Okay, I admit that I was really dreading this stage of the Konmari process, for the following reasons:
- I would have to open up and empty out all the cupboards and drawers in the study room.
- It just seemed like sorting through years of papers would just be interminable.
In actual fact, it was not as bad as I expected, although I did get very familiar feeling of self-loathing after the first hour of gathering all the papers in one place. This feeling very quickly dissipated once I shut the spare room door on the whole mountain of mess.
In all, it only took me a total of six tidying sessions (each an hour long) to finish this part of the Konmari challenge and it was all relatively painless.
I found clearing the papers very manageable for the following reasons:
- 30% of the papers I’d accumulated consisted of junk mail, warranties for items I no longer own, letters contained outdated information, magazines and research journals = all junk = could be recycled straightaway without any sort of emotional turmoil
- 50% of the papers consisted of sentimental items or craft/decorative items = different Konmari category and could be saved in cardboard boxes for later. Hooray for procrastination!
In actual fact, I only really needed to properly sort through about 20% of the mountain of papers that I accumulated!
Following Konmari’s instructions to the letter (pun intended), I did make an effort to open up every single envelope, and unfold each slip of paper one by one, instead of just throwing things away as a stack.
I’m so glad that I did this because I found:
- My husband’s Kindle which he thought he lost at work years ago – it was tucked between the pages of an old medical journal which was sandwiched between some old revision notes.
- $60 in cash monies! Yay! Who doesn’t love finding money?! These were crumpled up notes and stuffed into random envelopes, and completely wrapped up in receipts.
- A Lip Smacker lip balm, still in pristine condition within it’s original packaging. Somehow it found itself inside an accordion file with a bunch of old household bills. I opened it up and it smelled so good. I am now using it every day so that I can smell exactly like a strawberry banana.
Of the 10% of papers that I had left, I kept the following:
- Personal documents for each family member (mostly certificates) – filed into separate pocket folders with one for each family member
- Family documents like bank account details, mortgage and leases, medical and insurance information and other legal documents – filed into one large pocket folder
- Deeds, warranties and manuals pertaining to our house and household appliances – filed into a single ring binder
- Bills and bank statements: only 2 years worth – filed into a single ring binder
- The Barn Owls Work Stuff – put into a cardboard box for him to sort through at his convenience
- Papers that need immediate attention – filed in clear plastic folder and kept on my desk
As you can see from the picture above, all of the household papers are now neatly and clearly organised into files which only take up half of my shelf. Everything else was shredded and sent to the recycling bin – yes sir, yes sir, ten bags full!
If you haven’t read the books already, you can get them here: