{Konmari} the memories edition

According to Marie Kondo, the category you should work through last is the memories category.

I think this is a very good idea because it can definitely slow you down.

Mine fits onto one shelf – it’s my own memory box, the binder ring books for Christmas cards, the kids’ birthday cards and some of my own.

This is it after I pulled it all out onto the floor.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Basically the only things I had no trouble tossing were all my old business cards ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are the kids’ birthday cards – year 1 is missing and as I mentioned on Instagram, it was quite representative of our lives because we didn’t know if we were coming or going!

(I eventually found them in my memories box with the cards we received when they were born)

There is a whole year or thereabouts of photos I just didn’t document (from when I went back to work after maternity leave) and I’m not remotely interested in going back and catching up because… that was life.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

My stuff – some birthday cards, “just because” cards and so on…

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let’s talk about memories of my kids’ things. I mentioned to a mom at a party recently that I had big ideas when my kids first went to pre-school. Every week I’d take a pic of the items from that week.

That process got old very quickly and after about 6 months, I stopped. They then put their things in a plastic box and they sort through it themselves when it gets full.

This is about the stuff they give to me or that I particularly want.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Some of their very first drawings

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

When I did this particular Konmari sort, I found a concertina file for each kid, and I’m using one sleeve for each year. Some of you might gasp (that’s so little space) but that’s precisely why I love this idea because boundaries help me with clarity so I can choose my very favourite things to keep.

For the record, I didn’t toss much but I’m very clear on why I’m keeping the stuff I do still have, which is an excellent outcome of the hours spent looking through all this stuff.

If you’re following the Konmari method, have you reached the memories category yet? Was it a very long process for you?

Seeing your space in a new light

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I literally only pulled out my camera one day a week for the whole of Feb (to take the 52 Project photo of the kids on Sundays), and then not quite as bad, but there’s a sense of get this done, instead of play in my March photos so far.

I was even completely up to date on Monday night after the Sunday photos last weekend.

So I decided I needed to leave my camera out more to encourage me to just grab it and snap a few photos as things look good in certain light.

And I went a bit wild today.

It was good for me because I always feel great after I’ve created with my camera, but more than that – this!

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I noticed bits of my home that I’d forgotten, both good and bad, like

  1. the big canvas hanging slightly skew
  2. the beautiful light in Kendra’s bedroom
  3. the hand towel I should swop out to match with the bath mat
  4. the way the light shines on my wooden floors in the lounge
  5. how much I love my yellow desk

I even gave myself a challenge to take photos in the kitchen with unwashed dishes, and make it look good ๐Ÿ™‚

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that sometimes we need to literally take a photo of our spaces to really see them – you might have got used to the clutter in your space and this helps you see your space properly again.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation. You buy some clothes, come home, toss the bag in your bedroom and a week later it’s still there. We’ve stopped seeing it because our eyes are now used to that clutter.

This is why I like to get my donated things out and into the boot (trunk) of the car before it becomes a new item of “furniture” in my house that I get used to.

*ahem* I have a box of books in my sunroom….

If there’s a space in your home frustrating you, take a photo and see if you can spot what it is you need to do.

When was the last time you took photos of your home?

– Both big canvases (size A0) printed by Mojo Printing who I thoroughly recommend. I used a number of printers until I found them – they are my favourites and will courier anywhere in the country.

– Chevron rug by Airloom, bought via www.Superbalist.com

– Couches and pillows from Mr P Home

{Konmari} Ugly blue takkies

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com


Here’s just one of the reasons I love the Konmari method. I’ve been telling myself I need to get rid of these old takkies (sneakers) for years.

I’ve probably had them for 8-9 years and they’ve been all over the world so they’re not the very prettiest takkies I have at the moment.

I kept taking them out to donate them and I end up putting them right back with my shoes.

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Top of the Rock, NYC

But then I read that book and I realised why I don’t seem able to get rid of these shoes.

They spark JOY!

