My Journey – One Year Later

posterAs I sat down to write this post, the phone rang. On my way to answer it, the sunlight was hitting the living room floor in such a way that I noticed it needed to be swept. So I took the phone call, then ran a broom across the floor. Twenty minutes later I came back to start the post – again. This is relevant only because it speaks to why, after a year, I am still not finished KonMari-ing my home. It’s not because I am easily distracted but because sometimes other things become more important. Even though I am not completely finished, a year seems like a good point to stop and take stock of how the process has gone so far, and to share this so you’ll know that the only timeline that matters is your own.

Successes

I think it’s important to talk about the successes and the progress made.  If you don’t note these small milestones, it can make it harder to continue. So here are just a few:

  • My closets and clothing drawers are still in perfect KM condition. I still fold all of my clothes into neat rectangles. Yes, it takes a while to fold the laundry, but there are only two of us and I find that I really don’t mind it. I still continue to discard items as I find they no longer bring me joy – or I don’t like them anymore – or they don’t fit well. Whatever the reason, the only clothes in my closets are the items I want there. What’s more – I’m much more judicious about what I purchase and bring into the house.
  • My husband and daughter both got on board. I’m fairly certain my husband could benefit from another round through his closet, but the first one produced so many items to discard that I am not complaining. And the fact that he let me do is dresser drawers was an added bonus. My daughter still has about a half dozen tubs of childhood stuff in her closet, but she got rid of twice that. And those tubs will go with her when she moves into her first permanent home.
  • No rebounding. The kitchen cabinets have remained neat and clutter free, I keep much less of the paper that comes into the house than I used to, and the last time I printed photos I only printed the best ones.
  • We didn’t buy the t-shirt. Yep – I can’t even think of the last time a souvenir or commemorative one came into this house. Score one for us!

Hurdles

I hesitate to call anything a failure because I honestly don’t see the fact that a certain category has not been completed in that way. (A failure would be having to redo my drawers again.) But there have been some hurdles along the way which have kept me from being as far along as I had hoped by this point.

  • Emptying the attic and storage unit AFTER starting the process. Introducing more clothing and books and paper after those categories had already been done really threw a monkey wrench in the procedure. And it is why I thoroughly advocate Kondo’s recommendation to do all of a category at one time. If I had followed that advice, I might be finished by now.
  • You can’t KonMari other people’s stuff. Much of what came out of the attic and storage unit belonged to my husband and daughter. Hubby is still trying to determine what to do with boxes of collectibles. Progress is being made, but it’s his to make, not mine, even though I do feel the impact.
  • I took a few breaks. And I totally feel that they were necessary.  Getting rid of your stuff is not an easy task. Taking a step back to assess where you are can help keep you going. Some breaks weren’t by choice. The death of a friend, the health crisis of a family member – these things took precedence. And they helped to remind me that people are what’s important, not things – which is why I started this in the first place.

What’s Next?

So where do I go from here? Well, according to the KonMari Method, I’ve only got photos and sentimental items left. But I have sixty photo albums and am not 100% on board with Kondo’s recommendation for photos, so that will be a challenge. Since I’ve been waiting until I am completely finished to put some things away, many items are not in their final homes yet. Once I’ve gone through the sentimental items, I’ll be able to put many things in their proper place. Then I will know it is complete.

My ultimate goal is to help others, who are so inclined, to do what I have done. And if it helps me earn some retirement income, well then that will be great too. So, my journey is not finished yet but it is about to get back on track. I hope you’ll stay with me for the rest of the ride.

KonMari for the Classroom: The Short Version, Part 2

KMClassroomI wish I still had a classroom so I could have pictures to accompany this part, but you’ll just have to make do with your imagination. Remember, this is an abbreviated version so that you can get your classrooms going.  I will return to the full series and post it later so that if you want to do a full KonMari on your classrooms, you can. As I’ve said before, I love making order out of chaos – and I’m guessing your rooms are looking pretty chaotic about now. That’s okay; just keep referring to that vision to stay motivated. You’ll get there.

A Place for Everything

If you got rid of even one-fourth of what you started with, you should have freed up plenty of space in your storage closets and shelves.  When you start putting things away, you want it to make sense so that you’ll know exactly where to go to find things.  Kondo has two rules for storage, and I think they will work well for classrooms, too. She says, “Store all items of the same type in the same space, and don’t scatter storage space.”   I know that storage in classrooms can be limited, but if you think of each storage area as a zone which contains a particular type of item, I think you can make it work.  What follows are my personal recommendations; if you keep Kondo’s rules in mind and do what works for you, you will have storage space that functions well and keeps you organized.

