My KonMari Journey — ‘Komono’ — Stationery

How I ever got through this in one piece is beyond me, but I’ve KonMari’d my stationery. Planners and stationery are my big weakness, and I’ve amassed quite the collection in recent years. It was probably the category I was dreading most. But now it’s done, so I’m pretty sure world domination isn’t too far behind.

Fasten your seatbelt because it’s going to be a long ride.

Having learned the lessons from previous categories, I broke this down into sub-categories. I started with my planners because I thought that would be the hardest (and I’m a big advocate of starting hard and then breezing downhill thereafter). Surprisingly, one of the planners I never thought I’d be able to get rid of didn’t spark that much joy for me when I held it, so I let it go. Long story short, I started with 15 and finished with 10. (I’ve since bought 2 more but also decluttered 2 more, so I’m still on track.)

KonMari Method. Planners. Filofax. Decluttering.

Then it was washi and deco tapes. I hardly ever use these so this wasn’t particularly difficult. I was surprised at the amount I had, though. A lot of them were bought as multi-packs and, as is always the case with variety packs like that, you’ll usually find one decent thing and the rest will be crap. I started with 40 washi rolls, 42 deco rolls, 13 washi samples, and 8 deco samples. Ended with 33, 7, 3, and 0.

KonMari Method. Washi tape. Decluttering.

Next was one of the biggest sub-categories and, really, it shouldn’t have been. It was Project Life and journaling cards. Bit of a mystery when I actually don’t use any of them. I’ve no excuse other than I was weak and sick when I bought them, and feeling decidedly sorry for myself. I’m horrified and ashamed to admit that I had over 2,200 PL cards, and over 100 non-PL cards. (Counting them all was my punishment for being silly enough to buy them in the first place.) Out of over 2,300, I kept… *drumroll*… 128. I’ve started selling off the rest in bundles.

KonMari Method. Project Life. Decluttering.

I remembered the book saying that Apple products come in boxes that are great for storage, so I grabbed the box from my iPhone and VOILA, perfect size for the smaller cards. I was a little bummed that the larger cards didn’t fit in, until I remembered my husband has an iPad Air. Five minutes later I was pretty damn pleased with my little box of joy.

KonMari Method. Project Life. Decluttering.

Then I went a bit mental and pulled everything else out and threw it on the bed.

KonMari Method. Stationery. Decluttering.

Thankfully, I still had the sense to continue dividing them into sub-categories, so I went with writing implements next. A total of 220 pens, pencils, markers and highlighters. There used to be MUCH more but, a while ago, I actually dumped all the ones that didn’t work. 128 left now. (In my defence, I do write a lot.)

KonMari Method. Pens. Decluttering.

Forgot to include it in the “after” pic but I kept the pink pencil case. JOY!

The sticky notes sub-category is a little ridiculous because I don’t even use sticky notes. It was just a mad spending spree on eBay that resulted in a crazy collection. 43 packs in total, but I whittled them down to 9. The little colourful arrows and page flags I sometimes use when I’m reading, to mark important bits. The others are really just to look at. (That’s a good enough reason to keep them, right?)

KonMari Method. Sticky notes. Decluttering.

And who needs this many clips?! About 200 in that tub. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ve used a handful, but also picked up a handful from documents people have sent me, so the vast majority of those went. I kept a few for practical purposes, and the shaped ones for pretty purposes, and donated the rest. Started with about 223; ended with 9 (Looking at it now, I forgot to include my unicorn clip that’s in my planner but, in fairness, that isn’t going anywhere!)

KonMari Method. Clips. Decluttering.

Stamps and punches next. (I included my stapler here.) I use all but one of my punches, but the stamps have hardly seen the light of day. Still kept most of them because… umm… Maybe I’ll re-visit this sub-category soon.

KonMari Method. Stamps. Decluttering.

Notebooks bring me joy. There’s no two ways about it. No matter how “digital” my days have become, I’ll never be able to get away from pen and paper. My ‘to do’ lists are usually digital (click here if you want to see what app I use), but I still end up scribbling things down on paper throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll even re-write my list on paper, just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything, and to cement it in my brain. There’s something about the act of writing that just helps bring clarity. I find the process very calming, and list-writing is my go-to stress reliever. (If you’ve been reading recent posts — like this one — you’ll know how important that is to me right now.) Having said that, I did manage to let go of 2 small ones (mainly because they were smaller sizes than I generally like and I’d have them filled in a matter of minutes).

KonMari Method. Notebooks. Decluttering.

No “after” pic ’cause I’m silly, but the 2 I got rid of are the white and aqua in the top left.

Next up: scrapbook paper. Another odd one here because, again, I don’t scrapbook. Still, the paper had pretty patterns, and I got most, if not all, of it on sale so, y’know, it was almost a necessity. Ahem. 458 sheets before. Still, I do plan on starting a scrapbook at some point so I’m sure some will come in useful soon. Right? I kept 253 because of what the road to hell is paved with.

KonMari Method. Scrapbook. Decluttering.

Finally, there was the stickers sub-category. Long story short (and because I’m getting tired of typing), I had a bajillion and I got it down to half a bajillion.

KonMari Method. Stickers. Decluttering.

KonMari Method. Stickers. Decluttering.

