The KonMari Method — Mementoes

‘Mementoes’ is the final category in the KonMari Method… and I fucking did it!

When I first started the Method back in April of this year, I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d finish it. And I certainly didn’t think it would take this long! It’s been 8 long months and, to be honest, I’m not really done yet because there are still some things to go to the charity shop, and a few other things that are still searching for homes around the house. If that makes sense. (And for another reason I’ll go into later in this post.) Nonetheless, I’m going to share my ‘mementoes’ journey with you, and then I’ll have a complete round-up for you in the coming weeks when all the loose ends are tied up.

Ready for the last category of the KonMari Method? Saddle up!

The KonMari Method -- Mementoes

It. Was. Excruciating.

I’m sure you weren’t expecting to hear that but it really was, for several reasons:

  1. My mementoes are stored in the attic, which is cold and dusty and cramped and uncomfortable.
  2. I had received some slightly shocking news the night before which, truth be told, pretty much turned my world upside down. I’m not ready to share it right now but, suffice it to say, I think 2016 is going to be the most challenging year in my life to date. So that was playing on my mind all day.
  3. Reading through old letters and cards and flipping through old photo albums to see which ones bring you joy is incredibly time-consuming.

This is how it looked before:

KonMari Mementoes Before

Yeah. Shit.

It was a lot of stuff and I was frozen stiff before I even started (stupid cold attic), but it was on my to-do list for the day so, one way or another, it was getting done.

It started off quite quickly with a few soft toys and my daughter’s old clothes. To make it a little easier on myself, I set up a “maybe” pile. It really helped because it removed the second-guessing element from the equation. I didn’t have to feel bad about getting rid of anything just yet, and didn’t have to ask myself endless questions or try to rationalise anything. It was “joy”, “maybe”, or “just plain rubbish”.

KonMari Mementoes Soft Toys

I got about two thirds of the way through in about two hours, but then foolishly thought that the remaining third would only take me an hour. I was so very, very wrong.

Progress on the last pile was painful. It included a lot of photos and letters and cards and general crap from my teenage years. A lot of notebooks and planners and diaries (yeah, I was a massive stationery nerd even back then) and just generally things that required a lot of time and attention to go through. So, for most of them, I just didn’t bother. I dumped about 90% of my old letters without even reading them. If I’ve no idea what’s in them, I won’t miss them, right?

KonMari Method -- Mementoes -- Letters

This was the first thing to slow me down.

Long story short, it took me about 5 hours to go through everything, and another hour to put the “staying” stuff back and bring the “going” pile downstairs. (And yes, I just threw all the “maybes” in a big box to be donated.) It wasn’t fun and, because of that, I didn’t feel any sense of elation or accomplishment when it was all done. I just felt tired and cold and hated pretty much everything. 😛

KonMari Method -- Mementoes -- Going

KonMari Method -- Mementoes -- to be donated

But look, we’re all here for the “before” and “after” shots, right? So here you go:

KonMari Method -- Mementoes -- Before and After

Talk about underwhelming, right? It looks like all I’ve done is tidy up a bit. Yeah, the whole thing was as anti-climactic as those pictures. I thought I’d be laughing and cheering and throwing a farewell party for my junk non-joy-sparkers. Instead, I was coughing and sneezing and nursing a horrible sinus headache from all the dust. In short, I was miserable.

The weird thing is that I just don’t feel “done”. I don’t feel like I’ve actually finished the KonMari Method. Which is odd. All I feel right now is that it was a good first attempt. Honestly, I see myself having to go through the whole thing once or twice more to really feel like it’s officially completed. So no gold star for me just yet. Boo.

In the book, Marie Kondo talks about reaching the “click point”, and that that’s the measure of when you’re done. You keep going until something just clicks and you know you have the right amount of stuff for you.

For me, there was no click. There wasn’t even a cl-. At the end of the day, when it was all put back, all I could think was how much stuff I still had.

And how I could barely feel my fingers.

So it seems I still have more work to do. But it actually doesn’t bother me. On the whole, I’ve found the process extremely rewarding, I’ve learned an awful lot, and I’m more determined than ever to lead a minimalist lifestyle (and more convinced that I can actually do it). Despite the horrendousness of that particular day, I’m still excited to keep going and to clear out even more stuff.

Bit of a KonMari Method masochist now, I suspect. 😉





It hasn’t always been plain sailing but it’s always been worth it and I’ve always seen benefits. So I’m happy to keep going ’til I hear that CLICK.

Have you been going the KonMari Method too? What category have you found the hardest? Have you heard the elusive ‘click’?


{ P.S. I recorded the whole thing so click here to watch the vlog. }

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