My KonMari Journey, Part 2 – Books

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In this post, I share my experience of using the KonMari method to declutter my books. The method is based on Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I am interested in her approach, not only as a professional organiser, but also for us as a family.

Book decluttering using the KonMari method, during and after

If you’ve read my first blog post about the clothes category, you know that I actually started the process a while ago. I have to admit that there was quite a long interval between working through the clothes and the books. Marie Kondo recommends doing it all in one big sweep, or at least as fast as possible. Life happens, though, and personally I need to be in the right mood to tackle a project like this, hence the delay.

So, what happened? First, I have to tell you that I am a book lover and always have been. I’ve got an emotional attachment to many of my books. However, I have pretty much stopped buying books in recent years. Instead, I have become a very regular user of our beautiful local library. This obviously stops the influx, which is a good thing.


Working with subcategories

In contrast to the clothes category, I didn’t declutter the books in one go, but worked through various subcategories:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction professional
  • Non-fiction personal
  • Reference books
  • Travel books
  • Magazines
  • Cook books

There are more possible subcategories, which were not relevant to me, such as textbooks, comics, phone books or music books. I mostly used the coffee table in our lounge room as a sorting place and sometimes I added a trestle table.

To keep or not to keep … where the joy question wasn’t always enough

Marie Kondo says not to read the covers or extracts of books, but to pick one up and feel whether it sparks joy. I have to say: I found this more difficult with books than with clothes. I naturally did sometimes read the covers before I decided what to do with it.

Once I had decided, the books ended up in one of the following piles:

  • Keep
  • Keep but discard of when read once more
  • Keep for the sentimental category
  • Go to the German Community
  • Go to the OP shop
  • Go to the recycling bin

I did keep some books that I will eventually give away. First, however, I want to read them again (I often read books several times). So, I made a little pile of about 20 books that fell into this category. In the meantime, I have already reduced this pile and given away the ones I re-read.


Because I hate waste, I did some research first

Having lived in Switzerland for almost 40 years, most of my books are of course in German. This means that I can’t just bring them to the op shops here in Australia; at least, I wasn’t able to find one that is interested in these books. After quite a bit research, I found a retirement home with lots of German immigrants who love to read books in their native language. Knowing that the books would be appreciated made a big difference to me when deciding to let go or not.

I also knew that the local library has a magazine swap box in the entrance, so I brought all of mine there.

The professional, reference and travel books were the easiest for me to let go because I knew the contents were dated. That’s really a no-brainer.


Going through the process I was able to let go of about 126 books which represent almost exactly 50 %. Pretty good for a bookworm, don’t you think? I’m happy with the overall result, and it does feel great.

My top tip with regards to the book-category would be to think about where to bring the books you no longer want before you start the process.


Decluttering books using the KonMari method

Next up will be documents / paperwork. Sign up below to be the first to hear about future blog posts!

Related posts:

My KonMari Journey – Part 1 
What you need to know before starting with the KonMari method
Should You Apply the KonMari Method for Your Printed Photos?

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 6

Wardrobe Detox - Day 6

You did it – congratulations! I’d love to see some before and after photos, please share them in the comment section of this post on Facebook or email them to me so I can celebrate with you!

Image of a happy dance

Before we celebrate though, I’ve got two more tasks for you:


Take one or several after photos.


Make sure that everything you want to donate leaves the house today! If you decided to sell a few things, diarise it right now so it doesn’t block the entryway for the next 6 months ;-). The same goes for things you want to pass on. Grab the phone and find a date in the near future to meet with the person who will receive the treasures you no longer want.

  1. Think about how you will maintain the order in your wardrobe as of today. Think routines and habits. For a starter, I suggest to strictly stick to the rule one in – one out!. Another important maintenance routine is to put everything back to where it belongs. Forget that floordrobe once and for all!

Now we’re ready to celebrate your achievement! A toast to you and your hard work – I hope you enjoy your ‘new’ wardrobe. 

Signature Chantal

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 5

Wardrobe Detox - Day 5

Today it should be easier than the two past sessions, since you’ve honed your decluttering skills and volume-wise, it’s also probably less … except if you ‘collect’ shoes 😉 ..

These are the last sub-categories to go through:

  • Hats / caps / beanies
  • Belts
  • Bags
  • Accessories (e.g. scarfs)
  • Shoes

Again, same process as before:


Take everything out.


Give the closet / shelves / containers a quick clean.


Declutter by asking the question: ‘Does it spark joy?’ and make piles according to your decision (keep, donate, sell, hand down, put in rubbish bin).


Re-think the zones and storage solutions, but don’t buy new storage solutions yet.


Keep like with like (as always) and put everything where it belongs.

By the way: hooks are great and don’t forget the back of a door as storage place.

If you find that you really do need new containers, dividers or other storage solutions you can go shopping :-). A word of caution though: always measure your space in which the storage product should fit!

Best wishes and see you tomorrow for the last little challenge,

Signature Chantal

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 4

Wardrobe Detox - Day 4

Hi there!

