KonMari Update… Moving Right Along

We’re a month behind schedule but we’re really digging in and getting stuff done, now. Unfoturnately — we’re about to hit some difficult categories not to mention BlogHer Food 15, Michelle visiting, Thanksgiving, Holiday shopping and planning and then Christmas with some subset of the kids here. It’s going to be tough to make it through the next five categories + Elly’s room before Christmas and that was my original goal.

Think good thoughts for us.

But back to the update…

We’ve made two trips to the electronics recycling station (they are only open on Saturdays from 9am-11:30am which has been a challenge but I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made for finally getting the old electronics out of the house.) My goal is to have all the discarded electric stuff out of the house by the end of the day November 5, except of course for the stuff upstairs that’s too heavy for us to carry down and all of the laptops that need to have the hard drives cleared… My goal for that stuff is 12/31/15.

We made it through the kitchen stuff without too much trouble. I don’t seem to have written down any notes about how many things we discarded but I know we carried about six boxes of stuff to Goodwill and we threw away quite a bit of stuff as well. It’s so weird to open the cabinets and see a small number of plates and mugs and glasses… I’m always tempted to yell “KIDS, bring your dirty dishes downstairs!” Life with only what you need and what brings joy is weird, lol.

Next up we sorted through all of the tote bags. Oh the tote bags. We had 120 tote bags. We kept 50. We’ll be taking the donations down to Florida this winter and donating them to Peaceful Paths. Until then, they’re in a box in the empty bedroom.

After tote bags, we moved to luggage — which was pretty easy. Anything with a broken zipper, a rip, or a handle that didn’t work brings new joy. BUT, we’re not discarding immediately. We’ll be packing stuff in those suitcases and discarding once we unpack down south. The suitcases that bring no joy have red strips of tape on them so we’ll know immediately to discard them next spring. We kept 6 suitcases and 3 duffle bags. We have 5 suitcases in the no joy pile but we may change our mind about one very small rollerboard… we’ll see. We also kept 3 of those weird shoulder strap carry-on bags that you get when you buy 3/5 piece luggage sets. We’ve never used them but TW says we might be able to pack stuff in them. Whatevs.

Which brings us to linens and towels. Those suckers were EVERYWHERE and I spent a few days last week collecting them a little bit at a time. Oh my gosh, so much stuff that we never ever use. We ended up with 8 bags of sheets/blankets/comforters and 1 bag of towels to donate to the animal shelter. Another bag to donate to goodwill. And, one bag tossed into the trash. We also sorted through the throw pillows — we kept 3 and discarded 7 (though there are 2 more in the cold room that I can’t access right now — we’ll discard those as soon as we’re able to remove them from underneath some very heavy mirrors that are sitting on top of them. lol)

This was a long update — because we’ve made a ton of progress.

Next up… toys. You’d think that would be easy, wouldn’t you? Next up… convincing Elly to Kondo her room… that’s not going to be easy at all. I’m probably going to have to threaten to do it for her…

Mac and Me

After many years of looking longingly at MacBooks, I took the plunge and bought a MacBook Air. It was a bad Windows update that killed my beloved Toshiba that pushed me over the edge. I had to buy a new laptop and I was so annoyed at Windows that I sucked up the extra price of the MacBook and I just bought it. And, immediately felt guilt over having done it.

Whatever. It’s done. Moving on. Money grows on trees, etc. No big deal.

The learning curve, my friends, has been great.

Besides the weird trackpad scrolling that I haven’t turned off because I mostly like it and just haven’t completely gotten used to it, I am constantly struggling to figure out how to do things. It’s particularly annoying when I’m doing a screenshare with other people. I’m pretty sure I look like I need to go back to remedial mousing classes because I have no control over my cursor. And, if I’m training someone to do something or showing someone how something works, I’m pretty sure the other person is wondering whether I really know what in the hell I’m doing (I DO, just not with the Macbook) because holy hell, it’s hard.