Storage Closets

Since closets have doors, this is the perfect place to store the things that you do not need on a daily basis. Think of this as the “teacher only” zone. You don’t want to put in here things you want the kids to be able to access. You’ll group things that naturally go together (office supplies, art supplies, paper, etc.). Items you want easiest access to should be on the middle shelves, less necessary items on the top and bottom shelves. This is where you will store reserves of:

  • Office/desk Supplies
    • Pen, pencils, paper clips, staples, sticky-notes, etc. Shelf space in a closet is usually pretty tight, so I don’t recommend putting them into baskets or tubs, especially if they’re in boxes already.  File folders can go in this group also.  If they’re in a box, you can keep them there (unless the box is half empty or more). Store on their side so they take up less space.
  • Art Supplies (NOT paper)
    • Glue, paint, yarn, craft sticks, crayons, markers, scissors, etc.  Remember, these are only the spare/reserve items, not the ones you will use daily/weekly.  Anything that can stand on its own, should.  Anything not in a box (yarn, scissors, loose crayons, etc.) can go in shoe boxes or cheap baskets from a dollar store. This is a closet no one will see inside of – don’t spend a lot of money on cute storage.
  • Seasonal Items
    • Seasonal room decor (not posters or bulletin board items).  Again, anything that can stand on its own does not need to be in a storage container or basket.
  • Professional Books and Binders
    • Do you refer to these on a weekly basis?  If not, store them in the closet on an upper shelf since you won’t need them.
  • Paper
    • The only paper I recommend storing in the closet is paper that is in a package. Remember, this is excess paper that you won’t need regularly, so I would use the very bottom or very top shelves to store packages of extra construction, manila, notebook, and copy paper.
  • Everything Else
    • I’m not copping out here – I just can’t possibly  know what else you might be storing.  Just remember, this closet should only be for items you don’t need on a regular basis, and to which the students do not need access.  And stick with the  general rule that anything already in a box or with a flat bottom that can stand on its own does not need to be put inside another container. Save bins and baskets for loose items and those things that can’t stand on their own.

Open Shelving

I’ll be honest – I am not a fan of hanging curtains in front of this type of shelving. This is a fluid space – things are coming and going from here on a daily basis, so everything should be easily accessible, and curtains are a hindrance.  If you’ve been successful at the decluttering  you’ve done, you shouldn’t have anything to hide. Use the same standard for arranging items here – place in baskets and bins only those items that are loose or can’t stand up on their own.  Try not to overfill the shelves – a little bit of breathing room will also lend to a less cluttered feel.

  • Student Aids & Manipulatives (Hands-On Zone)
    • Choose a section of shelves to store all of the various teaching materials and manipulatives that the students use. If you teach math and/or science, you’ll likely have a variety of these items. I’ll call this the “hands-on” zone. These things need to be accessible for the students, so you don’t want them hidden in the closet.
  • Student Supplies (Supplies Zone)
    • This is where you will keep the extra paper, notebooks, folders, etc. to which the students will have access.
    • Use inexpensive stacking trays to store any letter-size paper
    • Paint coffee and soup cans to make cheap holders for pencils, rulers, markers, loose crayons. etc.
    • Construction/manila paper and other art supplies that are used frequently can also be kept here.
  • Books (Library Zone)
    • Any books that the students will use should be kept together.  Separate your classroom library – the books they’ll read for enjoyment –  from books that are related to their texts – ancillary items, consumables, etc.
    • More than likely, you are keeping all of your teacher editions on open shelves too.  That should be considered a “teacher zone”.  Keep the books that only you need apart from the books that the students need.

Continue with any other items you have that should be kept on open shelves. Follow the guideline for keeping like things together as much as possible.

Flatland

Some things won’t fit on a shelf, like posters and charts. Many classrooms have storage spaces specifically made to hold items like these.  If yours does not, you could purchase art portfolios or bulletin board storage boxes.  Want to go cheaper?  Use heavy-duty binder clips to keep posters or bulletin board display pieces together.  Hang from hooks on the inside of a closet door or in some other out of the way space in your room.  Still rolling up your bulletin board border?  Stop! It takes up too much space and is much harder to put up when it’s all curled.  Hang them from binder clips as well.

