Other ways to make sense out of the mess

Happy New Year !!!


As 2018 starts have you been thinking about cleaning out, tidying up, getting organised?  I have.


While I found Marie Kondo’s approach of gathering all of the same kind of things together and sorting through them all at the same time

very useful for clothes I didn’t find that it worked quite so well for other things. 


For clothes I found that I was amazed (stunned) by the sheer number of things I had of the same kind!!  So gathering them all in one

place worked well because I made me realise that I had far too many t-shirts, for example, and that I didn’t wear a lot of them.


For other household items that process didn’t work as well.  Although I did work through cupboards and because I tend to be organised

anyway usually the things in the cupboards were essentially the same; linen in one place, plastics in one place, food in pantry or



I have been reading ‘the art of discarding How to get rid of clutter’ and find joy by Nagisa Tatsumi who apparently inspired Marie Kondo. 

This book has some other ideas on ways to de clutter that may work better for different people or different things.


Part Two of the book lists 10 strategies for discarding which I have summarised my favourites below.


Don’t look – throw!

If you are looking at / sorting through something don’t think I’ll look at this again later (tomorrow , next week …) do it then and there;  This

fits in with my theory of minimal handing and therefore saves me time. 

What things would fit in here?

  • Pamphlets/catalogues /advertising material/flyers/leaflets
  • Files/documents that have been stored away
  • Books/magazines
  • Letters and Cards
  • DVD’s

Clothes/household items that have been kept in boxes


Chuck it there and then


If you’ve got it in your hand deal with it then and there!   Things like 

  • Bills and Statements
  • Giveaways
  • Photographs – prints and negatives

    I know that I have a lot of photo negatives but really these days if you want a copy you can get it a copyfrom the original – in fact that is what I had to do when I wanted a copy of a photo from around 1928 and onlythe original was available.  The photo on the left is the copied one. 

    • Chopsticks, spoons, forks and other stuff from take away meals
    • Souvenirs, presents, seasonal gifts etc
    • Damaged plates, pens that don’t write,
    • Spare electrical appliances, furniture, pans
    • Packaging,
    • Shop receipts
    • Work papers
    • Magazines
    • Leftovers,
    • Food that you can no longer eat
    • Food in the fridge.

Discard when you exceed a certain amount


You can decide what you would like this to be –  it can be a certain amount of space, the number you can use…..

  • Clothes, linen, shoes, food, books
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Wrapping Paper, string, boxes, used paper
  • Plates, cups, mugs pots and pans, cutlery
  • Wine – I have a wine rack / cupboard and once I have filled up all the spaces in it I don’t buy any more wine until I have room to fititinto the rack. Here’s a photo of my mini wine collection – which is looking a bit empty.   I seem to have 14spaces available so it could be time to fill it with some more wine!


Discard after a certain period of time


  • Manuals / How to books
  • Catalogues
  • Toys
  • Documents/files
  • Books/Magazines
  • Letters, cards
  • DVD’s
  • Clothes, utensils that have been stored away.

Some of these things you only need for a short time, others  you are required to keep for a certain amount of time (eg financial

documents);  Using this method gives you a number of opportunities to throw things out.


Who disposes of what? Who is responsible?


Deciding who throws out the newspapers, or magazines or puts the garbage out, tidies the cupboards, cleans up the kitchen can save a

lot of stress and arguments!!   If everyone knows that say Dad puts the garbage out then it won’t get missed like it could be if it was left to

‘someone’ to do;   It’s a bit like my Mum used to say when something got broken but no one owned up “Mr Nobody” did it.   Well in this

case it could be Mr Nobody didn’t do it!


If you want all the details the name of the book is “the art of discarding – How to get rid of clutter and find joy” by Nagisa Tatsumi.


That’s it for this month – bye for now.