Decluttering Books & Magazines

Back in 2014 I moved around a lot forcing me to have to decide what to part with. I got rid of a lot of books which was both hard to let go and also very freeing.

Here I show you all of the books my husband and I have displayed in our apartment. My husband does have probably another 2 dozen history books in his classroom and on our closet shelf but he’s a history teacher so it’s valuable knowledge. Our bookshelf is mostly his books too, that he so kindly went through with me to decide if he really needs them all or not. I have a few novels but for the most part my books are self help books I really love and some cook books. I don’t have a big issue owning too many book so much as I do with magazines so I’ll explain my system of keeping the amount low.

Books: You may be wondering why, why get rid of books? I am for having books and information that serves you, I especially do find value in non-electronic information. But I truly believe that everything has an energy about it, even if it just means that energy and emotion comes out of you from the objects. Just like our clothes, picking up each book and feeling if it sparks joy in you is crucial. If you pick up a book and you get the feeling of obligation, that you should be keeping it because it cost a lot of money or because someone gifted it to you but that it doesn’t spark joy, then get rid of it. “But what if they all spark joy?!?” Be honest with yourself and part with the ones that you haven’t flipped through in the last couple of years. I posted a picture of my book shelf so you could get an idea of a non cluttered space with books. If you have stacks of books everywhere, there’s a problem.

Magazines: Magazines can be filled with great resources, but they’re also filled with a lot of advertisements and information that you don’t need. Since many magazines come to people through a subscription it can be one item that really can take over the space in your home. I have been collecting magazine clippings since high school. I guess you could call it my ‘Pinterest before Pinterest’. Even today I still like to have a physical copy of articles that I enjoy. I have a binder for home decor and organization, a binder for fashion and fitness, sheet music of songs I enjoy, and recipes I’ve printed out that I found on Pinterest that I use on a continual basis. The basket and side table above has all the magazines I own, plus a coloring book, a few small books, a family journal, envelopes, a laptop, and a white binder and small binder I’ll talk about in a later post. I don’t buy magazines all the time or have a subscription but I buy them if I really love most of the content. The process of buying a magazine looks something like this: I go through it a handful of times in the store throughout the month and I have to be really thinking about it a lot before I’ll purchase it. So the magazines I do have have a lot of good content in them. And I’ll eventually tear out the pages, place in the binder, and declutter my pages currently in my binders.

Final thought: I also want to say that something I have noticed in myself is the more I get rid of, the more it makes me aware of the type of consumer I am. I spend a lot of systematic time deciding what I’ll purchase now. Getting rid of your belongings gives you a sense of freedom and a reality of how much of an addiction you have to consuming goods. Being a conscious consumer directs us into a path of being goods stewards of the earth.

Please share with me either here on my blog or on my social media platforms your thoughts and experiences decluttering magazines and books, I’d love to here from you!

Konmari Method: Clothing (Part 2)

In Part 1 of my Konmari clothing post I talk about keeping things that spark joy and I touched briefly on the folding method technique that makes us able to only need one dresser. I want to talk a little more about Konmari’s method of hanging clothes, how this method has been going for us, and storing clothes.

The best description for how to use the closet using the Konmari method comes from her 2nd book “Spark Joy” and my closets can give you an idea of what Marie Kondo is talking about.

“Clothes made of thicker materials, such as jackets, suits, and coats, should be stored on hangers, as should any items that are hard to fold or that wrinkle easily, such as men’s dress shirts and garments that are made of fluttery material…When hanging clothes, be sure to arrange them so that they rise to the right. Keep the same category of clothes together: coats with coats, suits with suits, jackets with jackets, and so on.”

We have 2 really good size closets in our 2 bedrooms but only half of each closet is dedicated to clothes. As you can see, my daughter’s doesn’t have much in there. The hanging shelves is for my babies clothes. On the other half of my daughter’s closet I hang wet clothes that I don’t put in the dryer. Once dry I either fold or hang in my closet. The rest of the space is dedicated to storage that I’ll get to in future posts.

My closet is the same as well. I put mine and my husband’s clothes to one half of the closet because I like to keep closet doors open. The other half is also where we store things. I also have pants and skirts in hanging shelves that don’t fit in my drawers. [Confession- I’m scared of closed closets and closed shower curtains. I want everything out in the open at all times. I don’t like places where people can be hiding.] So my closets are always open.

So far using the Konmari method for clothes has been working out really great. I can see why she recommends doing this first in the process of decluttering- it’s not the biggest of a commitment. I’m still struggling with papers. My husband loves that he can see all his clothes in his drawer since they’re all upright. The downside is I’m so particular about how things are folded, I’m the only one who can do it, but I had that problem even before I adopted this method of folding.

Storing: I got a question from a friend on Instagram about children’s clothes- do I keep ones they’ve out grown yes or no? I first want to say that my husband and I don’t have any clothes in storage. And the answer to my friend’s questions is yes! I won’t get rid of children clothing until I’m 100% sure we are done having children. Although I hate storing things- clothes are a big investment cause children grow so much so fast you have to have a lot of different size of clothes. I buy large storage bags at the dollar tree and with a sharpie I label the size of clothes on the bag. I then put it in a plastic storage bin. I always keep a bag out of the plastic bin in the closet so when clothes get too small I can quickly put it in a bag so clothes don’t overflow everywhere. Here’s an example of my son’s clothes he doesn’t fit in yet but I’ve been gifted or purchased on sale for the future. Lastly I want to mention that I try not to have my children have much more than clothes per size that can’t fit into one bag. Any much more than that amount is too many clothes for a child who’s going to grow out of them soon.

I hope you are inspired to go through your clothes and declutter what doesn’t spark joy in you. Please let me know what your thoughts are and share your decluttering process either here or on social media!

Konmari Method: Clothing (Part 1)

If you haven’t heard about the Konmari Method of decluttering your home and life you must be living under a rock. Marie Kondo, author of two best selling books, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy,” is a professional organizer in Japan. She has clients world wide and has a very long waiting list.

marie-kondo

 

One thing she does differently than most professional organizers is that she doesn’t declutter by location, (bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc.) but she goes by category. Starting with easiest items first and then doing the more difficult items last -such as sentimental items.

I’ll give you a quick intro of how she does it with clothes, since I actually did this months ago.

  1. Gather all your clothes in one pile
  2. Pick up every single item one at a time
  3. Hold each item and see if it ‘sparks joy.’ Do you love the item? Do you like wearing it or does it remind you of something negative like a person or an event. Is it the wrong size? Does it have a hole?
  4. If it sparks joy, keep it. If not thank it for when you had it. Ex. “Thank you, I really enjoyed all the times I’ve had with you but our time is over now.” “Thank you for the lesson you taught me-that I realized this color doesn’t look good on me and so I won’t buy a shirt this color again.”
  5. Folding: she recommends folding everything or just about everything and she has a special way of folding everything from socks to pants to dresses. Her method of folding maximizes space. This makes everything have no wrinkles and compact. You want to be able to have everything stand on its own and to place everything in drawers standing up. I have one example below of how to fold a shirt but if you want to see other items just look her up on youtube. There are a ton of videos of her and other people folding the konmari method.

Is it a longer process of declutter your clothes? Yes- but it starts to ignite gratitude for objects whether you’re keeping it or not. And it makes you more in tuned of what sparks you joy and what doesn’t. So from now on you’ll make more conscious purchasing choices. It could be that you realize you aren’t going to buy something just because it’s on sale, but that you’ll only buy things you love -even if that means owning less. The key to this method is having intention with everything you own.

Have you tried any of her methods? Let me know!

(Our 1 set of drawers for our family)