All of the times people have said that Macs are so user-friendly and intuitive… yea, not so much really. Or maybe not so much if you’ve lived on a Windows machine for a zillion years. I certainly find the iPHone and iPad to be more user-friendly than the MacBook.

Programs I’ve used forever in Windows don’t look or behave the same way on the Mac. (WHERE THE HELL IS THE TRASHCAN IN EVERNOTE ON THE MACBOOK? I can find it on my Toshiba. I can find it on my iPhone. I CANNOT FIND IT ON MY MACBOOK. WHERE THE HELL IS IT???) I have no idea what I’m going to do about image editing. Maybe I don’t need to edit images for work anymore? (I have a new job, yea — I’m sure I’ll never need image editing again. So I’m just going to not think about that at all.) My desktop is a mess because I can’t figure out how to easily move shit into the folders I want them in. The process seems so damn difficult all of a sudden.

OK I’ll stop now. I do love my MacBook. I also love not worrying about corrupt Windows updates. I’ll get used to it. Sassymonkey says so. I believe her. Mostly. I think.

KonMari Problems

I hit a KonMari wall and am just now trying to recover.

We did manage to look for joy in an entire room full of old electronic items and we found very little joy. Those items were moved into a rubbermaid bin and that bin is still in the dining room. Because my back hurts and I shouldn’t lift it but also because I think some more things need to go in there but I haven’t figured out what.

The things that spark no joy are still in the bedroom because I can’t figure out what to do with them. Should any of them go to Goodwill? Or, can they/should they just go to the electronics recycling station? And, there’s also the problem with my back. Some of this stuff is heavy and I probably shouldn’t be lifting it, even with TW’s help.

There are some things upstairs that need to go but again, too heavy to try and maneuver down the twisty metal stairs, so… we’re at a standstill.

We’ve also got 15 laptops/desktops that we need to figure out how to clean and/or retrieve data from.

I’m hoping we can get all of this electronic stuff sorted out this month.

In the meantime, we’ve moved on.

Before I went to visit JMP, I cleaned out a cabinet in the laundry room that’s full of… tools. Hammers, screwdrivers, nuts, bolts, nails, and fasteners. That sort of thing. There were many things that I don’t even know the purpose of. I ditched anything obviously junk and then put it all away neatly into the cabinet. TW went through the cabinet today and got rid of some things. I was hoping she’d get rid of more but apparently having 15 differently weighted common head screwdrivers brings her joy. Whatever. That category is done.

Then, I went through all of the household cleaning supplies. Why we have 500 old washcloths and dish towels/hand towels is beyond me. Whatever. Not much joy there, except in the organization and in learning that we have more lightbulbs than we will ever need and that we have a lot of Pledge multipurpose cleaner (thanks, BlogHer Con).

Next up… kitchen items. This is a big one and I think we’re both looking forward to it. I want this category done by the end of this month, too.

2 (Southern) Fiction

I couldn’t resist the cover of Mama Does Time and I was happy to hear TW chuckle through it. I chuckled through it, too. It was a lot of fun and I’d definitely read more Mace Bauer mysteries, (this was the first book in the series.)

Next, I read Karen White’s The Sound of Glass. Hoo boy. There’s no such thing as coincidence. Having said that, I could have hated this book because really???? These people were all tied together this way? Really???? But I didn’t. Every single character was likeable and I cared about them way more than I expected.

What’s extra interesting about me reading these two books, back to back, over a 2 1/2 day period is… I didn’t really feel enticed to move to the Okeechobee. I did, however, feel really drawn to moving to Beaufort. Which is interesting since I’ve spent more time thinking about moving back to Florida than I have thinking about moving back to SC. So here I am, looking at houses in Beaufort again. I think I need to lay off the southern literature until after we buy a house. This flip-flopping around is nuts. We need to just pick a spot and stick with it. Or something lol.

