Home Office Paper Organization: What Papers do I need to keep?

Keep your home office tidy with this guide on paper organization.


Store Records Electronically

It is a smart idea to scan, copy, and convert paper documents into a digital format. You can save these documents on a hard drive or in a secure cloud company. This allows you to save important documents and access them remotely in case of a natural disaster or emergency.


Prevent Identity Theft

Dispose of old tax documents, statements, or any papers with personal information by shredding. Do not simply toss in the trash. Although identity theft mostly takes place online these days, it is best to be extra cautious.


How long do I keep my tax records?

4 years from the due date of the return, or the date the return is filed.

6 years if you want to be extra safe. If the IRS suspects an underreported income (25%+) or indications of fraud, an audit may go back six years.


If I own a business, how long do I keep receipts?

4 years unless the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration gives written authorization for earlier disposal. This includes all records involving sales or use tax liability.


Should I keep divorce papers?

It is in your best interest to retain any and all documents related to your divorce, forever.



Personal Documents to Keep

One year

  • Pay checks
  • Cancelled checks

Three years

  • Medical bills
  • Expired insurance policies

Six years

  • Supporting documents for tax returns
  • Accident claims and reports
  • Tax related medical bills/bills
  • Sales receipts
  • Property records/improvement receipts
  • Mortgages, deeds, lease documents

Forever

  • CPA reports
  • Legal documents
  • Income pay checks
  • Income tax returns
  • Investment trade records
  • Retirement records

Special Circumstances

  • Car records (as long as you own the car)
  • Stock and bond records (6 years beyond selling)
  • Warranties and manuals (only keep if you still have the product)
  • Depreciation schedules and capital asset records (3 years after the tax life of the asset)

Personal Documents to Digitize

If you haven’t already, please opt-in to paperless settings. Typically, these papers end up compiling in piles causing more stress than good. You should be able to access all of your statements online, where the data is aggregated together.

  • Bank statements
  • Credit Card statements
  • Retirement contribution statements
  • Utility bills

Business Documents to Keep

One year

  • Purchase orders
  • Deposit slips
  • Requisitions
  • Receiving sheets

Three years

  • Employee applications
  • Employee records (after termination)
  • Employee time cards
  • Internal reports
  • Inventory log
  • Expired insurance policies

Six years

  • Accident claims/reports
  • Employee tax records
  • Expired contracts/leases
  • Inventory logs
  • Payroll records
  • Purchase orders
  • Sales records
  • Vouchers
  • Travel/entertainment records

Forever

  • Audit reports
  • Cancelled checks (tax payments)
  • Contracts
  • Leases
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation schedules
  • Investment trade confirmations
  • IRS reports
  • Legal records/correspondence
  • Mortgages, bills of sale
  • Property records
  • Retirement records
  • Tax returns
  • Trademark/patent registration

Need more paper organization help?

Subscribe today for a FREE Organization Checklist!

    The information here is sourced from the Franchise Tax Board, California Tax Service Center, and CPA Rod.

    donations to a cause

    Donate your Donations in the East Bay Area

    Donate for a cause – Support our East Bay community with your donations!



    Pro Organizer Tip: When it comes to donations, pick a cause you care about! Say goodbye to unused items in your home so they can spark joy in other peoples lives. Your clutter is someone else’s treasure!


    Garret Thrift Shop

    Cause: Supports John Muir Hospital and community events, fundraisers, and scholarships

    Accepts Donations: clothing, furniture, books, antiques, and more

    Donation Limit: 3 bags

    • Address: 1530 3rd Ave #463, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, United States
    • Hours: Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM
    • Phone: (925) 932-9474

    Youth Homes Thrift Shop

    Cause: Supports teens aging out of foster care

    Accepts Donations: clothing, small furniture, books, antiques, housewares, dishes, linens, art work, and more.

