KonMari: Komono (Part I)

Yes, I spelled that right.

It’s not kimono – like the dress – it’s komono – like miscellany.

The fourth step of the KonMari Method is probably the hardest. It certainly has been so far. Some might argue that the final step of sentimental items is the hardest for obvious reasons, but I would argue the sheer volume of komono makes this category the hardest.

It is easy to get bogged down because of all the subcategories that are wrapped up in this six-letter word: office supplies, make-up, tools, electronics, kitchen, cleaning, hobbies, toys, etc. In fact, it was almost easier to feel accomplished having done the first three steps and to give up all together. But I felt so strongly about the results we achieved with the first three steps that I pushed us forward into the fourth step.

So unlike clothing, books, and paper, the next few posts will be made in the thick of tidying komono.

So far we have made our way through electronics and office supplies. A few notes there:

We keep far too many boxes in our home. I’m not sure where the impulse comes from to save the boxes that our electronics come in but we do. Camera boxes. iPhone boxes. The box for our Garmin purchased over 7 years ago. No more! The boxes are gone!

There were more office supplies in the buffet in our dining room than I have in my office at work. True story. Likely many of the office supplies have been the by product of my online seminary education and a ridiculous love for oddities like paper clips shaped like treble and bass clefs. Since we are not running a business out of our home (right now), these things were just clutter that needed to go.*

*If you are planning to get rid of a lot of office supplies, consider donating them to a teachers depot or a local thrift store. What you may see as trash, is an invaluable resource to another!

There is simply no excuse for how many chargers and adapters we hoard just in case. It’s true that every electronic typically comes with a charging cable and an adapter of some kind. We keep them because they seem important. The reality is that many adapters and charging cables are the same and having more than two is not only superfluous, it’s a bit ridiculous. Add to that fact that I often attend conferences and come home with charging stations, multi-adapters, and more.

One thing I can say about our journey through the KonMari method and specifically, during the last few weeks of tidying komono, is that we get so used to something being in particular place that we forget to consider if it should be there. For example, we came across our stamps (yes, for snail mail) in the dining room buffet and almost immediately put them back where they were since we had no plans to discard them. Then it hit me – why weren’t the stamps with our stationary? Why were they in the buffet?

The how and why of our postage stamps eventually living in our buffet is unnecessary to make my point (although I can tell you the historical timeline of how they came to reside there) and my point is this, once excess is removed, you see what you own so much more clearly. In some cases, you can actually begin to see what you own and ask yourself if it’s serving its purpose where it is or if its being taken care of correctly.

Now that is a principle that can be applied across life. What in the busyness and chaos  of life are we overlooking that could be serving its purpose or receiving the proper care if we could only see it!


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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