The Walls

Now that you are ready to start putting things on the walls, please remember this – less is more. Seriously. If you completely cover every inch of wall space, nothing stands out anymore.  A poster you hang for motivation or an anchor chart you display for student reference can be reduced to nothing more than visual clutter if there are too many of them. Start with the things you are required to have on display (a Word Wall, for example) and limit what else goes up to items that complement it.  Don’t mix your ELA posters and anchor charts with your math ones.

Personalize

Your vision for your classroom won’t be complete until you make it your own.  For me, this was always the most fun part – decorating and personalizing the classroom, and making it a place that the students would be happy to come to every day.  Make it bright and warm and inviting.  It should be a place that makes you happy, too.

Maintenance

Your classroom is going to be clutter-free and perfectly organized for about five minutes – then the students come in.  Maintaining all of your hard work will depend on the systems you put in place in your room, so be sure you have those procedures thought out before the students arrive.  Remember that vision you’ve been referring to?  Keep that handy.  If clutter and disorganization start to creep back, pull out that sheet and remind yourself of why you did all this hard work. Devote some time to getting things back on track.

Over 1,400 words and I still have a lot more to say on this topic!  But if you’ve stayed with me this long, you are off to a great start. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this blog and be among the first to know when I return to the full classroom series.  I’d love to see/hear some success stories, so please feel free to share.

Have a great school year!

KonMari for the Classroom

KMClassroomWell, it is August 1, and for many, especially my educator friends here in Texas, that means another school year is on the horizon. Ready to tackle your classroom with a renewed sense of purpose and organization? Wondering how to KonMari your classroom? Well, you are in luck!  I’ve decided to share some ideas on this. I spent 30 years in education – 15 as a classroom teacher, 11 as a technology facilitator, and 4 as a media specialist. In each of those roles, organization was always a high priority for me.  I can’t function in a mess, and I truly believe that most students can’t either. Even if being organized wasn’t a natural state for my students, they learned to be at least for the time they were in my room. I had systems in place for everything from turning in assignments to selecting the desired lunch item.  I could go on and on about ways to keep the kids organized (and I will), but you can’t get them organized if you aren’t organized yourself.

Create a Vision

Before you start unpacking all the boxes and bins that were stored for the summer, I want you to create a vision for your classroom. In your perfect world, what does your classroom look like? What’s on the walls?  How are the shelves organized? What systems do you want in place for your students to promote self-sufficiency? Think about the atmosphere you want to create. How do you want it to feel for your students as they walk in each day?  Draw a picture, make a list, print out your favorite pins from Pinterest – do whatever you need to so that you have something tangible that represents your vision. Now I want you to tape it to a wall or tack it to a bulletin board so that you see it every day while you are preparing your classroom for the coming year. This will be your reminder of what’s important to you and will help to keep you on track.

How Will This Work?

We’ll tackle your classrooms in a similar way to how Kondo recommends doing your home – sorting by category, discarding first, and using the storage containers and spaces you already have.  When we tidy our homes with the KonMari Method, we all know the key question is,  “Does this spark joy?” But that question is not as likely to work here – before you know it, you’d have an empty room! But you can still approach it from a positive viewpoint.  So while you’re standing there holding a stack of old newsprint, ask yourself, “Is this something I really want to keep?”  “Is this still useful to me?”  I’m willing to bet that a large portion of what we have in our cabinets is there simply because it always has been.  It might have been something that was useful once, but it’s not any longer, and we just don’t take the time to dispose of it. Now is that time.

Don’t Buy Storage Bins

I know you – teachers are lured by pretty bins and tubs and baskets in matching or coordinating colors and patterns. And with back-to-school stuff out now, it all screams, “Buy me!”  But I beg you – don’t do it.  First of all, the storage bins themselves take up a lot of prime real estate.  Secondly, as you are discarding, you will probably free up space in the bins and baskets you already have.  Wait until you’ve discarded everything and then see if additional containers are still necessary

 

Change Your Mindset

This will be toughest of all.  Teachers are pack-rats by nature for a couple of reasons.  1) We don’t make a lot of money, so we tend to keep anything that we think can be of use, and 2) Our frugality makes us industrious, so we are convinced that everything can be used for something.  Stop the madness! Eliminate “just in case” as a reason for keeping things. When was the last time you actually did an art project in your classroom?  I bet it’s been long enough that you can probably let go of the paint and yarn and craft sticks (at least some of them, anyway).

