It’s been well over a month since I wrote Part 1 of this weird organization adventure, so it was about time to continue this!
At the end of the last post I was halfway through the “papers” category, sorting out notebooks and sketchbooks. After that I moved to folders and loose papers, which were mostly old school/college stuff, important documents (which I kept all together in one folder for easier access), and art/comics. Luckily for me, during the last couple years I started using folders with sleeves to keep my comic pages, which makes everything way easier to organize.
look at all those sweet comics!
That’s the easy part. After that I had to tackle my old art folders, which are basically just a huge amount of papers just thrown into folders with vague categories. I’ve always been one to save everything I draw, so there was a lot of stuff to go through. And so I ended up facing…
This time I was way less lenient with my papers. Most of my old art is scanned and saved somewhere on my hard drive
(or my old websites…), so I only decided to keep what I really liked or had some sentimental value to me. Everything else was discarded, which led to a huge paper pile that I kept apart for recycling. I managed to go down from 4 old art folders to 3, which isn’t much but it’s something.
After reorganizing all the papers I decided to keep, I move on to the final (and possibly most tedious) category: komono (or miscellaneous stuff). Following the KonMari methodology as close as I could, I removed every single miscellaneous object from my desk and put them all together, like this:
I thought we were organizing this place, not making it worse
A good portion of this stuff is art tools, and there’s a lot of them that ended up in the discard pile. I have a tendency to impulsively buy art tools I want to try, but I never use all of them! So I decided to be honest to myself and discard all the stuff I wasn’t really going to use. That included a set of markers, some oil paints, coloring pencils, graphite pencils, a couple of duplicate brush pens and some big paper pads.
The rest of the stuff was mostly cables, boxes, pendrives, and a ton of little random stuff that I’ve been accumulating over the years. Needless to say, there’s A LOT of stuff I discarded from here. Summing up all categories, my final discard pile ended up like this:
I put all of that aside to deal with later. I sold most of the books and art tools to my Facebook friends, and everything else will be either recycled, thrown away or donated. I’m still not done with all this pile, and it’s been two months since I did all this! (I currently have this stuff in a box, though, it’s not just lying on the floor like this). Also, not pictured: about 3-4 bags of trash and a bag full of papers for recycling.
Once the keep/discard process was over, it was time to finish putting everything back into my desk. I still had a lot of small items hanging around, and this is where my random boxes came in handy! I took some of them, wrapped them in gift paper, and reused them to organize stuff more easily.
slowly becoming a master at arts&crafts
how does this fit so perfectly? is it destiny? who knows
I made boxes for all the little things I used to keep loose on my shelves: ink bottles, cleaning utensils (that goes from screen cleaners to my eye drops, haha), business cards, post-it notes! Not only it makes it easier to find things, it also makes it way simpler to move stuff around when I need to clean the dust off my desk – which is certainly a blessing, considering how fast dust collects in this apartment.
Figuring out how to place everything back on my desk easily took another day, because I’m picky and I wanted to find the best possible configuration. Here’s a couple more pictures I took during this phase, along with some tips I learnt along the way:
finding stuff has never been so easy!
It’s quite easy to organize stuff in boxes, but it’s even easier to forget what’s actually inside them, especially when they’re hard to reach and you don’t check them often. In this case, I had a medium-sized box with assorted items on my top shelf, so I decided to make a list of all the stuff that’s inside so I could know right away without having to remove everything.
USB cables are the one thing I had never organized in my desk before. I always kept them lying around in boxes, or hiding them wherever they weren’t bothering too much. But since I was already doing some pretty intense cleaning, I decided to go all the way and organize my cables as well! Turns out it was as easy as getting some rubber bands and a clear box to keep them all together. I can’t believe it took me so long to do this!!
While looking for tips to organize cables I came across over-under coiling, a technique for coiling cables that helps preserve the cable for way longer. It took me about an hour of YouTube tutorials, and I’m not sure I’ve mastered it yet, but it does feel gentler on my cables. Definitely worth a look!
The whole process took about three days in total. It is the longest cleaning session I’ve had in my entire life and it left me sore for the rest of the week (MY BACK HURT SO MUCH BY THE END OF IT…), but it was definitely worth it.
KonMari is an organizing method that’s aimed at long-term results. According to the book, if you do it correctly you’ll never relapse to clutter again. It’s a really big statement, but I can see where it’s going with it. The KonMari method really makes you think about what you’re doing when cleaning, what you decide to keep or discard. You’re supposed to consciously choose to keep only what is really necessary (what is considered ‘necessary’ will always vary, though!). And when everything is organized and clean, it’s hard to come with new stuff and just throw it anywhere, you’ll want to make it fit from the beggining.
I don’t think I followed this method 100%, but I sure discarded more than I ever have in the past, and I feel good about it. Letting go of objects I wasn’t really using and passing them to people who’ll give them “a better home” felt more liberating than I expected, and now my workspace feels lighter and overall more comfortable. And a comfortable workspace leads to better and happier work!
It’s been two months since I did this huge cleanup and my desk is still just as organized. It took a lot of work and time to go through this, but so far it’s been absolutely worth it! I’d definitely recommend this method, even if you modify some of the details, as long as the main principle remains the same.
Have you had any experiences with the KonMari method? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to discuss about it 😀