Once I realised that, I happily wear these not-so-pretty shoes on my photowalks and they bring me much, much joy.

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Charlotte, North Carolina

Is there an item of clothing/ houseware, etc. you think you should get rid of but you really love for no good reason?

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

V & A Waterfront, Cape Town

{Konmari} The Christmas Cards

Gretchen Rubin wrote a post a few months ago about Christmas cards. She mentioned that as they receive cards, they leave it in a common space for about a week for everyone in the family to see, and then they toss the cards.

This is quite the novel idea to me.

I don’t know of anyone who tosses cards even before Christmas is over ๐Ÿ™‚ Then again, since I’ve been blogging, I’ve also heard (previously unknown to me) that people take their Christmas trees down on Christmas night.

But that’s a discussion for another day ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the cards.

The comments on that blog post are all over the spectrum and very interesting.

So I took out my stash of cards. People in South Africa don’t really exchange cards much these days so we never have many. We mostly give and get to overseas friends.

I was a bit sidetracked for a while, reading the cards and then I put them back for a few weeks.

Yesterday I took them out again and I decluttered ONE card. Just one.

I then decided I’ll put them out in a bowl at Christmas time and see if they no longer spark joy then.

For now, I have the space and they don’t NOT spark joy.

What’s your take on the Christmas cards?

Keep? Toss? Lovingly scrapbook?

I finally Konmari’d my nail polish


It surprised me, actually, how difficult it was to tidy my nail polish. Tidy is the word Marie Kondo uses to sort/ declutter/ organise.

Yes, all those bottles spark joy but even I can hear that’s stretching it, just a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

This was my process for decluttering them:

Pile 1 – ones that sparked joy but didn’t look good on my skin

They looked good in store (lights!) but in normal light, they look too dark/ garish, whatever. I still liked the colour but not on my nails.

  1. Bottles that were decent – donated (we have a number of girls at work who like nail polish so I just said, “help yourselves”). It helps me (this might not work for you) to declutter if I think, “who can use this today?”

2. Bottles that were not really donate-able – we used these for nail polish cards and I even kept some to make dipped ring bowls. They turned out beautifully.

Pile 2 – ones that sparked serious joy, looked good and I usually receive compliments

I also admitted to myself that some I only use on finger nails and some I only use on toenails. E.g. I would never wear the yellow on my fingers but I love the colour on my toes in summer.

I also realised that some are “winter” colours for me and some are “summer” colours.

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Last but not least, I did a very Konmari thing.

I noticed when listening to her book that she often applies logic when working with her clients. For instance, if you have 1000 ziploc bags, even if you use only 1 new one a day (unlikely), it would take you three YEARS to work through that stash. So why keep them all?

I applied this logic to my nail polish.

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I typically wear a different colour every 4 – 5 days. It’s about how long it takes for me to get bored with looking at a specific colour. That’s 73 different colours in a year. However, I would wear a colour at least twice each, so 30 bottles is really all I should own, at most.

(I had many, many more than 30 – I blame it on the Essence brand. Such gorgeous colours and at such a good price I kept saying, “it’s only R25, I might as well take 3”! Also, when people know you like things, they keep buying you those things and before you know it, you have a drawer full of nail polish!)

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Once I got into the process, I was able to cull to below 30. I think I ended up with 27. Yip, just counted. The pile on the top left doesn’t count – those are my base coat, top coat, quick-drying drops, and so on.

(I’m realising as I type this how… um….passionate I sound. At least I’m not like this with make-up?)ย ย  Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So there you have it – the nail polish is finally sorted but I know I’m going to have to keep a close eye on it because I already caved a month later and bought a gorgeous neutral this weekend called, “Oh Mr Darcy” from Rimmel.

Now who could resist that?!

I know we all have a certain “issue”. For some it’s hair products, for others perfume, make-up, face creams, etc.

Tell me what your “issue” is. And have you applied the Konmari method to it yet?

