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When it comes to staying on top of the latest TV shows, entertainment news and music – the 15-20-year- ago Tammy would have been able to blurt out random celebrity facts, song lyrics, liner credits. . .you name it – all without needing to Google it. But things changed for me over the years (new interests, 2 kids, LIFE) and now I’m usually the last one to hear about EVERYTHING! So when it came to this topic of tidying and neatness, I was proud to be the first of my friends and family to discover Marie Kondo and her books about organization.

When I heard last month that Netflix was releasing a new series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, I was thrilled! It’s been fun sharing this excitement with friends who have been Kon-verted after hearing of my own tidying adventure of how we downsized from a 4,565 sq ft home in NC to our amazingly awesome (and compact) 975 sq ft NYC apartment.

I stumbled across the the KonMarie method of organizing when researching a better way to organize our stuff that survived the first purge of the relocation. After watching a few of her videos, I quickly learned the most efficient ways to fold and store clothes. Then, I picked up her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” because I NEEDED to learn more.

As a lover of strategic planning, including developing and implementing systems, I was drawn to the fact that the KonMarie method was more than series of tips for organizing and cleaning. She gave me a plan to follow: Start with clothes, then move on to books, then papers, then Komono (miscellaneous stuff), and then tackle the sentimental items last. Simple enough. I also liked the idea of storing things by category, to me it made perfect sense.

Armed with a plan of action, I began my tidying adventure full of optimism. I survived parts 1-3 and wrote about that journey in my original post on decluttering. This post you’re reading now picks up my adventure with organizing Komono items.

Before we moved back to New York City, I worked for weeks to clean the attic and sort through all of the closets in the house. I was most proud of having whittled my growing Christmas décor collection that once took up an entire side of the attic down to 3 plastic storage bins. With storage constraints, I knew I couldn’t bring much to our new home. We’d gotten all of our belongings down to only what could fit in the 12 foot Penske moving truck. We decided that if it didn’t fit in the truck, then it didn’t need to go.

Our NYC apartment has a very large walk-in storage closet and by the end of the 2nd month in our new space it was filled to the brim. I couldn’t even take out a coat or stroller without first emptying out what was stuffed in the front, and then I’d jam it all back in wherever things would fit. It was a mess. I never thought that I’d have the capacity to get rid of even more stuff after getting rid of so much already, but the need to free up more space was evident.

BEFORE – The walk-in storage closet filled to capacity. Sigh!

One chilly Saturday afternoon when a good friend was in town staying with us (hooray for free babysitting!), my first order of business was to take everything out of the closet and to start attacking it KonMarie style. Going through each item one by one created an even bigger mess in the kitchen and living room, but at least there was a method to the madness. After many, many hours of opening up containers, sorting through items, and figuring out what sparked joy and what did not – I managed to discover a truckload full of items to donate or throw away.

Dropping off donations to Goodwill.

That night we took the donations to our local Goodwill. I tried to get rid of the larger stroller too, but it wouldn’t fit in the SUV with all of the other stuff so it survived the cut this time and stays parked in our building. It felt so good to come home to a closet that now looked like this:

AFTER – The walk-in closet has space to walk in!

Having attacked my clothes, books, papers and now the household Komono items, I feel so much lighter. This whole process is one I recommend to everyone, even the most organized.

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