Komono is that tricky category in the KonMari Method™ that encompasses all miscellaneous items in your home – and it’s where a lot of tidiers lose momentum. Emily Schuman, of Cupcakes and Cashmere, embarked on a transformative tidying adventure earlier this year with a certified KonMari Consultant, but keeping her komono organized proved difficult to maintain. Enter Marie Kondo, herself. Together, they tackled some of Emily’s toughest miscellaneous items, including deliveries and packages, the catch-all area in her guest bedroom, and the dreaded kitchen pantry.
Deliveries and Packages
As Founder of the famous lifestyle blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Emily receives dozens of deliveries each week: samples for her clothing line, gifts from brands, decor for upcoming projects – plus the usual stuff a busy family orders! The packages end up piled in her entryway, leaving Emily feeling stressed and her home looking cluttered.
Marie’s advice? First and foremost, in order for your home to be in a position to accommodate new items, you must tidy it – keeping only that which sparks joy. Then you must assign a home for everything you decide to keep. Once you’ve done this, receiving deliveries and packages becomes easier.
Open packages as soon as they arrive. “If the item sparks joy and you intend to keep it, remove the tag immediately. By doing this, the item officially becomes your belonging,” Marie advises. “Then designate a home for the new item, as you’ve done with everything else you own.”
For items that you are not keeping, Marie recommends using the same approach as navigating the paper category of the KonMari Method™. “My filing method is simple: papers to be saved and papers to be dealt with. I put the papers needing attention in a ‘pending’ container and address them each week.” Similarly, group all packages needing attention – such as returns to the post office – and tend to them each week. Set a calendar reminder and address these pending items as part of your regular schedule.
We all have that area of the home where we dump odds and ends, and for Emily, that’s her guest bedroom. “Things that spark joy but don’t have a specific home seem to find their way into the guest room,” Emily laughs. “It’s just always disorganized, and I would love to come up with a better system to keeping it clean.”
The answer, according to Marie, is to apply the principles of the KonMari Method™. “Organize the komono category by subcategory,” she instructs. “Separate makeup, electronic appliances, household supplies, spare change, and so on. Once you have identified all of your subcategories, you can store them.”
“Use small boxes, bins or trays to house each subcategory – and organize them vertically!” Marie adds. “That way, they are accessible, and you can easily see the quantities you have.”
Kitchen pantries and cupboards can become a hot mess quickly. Different members of the household may have different food preferences or dietary needs, so stuff accumulates. People also feel guilty throwing food away…so it lingers. “When I work with clients, generally 30% of the food they have is already expired,” Marie shares. Emily KonMari’d her kitchen earlier this year, but she still had a few old items. Out they went!
Next take inventory of what you have. “The number of times I’ve bought a bag of pasta while there were already five of them hiding at the back of my pantry is countless,” Emily says. “I learned to store things by subcategory (so it’s easier to find) or ‘like with like’ (canned goods, baking goods, etc.).”
To organize these items, divide the shelves or drawers of your pantry. Marie uses the box-within-a-box strategy for smaller items and stores everything upright. By dividing the pantry space like this, you are able to see inside clearly – and you have visibility into the quantities you have.
Marie and Emily were able to finish off komono in a day. If you’re struggling with komono at home, always return to the basics of the KonMari Method™. And remember, when it comes to komono, keep things because you love them – not “just because.” Then make sure all your joy-sparking items have a home!