The Bjorndals Tidy Up: Part II

Apr 27, 2019

[posted by: Evan]    

If you haven’t read Part I, get out of here ya rascal and go read it!

If you read part one, you know now the most important phrase of Tidying: Righty Tidy Lefty Loosey. Just kidding, we’ve made it through clothes and whew, what a rollercoaster of emotion! Also kidding. This post is going to look at going through the categories of Books, Papers, and Kimono (aka miscellaneous). We took an evening after work or a Saturday afternoon to do each one of these and wanted to share how it went, and our thoughts on the KonMari process in these categories!

Without further ado, you know them from when you brought them to the beach, and when you pretended to use them on a plane to avoid talking to people, ladies and gentlemen: BOOKS!

Listening to Marie’s audiobook, I felt like much of the decision-making was complete as soon as the “Books” chapter ended. I had to admit that most of the books I owned, I was never going to read again. Some, I had never read. I was certain that the process would be smooth sailing. We piled up all our books in the middle of the floor and started going through them. “This book is so great” I would say. Even worse, Hannah would say the same thing and I would feel compelled to keep it with the promise of one day cracking it open. All in, we had about a hundred books to work through.

Thanks for everything, Lorraine.

From the hundred books we had to sort, we kept about 25. That group included things like:
– Books we read excerpts from pretty frequently
– Books we want to share with other people that have impacted us. This includes books about being a newlywed, and books about our faith.
– Yearbooks
– The Bible #righteous
– All time favorite books that we want to read over and over.

Though it’s not heavily emphasized in Marie’s book, we felt better donating the books that were in good enough condition to free, neighborhood libraries. The ones which had too many personal notes jotted inside or were in bad condition, we recycled. As could be said with every category, it feels like a heavy weight lifted off our shoulders!

Next we moved onto PAPERS!

Why do I still have my Auto insurance policy from 2011? Also, like 10 Bed, Bath, and Beyond 10% off coupons….? The most immediately revealing thing about papers was that we had no designated place for papers. They were everywhere. We had a bin for important papers which weighed 40 lbs, and a myriad of undesignated places where mail just seemed to fall onto. Another problem that became clear was how much stuff we kept because we didn’t have a safe way to dispose of it. We were keeping bank statements because they had our account number which we just didn’t want to put in the trash. SO MUCH JUNK.

Like books, its easiest and least embarrassing to share what we kept and not all that we had to throw away:
#1. Truly important tax documents from the last six years. Original documents that would be very difficult to reproduce if audited. Anything beyond six years can be thrown out.
#2.  Titles, certificates, deeds, etc to prove ownership and identity. Officially my title is Evan Kip Bjorndal: Duke of Cuddles and Hugs (Tom Haverford voice)
#3. That’s it.

Next, Kimono!

In this phase you have to go through just about everything else. Kimono means miscellaneous and that covers quite a bit. Big picture, we went through every room of the house and emptied it except for furniture and the categories we’ve already sorted. It took an entire 10-hr day for just bathroom and bedroom type items and another two half days for our closets and random drawers of stuff.

Surprise mass quantities included 12 travel size boxes of floss, 1750 Q-tips, and a ton of travel size toiletries (AKA toilet treats, as we call them). The KonMari method recommends keeping your shower clear of all items/supplies and instead keeping them in a designated place. This was one of the most difficult practices to adjust to. We’re still in a trial period, but it does keep the bottles clean and makes the shower easier to clean too! I think I had the hardest time parting with some N64 games and random hardware for construction projects. Thankfully I found a friend who was in the market for 007 Goldeneye and most nails/screws/etc. cost something like a penny each meaning not worth the space they take up! Hannah definitely struggled most with the dental floss but we have a friend who packages bags for the homeless and was able to use them for their next shipment!

More than any category, Kimono required the most teamwork between Hannah and I. Not just because we both use a lot of the same items, but also for organizing where to put things back. It took a lot of effort to categorize in a way we could remember and agree on but it certainly seemed like we both had to agree if our plan was going to last. In the process, it seemed odd we had never had conversations like, “let’s put pens and pencils here”. As a result, they just go everywhere. It’s almost like we deferred a part of being newlyweds/new home owners until now! I feel so cheated that we never talked about where to put our extra soap before this year.

We are about a month in and things are going strong! The good news about the KonMari method is that it changes the way you look at your house! So if you miss anything, don’t worry. Your new mindset will show you something has not yet been tidied. It’s like the feeling when your nose is running and you just leave it. Okay, maybe not that disturbing. Either way, we love how our house feels and it’s so easy on Tuesday nights to clean up when we both know where everything belongs! Here’s to never spring cleaning again!!!

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