I am not one that easily falls into peer pressure, however, the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (available from Amazon) is making its way around the blog-osphere and I just had to see what it was all about. After all, I am easily excited by words like “Tidy”, “Declutter”, and “Organize”; all of which appear in the title of this book, and, you know, “everybody’s doin’ it!”
A Very Brief Introduction to the KonMari Method
Marie Kondo has been studying the art of tidying since she was five. She shares numerous stories about her failed attempts to keep things organized, and finally decides to create her own method of tidying. The main concept is to only keep items that “spark joy”. I love the idea of being surrounded by things that bring a sense of joy! Marie encourages her clients (and readers) to start with clothing as it is often easier to let go of than more sentimental items. I thought I’d give it a try and share the journey with you.
My Clothes… In A Heap
In true KonMari fashion, I went through the house collecting every single piece of clothing I own. That’s right… every.single.piece. The rule is, if you forget to add an item to the pile, and discover it later, it is to be automatically discarded/donated. Lucky for me, I don’t have a ton of clothes. (Have I ever mentioned that I hate clothes shopping?)
Sorting The Clothes
Again, following the true process of KonMari, I touched each piece of clothing I own, and asked myself whether the piece brought a sense of joy. If I felt joy, I kept it on on the bed, grouped into categories: coats, long sleeved shirts, tank tops, pants, etc. If I felt no joy, whether because the piece was old and outdated, or because it was uncomfortable and ill-fitting, I tossed it on the floor. It’s a lot like pulling petals off a flower: “He loves me. He loves me not. Joy. No Joy.”
This process was eye-opening for me. There were some items I never wear, but when I held them in my hand, I felt joy. Other times, I’d touch something and really want to feel joy, but I didn’t. There were some items, like my snow pants, that did not spark much joy, but I kept them because, honestly, I don’t think there is a pair of snow pants in the world that are going to spark joy, and they are necessary in Minnesota! In the end I found all the clothes I truly love… well, those, and my snow pants.
Here’s What I Got Rid Of:
- 20 Pieces of Jewelry
- 29 Tops
- 11 Bottoms
- 3 Jackets/Coats
- 6 Pairs of Shoes
- 6 Pajamas
- 2 Robes
- 7 Scarves
- 2 Dresses
- 2 Skirts… and a partridge in a pear tree!
Here’s my “No Joy” pile:
The funny part is, although my closet and drawers are almost empty (no, seriously, you’ll see pictures in a minute), most of the clothes I am donating/throwing away are things I have had for at least 5 years.
Organizing and Storing Clothes
I have always been a hanger girl; anything that can be put on a hanger, goes on a hanger. However, I am going to try the folding method suggested in the book and see how I feel about it. The concept is the reverse of my own: anything that can be folded, gets folded, and only jackets, dresses, and “flowy” shirts get hung. Hey, I’m open to changing my ways in the name of keeping tidy and organized.
Another new practice I am adopting is storing all my clothes out in the open. I have always packed away my “seasonal clothing” because I am highly unlikely to wear a wool sweater in the summer, and equally as unlikely to wear a tank top in the bitter cold of winter. (Welcome to Minnesota.) Buuuuut… I do actually see the point of keeping all clothes ready and available. Example: My daughter and I took a trip to Arizona in January. Sunshine and 80 degrees calls for tank tops and flip flops. I had to go searching for all the summery items I needed. If they were out and available, it would save a little time.
Closet- See, nothing there!
Drawers- I might buy into the folding method after all. Don’t they look pretty?
Jewelry- Everything I Kept Fit On My DIY Necklace Holder
Organizing and Storing Socks
From this book, I learned that I am definitely not treating my socks with the respect they deserve. I keep them balled up in a row, which is apparently the worst possible way to store socks. #Oops!
I am adopting a new folding method in order to give my socks a little breathing room, but I am probably not going to be talking to them any time in the near future, despite the recommendation to do so. Instead of balling my socks like I used to, I rolled them together… yes, each and every one of the 9 pairs I actually kept (yes, only 9 joyful pairs of socks).
Alright! I’m done with clothing! Now I need to find some cute clothes that bring joy! Any suggestions?
Have you tried the KonMari Method? If so, what are your thoughts?
*** To see an update on my clothes tidying process and learn how I organized books using the KonMari method, you can go here: Organizing Books: The KonMari Method
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