    Donation Limit: washed , clean, good condition

    • Address: 15 B Vivian Drive Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
    • Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
    • Phone: 925 798 5561

    “Rescued Treasures” Community Concern for Cats

    Cause: All the proceeds go directly to helping homeless cats in Contra Costa County

    Accepts Donations: gently used clothing, furniture, books, antiques, housewares, dishes, linens, art work, and other household items in good condition

    • Address: 1270 Newell Ave i, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
    • Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    • Phone: (925) 937-3201

    Hospice of the East Bay

    Cause: Donations create critical programs that enhance the quality of life for community members, music therapy, grief support for children & teens, and high-quality hospice care to everyone who needs it, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay

    Accepts Donations: Furniture, Clothing, Housewares, Jewelry, Home & Garden, Vintage

    Donation Limit: . Delivering your donations in bags that weigh less than 20lbs is much appreciated. To schedule a pick-up time, please call us at (925) 674-9072

    • Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Address & Phone:
      1. 1345 Newell Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 947-1064 (Location may NOT be operating)
      2. 959 Contra Costa Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (925) 349-9680
      3. 444 Diablo Road, Danville, CA 94526 (925) 838-7697
      4. 5350 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 925-674-9427
      5. 3162 Danville Blvd, Alamo, CA 94507 925-820-6525
      6. 550 Morello Ave, Martinez, CA 94553 925-372-3821

    Deacon’s Care Cottage

    Cause: provide food, clothing, and small household items donated by our congregation and friends to people in our local community who are in need

    Accepts Donations: high-quality clothing, linens, household goods, see the full list

    Donation Limit: Please make sure that the items are in good condition, not damaged, and if electrical, such as lights, that they are in working condition

    • Hours: Sunday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Fridays 9:00 AM– 12:00 PM, Saturdays Closed, Closed on Major Holidays
    • Phone:  (925) 937-3978
    • Address: 1753 Lacassie Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    St. Vincent De Paul Society

    Cause: network of charity organizations with programs that provide food, clothing, shelter, rental assistance, medical services, employment, and workforce development in Contra Costa County

    Accepts Donations: clothing and household goods

    • Pleasant Hill
      • Hours: Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM,
      • Phone: (925) 934-5063
      • Address: 2815 Contra Costa Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, CA
    • Pittsburg
      • Hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
      • Phone: (925) 439-5060
      • Address: 2210 Gladstone Dr, Pittsburg, CA 94565
    • Brentwood
      • Hours: 7 days a week 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
      • Phone: (925) 635-3214
      • Address: 8890 Brentwood Blvd, Brentwood, CA 94513

    American Cancer Society Discovery Shop

    Cause: support the fight against cancer through the sale of high quality, gently used, donated merchandise

    Accepts Donations: clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, artwork, antiques, collectibles, and other household items


    Leftover’s Thrift Shop

    Cause: Proceeds are donated to the Contra Costa Crisis Center. Its mission is to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, provide and connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community. They do this by operating three county-wide programs

    Accepts Donations: clothing, small furniture, books, antiques, housewares, dishes, linens, art work, and more.

    Donation Limit: It is a good idea to call before bringing your donations. Doesn’t sell or accept donations of television sets, microwave ovens, typewriters, telephones, large kitchen appliances, exercise equipment, window coverings (draperies or rods, blinds, shutters), large furniture, or electric blankets.

    • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
    • Phone: (925) 930-9393
    • Address: 2281 Olympic Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA 94595

    Hall Closet in Martinez

    Cause:  support youth in the Contra Costa County juvenile justice system with a second chance

    Accepts Donations: clean clothing and kitchen items, good books, small household items, kitschy stuff, wall art, and jewelry

    Donation Limit: NO FURNITURE, CHILDREN’S /CRADLES/MOBILES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT,  OR TOYS

    • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    • Phone: (925) 957-5331
    • Address: 100 Glacier Drive Martinez, CA 94553

    Wayside Inn (Assistance League)

    Cause: support community programs, scholarships, and resources for kids, teens, and adults

    Accepts Donations: clothing, small furniture, books, antiques, housewares, dishes, linens, art work, and more.

    • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Phone: (925) 284-4781
    • Address: 3521 Golden Gate Way Lafayette, CA  94549

    ARF Thrift Store

    Cause: provides quality, affordable, veterinary care through our veterinary clinic for the companion animals of low-income Contra Costa County residents

    Accepts Donations: clean, good-quality clothing, accessories, furniture, books, small countertop appliances, *see website for unaccepted items*

    Donation Limit: Donation drop-off by appointment only

    • Address: 1950 Market Street, Suite H in Concord, CA
    • Phone: (925) 685-0908
    • Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM (back rooms close at 3:45 PM) Closed Sundays

    Teen Challenge

    Cause: provides successful recovery programs for men, women, teens, children, and families with destructive, abusive, and addictive lifestyles through mentoring, education, training

    Accepts Donations: gently used clothing, baby items, vintage, antiques, furniture, kitchen, bedding, books, etc.