I speak from experience.  Before I retired, I spent weeks going through old files and boxes. We all know things can change in an instant so even though I had been out of the classroom for fifteen years, I kept things “just in case” I had to go back.  Well, that never happened and even if it had, much of what I kept couldn’t have been reused. I’m pretty sure a worksheet I made using a Thermofax machine back in the ’80s would hardly be relevant today.

So today is step one – create that vision for your classroom, and display it prominently in your room.  Then get ready to make that vision a reality.

My next post will focus on the category you probably have the most of – paper. Subscribe to this blog or check back in a couple of days, and be ready to KonMari your classroom.

Ditching the Digital Clutter 3: Photos

Ditching the Digital Clutter 3-I am willing to bet that we have more photos stored than any other type of file. Gone are the days when you were more judicious about what you took a picture of because you only had so many pictures left on the roll – or flashes left on the bulb.  You might have even been mindful when using your digital camera depending on how much device and SD card storage you had.  But with today’s smart phones, our cameras are with us 24/7 – and we use them almost as often.  Most times, I don’t even use the camera to take a picture of something beautiful, or a person, or an event. I take a picture of a book cover to remind me of a book I want to read later, or of a review in the newspaper of a hamburger joint I might want to try, or a price sign in the store of an object I might want to buy – just not at that moment.  I have a ton of these types of photos using up my device or SD card or cloud space.  Yes, they’re convenient to have, but I don’t  want to save them for posterity. How many bad selfies do you have saved?  Or multiple photos of the same shot just to be sure you got a good one?  Rainbows?  Fireworks?  The reality is, we have a lot of junk photos taking up a lot of valuable storage space.  Since I don’t want to buy extra space, I’m going to have to devote some time to culling the photos and deciding what really needs to stay.

Start with Incidental Photos First

These are all those junk photos that I mentioned above, the ones you need just for a short time.  How and where you store your photos will determine how you go about discarding them.  I have my phone set to back-up to Google Photos automatically, which is both a blessing and a curse.  It’s great in that my photos are safe should I lose or damage my phone.  It stinks because ALL of them are backed up, even the junk ones.  Find the storage location that will allow you to delete a photo just once, yet also remove it from both cloud and device storage.  That will help cut down on the amount of time you are devoting to this tedious task.

Delete Multiples

Do you really need five shots of the family posing in front of that waterfall?  Or three shots of your dog sleeping on your lap?  Or all the dozens of photos you took of your grandchild opening every single Christmas present?  Probably not.  Choose the best ONE in front of the waterfall.  Unless the dog’s sleeping on your lap is unusual, you probably don’t need any of those (but I won’t judge you for keeping one).  And try to whittle event photos (Christmas, birthdays, vacations, etc.) down to the fewest possible. Keep the best ones, the ones that capture the moment and the emotion that you truly want to remember –  the ones that bring you joy.

To Print or Not to Print?

If you are of a certain age, you are probably still printing out photos and placing them in photo albums, or at the very least, using a service like Shutterfly to make photo books. But I couldn’t tell you the last time my 23-year-old daughter printed out a photo.  Yes, digital photos are convenient, but I just don’t get that same feeling as I do from going through a photo album.  But printing is going to be a personal preference; I still do it.  And then I painstakingly put them into albums and caption the photos. If you’re not likely to go to that trouble, then just stick with your digitized ones.

Photo Files on Your Computer

In addition to whatever you have on your phone and/or in the cloud, you probably have photos stored on your computer as well.  If you deleted photos you didn’t want when we worked on files, you are one step ahead!  If not, now is the time to go through all those pictures and discard the ones you don’t want or need.  If you have a lot of photos, it might be a good idea to sort them into separate folders – you can create folders based on date, event, subject matter – whatever makes sense for you.  You’ll want to back these up as well, but image files tend to take up a lot of space.  If you don’t want to use precious cloud storage, upload your photos to a site like Shutterfly or even Walgreen’s.  Those are great options if you intend to make prints, but even if you don’t, your photos are always there. (Of course, you will need to create an account.)

Finished!

Tackling your digital clutter is every bit as time-consuming as tangible clutter.  And it is easier to accumulate because it doesn’t take up any physical space – which also means it is easier to rebound and find yourself in the same mess.  So be sure you stay on top of your digital life.  Clear out e-mails on a weekly basis, dump old unnecessary files every few months, and try to handle your photos almost as soon after you take them as possible.

