it especially helpful when organizing and minimizing books. We had already declutted our book collection in the past, but the Marie Kondo’s method helped us to reduce it even further. The first three steps here are part of the KonMari method:
Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible.
Before beginning a category, try to make sure you have time to tackle the task at hand so that you can go through an entire category at once. Give yourself a realistic but challenging timeline to sort through and declutter that category.
Sort by category, not by location.
I followed her recommendations and put all the books in one area. I went through the entire house and put any books that I found all together in the living room. Even books that are on the shelf or bookcase can get taken down too and added to the pile. When everything is in one place, it really forces you to see how much you have (in this case, how many books are really taking up space in your home).
Selection criterion: does it ‘spark joy’?
Then, I went through the entire pile and picked up each book one by one. KonMari says to ask yourself if the item ‘sparks joy’. Do you really get joy from that book, and does it have a place in your home? I found that there were a lot of books that had brought me joy at one point, but were no longer needed. There were books that I liked reading, but probably wasn’t going to read again. And there were books from school that were needed and useful at the time, but no longer had a purpose for me.
Organizing and Donating
I separated the books into two groups: one pile of books that I was no longer going to keep, and the books that I liked and still used went back on the shelf. In the end we only kept about 1/3 of all the books.
Then once I had a pile of books that I would give away, I went through the pile and separated it further. I brought some books to a local church library, some to a local city library, and some university books I gave to a friend who was studying the same program. The sooner you get rid of university and college books, the more likely it is that they’ll still be useful for the program.
Purging Children’s Books Regularly
I also regularly go through the children’s books in our house. Get rid of books that are no longer age appropriate and therefore not used anymore. Donate old children’s books to the library, since this makes it easier to part with books because we know we can go borrow a well loved book at the library when we want to read it again.
Use Your Local Library
Our household uses the library a lot… and I mean A LOT. Using the library is also a great way to always have new reading material for the kids. It doesn’t cost money, and new books can be enjoyed without cluttering up the house. The books have to leave your house eventually when they are due. I read online books which can be accessed through our library, and everything can be renewed online making it even easier to borrow material.
Have you tried using the KonMari method in your home? If you would like there to be future posts on decluttering a specific area of the home, please let me know in the comments below. Declutter your space and see how having less stuff clears up your home to have more life.