Konmari tweaks

I’ve blogged a lot about how I love the Konmari method of “tidying up”. I’ve also lived with the method for about 5ย months so I can now see what’s still working and what’s not.

By the way, this tweaking is a normal part of organising.


1. While I love the uprightness of my clothes, when you take things out to wear, some of the clothes “collapse” and I’m really not into the untidiness that presents.

Am Iย willing to use up more space just for the sake of 2 – 3 t-shirts that now are a bit more wrinkled than normal? Probably not.

Also, to be fair, the clothes at the bottom of the piles were also subjected to more creases when I used to organise the standard way.


2. I eventually separated out my sleeveless t-shirts from the normal sleeves, and the work t-shirts from the casual t-shirts

I don’t know my clothes well enough (or it could be that I have too many grey t-shirts?!) so I couldn’t tell from the top if they were sleeveless and I’d pull them out, and then have to navigate the pile again to shove the incorrect t-shirt into the vertical pile.

This is nothing in the grand scheme of life, but it is a toleration. And most of us could do with fewer tolerations.


3. And then there’s the not-so-small matter of the nail polish

The nail polish has been the hardest thing to “tidy up”. I truly love lots of bright colours. However, I do remember from listening to her book that she likes to apply logic to things. So realistically speaking, if I change my nail polish every 4 – 5 days, I could use 73 applications in a year. If I only apply each colour two times a year, that’s 37 bottles I need (I have more than that but I’m not telling you how much!).

Anyway, so the goal is 30 ๐Ÿ™‚ Because there are those I LOVE during winter (dark colours), and those I LOVE during summer (pastels and bright colours). And a few standard colours for my toes.

If I’m brave, I may show you the nail polish progress.

How are you doing with Konmari, a few months in?

{Konmari} tidying the books – finally

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about how much I love my Kindle but the fact of the matter is that I still have a ton of physical books.

It could have been worse but thankfully, I only keep books I really love/d.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So one weekend I decided I had to finally tackle those shelves and ask The Question, “does this spark joy?”

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

it’s always a good idea to dust once the shelves are actually clear ๐Ÿ™‚

Marie Kondo, in her life-changing book, does say a few interesting things about the process of decluttering books:

  1. books are one of three things most difficult to get rid of (is this true for you?)
  2. fewer books mean there’s a bigger impact on the information (true!)
  3. timing is everything. The moment you come across and feel compelled to buy is the right time for you.
Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

the two books on the left are borrowed indefinitely from friends… so yay, when I read them, I can return them!

Maybe number 3 is true for others, but I buy kind-of all the time because I’m reading and finding books online all the time. I’ve only recently stopped buying ahead on Audible. I’m listening to one book at the moment, and have one more ready to go. I don’t want to gather/ hoard more than this.

The thing is I do get to a lot of books much later than I intend to….and most times, I’m compelled to read them at the right time. There are physical books I’m sure I will read still on my shelves.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

these are books I LOVE or definitely want to read. Motherstyles is my most favourite parenting book ever!

That said, I took her point about asking yourself, “does this move me or not, and am I happy to see it on my shelves?”

And that was the filter I used to declutter.

I must add that the task was much bigger in my head than in reality (isn’t it always?!). Once I started working, it probably only took me an hour to finish the exercise!

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

this pile went…

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

as did this pile (A painted house is my favourite John Grisham but I haven’t re-read it in the 10 years we’ve been in this house so I’m not likely to do so, right?)

I got rid of (well, that box is still standing in my entrance way ready to go to the secondhand bookshop) about 20 – 30 books that I liked the idea of, but know I probably won’t ever read, even though many of them are new.

I’m sure I could have done better but for now, this felt enough for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Mission accomplished – I’m finally down to just 3 shelves ๐Ÿ™‚

How are you doing with Konmari? Has anyone done their books? Was it torturous for you?

An interview with Cassey, an ESFJ, about Konmari

Cassey was one of the respondents of my little Konmari survey. I wanted to feature her because like all of us (some of you think I’m different but I’m not), she’s a normal mom with a toddler sorting out her house.

