After a 3-month interruption, I am back on the KonMari Clean horse. Here are some updates and document cleanup tips.
Living with less
With less clothes, I noticed changes in behavior:
- Live with alternatives instead of buying more (living with less is my new default mode)
- Donated more items I kept during the clothing cleanup (became even more conscious of the “sparks” of my things)
- Buy only what I needed (better able to resist the lure of a sale)
I have never been so thankful for the digital age. Though being an “old school” writer, I’ll never be without pen and paper, I love that I don’t have to keep a hardcopy of everything.
Writers, don’t live in the piles of your drafts! According to Pam Binder of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, you only need keep digital drafts and perhaps a hardcopy of the latest version.
Remember to shred your old drafts, just to be safe.
Sorting documents, what to keep?
Most of what I had were old statements and were almost all shredded after I read through these articles.
Shred your documents
Since I can recycle shredded paper with residential garbage collection and I have a cross-cut shredder (strip-cut is not as secured), I decided to shred as I sort. I tried to mix different types of documents when I shred, cautious or paranoid? Could be both, ha ha!
If you don’t have a shredder or you have a lot of confidential documents, look for free document shredding events in your area.
Learn the recycling rules
- Can you recycle shredded paper?
- How do they want it? Our collector asks us to put shredded paper into clear plastic bags. (I saved the dry cleaning protective covers from the “clothes on hanger” phase, tied the hanger ends and used it for hold the sheredded paper.)
- Can photo paper be recycled with regular paper? In our area, you can recycle photos but only if they are shredded.
What do you do with all the clothes you don’t want to keep? Go through this in order so you can get the most of the your old things.
- Bring your best items to a local/church thrift shop first. If possible pick one that is all volunteers so all the money would go to the needy.
- For the not-so-good items (i.e. just good enough to go out in), go to places like Good Will or Value Village
- For cloth with holes and damages, recycle them. Check with your own garbage company if they recycle cloth.
- Look for a local recycle company that accepts textiles
- When all else fails Good Will seems to take cloth in any condition.
I just don’t have the hear to make other people sort through my old unmentionables, so I saved them to use with Folex, my favorite non-toxic carpet spot cleaner.
Continuing with my KonMari process, I tackled the “clothes on hangers” sub-category.
For me, they were the old business outfits and dresses that I’ve stored away in another closet that I couldn’t possibily fit into my own.
Other then the volume of clothes, this was very easy. They were too small but still in very good condition so all of them went to my favorit 100% volunteered local charity. And of course, there were many other ways to give your old clothes second lives.
In my previous post, I mentioned how I thank my out-going clothing by folding or arranging them nicely before I delivered them to charity shops. A lady at the shop mentioned how nice it was to received them this way. Not only my old clothes got more appreciation, it brought the volunteers joy while they work.
Back to clothes on hangers. Here are my notes:
- I had bought a bright yellow, waterproof, stylish jacket with a hoody to fulfill my promise to my designer cousins. I love the jacket but never wears it. Now it has room to breath on the hanger, it sparks joy every time I see it. I wore it on walks in the fall rains and very happy to find out that it’s warm and really waterproof (Style to me often means impractical.)
- I wished I’d donated these quality garments much sooner. I found some spongy padding on hangers turned to sticky dusts because they are so old, I worried that the charity shop might not get as much money out of them.
- Do keep the dry cleaning bags for until you are done with the entire cleanup. Use them as light garbage bags (tide the hanger opening). Or in our area, home shredded paper are required to go into a clear plastic bag, so I saved it for the document clean up phase.
After the clean up, there are only three things left on hangers that I don’t wear often.
- 1 long coat for super cold winter
- 1 jacket (mentioned above) for rainy spring/fall days
- 1 dress for all formal occasions
I love that I can actually see the backwall of my closet now.