    Donation Limit: Donation drop-off by appointment only

    • Address: 3437 Chestnut Avenue, Concord, CA
    • Phone: (925) 609-9171
    • Hours: Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday 10:30AM to 5:30PM, Sundays 10AM to 6:30PM

    Looking for help? Let a professional organizer tidy and donate for you!

    How to Discard: Donations, Recycling, & Trash

    Where do you take donations, recycling, and trash? What can I donate? What about hazmat?


    Donation Basics

    Would you use it? Donate useable items in good condition

    Is it clean? Ensure clothing is washed and items are free of dust/dirt

    Is it too heavy? Please ensure the donation bags and boxes are a manageable weight


    Where & What can I Donate?

    In the United States there are three major donation centers:

    Goodwill

    General Items:

    • Clothing
    • Housewares and Small Home Appliances
    • Toys and Games
    • Books and Textbooks
    • Bikes, Skateboards, and Scooters
    • Shoes
    • Purses, Bags, and Luggage
    • Home Décor
    • Movies, Music, and Media
    • Sporting Goods
    • Jewelry
    • Bedding and Linens

    See more information about large donations, electronic donations, and items they DO NOT accept.


    Salvation Army

    • Household Appliances
    • Automobiles
    • Clothing
    • Furniture
    • Household Goods
    • Electronics

    Learn more about specific items to donate and how to value donations.


    Habitat for Humanity

    • Household Appliances
    • Furniture
    • Building Materials
    • Household Goods
    • Electronics

    Find a resell store near you and learn more about what you can donate.


    Can I Schedule A Donation Pick Up?

    Yes! All of the above centers offer Donation Pick Up Options!

    You can also reach out to your local Waste Management for help!


    How Do I Donate Large Bulk Items?

    1. The simplest solution is to post it online for free for someone to pick up. Tip: I always tell them to bring a friend to help so you can avoid the heavy lifting.
    2. Schedule a free pick up with a donation center
    3. Schedule a free pick up with your local garbage or recycling company.

    What Can I Recycle?

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most common recyclables are:

    What NOT to throw in the trash?

    What are Hazardous Materials? What needs to be disposed of separately?


    What if there’s just too many donations, recycling, and trash?

    Consider renting a dumpster or hiring a junk remover.

    Do you need more recommendations and help?

    organized kitchen cabinet

    How to Organize Duplicates Guide

    Learn how to declutter, organize, and maintain duplicates with our step by step guide!


    What are the pain points?

    • Having too much of the same thing
    • Buying items and then realizing you already have them
    • Wasting money by buying what you don’t need
    • Losing time by searching for items and then rebuying when you can’t find them

    What are the causes?

    • Items do not have a designated home (place of belonging)
    • Like-items are stored in multiple places
    • Items are stored in inconvenient places – too high, far back, or out of sight

    What is the solution?

    Step 1: Joy Check Duplicates

    Step 2: Designate a Home for the item(s)

    When picking a location, pick a place that is:

    • Easy
    • Convenient
    • Flows with your daily routine and lifestyle

    Step 3: Pick a place to Store and Display

    • Bin/Basket/Bowl on a counter
    • Basket/Bin on a shelf
    • Hook on the wall
    • Rack on the wall
    • Designate a drawer
    • Box on bottom or top shelf

    Step 4: How to Store and Display

    • Organize items horizontally instead of vertically
    • The goal is to see everything instantly
    • The location and way it is placed is easy to get, put back, and maintain

    Step 5: Practice and Repeat Habits

    • Try finding and putting items back regularly for 7 days
    • When you shop, be mindful of what have.

    With a functional and organized system it is easy to take inventory and buy only what you need and truly want.

    Step 5: Adjust and Evaluate

    You know you need to readjust your system if:

    • You start to accumulate more of the same things
    • Your storage space can’t accommodate the amount you have
    • You buy more than what you use and need

    Do you want help with how to organize duplicates?

    How to stop Losing & Searching for Things

    What can you do today to stop losing & searching for things?


    What are the pain points?

    • Misplacing items on a regular basis
    • Spending time and energy to find items
    • Feeling frustrated/annoyed by repeating the same tasks
    • Feeling out of control in your environment
    • Panicking when you’re in a rush

    What are the causes?

    • Items do not have a designated home (place of belonging)
    • Stress, fatigue
    • Multitasking

    What is the solution?

