Last week in our KonMari Facebook group we were challenged to identify a task we wanted to complete by the end of the week. As you may have already discovered about me, I’m a big fan of deadlines (most of the time), so I was on board. My goal was to declutter my desk area. It’s where I write this blog and pay bills and, even in this digital age, I still have a tremendous amount of paper clutter. (Though I did take five boxes to the shred truck a couple of weeks ago.) The desk was starting to get overrun and was not the most conducive space for writing, so I started the discard process. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had too many pairs of scissors, so the extra ones went, along with some blank CDs and envelopes, a box of Crayola markers, and half-a-dozen flash drives. I was left with a much more orderly space that invites me to sit and work (or pay).
What didn’t I discard? Pens. Sharpies. Mechanical pencils. Apparently, I live by the motto, “If one is good, a bajillion is better.” Ten tubs of t-shirts. Sixty photo albums. Sixty-seven writing implements. SIXTY-SEVEN. How many do I use regularly? Two. A black ball point that writes beautifully (it was a favor from a wedding I attended last year), and a Bic mechanical pencil. I use them each for different tasks in my planner (yes a paper planner – digital immigrant, not native), and the others I just like to look at. This total doesn’t even include the box of colored pencils I haven’t opened to go with the adult coloring book I still haven’t opened, or the pencil cup that sits by the phone in the kitchen. Sixty-seven pens, pencils, and Sharpies at my desk and I use two. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
I’m not artistic, but the colored pens make me feel like I could be. I love to write, and a keyboard makes that so much quicker, but sometimes a pen is more efficient. Mechanical pencils mean there is no need for a sharpener. And Sharpies…well, do they really need any explanation? The question central to the KonMari method is, “Does this spark joy?” My answer is yes; these pieces spark joy for me. And I don’t care that I have sixty-seven of them within arm’s reach. And I don’t think Kondo would care either. Don’t pass judgment on yourself. The whole point of this tidying-up process is to make your living and/or work space joyful for you. If that means multiples, so be it. Four-hundred t-shirts isn’t really working for me anymore, so they are going. But sixty-seven writing implements in varying styles and colors make me happy – so they stay. In the future, I might decide to part with them (or at least USE them), but for now this is how it stands. The longer you KonMari, the more attuned you become to what’s important to you. Follow that instinct and you won’t go wrong – even if it means keeping unused Sharpies.