April 12th, 2019

The KonMari method, part 2

Before I get into my next progress on the KonMari method, I wanted to backtrack and explain why I went into a declutter mode. I had two main reasons for starting to declutter:

  1. I wanted our house to be easier to clean. I kept trying to solve this by buying new storage solutions, but it never fixed the root problem of owning too many things.
  2. My husband and I discussed potentially moving houses later. When I thought about packing all of our belongings, it gave me anxiety because I realized how much we owned and how painful moving would be.

After starting my decluttering journey a year or so ago, I started viewing my house in a different way. Everywhere I looked, I kept thinking, “we have too much stuff”, and it’d make me unhappy. Even rooms I previously decluttered, I’d still stand in and just look around, eyeing more things I wanted to discard. It was getting kind of obsessive.

I was also getting annoyed at my previous tendency to just collect things. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having collections, but among my collections were things I didn’t like. I kept them because it made the number of things I collected go up, which brings me to the next step in the KonMari method…

Lesson 2 – Books

Unlike clothing, I knew my book collection was large and was almost all manga. I mean, I’ve literally databased my manga collection. As I bought more manga and updated my site, the number I owned would go up, and it’d make me happy. Or so I thought…

It eventually got to the point where I struggled to keep my manga organized and fitting in the shelves I owned. I even bought another shelf to relieve this problem, but of course, I’d buy more manga and run into the issue again. Why was I keeping so much, when it just causes me more problems, and I don’t even like every book in my collection?

Last year, I donated some manga I didn’t like. This time, I’m taking it a step further.

  • I’m keeping manga series I’ve completed, bought 10+ volumes of, or am still actively collecting. These are the ones I tend to re-read over and over.
  • I’m letting go of manga series I started to collect but only have a few volumes of. Even if I enjoyed what I read, I apparently didn’t like it enough to keep going. I’m also less likely to re-read something so incomplete.
  • I’m letting go of manga that’s not in English. I can’t read them anyway.
  • I’m letting go of most of my yaoi. I still like yaoi, but I think back to something Marie said on the show, is it something I want to keep as part of my life going forward? With a child now, I don’t want books with explicit sex scenes laying around.

I’m still left with a lot of manga, but they are the ones that truly “spark joy” for me – my favorites of the collection that I would actually re-read. As for other book types…

  • I kept my Anime/video game art books. As someone who loves looking at animation, I really enjoy having these books.
  • I got rid of my fiction novels because I don’t plan on re-reading them, and if I do, I’d rather get the Kindle version now.
  • I kept recipe books we’ve used before but got rid of several that we didn’t.
  • I got rid of Computer Science books from college. I never went back to reference them, and technology moves too fast for them to be relevant anymore.
  • For everything else that didn’t fall into those categories, I just re-evaluated whether owning them truly makes me happy.

The result

I didn’t get very good “before” photos, so I’m just going to show the “after”. I used to keep my books on 5 different bookshelves, but now I have them on 3!

One of my bookshelves in the game room has most of my manga, and it’s where I’ve placed my favorites.

The other bookshelf in the game room used to have manga on it, but I’ve cleared out enough that I can use it to store some of my toy figure boxes and art supplies. This is great because that’s right near where I take my toy photos.

The guest room bookshelf has my remaining manga and other miscellaneous books. This shelf used to be a mix of single volumes of several series I tried. Now you can see it is mostly series that I actually worked on collecting.

And then I have a tall shelf next to the kitchen where I’ve placed the recipe books I’ve decided to keep.

Side note: Yes, I still have more than 30 books! People have misinterpreted a line in Marie Kondo’s book where she says 30 books is the right number for her. Her method is about surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, so find the number that is right for you!

Where the discarded go

In the past, I donated my books, but I’ve decided to take some to Half Price Books to get a bit of money back this time. Some of the books I recycled because they weren’t in a condition to donate or sell.

Moving Forward

Collecting manga makes me happy, but I’ve realized that collecting shouldn’t be focused on the quantity. I used to hold onto manga I didn’t care for because I wanted to say I had a big collection. While I’m not going to stop collecting, I am going to be better about keeping my collection filled with books I actually like. Also, when it comes to other books, I’m going to switch to Kindle versions when possible.

Next up is papers! I’ve already finished that process but haven’t written the entry yet. Expect that one later!

8 Responses to “The KonMari method, part 2”

  • Kirsten says:

    I really don’t have much of an issue with collecting stuff but when I read the second reason you have about considering moving and I remember our move this past November and having so much stuff it is now all packed away in boxes because we don’t have room in our tiny small house and I think that your right.

    None of that stuff gives me any joy. It’s been packed away since Nov. I don’t even remember half of what is in it! So why do I need most of it. I don’t know much about the konmari method but when I look around our house and see all the clutter and how hard it is to clean and how unhappy I am with it I realize I need to investigate the konmari method and see if it would help.

    Your bookshelves look great! So organized. I’m surprised by the number of books you got rid of. I have such a hard time letting go of things it gives me anxiety even thinking of someone else doing it!

  • Claudine says:

    Oh my, Cat! Your manga bookshelf looks amazing! I have lots of collections too (in my case, music instead of books), but I don’t even like a lot of what I have on my music shelf. I imagine that I’m going to deal with the same thought process when evaluating my music collection further on in my KonMari journey.

  • Tiffany says:

    I think that going through my books and manga is I need to do, but I feel like for me since I do have a tendency to horde that I have done well, especially since I’ve tried to keep most of my books as ebooks now. I have seen that last photo, and I use to have that post secret book, I loved it, I wonder where it went.

  • Nancy says:

    Oh man, I loved watching Marie Kondo’s show! It is so cool to see the transformation that people bring to their homes. The fact that you let go of yaoi mangas because you have a child roaming around the house shows that you’re going to the next stage in your life. It’s great that you still kept mangas that bring meaning to you. It is good that you got some money back for your books. KEEP IT UP!

  • Ashley says:

    LOL I have done the same. I had soooo many books. I donated a lot to the library and still need to. I was a bit too embarrassed to donate the yaoi though so I just gave it away where I could and just… dare I say… recycle the rest. 0_0
    I started trying to get rid of more and more stuff mostly for the same reason as you… if I had too move I was tired of packing all that stuff. However, I also did it because I was sure that if I had to move it would be to a smaller place… I hate being in a cluttered home.
    Looks like you have been working hard! ♥

    • Cat says:

      lol, I am the same about the yaoi! I’m too embarrassed to donate or sell it, so I recycled most of it too XD;;

  • Sarah says:

    I love the result! So neat and clean and fresh to look at! But I could never part with my books, magazines, and manga I collected since I was in grade school. They’re like the person I was years ago and I’m not ready to let go of that person. The drawback though, is that they are piling up like crazy! And most of my books are unread and they just kept on collecting dust in the corner because I can’t fit them into my two large bookshelves.

  • Joy says:

    Marie Kondo is so eye opening. When I look at my house, I feel like I have very little and I’ve always had very little due to circumstance so I held onto things even though they didn’t make me happy. But watching and learning from her, it made me realize that even though I have so little, it didn’t matter. Not all of those things brought me joy and it’s okay to let them go.

    I love what you did. My sister would die if she saw how big your collection is. She had a pretty big collection of her own but my mom lost most of them during a move. She was heartbroken.

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