Miscellaneous items (Komono) ~ how to declutter and organize miscellaneous items

Komono is a category of miscellaneous items. Below is the list you can follow in that order or in the order that is easiest for you. Usually, kitchen and bathroom are left as the last one because they tend to be the hardest. Keep an eye out if you cross upon the item in any categories that actually belongs to sentimental one. You can find a kitchen towel from your grandmother or a camera from your dad. Place them in a special box until you get to the sentimental category.

1.  Steps how to declutter and organize your miscellaneous items (Komono)

Step 1. Prepare your place and boxes for decluttering

The first step is to is to set up a large surface (clean floor, table or a bed on which we can create piles of each subcategory as well as boxes that we will use for items that are intended for selling, donating, repairing or recycling.

Step 2. Gather all the items from the category and make a pile

When we decide which one of the subcategories we are going to declutter, the next step is locate every item in our home and add it to the pile. This way, we can not only tidy properly the subcategory and create a new home for it, but with the pile we will realize the real amount of the said items and if that amount is excessive to us.

Step 3. The joy check process of komono

After we have the pile ready, we start to take each item in our hands to see do feel joy and happines for having them in our home.

The following four values, with examples, should not be confused with joy-sparking:

  1. Functional – still usable sweater
  2. Informational – useful book
  3. Emotional – gift received from husband
  4. The element of rarity – figurine from favorite band, limited addition


When our belongings have a history or we know they are in good condition and we may need them in the future, it can be extremely difficult to let go. In that case, it’s critical to experience the object through the eyes of a child; can we feel excitement and delight when we hold and look at it? Would we buy something if we had never seen it before and strolled into a store and saw it?


When we do feel torn about something, there are three possible reasons:

  1.  item once brought us joy but has fulfilled its purpose;
  2.  it does bring us joy but we don’t realize it;
  3.  we need to keep it regardless of whether or not it sparks joy (contracts, outfits, special occasion items)


To solve first two challenges, the best thing to do is keeping it with confidence, that means that we will keep it in a way that we can always see the item. So, for example we keep the shirt in the front, on our eye level reach. One of the two scenarios will happen after a short amount of time; either it will bother us so much because it doesn’t give us the same sparks as other shirts, or it will start to blend perfectly with other shirts and we will feel happiness that is still ours. Either way, we will be certain what is the future of the item and the cloud of doubt will disappear.


For the third challenge, joy sometimes needs to be shifted to the purpose of the object, if an item makes us life easier and its functional, like scissors, that is also a representation of joy. We should show gratitude towards that item because it is saving us time and effort, helping us to focus.

Step 4. Storing and organizing komono items

The following are the top three guidelines for storing Komono items:

  1. Put the similar items together
  2. Avoid dividing their storage area. For example, one part of the same subcategory in the garage and one part on the attic. Only when certain objects belong to other family members can the storage space for the same items be divided. Children’s books, for instance, belong in the child’s room, not among the other books in the living room.
  3. Make use of boxes whenever you can. Ideal boxes should be sturdy, rectangle or square in shape, repurposed ones, and the ones that spark joy

2.  Subcategories of miscellaneous items (Komono)

1. Dvd, CD and vinyl records

For the lovers of timeless music, choosing which vinyl record to keep is considerably more difficult than choosing which CD or DVD to keep since we have the sensation that we are in possession of something significant and it can possibly lead to a sense of future regret. This is normal because as time passes, we perceive the object to have increased in value, especially the ones that aren’t being made anymore.

The truth is, there is no difference in decision-making between older and newer things. The guiding star in choosing is whether your heart skips a beat when you see it or touch it. Keeping something from a place of fear or regret as opposed to pure love and affection will prevent us to live our lives in all its fullness.

For cds and dvd that spark joy but you don`t own video recorder or cd player, transfer them in digital form. You can put them in papers pending box as a task for later. If you do own a CD player and video recorder and you love the case, keep it and create a specific music setting by storing it all together.

As with books, do not stop to listen or watch videos beyond seeing what it is about (if there is no title). It is best to make a decision based on our feeling right in that moment.

2. Stationary supplies

1. Equipment/Tools – pens, scissors, staplers, rulers – check that everything functions well especially the pens (this can actually be quite fun, creative and relaxing to see what you write or draw out of nowhere). Try to store them vertically and in small boxes, each subcategory for itself


2. Paper-related supplies – items made of paper: notebooks, memo pads, post it notes. This category also includes organizers to store papers, such as registers, clear plastic folders and binders. Small notes such as memo pads and post its can be stood upright in a small box, which can then be placed on the shelf or in a drawer. For more zero waste approach, try to print less, and when you do print try to print on both sides. If you have one sided paper printed out that you no longer need, cross the whole paper with a pen and use the other side for grocery list etc. This also works for half empty notebooks that you no longer need. Cut the blank pages out and put on a little pile in a designated area specifically for that use.

