Kon-Mari Method

Minimalism. Can we talk about this? Because, I am exhausted.

Brett and I took Monday and Tuesday off work to give our house the Kon-Mari once over. An hour into Day One, I was exhausted.

I’ve been overly confident, y’all. I felt that because I had been expressive and vulnerable here, I was prepared to do the work. I expected it to be joyful, simple, and most importantly- quick. I established myself as an authority on minimalism, without actually becoming a practicing minimalist first. (I do this…)

But, I want to encourage you in the face of what I was feeling. Because I think this is so worthwhile.

The most accurate way to describe my reaction was “All. The. Feels.”

Oh my gosh we have so much stuff. Why do we have so much stuff? I just bought that. Why did I buy that? What a waste! I’m such a waster! I’m tired. Why did I think this would be fun? This isn’t fun. Why do we have so much stuff?

And so on. I was overwhelmed immediately, but this is because (as previously established) I tend to ignore hard facts and idealize EVERYTHING. My blessed, sweet husband was patient and encouraging and didn’t pick on me at all. And when I said, I need a break, he said just the right thing which was, Let’s get ice cream. 

We started with clothes and y’all- I am STILL pulling unworn items from my capsule. I yanked a pair of navy khakis, a black sweater, and a button down from my current capsule and just about everything from my “off season” capsule except sweaters that are too damn hot to wear. If it didn’t make the capsule in Round One, I don’t love it. If I have 30 items in my closet and I still ignore certain pieces, then I really don’t love them. Out they go.

Papers were easy but caught me off guard. I was diligent in keeping anything I felt might be important and what remained was a time capsule of my first years of adulthood. An $800 receipt for the black 1994 Escort LX coupe that my dad bought my senior year of high school. (You guys, this was a big deal for us. $800 was a lot of money. I can’t even.)  The award letter for my Bright Flight scholarship. The lease on my first college apartment. The insurance paperwork from when my car was totaled. (Not the Escort. That junker died in the Target parking lot on my way home from work. I bought a beautiful Nissan Altima and some jerk t-boned me on a rainy day 2 months later.) Our marriage license and the applications for our passports. Except our marriage license (natch), these all went in the “shred” pile, but there was something startlingly emotional about flipping through them in succession. I was glad when we finished up.

Komono was, well, everything. We went room by room (to make it manageable) and it took every bit of two days. We emptied cabinets, cleared shelves, dug things out of nooks and our living room is now patently full of goodies for our garage sale on Saturday. (We’re having a garage sale on Saturday!).

Fatty was a big fan of all the available boxes for sitting.
Fatty was a big fan of all the available boxes for sitting.

Mid-day Monday, I was pretty sure there was no chance I’d have the energy to deal with mementos, but by Tuesday afternoon I was so ready to be DONE that I powered through. We kept scrapbooks and photo albums (probably not in total alignment with the Kon-Mari method, but it works for us). I sorted through a plastic bin of photos and Brett and I both determined we didn’t need the hall pass from Kindergarten or the card from our 13th birthday party signed “Joe and Jane.” (Who are Joe and Jane? Where did this card come from? Why did I keep this?) We even sorted through cards and letters we’ve written each other over the years and only kept the most special. (Brett noticed a somewhat concerning pattern which is that about half my cards begin with “Sorry I’ve been such a bitch lately…”)

I threw away a lot of photos. I had an astonishing quantity of photos of 1) People I am not friends with anymore; 2) Places I do not remember being; and 3) Me doing things I should not have been taking photos of (drinking, smoking, breaking into circuses). Emotionally, this was an easy task because if I ever go into politics (I won’t), the blackmail material is significantly lighter.

I’m ready for next week. I’m ready to clear the debris from my home, to pay someone to give it a deep clean, and to settle into the maintenance phase- which I am the most eager and anxious for. I think I’m ready to call myself a minimalist, but I’m certain that there so much more to uncover in these new stages than I could ever expect.

6 thoughts on “Kon-Mari Method

  1. I feel your pain. I never followed up with you after I started my “capsule project.” If I’m being totally honest, my capsule project just ended up being me cleaning out my closet really well. bahaha! I have no idea how you did it…especially knowing how cute and trendy you always are!

    I love the minimalist approaches I’ve been using in the rest of my house…but I really love my clothes. My obsession with wearing a lot of different colors and seasonal trends was the biggest issue for me.

    I did buy three under the bed totes to keep out of season clothes in and only kept what would fit in them in addition to some staple items in my closet. I have no where near just 30 items in my closet…BUT I no longer have 50 cardigans. Progress! My plan is to go back through my “staples” (of about 50 items) when I switch out each season and get rid of what I’m not wearing and maybe buy a few new quality items with each rotation. As much as I wanted the “capsule project” to work for me…I think I’m more of a “continuous improvement” kinda girl. 😉

    1. Katie- It’s funny that you say that because I think I’m going to write another post about how I haven’t really ended up with a capsule at all- In reality, I just have a really small wardrobe now! I think progress is progress and if you have more in your home that you love and less that you don’t- then that’s a win!

  2. I am so impressed that you took the time off to go hardcore in to the minimalist thing. I had some momentum at the beginning of the year, but have since faltered and stopped decluttering. I would love to work on it some more, but I never seem to make the time. Maybe I need to take a day off to get some momentum going again…
    So well done! And good luck with the garage sale!

    1. I don’t think we could have made as much meaningful progress if we didn’t take the time- It’s exhausting work and I get really quitty when I have to do things I don’t want to so have dedicated days off forced me to keep focused. I highly recommend it!

  3. I don’t know if we are ready for a “method” yet but we definitely need to trash some stuff! Set a day like you did and at least get a few rooms done… makes me wish we had a smaller house though!

    1. Dedicating time to it made all the difference! It’s funny you mention a smaller house because when Brett and I were considering buying last year, we turned down several that were nice but that we thought were way too small. Now that we are practicing minimalism, we are thinking- Those would have been perfect!

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