Kondo-ing part 2: Keep on keeping on

When I last signed off, I was overheated, discouraged, and more than a little crabby. But socks off and music on, I’m ready to get back at it. I hope you are too.

10:21 a.m.–Miscellaneous

Undergarments, swimsuits, and miscellaneous items go quickly.

Neck warmer, money belt sans money, iPod carrier, sunglasses, glasses, hair binders. Easy peasy.

One light green button. What made the errant button think it could stow away in this soon-to-be well-oiled machine of my closet? The interloper button is dealt with quickly to set an example for any other lurking buttons.

I even use real garbage bags!

10:27 a.m.–Bags and purses

Since I usually keep some bags in the front hall and some in my bedroom, this new method forces me to look at all of my bags at once. The total comes to nine. I do away with two.

I forgot to take notes from Kondo’s book on storing purses/bags. I fold the bags and keep them in my container of grocery bags. I hope Kondo approves.

10:32 a.m.–Scarves

Spring scarves, winter scarves… Minnesota requires a variety of scarves, so I keep 75 percent of them.

10:39 a.m.–Belts

Two basic belts aren’t bringing me joy, but what if my pants fall down? Preventing embarrassment is close enough to joy. I keep the less beat-up option.

10:40 a.m.–Hats

I keep only a lightweight hat that brings me joy. In her second book, “Spark Joy,” Kondo does give permission to keep practical items if the purpose they serve gives you joy. But as warm as it is, the way my striped magenta and cream hat looks when it covers the top of my glasses causes me active angst. I write “heavy duty winter hat” on the “items to buy” list that I’ve started.

10:42 a.m.–Gloves

Two pairs on the chopping block. I come across a pair of my husband’s that I know he doesn’t wear. Marie Kondo says you can’t get rid of your loved ones’ items. I have left all of my husband’s items in the closets, yet these gloves put themselves in my path.

Text to my husband: “Do you want these?”

10:45 a.m.–Shoes

I do away with three pairs. Two of these are boots that I bought within the last year and hardly wore. These are not dumpster-bound. I keep them to post on Ebay that same day.

Of the 13 pairs I keep, seven don’t bring me joy. But I feel like I should keep a pair of everyday sandals, a pair of flip-flops for public pools, and a few pairs of fancy shoes. Because I tend to dress casually, I just don’t like this genre of necessary dress-up footwear. Since I don’t want to go out and buy a pair of shoes the very next day when I’ll be attending Minnesota Book Awards gala, I keep these uncomfortable and joy-uninspiring shoes.

Thank you, friends and family, for accessorizing me.

10:56 a.m.–Jewelry

Two insights strike.

  1. Others bought the majority of my jewelry for me.
  2. I have never downsized my jewelry.

Is this because it’s so small or because so much of it was a gift? I take all of the earrings off the rack, hold each pair in my hand and ask, “Does this bring me joy?”

It’s the same amount of work to put it back on the rack or put it in the Ziploc to donate. The items that were gifts are kept in slightly higher proportion to the items that were self-bought, showing that others know my jewelry style better than I do. I add “Get better at jewelry” to the to-do list.

Jewelry: Kept and Donated. One pair of earrings counts as one jewelry item.

11:16 a.m.–Done!

This would have taken longer and perhaps been more satisfying if I hadn’t been downsizing my items for years. And drinking copious amounts of French press.

Just one thing left: time to put everything away.

You may think we’ve finished, because that’s what I thought at this point too. But putting your keepers back in order and disposing of the refuse is no small feat. Check back next month for the last installment of Kondo-ing the Condo: putting together the life and wardrobe you’ve just taken apart.

Carissa Jean Tobin is a Minneapolis-based teacher, writer, and coach. Her hobbies include creating humorous surveys for friends, lounging at the Wilde Roast Café, and scanning old papers in an effort to minimize. Visit her website http://www.goodworkgreatlife.com for tips on great living.