So, what’s next?  If you’re a teacher, my next post will be for you – KonMari in the Classroom. Don’t miss it!

Getting Back on Track

ON POINTI would love to tell you that the reason I haven’t posted recently is that I have been diligently KMing for the last month, have finished, and have lots of news to share with you. Unfortunately, that is not the case.  I was so ready to get back into it and get it all done before the school year ended but we had an unexpected house repair that needed to get done, so that took up a fair amount of time.  I also started a part-time job online, and I have discovered that I embraced my retirement so whole-heartedly, that getting back into a work routine of any kind is not as easy as I thought it would be.  So there’s that. And there’s also this – I share my home with my husband and you can’t KonMari other people’s stuff. So while there are spaces I really, really, really want to work on, I can’t because they are filled with items that he needs to address.  And he will – eventually.

There is some good news – I haven’t rebounded.  My dresser drawers are still as tidy as the day I learned how to fold the KonMari way, as are the kitchen cabinets and my desk. I’ve stayed on top of the paper clutter and we got all of my daughter’s tubs put away so that we can actually see the floor of her room.  So it’s not all bleak…it’s just that what lies ahead are the hard categories – sentimental items and photos.  Keep in mind, we held on to 400+ T-shirts for sentimental reasons…

So, how do you get back on track if you’ve fallen off the KonMari wagon? (Pardon the mixed metaphor…)  Here are my suggestions:

  • Revisit the Book – I don’t think it’s necessary to reread the entire thing, but skim through it, or just go over the Table of Contents even, to help remind you of things you might have forgotten
  • Have a Plan  – I’ve got the hard stuff ahead of me, so I know that I am going to have to schedule time and create space in order to be productive.  Make yourself a check-list, put tasks on a calendar, hang a “do not disturb sign” on your door – use whatever strategy you know works best when you have a big job ahead of you. Make a plan, set a deadline, and get busy.
  • Remember Why You Started This – What inspired you to KonMari your home in the first place?  The vision you have for your space – did you draw a picture or write a description of what that was?  If so, find it and hang it someplace prominent – the fridge, a bathroom mirror, above the coffee pot – wherever it will be a constant reminder of what you are striving for.  Sometimes all it takes to get going again is to remind yourself why you wanted it.

And here’s something else that might help. If you’ve got seven days to devote to a refresh or you haven’t started and want to dip your toes in the KonMari way, check out the 7-Day Kon-Mari Organizing Challenge.  I think it probably moves too quickly for a beginner, but I do think that it’s a good start and, it might actually be beneficial for those who’ve completed the process, but are feeling like clutter is creeping back in.

I promise it won’t be another month before you hear from me again, but I will tell you this – pictures are next for me and I’ve got 60 photo albums…

KonMari in Action

978-1-60774-730-7Marie Kondo is everywhere these days.  In the last few weeks she has been on The Ellen Degeneres Show and Rachael Ray.  There have been articles on Parade.com – Sunday With: Marie Kondo and an interview with Good Housekeeping.  There was even a Mother’s Day quiz on Elle Decor – “Who said it – Marie Kondo or Your Mom?”  But probably the most anticipated event for her loyal followers, was “Tidy up with KonMari” a two-part series that aired on NHK World.  We finally got to see her in action as she assisted two different women in New York to KonMari their homes.  The books are great, but nothing beats actually getting to watch her work her magic with real people (except maybe having her come and work on MY home!)  Don’t miss out – the videos are only available to watch until May 23!

The Women

Gina lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Marie walks through the house with her and sees items piled on every horizontal surface and spilling out of every drawer, closet, and cabinet.  I had my doubts.  And yet, the before and after is remarkable. Emily is single, but planning to move her boyfriend in with her.  She didn’t have as much clutter; it was mostly relegated to one room, but it was a room that was unusable because of the clutter.  And it contained the hard stuff – the sentimental items.  Yes, there were tears.  You really need to watch these episodes for your yourself to appreciate what KonMari does, but here are my take-aways:

Start with the End in Mind

Marie asks each of the women what their ideal life will be like after they’ve finished tidying.  That helps to set your goal and keep you motivated.  So draw a picture, make a list, or put up a photo that helps you to envision what your space – and your life – will look like when you are finished.

Gather and Sort Works!

