Perhaps I didn’t give the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” enough credit?
Ever since I read it, I’ve been itching to tackle my closet – the first place she suggests you start.
I’m a pretty decent purger. I try to follow the one-in-one-out mantra, but every once in awhile a sale will have me bring a few more in than what I am prepared to part with. Over time (just one year) it does add up. I’d often sell off any of the custom pins I’ve made the match my clothes throughout the year too.
It’s tidy, neatly piled and you can see where things are – but it’s full. To be honest, I haven’t worn some of these things in years.
The book says you need to take all of your clothing off the racks and out of the drawers and start with a clean slate:
I didn’t have the room to do it all at once, but I did completely empty a section at a time.
From here she (the author) says “don’t focus on what to discard, choose what you want to keep“. Select items that you love, that you feel good in, that “spark joy”.
“… the best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. Imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that bring you happiness. Isn’t this the lifestyle that you dream of?”
Good point – time to select out my favourites and find them a home.
I’ve kept far more than I probably should have here, but I found brand new socks buried underneath and I can’t bear to get rid of them. (Sorry Marie!) I did select out my favourites and removed the rest and now I have this nice, tidy and much smaller collection.
The book tells you that t-shirts should be folded up into small rectangles that can stand on end. She (Marie Kondo) says that everything needs to be on display – never pile.
Instead, arrange your drawers like this:
So you can see every shirt and tank top at a quick glance. She has methods for storing socks and shorts and just about every article of clothing this way, but again, I fell a bit short of her utopia. I’m feeling pretty good about the pare down though. Look at all of the stuff I’ve removed!
I got rid of (expensive) bathing suits because I don’t/didn’t feel that I looked good in them – but was keeping them because of the money I’d spent. I got rid of a ton of lingerie that I’d been holding on to since my bridal shower – thinking that someday I’d surprise Hubby. They didn’t make me happy – the thought of a string up my @$$ really sort of makes you feel un-sexy I think.
The book tells you to wear your fancy pyjamas – quit saving them. Wear them and enjoy the feel of something “good” instead of saving them for good.
It all went. (I’m sure I could do more, but this is what I’m comfortable with for now.)
“Downgrading to loungewear is taboo. It seems a waste to get rid of something that is still perfectly usable, especially if you bought it yourself. To me, it doesn’t seem right to keep clothes we don’t enjoy for relaxing around the house. The real waste is not discarding clothes you don’t like but wearing them even though they don’t make you happy. Nine out of ten times you won’t even wear them as loungewear, so they will still contribute to your overall feeling of clutter”
Having read this, I even managed to get rid of some of my painting clothes. Jeans and tops that I had previously demoted, but still haven’t worn for the task I demoted them to.
The other side of the coin is that the book tells you to keep items that make you happy – no matter what their condition. For me, this would be my garage shoes. Paint stained, hole in the toe, ragamuffin shoes that I love to slip into on my way out the door to paint or build. It’s kind of nice to be given permission to keep them. They are serving a purpose and they make me happy – no matter how terrible they look.
In the end I had three bags of clothes and purses for the donate pile.
Marie Kondo may have a point… just removing these items from my closet leaves me feeling mentally lighter. Now when I walk into my closet I’m not faced with the “I need to lose weight so I can wear this again”, or the “I spent so much on this” or even the “it’s okay… but…”. I never put two and two together before, but seeing these items gave me guilt. There was a sense of obligation to my clothing and the money spent. Without these items in sight, I feel better about myself (forget worrying about “when I lose weight”), and the pieces left in my closet make me feel good when I wear them.
Turns out the KonMari method is a global phenomenon! Just do a search on Pinterest and check out all of the pins of people who have tried (and endorse) the program:
I’m still not going to budge on the “thanking your items for the work they have done” stuff – but I will concede that there is an inner peace in keeping just what you love.
Have a great one!