The KonMari Method: Jewelry

This category was primarily for TW this time around. I’ve already discarded almost all of my jewelry and what little I had left, Michelle has gone through a couple of times so there just wasn’t much for me to sift through.

TW on the other hand had a bunch and she got it done. We went from having a full popcorn tin (you know what I mean, right?) of jewelry to having just a few things in the bottom of the tin. We have some jewelry to donate and some jewelry that we may sell but either way, it’s leaving the house.

Next category for us will be… electronics/appliances. That means we need to figure out where we can drop off a whole lot of old laptops, desktops, monitors and a TV.

KonMari Method Update

Now that I’m mostly recovered from #BlogHer15, I’m itching to get back into the life-changing magic of finding joy and discarding all of the things. But, I’m also working a lot of hours right now and by the end of the day I’m way too tired to even think about tidying up. And TW, well… she’s still dealing with the shingles issue and is even more tired than I am at the end of the day. So, we’re at a bit of a stand still. I need a list or a written plan in order to get moving again. So… here it is.

– We’re going to Kondo the jewelry this weekend.
– We’re going to take all of the accumulated discards to charity drop-offs this weekend.
-We’re going to put all of these not-blank-what-the-hell-is-this dvd/cds into a player this weekend and finish discarding that category.
– I’m going to coerce RJ into Kondoing all of the things in her room … it’s pretty much this summer or never, since it’s unlikely she’s going to want to Kondo when she’s home for fall or winter break and spring break will be too late since we should be deep into packing up by that point.
– We’re going to de-clutter the extra bedroom because just tossing things in there while we Kondo is causing a huge problem in there, since there are still things we need access to in order to Kondo the categories.
– We’re going to make a plan to go through the rest of the categories, so we’re all set for Kondoing in August. (Answering questions like “What does accessories mean in our world? Can we just skip that category?” and “Valuables? What the heck?” and “Should we follow the suggested order and do electronics next, then household equipment and supplies, and then kitchen or should we tweak the suggested schedule in some way?” Should we go through the basic list of categories and when we hit “other” move to Kondoing specific rooms or continue to try to categorize or some combination of the two?”) See, it’s getting kind of complicated or it’s getting complicated in my head.

In other news, I joined a KonMari group on Facebook. Oh boy. That’s interesting stuff. Also interesting and very amusing, hahahahaha

The KonMari Method: Skincare, Makeup, Personal Care Items

We don’t have a lot of makeup or skincare products so I turned this category into anything remotely personal care. Everything from shampoo to lotion to medication to hair bands.

And, once we got going, it went pretty smoothly. We’ve needed to clean out the medicine closet for awhile now so yay for getting that done. And yay for throwing away a full bag of things that do not bring joy and finding a couple of grocery bags of stuff we can donate.

We’ve got a basket full of things that the little girls may use so that’s still hanging out, waiting for them to take a look. Once they’ve gone through it, we’ll figure out which of the stuff can go to the nursing home and which of it needs to go to a shelter.

All in all, I’m calling this a success.

I also will not be buying any of these items until after we move:
– Shampoo
– lotion
– bandaids
– tampons
– soap
– cough medicine
– hair bands (I may never buy any again, whether they’re free or NOT. Someone remind me of this at Christmas when I know they’ll be free again…)

Things we will need to buy before we move:
– Conditioner
– razors
– shaving cream
– advil, tylenol, allergy and cold meds that aren’t cough medicine

Next category appears to be jewelry. Hmmm… not much jewelry in this house, this should go quickly. Maybe we can even get it done this weekend.

KonMari Problems: Feeling The Joy

The thing about this KonMari Method is that it sticks in your head. Or maybe it just sticks in my head because I listened to the book about 10xs? Whatever, it’s in my head.

We’re doing a pretty good job of sticking to her suggested order for Kondoing stuff but I keep finding myself noticing odds and ends that are sitting in places they do not belong which leads me to ask whether these things bring me joy — and the answer has been no, no, no, also NO, so into the trash they go.