    Step 1: Designate a Home for the item(s)

    When picking a location, pick a place that is:

    • Easy
    • Convenient
    • Flows with your daily routine and lifestyle

    Step 2: Pick a place to Store and Display

    • Bin/Basket/Bowl on a counter
    • Basket on a shelf
    • Hook on the wall
    • Rack on the wall
    • Designate a drawer
    • Box under bottom shelf

    Step 3: Practice and Repeat Habits

    • Try finding and putting items back regularly for 7 days

    Step 4: Adjust and Evaluate

    You know you need to readjust your system if:

    • You place items in random places
    • You place items outside of the designated home
    • You have to search for items

    Try to move the location to an easy and more convenient place that makes sense around your habits.


    Example: “I always lose my keys, wallet, and glasses.”

    Step 1: Designate a home

    • Near the entryway so I can drop and pick up items easily at the door.

    Step 2: Store and Display Options

    • The right drawer in the entryway console.

    Step 3: Practice and Repeat Habits

    • For 7 days I will put my keys, wallet and glasses in the drawer when I come home.
    • For 7 days I will retrieve my keys, wallet, and glasses from the drawer when I leave.

    Step 4: Adjust and Evaluate

    • After 2 weeks, I started to put items on the surface of the entryway console.
    • I placed a beautiful glass dish on the entryway console to place my keys, wallet, and glasses.
    • I find it’s much easier to empty my pockets and pick up my stuff easily off the counter rather than open a drawer.

    What things are you losing and searching for?

    questions and answers tidy lifestyle organizing

    Q & A: Tidy Lifestyle Organizing

    Q & A: Tidy Lifestyle Organizing

    What triggers cause people to want to organize?

    • Feelings of frustration, stress, and distraction regularly when at home or in the office.
    • Life events like expecting a baby, a recent break up, or the passing of a relative or friend.
    • Special Occasions such as upcoming holidays, weddings, and birthday celebrations.
    • Situations involving a big move or trip abroad where organizing and preparation are a must.

    What are the signs to start organizing now?

    Physical:

    • Visual clutter from surfacing being covered and piles of stuff
    • Hidden chaos when you open drawers and closets
    • Duplicates of the same items

    Behavioral

    • Losing track of items
    • Spending time searching for items
    • Consistently buying items at the store only to come home and realize you already have it.
    • Buying items only for them to be left unused with tags on or sitting around in original packaging
    • Organizing day by day, yet nothing changes

    Emotional

    • Distraction
    • Frustration
    • Overwhelmed
    • Hopeless
    • Out of control

    What can I do today?

    Start with a category. Clothing is the easiest category to get started with. Clothes are something we touch and use daily. It is much easier to decide what to keep and discard because you know what you wear and what you don’t. Before you organize your clothes, first sort through them one by one.

    Begin with a super simple subcategory like socks. Pick out the socks you use often and are prone to grab; use these as a basis for what to keep. Try to compare your favorite socks with the others. Is the band loose and fall down when you walk? Are there holes on the bottom? How old are these socks? If socks are 3-5 years old I recommend purchasing new socks. Once you know what socks you are keeping, check out your storage space – will all of your socks fit nicely? Should they be folded in half or in thirds so they can be lined up horizontally? Learn how to display and fold your sock with Tidy Lifestyle’s How-To Videos.

    What can help me stay motivated to tidy?

    Take a moment and think about why you want to tidy. If everything in your life was completely organized and seemingly perfect, what would that look like? What is your ideal lifestyle? Describe the physical space, how you feel in the space, and what you would do. Why do you want that lifestyle? Why do you want to tidy? Create a detailed image of this ideal lifestyle.

    Before you begin to organize, transport yourself into this vision. This long-term goal is a great motivator and reminder of why you are organizing. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. Have fun and take breaks if you’re feeling burned out.

    Find a nice space to fold or do a short meditation before you get started. Try your best to reframe your mindset to see organizing as a positive habit that helps make your life easier.

    What does Tidy Lifestyle offer that I can’t do on my own?

    A personal guide who will support you with solutions that are tailored to your specific habits and lifestyle.

    Nicole’s coaching lessons can be compared to a life coach or personal trainer. Nicole teaches clients how to maintain organization through folding lessons, how to categorize, store, and to utilize spaces efficiently. She asks questions to understand habits and behaviors so she can strategically know where and how to place items. She creates an organizing solution personalized for each client and every client.