3. Letter-writing supplies – letter papers, envelopes, postcards, stamps, address labels. Keep only those letter writing supplies that inspire you to write.

3. Electrical equipment

If a photography or videography is your hobby then leave this category for later, closer to sentimental category.

1. Electronic items  – computers, digital cameras, portable games, electronic dictionary, etc. To transfer all the data and photos, set aside the item in pending box for later just like with cd or dvd.


2. Electrical cords (cords, charges, earphones) – untangle everything, pick each one to check joy. Any unused cords should be recycled guilt free because they are inexpensive and available to purchase if necessary. Make sure to finish tidying all electrical appliances before you really remove the cords out of your home.

3. Other electric items – memory cards and batteries, usbs, printer ink, other batteries, you can also tidy electrical health and beauty equipment in this category

4. Electronics packages – when the warranty on electronics expires, throw away the packaging. You won’t sell items more effectively if you have the original box, and you won’t need to save it for moving (every supermarket will gladly give you after unpacking the products)

4. Skin care products

Skin care category includes:      

Hygiene care: Q-Tips, nail clippers, lip cream, etc.

Skin care: lotions, shampoo, creams etc.

First step, gather all of your skin care items in one location and discard any that are over their expiration date.

Second step is to only keep products that you use and are known to be beneficial for your skin.

If you have skincare samples that are a good fit, utilize them right away or donate them. For travels,transfer your products into the little bottles when it’s time to leave.

For storage, keep them next to the sink, where you use them. If you have a lot of products, organize them according to how often you use them. Store the rare one separately with other komono in your closet or cabinet.

5. Cosmetic and makeup

Because of their watery consistency, skin care products should be kept away from makeup because they can easily destroy the cosmetic products. If they are in the same place, make use of various boxes or pouches.

Again, be cautious while using samples and products on your skin. Cosmetics, with the exception of powders, typically only last one to two years.

For storing makeup put the ones you use frequently in a small vanity bag so you can carry it wherever you go, and keep the rest of your makeup in a separate makeup box or drawer. Shadows in one box, lipsticks in another, etc.

Another wonderful method of organization is by height; place all of the tall things in lovely jars or cups and all of the short products in tiny boxes or containers. If you don’t have a lot of makeup, this works nicely. Vanity dressers are typically not a best solution because they very easily become cluttered.


Parfumes are best stored as an open display near your cosmetic and jewlery. Smell each one and decide which ones you love. They tend to come in lovely bottles, so if the bottle appeals to you but the perfume does not, move the perfume to a small, ordinary glass spray bottle for donation and keep the bottle.

6. Relaxation goods

Candles, oils, aromatherapy related items, massage and acupressure items. Discard old scents or oils that are no longer pleasant. When storing, keep an eye that they are not cluttered but stored neatly in the box so that when you open it, you start to feel their benefits immediately. It is best to utilize a box made of a natural material, such wood or ratan.

7. Medicines

Be sure to throw away any expired items as well as any that you cannot recall their intended use. Give them to the pharmacy in your area; they will properly dispose of them. Smaller amounts should be placed in a pouch, while larger amounts should be placed upright inside a box that you find compelling.

8. Valuables

Valuables include: cash, coins, credit cards, coupons and gift certificate because they are essentially money. Here also belongs wallet you use when traveling, foreign currency and passport. Although they are made of paper, they give dense metallic aroma. Even in feng shui, books fall under the element of wood while money falls under metal. Valuables are the one category where “practicality” instead of the “joy factor” takes priority when selecting what to keep. Discard expired items, and put in pending box all you need to use or deposit setting a date for getting this done. Put coins into the wallet and use them, if you accumulate a large amount, it is much harder to bring to the bank because you need to count them all.

Store them in the drawer and in the box leaving a place for a wallet to rest since it is used daily.


Because they are valuable, they have a fair bit of pride and should be stored with respect in something like a dresser drawer or a wooden box. For cards, use boxes the size of those that contain business cards. Set aside a place for wallet to rest since he used roughly. By taking good care of your wallet, you will feel gratitude every time you remove some cash and this will actually change how you use your money.

9. Sewing kit materials and cloth

Thread, scissors, needles, tweezers etc. Discard things you know you will never use. This is also a great time to deal with buttons you were intending to sew and check all the scraps you saved for some future projects.

10. General tools

This includes screwdrivers, hammers, saws, nails and screws, as well as the hexagonal wrench or casters that came with the furniture you bought and bolts for which the application is unclear. Keep only essential ones in the box or pouch bag. If there are a lot of tall items keep them in the cup or a jar. If you own a house and you have a lot of tools, keep them in the garage or in dedicated place, like on the peg board. The same with the makeup, keep the second smaller bag of most essential pieces in the house for quick fixes.