Whether it is clothing, papers, or bathroom supplies, each and every time she brings categories to a central location and sorts them.  When you see like items all laid out in one place, you get a true sense of what you have and it makes it easier to discard those that you don’t need or want.  It is a lot of work, but you’ll see that it is the most efficient way.

Don’t Buy Storage Items

You probably already own all the bins, dividers, and boxes you will need.  And most items actually end up going into drawers and cabinets where space has been freed up.  Use what you have as you go.  I also noticed that some spaces ended up being temporary storage until they were complete.  Once you’ve finished discarding and your entire space has been KonMari-ed, then you can see if you need to buy something that you don’t already have.

Decisions, Decisions!

As you are going through this process, you are making a lot of decisions.  But remember this – you are deciding what to KEEP, not what to discard.  That initial shift in thinking is tough, but it really does improve your sensitivity to what holds value for you.  And Kondo says, if you really can’t decide, that is probably a sign that you should let the item go.

No Judgment

Marie does not make any judgments about what the women decide to keep.  She guides them when they seem to struggle and she is quiet as they work through the emotions. So if she’s not going to judge, you shouldn’t either!  If something sparks joy and you want to keep it, then keep it without guilt and move on.

It Can be Done

I was thoroughly impressed by the fact that both women were able to complete this in two weeks.  Yes, they did a little bit with KonMari at their side, but the bulk of the process was done during the two weeks that she was gone.  Granted, these were small New York apartments, but I’m not sure it’s about the size.  The women were committed and focused; you have to be ready and you have to want it.

We’re on hold here at my house.  Ready to get back at it after the garage sale, then some home repairs took priority.  But my KonMari journey is far from over…stay tuned!

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

So, you’ve read the book (or both!), you’re motivated, your tidying festival is underway – and then you have to halt or pause or just take a break.  In a perfect world, everyone and everything in your life would understand that you must KonMari NOW.  You have a goal, and Kondo says that you must do this all at once.  But this is reality and sometimes those outside forces just will not cooperate.  I firmly believe that trying to fight those forces will only lead to frustration and may cause you to give up altogether – or to rebound.  So here are a few tips to help keep you on track, even if life is trying to force you off the rails.

Celebrate Small Accomplishments Along the Way

If you know there is no way you are going to complete your tidying marathon in six months, break it into smaller, easily attainable goals to help you stay motivated. Set a deadline for completing one category (or subcategory) in its entirety.  When that task is complete, take an after picture, post/tweet/Instagram it, share with friends, or just check it off your to-do list. Mark the occasion in some small way so that you will feel that sense of accomplishment and know that you are one step closer to reaching clutter-free nirvana.

Find Like-Minded Individuals to Share With

I was going to say “find a support group”, but this isn’t an illness!  (Although some friends and family might disagree…)  But seriously, having folks with whom to share your victories and your frustrations can have a huge impact on your success.  First of all, they understand the process and know how challenging it can be.  In addition, your fellow KonMari devotees can offer helpful suggestions when you need them.  The Facebook group I belong to has been there to offer encouragement, answer a question, and let me vent. The best part?  You never have to explain, “Well, I read this book about tidying by a Japanese woman…”  We all get it!

Know When to Fold ‘Em

I’m not talking clothes here.  You know you best.  And you know your family and household best as well.  So if you know that starting the next category or subcategory would not be prudent at this time, then don’t. And don’t feel pressured by the book; I know that sounds crazy, but Kondo is so inspirational, that you can almost feel like you are letting her down if you stray from her guidelines.  But here’s the thing – she wants everyone to be successful, so if you know that the only way you’ll be ready to continue is if you take a short break now, then so be it.

This Isn’t Basketball – NO Rebounding

Just because you are taking a break, it doesn’t mean you forget all you have learned and accomplished so far.  Kondo warns that rebounding (going back to all that clutter) is inevitable if you try to do this a little at a time. I understand her point and I even agree; it is very easy to revert if you are not seeing results. But I have to say that my closet, drawers, and kitchen cabinets are still in the same great shape now as they were when I completed those areas months ago. The impact of getting rid of so much stuff still resonates with me. To avoid a rebound it’s vital to maintain the areas that you’ve already completed.  Pick a date to resume the process, and take your break with a clear conscience.

I wish I had been able to KonMari my whole house in six months; I probably would have made it if we hadn’t made the decision to empty the attic and storage unit in the middle of the process.  But at least I’ll know that no stone has been left unturned; everything we own is clearly visible.  And soon there will be much less of it to see.