I hope this brings some weekend inspiration your way ๐Ÿ™‚

1.What is your MBTI type? If youโ€™re not sure, take the test here.

ESFJ-T according to the site you suggested.

2.What drew you to the book?

I was just ready for a change, to do something instead of nothing.

Reader Konmari examples | www.OrganisingQueen.com

3.Which aspects did you most love?

I loved the spark joy parts, the take on gifts, and living the lifestyle you want.

In terms of organising, the doing category by category was new to me, and that with having everything in front of you just made such a difference to making this happen and getting it done.

After years of trying I finally have a capsule wardrobe. I love the folding although it’s not easy for me to do it well.

4.What do you not love about the book?

It’s very woo-woo. I get being grateful – an attitude of gratitude is something I keep on working on – but I don’t find the thanking it method to be something for me. I also hate the colour hanging plan for your wardrobe.

Reader Konmari examples | www.OrganisingQueen.com

5. Tell me about your progress. How long have you been working through your home? Are you done? Do you intend to continue? Etc.

I am mostly done. Mementos are proving tough. There’s also my son and husband’s stuff, as well as some kitchen stuff.

J is not as enamoured with this method as I am, but he is certainly enjoying what it’s doing for me. I think it’s been a month to 6 weeks or so. It does help that we’re in a 2 bedroom flat and before moving into it we already downsized some items.

Now it’s about making sure we – well, mostly I – don’t fall back into the thinking that what you have is a big part of defining your success and worth. It was part of something that got me to finally complete something I’ve wanted to do for ages – coming across the book was just so well timed with me getting my depression diagnosis, starting therapy and taking meds. I don’t know if it would’ve worked as well for me earlier.

Reader Konmari examples | www.OrganisingQueen.com

What kind of challenges do you feel she doesn’t address well?

Dรฉcor and kids. Yes, she has you picture your space, but the way I’d love my space is very different to what the space can be with a toddler, and all of his books and toys in it.

Any other insights

I think that once you’ve done it in a big way once, the rest of the time is just about maintenance. What brings us joy changes and grows, so we will probably need to do a re-look at things once in a while. The base point will remain because I don’t see me going back to an overstuffed wardrobe or overstacked bookshelves ever again.

What was the most interesting part of what Cassey said?

Thanks so much, Cassey!

PS If you want to be featured, take the survey here and send me some pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I’ve been writing about this book such a lot that I thought it may be useful to put all the posts in one place.


  1. The book that’s all over the internet
  2. Why I started with my bathroom
  3. The purpose of a gift
  4. The controversy surrounding the book – part 1
  5. The controversy surrounding the book – part 2
  6. Konmari vs capsule wardrobes vs old-fashioned decluttering
  7. It even works on blogs!
  8. Why the craziness works
  9. Which category should you start with first?
  10. 10 things you need to know about Konmari
  11. Does this spark joy?
  12. Your Myers-Briggs type and the Konmari method
  13. If you’re feeling overwhelmed….
  14. If you’ve read the book, take my little survey here

Did you miss any of the posts?

Myers Briggs and the Konmari method

This is post number 1600 – I love round numbers – and how fitting that it’s about one of my favourite subjects, personality profiles ๐Ÿ™‚

08 Konmari

My kids, going through their DVDs….it wasn’t a very successful exercise. Apparently everything brought them joy ๐Ÿ™‚

Long-time readers will know that Beth and I are accountability partners.

Since 2006!!!!

I remember that date because I was in Thailand when I sent her the email agreeing to the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

I think our relationship works for many reasons but one of the main ones is because we are complete and total opposites.

Beth’s an INFP and I’m an ESTJ.

She slows me down and makes me think about why, and I push her to try things within a deadline ๐Ÿ™‚

Beth has still not finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upย and I’m chomping at the bit waiting… because I can’t wait to discuss Myers Briggs with her.