11. Hobby komono

  • Learning items
  • Leisure items
  • Collectibles or items in a collection

Discard old hobbies you don’t do and that they don’t spark joy., assign a place just for your hobby items, it can be a part of your closet or specific set of drawers

12. Special items

If you have special items (religious symbols, ceremonial cloth, good luck charms, stones, ritual objects, etc.) that you cherish and that are a part of your beliefs, place them all together to review them and see if they are in good condition and if they still represent what you believe in. If you have a lot of them, make a special place for them, such as a little alter. It might be displayed on a cabinet, bookcase, or even in your closet.

13. Collectables

Figurines, fan club paraphernalia, everything you collect because you love the topic and cannot resist of having it. Set aside enough time for this, the whole day actually. Even tough at first you think you cannot throw this away, take each one in your hand and you will be surprised. After deciding which are staying divide them into your own personal categories and make them into a display that sparks joy

14. Just because category

Spare buttons, old cellphone cases, metal parts of something and free novelty goods like key changes/calendars/cup with logo. The one you keep store with same like material, bobby pins in hair accessories and buttons in sew kit. Once they have a home, things that formerly seemed lost without a fixed address regain their shine. You can still have “just because” drawer, but this time with small boxes so you can see everything at glance.

15. Free novelty goods

Free novelty items are items you received at gatherings or meetings for no charge and thought were nice at first or were worth keeping for later. This includes calendars, cups, pens, key chains and many more, usually with company’s logo on it. Place them all out on the table and choose which, if any, sparks joy.

16. Towels, linen and bedding

When decluttering linen, before you start to joy check, smell the items. Linen can often absorb the odors if they are used rarely. For that same reason, it is better to give your guests your own bedding than to have a special set for these rare occasions. Additionally, as plastic quickly absorbs moisture, leaving unopened bags of linen will result in dampness.

Don’t forget to declutter your pillows as well as your blankets. Store them all in your closet with konmari folding or put each bedding in the room that belongs. You can keep towels in the bathroom or in your closet, which ever you prefer or have room for. Towels is an exception for pile storing because they are used on daily basis. 

To see how to fold linens, click here (coming soon).

17. Stuffed toys

Ask yourself honestly if they just sit around collecting dust or if using them will make someone’s day. They are the most difficult to get rid of since they appear to be alive, particularly due to the eyes that seem to be following us. When discarding them, it is better to cover them so they look like an object and are simpler to give away. If you want to let them go but you struggle to let go, viewing the parting as a small memorial service may help you feel less conflicted. Marie even mentions Japanese purification rite of throwing in some coarse salt to send the spirits on their way.

18. Recreational items

Picnic baskets, badminton sets, balls, skis, snowboards, fishing gear. Keep them no matter if you don’t use them frequently, if it’s just the sight of them that makes you happy, keep it. Store them in beautiful boxes or bags, try not store them in plastic bags because they will look like waste and you will use them far less.

19. Seasonal items

It is best to declutter seasonal decorations when it is their off season because you can truly see if you are connected to the objects without the atmosphere around you. Place seasonal or holiday decorations in separate boxes with labels for simple tracking.

20. Emergency supplies

Helmets, earthquake survival kit, flashlights, radios, portable toilet. Make sure they work properly and check the expiration dates of food and medications. Make sure everyone is aware of their location and keep them near the entry, such as in the hall closet.

21. Rain gear

Put all the rain gear together on the pile to see the amount and if they still work properly. Have one umbrella per person. Open them all to see if they work because plastic sticks together and yellows over time.

22. Gifts

The true purpose of a gift is to be received. They are not things but a means to make you feel some way.  Don’t feel guilty, just thank it for the joy that it gave you when you received it. The person who gave it to you wouldn’t want you to use it out of obligation, or to put it away without using it and to feel guilty when you see it. When you discard/donate it, you are doing that for the sake of the giver too.

23. Cleaning supplies

Choose the spark joy ones by imagining yourself cleaning with them. Place them all together in storage room or closet. Place the cleaning cloths and towels together with supplies, folded and upright. Donate the ones you no longer require or desire.

If you want to try using more eco-friendly supplies, click here to see the recipes.

24. Laundry supplies

If you can, it is best to store them near washing machine. Since it takes time to finish the packaging, see if transferring them in a lovely box or removing the label and adding the ribbon will will spark more joy.

25. Bathroom and kitchen items

The top two rooms that should always be clean are the bathroom and kitchen. Here more than anywhere else, it’s critical to have everything in its proper location and working order so that they may be quickly cleaned. Since, these two subjects are extensive, I covered them separately. Click here for bathroom komono and click here for kitchen komono (coming soon).