    Too busy to organize? Want to save time and just get the job done? For those busy with work and other commitments, Nicole also offers traditional organizing services where she organizes for you. From organizing, to beautiful displays, to donation drop offs, and shopping – Take advantage of this all inclusive service.

    Why should you pick Tidy Lifestyle?

    Meet Nicole Sachiko – Organizing means so much more to me than tidying physical spaces. It is a vehicle to help clients learn about themselves, how to maintain organization, and to live their ideal tidy lifestyle.

    During my childhood I grew up in a hoarder home. It was typical to walk through “alley ways” of piles upon piles of stuff, a tradition to clear clutter off the table before meals, and a struggle to find items when needed. I can empathize personally with what it feels like to be physically cluttered and mentally stressed. How items naturally accumulate over time and hold us back instead of enhancing our daily lives. In college I studied Psychology, Child Development, and Health Education to ease my insatiable curiosity to help and understand people. After organizing my parents hoarder home I realized how the magic of tidying up can change lives physically and mentally. I went on to get certified with Marie Kondo as a KonMari® Organizing Consultant.

    It is my joy in life to help guide you to rediscover what truly sparks joy for you – not only with your possessions but with your life in San Diego!

    What are the core benefits of working with Tidy Lifestyle?

    Nicole –

    • genuinely cares about you
    • is committed to starting and finishing your project completely
    • carefully considers how to set up your custom organizing systems to make your life easier
    • creates a safe and judgment free zone where you can feel fully self expressed

    Q & A: Tidy Lifestyle Organizing

    Looking for help? Let a professional organizer tidy and donate for you!

    Organize Sentimental

    How to organize sentimental items and showcase joy in your home

    Why do I have so many keepsakes?

    • We hold onto items to remember and cherish the past
    • When we see and feel these items we relive moments in the past

    Remember & Reframe

    • Truly special memories never die, even when we discard items associated with such events.
    • The joy and excitement of the here and now is more important than holding onto something from the past, only to forget about it.
    • The boxes we store in the attic, back of the closet, under the bed often remain there, untouched.
    • When we store sentimental items away they become a weight from our past that holds us back from moving forward in the present.
    • The space in our home is for the person we are and want to become, not who we were in the past.
    • Organize sentimental photos now and display them throughout your home or in a photo album to enjoy for the rest of your years.

    The Guide to Organize Sentimental

    Photos

    • Remove all photos from albums and boxes
    • Joy Check photos one by one
    • Try to keep only five photos per a trip/event
    • Very important photos don’t often have duplicates
    • Keep scenery photos when you can identify the trip/event

    “The meaning of a photo lies in the excitement and joy you feel when taking it. In many cases, the prints developed afterward have already outlived their purpose.”

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

    Letters

    • A letter fulfills it’s purpose the moment it’s read
    • The person who wrote it has long forgotten the existence of the letter, its content, and has moved on.

    Gifts

    • Keep it if it truly sparks joy
    • Be courageous and say goodbye if
      • you held onto this item because of a sense of guilt
      • it sparked joy in the past but doesn’t spark joy in the present
      • adds joy to who you are today, not who you were
      • the items served its purpose in your life and by letting it go, frees more space in your home and mind for today and tomorrow

    Childhood Memorabilia

    • Stuffed animals feel like they have souls. They were with us in our fondest childhood memories.
      • If it sparks joy for you to hold and see – Display it on a shelf or in your closet
      • If you choose to discard a stuffed animal it helps to cover the eyes.

    How to Joy Check

    • Step 1: Pile all sentimental items
      • If you have many photos, it’s okay to create a separate pile of just photos
    • Step 2: Pick one item that undoubtedly sparks joy
      • If you keep it, where will it be stored?
      • Will you display it so you can see and enjoy it?
      • Ask yourself honestly, does it bring you joy today and in the future?
      • Does this item help you cherish who you are now?
    • Step 3: Place items in Keep, Donate, or Trash
    • Step 4: Display keepsakes on walls and shelves to spark joy every day!
    • Step 6: Have the courage to let go & say thank you

    Final Touches

    When we display sentimental items we remember and celebrate who we were. We are also reminded of who we are now and who we strive to be.

    • Hang sentimental photos on the wall to look at it
    • Display sentimental items to spark joy daily

    What sentimental item do you display proudly in your home?

    Client’s receive up to 25% off at The Container Store!