How did your first decluttering session go yesterday? Here we go again! This time you can tackle these things:

  • Outerwear (jackets, coats)
  • Underwear (undies, bras, singlets)
  • Socks (incl. panty hoses)
  • Robes
  • Swimwear
  • Sports wear

You will basically use the same process as before, which is:


Take everything out.


Give the closet / shelves / containers a quick clean.


Declutter by asking the question: ‘Does it spark joy?’ and make piles according to your decision (keep, donate, sell, hand down, put in rubbish bin).


Again, re-think the zones in your wardrobe and possible subdivisions for the smaller garments. If you need new dividers or containers, improvise with what you have at home and buy new storage solutions later. If you need some inspiration, check this out on Pinterest!


Fold everything neatly and enjoy the new look (for the Marie Kondo fans: check out this video)!

See you tomorrow for the last bit of decluttering :-). And don’t forget that you are more than welcome to share your progress and thoughts on Facebook!

Signature Chantal

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 3

Wardrobe Detox - Day 3

Are you ready to go? Let’s do it! Today and the next couple of days will be about decluttering and organising your wardrobe.

Image of the word Joy

You can either work in sub-categories as listed below, or you can wait until you’ll have received the two subsequent emails and do it in one big sweep. Up to you.


Take out all garments listed below from your wardrobe or wherever they are stored in the house. Throw it all on one pile. This is important so you can see how much exactly you have of each category.

– Tops (t-shirts, blouses, shirts, tank tops)
– Bottoms (long and short pants, leggings)
– Skirts
– Dresses
– Costumes / evening wear


Give the closet / shelves a quick clean.


Working through the sub-categories, take each piece in your hands and ask yourself this one question: ‘Does it spark joy? (read more about this method in this blog post). If this question doesn’t do it for you, click here to download and use my Wardrobe Detox Flowchart.


If it passes the test, it goes on the ‘keep’ pile. If not, decide here and now what to do with it – donate, sell, hand down, put in rubbish bin?


Before you put the ‘keepers’ back into the wardrobe, re-think your zones. Is it all going back to where it was or do you want to re-arrange things? Don’t forget to give the most accessible space to the garments you wear most often.


Put everything back neatly and enjoy the new look!

Happy decluttering!

Signature Chantal

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 2

Wardrobe Detox - Day 2

How did the first day go? Did you have a chance to work on the vision? In case you missed yesterday’s email / blog post, I’m running a FREE wardrobe decluttering challenge this week to celebrate NOW (National Organising Week).

You can still join us and find the first challenge here if it’s not in your mailbox.

Now, let’s move on to the second step of this challenge.

Image of a donation box
Before you start decluttering (the most time consuming part of the process) I invite you to think about what you are going to do with the garments you no longer want or need.


Does it all go to charity? Would you like to sell some of the items? Can you hand it down to a friend or family member? I promise it will be much easier to let go of things if you know where they’re going.

If you want to donate it all – where will you take it? Or do you need someone to pick it up? If you are not a regular donor, think about a charity or cause you’d like to support and find their addresses and conditions. If you’re Melbourne based, you might find this list helpful.


If you want to sell it – check out the options, e.g. local Facebook Buy Swap and Sell groups, Gumtree, ebay, or think about commissioning someone to do the work for you. You’ll get less money but hey, your time is valuable, too!


If you want to pass it on to someone else – think about who might be interested.

Maybe it’s a no-brainer for you because you will donate everything to your usual op shop. If not, I invite you to do the necessary research and note the options you’re interested in.

Best wishes until tomorrow (when you’ll start the hands-on work!),

Signature Chantal

Wardrobe Detox Challenge – Day 1

Wardrobe Detox - Day 1

This week we are celebrating the National Organising Week (NOW) in Australia, which is hosted by the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (AAPO). AAPO dedicates this week to a special topic every year and this time round it is all about wardrobes!

So, how about a little challenge? I will send an email every day of the week with an assignment (if you don’t receive my emails yet, please sign up below!). Some of the tasks will be short and sweet and others might take a bit longer. I hope you join in! If you do …

… your wardrobe will be decluttered and nicely organised by the end of the week!

You’ll even have the opportunity to benefit from a little gift if you successfully complete your challenge (only subscribers are eligible though).

If the timing is not right for you, just keep the emails and action them when it suits you. Or wait until you’ve received all the emails and get it done in one fell swoop.

Let’s get started! Here is your first challenge:

Image of the word Vision

Every decluttering and organising project should start with a vision. We first need to know  exactly where we want to go.


Have a good look at your wardrobe, just look and feel.


Take one or several before photos.


Grab a piece of paper and a pen and brainstorm thoughts about how you want your wardrobe to look, feel and even smell like. What should it do for you? Look nice, enable you to easily choose matching clothes quickly in the morning, etc.?


Summarise your thoughts in one or two sentences. Word it positively and keep it short and simple.

Not ideal as a vision: I don’t want a floordrobe anymore. Better: My wardrobe enables me to quickly choose matching clothes in the morning.


Put that piece of paper on your wardrobe door and let it sink in.

Done for today :-). If you care to share, please hop over to the Facebook page and leave your vision in the comment of the post or just send it to me by email, I won’t share it with anybody.

Best wishes,

Signature Chantal

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