Ironically, this did not bring me joy.

If you’re ready for more (you masochist), or you’ve skipped all the above and jumped straight here (you bastard), here’s the accompanying video:

And now I need a long lie down.

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  1. Hi Laura,

    In the komono categories, KonMari lists ‘accessories’. Do you know what this means in relation to the house? I’ve already done accessories as part of my wardrobe (hats, scarves, belts etc) so I’m not sure what this other category is? Any ideas?

    • To me, it means knick-knacks, ornaments, artwork, plants, etc. Anything that “dresses” the house. I could be very wrong, but that’s my understanding of it. Hope that helps. =)

  2. I just stumbled across your videos and now your blog-and I’m slightly obsessed about it now-love the before and afters~gives me courage to tackle my own “hoard”. Glad I’m not the only one with oodles of this stationary stuff to go through! I love the “joy” sticker. Even things that you’d think would bring joy, just may not anymore.

    • Hi Tonya. Welcome to my little happy place. 😉 I actually found stationery easier than I thought it would be. I was really dreading it and assumed it would be the hardest category but, in truth, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Breaking it down into sub-categories definitely helped me and lessened the sense of overwhelm, so I’d recommend that if you’re hesitant about starting. Now that I’ve done it, as with all the categories I’ve completed, I plan on eventually going back through it to whittle it down even more. It’s amazing how your brain shifts from thinking you’d never be able to let go of something to realising you can easily live without it. So get stuck in without a second thought and watch the momentum carry you through! Good luck!

  3. After the torture that was ‘Paper’, I treated myself to ‘Stationery’ which was much easier and quite pleasurable. I was relieved to see your figures because my final figures were 74 ball point pens, 53 pencils, 168 assorted plastic wallets. I only threw away pens that didn’t work, scruffy folders, bent lever arch files etc. I’ve got 11 A4 hardback writing books and about 25 notepads and 20 empty files. This collection won’t be added to but we do use this stuff so the discard rate was a bit low. I definitely could do more and like you, intend to come back to these two categories. I had to re-read sections of the book because I found myself trying to discard rather than choosing what to keep. Komono is a lot of muddled up stuff now, stationery was all over the place but is now in the office – AND – the metal filing cabinet is empty and can go to a loving home. Still a little more to do, but 90% done in a day.

  4. So I tackled toiletries, make up (pathetically little) medicines and first aid today. There was a lot but it took hardly any time at all; easy decisions, nothing remotely sentimental and and putting it back in a sensible order was great. I freed up two cabinet shelves, now filled with stuff that was in other rooms (very Kondomari). It was the quickest and easiest yet. From now on it is likely to be difficult to select a clear category. I might do ‘electrical/electronic’ which won’t be easy.

    • Wow! Great job! You fared much better than I did, so I take my hat off to you. Yes, the categories get a little murky in ‘komono’. Electronics is a good one, but can be quite a broad category. You could split it into “entertainment” (games consoles, laptops, eReaders, etc.) and more “functional” (blenders, calculators, steamers, etc.) if that makes it easier. =) Other possible categories could be cleaning supplies, CDs & DVDs, or food!

      • Ha, you spotted that I’ve been avoiding the kitchen. There lies a tangled web. I might venture in there soon. Herbs and Spices are in desperate need of an overhaul. However, the very frustrating problem I came across today was lack of boxes/dividers. I had to empty some mushrooms out of their container in the end. Before tackling anything else, I need to address this. Who has shoe boxes for heaven’s sake?

        • Any shoe boxes I have actually have shoes in them. Ha ha. I find lack of proper storage solutions a bit of a hindrance at times too, but I figure that I want to declutter everything properly first so I can get a good appraisal of what I need. What’s the point in buying a container if you end up KMing everything that goes in it? 😉 But those long, narrow containers I seem to see in the fridge of every blogger give me googley eyes. If only we had a Container Store here in Ireland!

  5. You can order them on Amazon’s website but your in America now anyway, I got mine in California at a discount store, DD’s, Ross, TJ Max, and stores like that are also helpful. Hope that helps someone.

  6. I used to collect postcards. I started when I was a teen and went on a tour of Europe. I still have some of those postcards but over the years I’ve whittled it down whenever I have gotten the desire to organize. I love stationary and I love shopping for office supplies for some reason but honestly I don’t feel I have amassed that much probably because I prune periodically. I have come to terms with the facts that I will never write a letter or send a card even though I mean to do it. My daughter has lots of craft supplies. She got rid of the ones she doesn’t use willing but there was no reason to reduce so much when she is actually using the stuff. She collects erasers and pencil toppers so that would be her thing. I don’t have any planners. I tried scrap booking twice. I still have them because they have love letters and such my husband and I wrote to each other and actually everything I put in them was a truly special but they are just sort of scotched tapped to the pages. No artistic skills whatsoever. Hubbie’s only issue is that he likes to save packing material we don’t send a lot of packages but we have packing material.

    • Oh yes, office supplies are a huge weakness of mine too. And, like you, I rarely (if ever) send letters or cards, but still have plenty! And don’t worry that your scrapbooks don’t look “pretty”. Their purpose is to hold memories, and it sounds like they’re doing a pretty good job of that. 😉

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