    “By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. If you just stow these things away in a drawer or cardboard box, before you realize it, your past will become a weight that holds you back and keeps you from living in the here and now.”

    – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

    Organize Kitchen Komono

    How to organize kitchen komono & live your best life!

    Why are my counters cluttered?

    • No designated forever home for categories
    • Less frequently used items left out
    • Too many items to store

    Marie Kondo’s Tidy Order

    Cooking

    • Cooking Utensils
    • Cookware
    • Appliances

    Eating

    • Dish-ware
    • Cutlery
    • Mats, Coasters, Towels, accessories etc.
    • Food Storage Containers

    Food

    • Dry goods/Canned
    • Snacks
    • Baking
    • Teas & Coffee
    • Health foods

    *If there are many items in a category, create a new subcategory*

    How to Joy Check Kitchen Komono

    • Step 1: Pile one subcategory at a time
    • Step 2: Check expiration dates
    • Step 3: Pick an item that sparks joy
      • How often do you use this?
      • Does this make your life easier?
      • When did you buy this?
    • Step 4: Place items in Keep, Donate, or Trash
    • Step 5: Store items by category temporarily (final storage will be at the end)
    • Step 6: Donate food/Toss expired foods in the trash

    Tips to Organize Kitchen Komono

    • Take a deep breath
    • Begin the easiest subcategory to joy check
      • Example: if you love baking, start with baking supplies or baking foods
    • Store large items first
      • Fill in the gaps with smaller items
    • Let the design of your kitchen guide you
      • Example: cups stored near “coffee station”
    • Containers & Bins are your BEST FRIENDS! Try to contain each category together by placing everything in a bin. Take a step further and label!

    What kitchen gadget give you joy?

    “Keep things because you love them – not ‘just because'”

    – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

    Organize Komono

    How to organize komono – all the miscellaneous items in your life!

    Why are my drawers and cabinets chaotic?

    • No designated forever home for categories
    • Not putting things away

    Marie Kondo’s Tidy Order

    • 1. CDs/ DVDs
    • 2. Stationery supplies: tools, paper-like (post-its), letter writing (envelope)
    • 3. Electronic Items (phones, camera)
    • 4. Electronic Cords
    • 5. Electric items: USB, ink cartridges for printers, batteries
    • 6. Skin care items
    • 7. Makeup
    • 8. Hair goods
    • 9. Relaxing goods: candles, essential oils,
    • 10. Hygiene care
    • 11. Medicine
    • 12. Valuables: passbook, wallets, certificates
    • 13. Sewing kit materials and cloth: thread, scissors, needles, tweezers, etc.
    • 14. Tools
    • 15. Hobby
    • 16. Collections
    • 17. “Just Because” buttons, key chains, change, phone cases
    • 18. Linen & Towels
    • 19. Stuffed Toys
    • 20. Recreation: fishing, balls, equipment
    • 21. Seasonal
    • 22. Special occasion: ceremonial, charms, ritual objects
    • 23. Rain gear
    • 24. Paper + Shopping Bags
    • 25. Consumables: tissue, toilet paper, etc.

    If there are many items in a category, create a new subcategory

    How to Joy Check

    • Step 1: Pile one subcategory at a time
    • Step 2: Pick an item that sparks joy
      • Does it spark joy for you today?
      • Does it weigh you down or compete with your other priorities?
      • Does it contribute to your ideal lifestyle moving forward?
      • Is it something worth keeping if you move?
    • Step 3: Place items in Keep, Donate, or Trash
    • Step 4: Store items by category temporarily (final storage will be at the end)

    Facts about komono

    • Be mindful of the items you kept “just because.” See how much of this category takes up precious space.
    • Presents show someone thought of you. The gift should not be kept out of a sense of obligation, guilt, or should be stored away. Thank it for the joy it gave you when you received it and say goodbye if it is not joyful.
    • Travel toiletries have a short shelf life of a few weeks to six months at most
    • Throw away mystery cords. They’ll always be an unsolved mystery.
    • How often do you have overnight guests? If you have guests once or twice a year, be mindful of how many linens you need and keep only ones that spark joy.
    • Free, new, unused items such as calendars, etc, can be donated
    • Add spare change in your wallet so you can use it

    What Komono do you need help to organize?

    Clients Receive up to 25% off organizer products at The Container Store!

    “Keep things because you love them – not ‘just because'”

    – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo