Komono. Cleaning up Miscellany

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Komono in the KonMari Method is a huge category divided into many sub-categories. It’s everything that isn’t clothes, books, papers or sentimental items. This is where we get into what’s in your storage areas. Those boxes in your garages, basements and attics. Bring it all out. It can be overwhelming so we break it up in this order:

1. CDs and DVDs

2. Skin care products

3. Makeup

4. Accessories

5.Valuables (passports, credit cards, etc)

6. Electrical equipment and appliances

7. Household equipment (stationary, sewing kits, etc)

8. Household supplies (toilet paper, medicines, detergents)

9. Kitchen – a big one! (Food, tools, pots & pans, appliances)

10. All other. You may have a hobby with a lot of equipment so treat this as a sub-category

This is a lot. Take a breathe. We’ll start with the easier stuff. Much of our entertainment is digital these days. Between iTunes and Netflix, we have little need for CDs and DVDs. Just keep the ones that truly spark joy. The clients I’ve worked with so far have had dozens and dozens of CDs, many not listened to since college. Some don’t even own a CD player anymore yet those discs remain. Aside from the handful I keep in my car I’ve let all my CDs go. We don’t have a CD player in our house and all my music is on my phone! Only keep things in your home that you love, not “just because.”

Move through the categories to skin care and makeup discarding any product that seems old. The shelf life of most beauty products is six months or less. Only keep what you love and what you actually use.

Gifts – you can’t just throw them out, right? Someone close to you spent their precious time and money on picking it out for you. A present is a way to show love, gratitude and congratulations. Once the gift is received, its job is done. If something does suit you and is still in its box or used only once out of obligation, thank it for the joy it brought you when you opened it then let it go.

Cosmetic samples and travel sized products. One of my first clients was so proud of her huge yet very well organized sack of travel size beauty products. She travels often for work. I asked her if she ever takes any of these samples on her trips or just adds to the collection when she gets home? Sheepishly she admitted she had never actually taken any of these products on her business or any other kind of trip because she checks her bags so just brings her regular size products. Plus every hotel provides these tiny shampoos and soaps anyway. Throw them out or donate them to a homeless shelter.

Electrical komono can be tough for people. Old cell phones, computers and the endless cords to god know what! Many electronic stores, like Best Buy offer services to recycle all used electronics of any kind. And if you don’t know what a cord goes to, throw it out! Same with the boxes they came in. People always say, but what if I sell it one day or move! You can find a suitable box when and if that time ever comes. To have empty appliance boxes clogging up your space is a shame.

cords, cords cords!

What about extra linens and pillows and blankets for the house guest who never comes? Keep enough linens for all of the beds in your home. Even if you have a steady flow of house guests you won’t need more than one change of sheets for each bed while the other is in the laundry. My parents have twenty something sets of sheets for various beds they no longer use. Think of how musty they’ve gotten over the years. Keep what you currently need, discard the rest.

Next is komono from hobbies – tennis rackets, ski equipment, dancing shoes? One client had six different bicycles in her jammed full garage. It’s okay to sell, donate or just let go of things when you have too much. Whatever it is, go through all the various parts and make sure your equipment still sparks joy in your life.

The kitchen! There are three categories of kitchen komono: eating implements, cooking tools and food. Like all the other categories go through your joy checks. Take everything out of each category, line them up, assess if you have many duplicates of a certain tool and keep one do you love the most. Do you have enough dishware to run a restaurant? Do you save a certain set of china and crystal for a special occasion that happens almost never? If so, you’re not alone. But still it doesn’t make sense. Go ahead and use your precious things. What’s the point of having beautiful dishes that you’re not allowed to use? Break ’em out for Wednesday night dinner! I now use my Waterford crystal when I have a drink. It makes it into a special occasion. If your dishes don’t spark joy but you feel bad because they were very expensive, sell them and get dishes you truly love and use!

My stand mixer sparks joy so I like to see it on the counter every day!

My beautiful Waterford crystal

I resisted taking KonMari’s advice until very recently about cleaning off the kitchen counter completely. I used to have so many things clogging up the counter space, mostly because I didn’t have cabinet space to store the stuff. I went to the route of the problem and realized I had so many extra and unneeded items under the sink and in my cupboards. Now I fit the Soda Stream under the sink. I made room for the Vitamix, juicer and one coffee maker in a cupboard. The idea is to have an easy to clean kitchen and the less that’s on the counter, the easier it is to clean. The extra few seconds it takes to get out the appliance you need is worth it. And my counter is so beautiful now!

My now spacious kitchen counter

Don’t despair when it comes to the amount you still have in your kitchen after discarding. Unless you have a very large, showroom-type kitchen there’s simply a lot of stuff that has to fit in not that much space. The goal is to know everything you have, know where it is and be able to get to it with relative ease. As long as your kitchen is easy to clean and a joy to cook in, you’re good. Try not to give up. The komono category is so vast. Take the time to work through all of the sections. We only have sentimental items left!

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