New to this series? I’m going through the KonMari method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to clean my house out once and for all! You can see where I cleaned my clothes out here, where I shared my modified capsule wardrobe here, and where I cleaned out our books here. Today, we’re cleaning out our bathrooms and the kitchen!
I’ve been really looking forward to reaching the “komono” category of decluttering – this entire category is all about the miscellaneous items in your home – I’ve always been the type to love purging when it comes to clutter, so I’ve worked hard over the years on keeping our clothes and paper relatively organized – but it’s the random stuff that seems to get me. I knew this part of the challenge is where I would really start to see some big changes and feel like we’re really making some progress.
I’m breaking the “komono” category down into two separate posts – one on clearing out the kitchen and bathroom and one on decluttering our living spaces. Our bathrooms were a total disaster (I actually tackled the kitchen a few weeks ago when we did the open shelving), so I was really excited to see how much I could clear out!
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I’ll be frank – this whole category feels like quite an overwhelming task for me. I’m trying to take this project very seriously, and I’m working really hard on making sure that I actually go through with it and get rid of as much as I possibly can. So, that means that I have to really take my time and go through everything in these rooms to make certain I didn’t leave anything behind that we didn’t need.
But the end result? So worth all the effort!
Here are my top lessons from cleaning out our bathrooms and kitchen:
– I need to keep things for the life we actually live, not the one we might someday live. There were so many things (in our kitchen particularly) that I was holding onto “just in case”. The only problem was, many of those things had been sitting around for a year or longer without even being touched. They were taking up valuable space in my home just in case I needed them someday, but once I was honest with myself, I realized I probably wouldn’t ever need them.
– There are a lot of things that seem to just be in my house out of habit. I’ve gotten used to them being there, they serve no purpose, and I just haven’t gotten around to donating them. Things like a little ceramic snail in our powder room that I don’t even like that much, and a weird basket sitting under the bathroom sink that had no purpose other than holding empty paper towel rolls that we were too lazy to take to the trash can. None of those things bring me any joy or do anything useful for me, so why are they still sitting there? It’s almost as if they had become invisible to me and I didn’t even notice them anymore! As soon as I opened my eyes to what was actually in our house, I realized that there was a lot I could get rid of.
– One of the things Kondo talks a lot about in the book is that once you’ve organized your house you won’t have much need for all of the organizing systems that we all love so much. This was hard for me to swallow because when I think of organizing, I think of baskets and bins and drawer organizers. But as I went through this exercise, I realized that she was so right. Without all of the extra junk taking up space, I quickly discovered that the shelves and drawers we already have are more than enough – sure, I’m still using the baskets and drawer organizers I already had, but I didn’t have to go out and buy anything new in the name of organizing…and that was kind of revolutionary to me!
– One of my favorite things I’m learning as I do this is that I shouldn’t hang onto stuff that I don’t love just because it falls under the category of something I need. For example, we have a lot of dishtowels in our kitchen that I hate. They’re old, gross, ugly, and don’t work well. But I hadn’t ever gotten rid of them because we need dishtowels! However, as I was doing this I realized that we have enough dishtowels that I do like and I can just use those while I work on replacing the ones I want to get rid of. Same thing goes for our mugs – I didn’t like the ones we had but I felt like I needed them so I kept them. But now? We donated those and are using other cups until we replace them…and it’s no big deal!
– This exercise was a great reminder to me that we have so much more junk in our house than we could ever possibly need. We donated two full trash bags of stuff and got rid of a whole garbage bag of trash in the bathrooms alone. I can’t even comprehend that. In our kitchen, we had already cleared out well over two boxes of stuff back when we installed our open shelving and I was still able to find even more stuff to donate. And these rooms are nowhere near empty now! I don’t even know how we accumulated so much stuff that we don’t need, and this made me so determined to not ever let it get to this point again.
I’m starting to feel like our house is lighter already. I’m really excited to dive into organizing our living spaces because that means I’m going to get to clear out some of Jackson’s toys. Toy clutter makes me crazier than just about anything else in this world, and Jackson has so many toys that he never plays with. It’s going to feel so good to get it back down to a reasonable amount
I’d love to hear from you on this, though – what are some ways you work to keep clutter down in your kitchen? Anyone else ever notice that you have a ton of stuff lying around that you don’t actually like but you just keep forgetting to get rid of it?!