I can’t decide if that’s the correct thing to do or if I should leave that stuff be until we get to those categories. It probably doesn’t matter but I’m a stickler for rules unless I’ve pondered the rules and decided to make my own rules. Random rule-breaking is not my thing. Spontaneous rule-breaking, without forethought makes me anxious.

Still, it felt good to toss an old extension cord into the trash. And some random hotel-sized bottle of lotion into the trash. And that feed sack that I thought I was keeping for some good reasons but really just because I was temporarily nuts.

Also, every time I find myself throwing one of these random things away, I feel some urge to find something else to throw away. I really would like nothing better than to just take 2 weeks off of work and Kondo the entire house from start to finish. Make it all go away! Keep only the joyful things!

Seriously, I can hardly wait to start the next category. Except, we still have boxes and bags of books and other discarded things that we need to take to donation places. Or something. I did an awesome job of getting the discarded clothes out of the house but I’ve dragged my feet with the books (and now the DVDs/CDs.)

My new goal is to get those things out of here by the end of July. MUST do that. MUST. (I’d give myself a shorter deadline but I’m not an idiot, it’s BlogHerCon time, after all.)

The KonMari Method: CDs, DVDs, Video Games, Etc.

So, I thought we’d just go ahead and go through this entire category and just get – it – DONE. Silly me.

I ambushed myself within about three minutes because I’d forgotten about the 45s. The moment I put my hand on the 45 case, I knew there was no way this category was going to go smoothly. There’s so much “sentimental” carry-over with this stuff that it just… yea. No. It did not go well.

KonMari Problems… Oy

A photo posted by Denise Tanton (@dtanton) on

I immediately put the 45s into the sentimental category, made the decision that albums would wait ’til the end, too, and moved on. I waded through CDs pretty quickly and TW went along behind me and we had quite a lot of CDs to discard. Except, TW put them in a bag to send to the nursing home for her sister. I’m not sure that was a smart move, we’re just going to end up with them again, aren’t we?

TW released her old cassettes with not much trouble — we don’t have a cassette player, after all.

Then we got to the DVDs and VHS tapes and we were lost. I left behind hundreds of videos when we moved here and I was having a very hard time releasing any of those this time. The ones I kept 7 years ago were the BEST ones. They’re still the best ones. So, I kept most of them and will let my big kids go through them at Christmas and maybe we’ll be able to discard some more.

Though we kept a lot, we also got rid of a lot but we sent most of them to the nursing home.

Then, the little girls looked at the Wii games and RJ said discard them all. Elly took a few back to her father’s house and would like our Wii controllers because theirs are broken (so when I find those, I’ll be sure to pass them on.)

In the end, we were able to discard 15 Wii games, 73 videos went to the nursing home and we have a bunch of VHS tapes to donate (probably around 20), 50 music cds were discarded and we have a whole spindle of black cds/dvds we can donate. We also have a half dozen discs that we’re not sure of. They have stuff on them but we’re not sure what’s on them, so I need to find a laptop with a CD player (or use TW’s laptop) and take a look at those before we discard.

All things considered, I’m OK with how we did with the discards (as long as the nursing home giveaways don’t come back to us!) We’ll revisit the category again in December and again when we do sentimental items and I’m sure a few more things will go, then. Probably.

KonMari Problems: Scissors

A long time ago, we had a house full of kids and constantly missing scissors. TW, being TW, ordered a gross of scissors from ebay — a mix of all kinds of scissors, probably those confiscated at an airport by TSA or something. It was a glorious thing to see all of those scissors. To have them all inside of this wonderful metal box that belonged to TW. To always know that if you needed scissors and none were immediately at hand, you could just head to the metal box of scissor joy.


Fast-forward 10 (or more?) years and we still have the metal box but it’s a lot less full of joy than it used to be. Scissors have disappeared to wherever scissors go. Or, scissors have been thrown away because they don’t actually do the job of cutting any longer. Or, I don’t know. They’re just gone.