We both advocate small steps of decluttering. She has a lovely gentle way of supporting her clients, and I am a teensy bit bossier, but I also like smaller, steady steps because it motivates most people to get things done.

We both know that everybody doesn’t relate to both styles.

And so, everybody will also not relate to everything in the book.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

That said,ย I listened to The Simple Show podcast two weeks ago and Tsh was talking to Megan Tietz, another MBTI enthusiast, about the Konmari book. Listen from 22 – 40 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also a keen MBTI enthusiast but I’m probably going to get things wrong. I’m writing this anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

First, if you don’t know your style, go take the 16 personalities quiz or this one.

I realised while writing most of this post that I only had myself – a focus group of one – and would benefit from more people’s answers.

So I put out a cry for help and nine people helped out. Thank you so much!


Sensing types

Both of the first two Myers-Briggs types are sensing types, and therefore their environment is very important to them because they take in information through their senses. The J type is motivated towards getting things done while the P type is about possibilities, spontaneity and having fun.

On the whole, the S-types are very practical and literal…when I asked what they didn’t like, all the S’s said the impractical things, like emptying out handbags, thanking each object as they left your home, speaking to your possessions, the woo-woo, etc.

SJ – Guardians

Are most aware of their physical surroundings and are motivated by doing the right thing, love rules and orderย and like to see results. I’m an SJ type and with Konmari, the things that challenged and were frustrating to me were all the things lying around (!) and how it took me ages to complete a category.

I do love the process, the fact that it’s making a very real difference in my environment. The results of all thoseย empty drawers speak for themselves, and definitely spark joy.

SP – Artisans

The artisans are sensation-seeking and would probably love Konmari as long as they’re having fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Typically like the idea but the process might be a bit overwhelming.

I imagine they’re really into the question and will happily toss anything that’s not sparking joy. The SP who answered my little survey said she liked being challenged to think out of the box.

MBTI and Konmari | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Intuitive types… (Ns)

The Ns are typically big picture thinkers, in the air vs the “on the ground” sensing types. In one of my favourite parenting books, Motherstyles, she talks about giving your kids baths. The N mom baths their kids to have fun and the S mom baths her kids to clean them ๐Ÿ™‚

NTย  – Rationals

The most suspicious of any quirkiness in the book. The logical and reasonable side of the structure of the process will appeal though to their practicality. If they believe in the purpose though (e.g. a calm and peaceful home), they will enjoy the process.

From the NT who answered the survey, “she is clearly kind of crazy” —>>>> I LOVE THIS STATEMENT because it is pure INTJ ๐Ÿ™‚

NF – Idealists

This is the style most in love with Konmari. As Megan Tietz said on the podcast, “this is totally our bag” (she is an ENFP). This type loves all the questions because everything has meaning and purpose in life.

It gives you the freedom to answer the question without having to follow rules.

From the NF who responded, I love that she is reframing things that have tripped me up. Like saying gifts have already served their purpose, or even clothes I’ve never worn have served their purpose by teaching me something. Purpose, purpose, purpose – I adore this comment!

MBTI and Konmari | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Survey results

INTJ – 11%

ENFP – 11%

ESTP – 11%

ISFJ – 11%

ESFJ – 11%

ESTJ – 11%

ISTJ – 34%

SJ-types 67%

My guess is that the book sounds good to so many SJ types because our environments are so important to us and we’re always up for a new trick to increase effectiveness in this area. I, personally, have written many times about how I can’t function in disorder.

I still want to hear from you!

I have a surprise for you on Friday. One of the respondents sent me such lovely responses and photos that I’m going to share those with you to inspire you.

Whether you have or haven’t responded, but want to share your journey too, email me on marcia @ organisingqueen . com and send me pics/ your story/ answer my questions/ write some more. Whatever! It’s all welcome!

What’s your MBTI type?

Have you read the Konmari book?

What are your favourite things about the book, and your least favourite things about the book?

Comments are OPEN for this post!

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