Which is fine. Really. We’re no longer a house full of children and we do have more than enough scissors to bring us joy. I cannot see us buying any more scissors in our lifetime. Really. TW’s purchase was a great investment on our future. Truly. If they still sell these huge boxes of scissors on ebay and you have a house full of kids and constantly missing scissors, you should consider just such a purchase. It will serve you well.

But, here’s where I’m having some KonMari joy problems.

1) Some of the scissors in this box really don’t bring much joy. I can’t see us ever using some of these types of scissors, ever. They’re just not the kind of scissors we actually use or need. We definitely need to Kondo these. Immediately.

2) Worse yet, we’re notoriously bad at putting scissors back to the place that they belong. (I’m sure we blamed the kids all those years ago when TW bought all of the scissors, but it’s clearly a shortcoming of the adults in the house, as much as the kids.) Putting items back to their proper place is a clear mandate of the KonMari system. Determine where items belong and put them there. Keep them there. Always return them there. That’s how you prevent clutter and prevent yourself from buying more things that you don’t need. If your things are always in their proper places, you will always know what you have and not find yourself buying more of things that you ultimately do not need.

A few days ago, I rounded up all of the scissors I could find in the downstairs part of the house (again, I’m not touching the girls’ rooms upstairs and I’m not touching TW’s mom’s room.) I’m sure there are more scissors that I have not found but I rounded up dozens of scissors from all over the place. The only scissors I did not remove from their existing locations were a) a pair of scissors on my art table b) the broken kitchen scissors, which I repaired and left in the drawer, (though I suspect these are more broken than I’d like to think and will ultimately be discarded.)

kitchen art

Since the day when I rounded up all of the scissors, during a conference call at work (I’m one hell of a multi-tasker), scissors have found their way back to a variety of places where they’re somewhat useful but… they do not actually BELONG in these places. Or do they?

Is that my problem with scissors? I think they should always live in the big metal box but maybe the excess scissors should always be in the big metal box but other scissors should live in other places?

Some people think that you should keep items where you’re most likely to use them. Marie Kondo says this is wrong. That when we need something, we do not mind the effort it takes to go to the location where the item lives to get the item that we need. The problem lies in the putting the item back. If it’s difficult to return a thing to its proper place, we will not do so. We need to make the item easier to return than to retrieve. Is that making sense? It makes sense when she says it, trust me.

The metal box is not super easy to get to, in its current location. It lives on the bottom shelf of a Billy in the office. There are often things sitting in front of it or on top of it. It’s less than 10′ from where I’m sitting right now, typing this. I can see it on the shelf. Yet, there are three pairs of scissors sitting in the coffee cup on my desk. Why didn’t I get up and put the scissors back in the metal box when I finished using them? I retrieved them from the box when I needed them. Three times! What made it so much harder to put them back?

Is it because I have this coffee cup sitting on my desk that’s full of pens? If that coffee cup wasn’t on my desk, would I be more likely to put the scissors in the box? If I move the box to another location, would I be more likely to put the scissors back?


How do I explain the scissors that are even closer to the metal box, on TW’s desk? A desk she does not use… as a desk. At all. Ever.


Or the extra pair of scissors that found its way into another kitchen drawer?


Or the scissors that are on the dresser in the bedroom?


Did someone retrieve all of those from the metal box? Was it me? Or were they “found” not in their proper place, the metal box, but somewhere else and I just missed them on the first pass? And, where should the big metal box live that would make it easier for all of the people in the house to put all of the scissors away all of the time?

Or, should I just stop thinking about this and put one pair of scissors in all of the places scissors are often found and get rid of the surplus of scissors that live in the box, even though they mostly still bring joy (they’ll all bring joy, once we go through the box and toss out the really dumb scissors.)

Surely other people have scissor issues? But if that’s true, why has nobody recorded a KonMari scissors video? Maybe it’s just me? Maybe it’s just us?