Hey everyone! Today I’m jumping into a different kind of decluttering post, and one that you’ve probably heard so much about recently. In particular, that is the KonMari method, and today I’m sharing how I decluttered my closet with the KonMari Clothes Method!
One thing I want to note before jumping in is that I am not editing these photos, or staging anything in any way. I want you to be able to see what the process actually looked like for me, not what I’m making it look like for the internet!
Decluttering: KonMari Clothes
If you’re brand new to this method of decluttering I really really really recommend reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I first read this book 3 years ago and went through the whole process. It was life changing then, and it is lifechanging this time around!
You’re probably wondering – but Jessica, if it was so lifechanging the first time around why did you have to do it again? Good question! Honestly, it’s because life happens. I have moved 4 (!!!) times since I did it the first time, I’d graduated University, started a new job, etc etc. All of those life events have meant that I have accumulated more clutter. It happens, it’s okay!
I honestly think it is okay to need to do this process more than once. It certainly doesn’t mean you are unsuccessful if you need to.
What is this method?
You may know about this method through Marie Kondo’s book, or you may be new on the bandwagon from the Netflix Docu-series “Tidying Up”. Like I mentioned above, I initially read the book, and ‘rediscovered’ the method by watching the show.
In short, Marie Kondo says you want to keep the things that “spark joy“. You don’t want to be looking for things to donate or throw out; instead, you want to purposefully keep things that spark joy for you, and be able to let go of the rest.
Another important thing is you are not decluttering by room. You are decluttering by category. This helps because you aren’t moving clutter from room to room. You are forcing yourself to tackle one category (and all of your belongings in that group) before moving on. This is truly why I personally think I have so much success with the process; because I’m making myself look at everything I own, without moving it around to deal with it later.
I want to share my progress through this system my second time around! Today I’m tackling clothes, but I will create more posts in this series for when I tackle the other groups.
Marie Kondo breaks belongings into 4 categories:
- Komono (everything else)
Now, let’s jump into how decluttering clothes went for me! Spoiler alert: it was awesome.
KonMari Method: Decluttering My Clothes
I generally think of myself as a fairly organized person. However, I don’t have huge closets or much storage space – so, my clothes were also slightly out of control. I was constantly having to shove things back into my dresser to be able to close the drawers. It was also a struggle to find things I actually wanted to wear day to day – I typically would pull out at least 3 tops before finding one I decided to wear.
Here’s what my closet(s)/dresser looked like before integrating the KonMari method:
Does it spark joy?
Marie Kondo says you need to grab all of your clothes/accessories out and put them in a pile in front of you. Yes, that’s right, ALL of them. I went through both of my closets and my dresser and pulled out my shoes, jackets, scarves, shirts, tops, socks, pants, pjs, purses, etc etc. Anything I wear I grabbed. I threw it in a pile. This is what that pile looked like:
Yes, it is SO overwhelming. I stared at that pile in shock. HOW did I have THAT MUCH clothes?! I knew I only wore probably 25% of it; why did I have all of that?
That’s what happens! Clutter accumulates if you willy nilly bring things into your house, and don’t consciously keep an eye on it.
So, armed with my GINORMOUS pile of clothing on the ground, and a huge cup of coffee, I set to work. Kondo says you should pick up everything one by one, hold it with both hands, and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, you hang on to it; if not, you will either donate it or throw it out.
What sparks joy for me, won’t be what sparks joy for you. It was a bit tricky at the beginning figuring out what exactly that meant for me. I decided that I would rifle through the pile and pick out some things that I knew in my heart I loved, and I held those items first to give myself a baseline for what joy meant to me.
I continued this process until the pile was bare, and I had a stack of clothing/accessories that brought me joy, and an even larger pile that did not. I was exhausted yes, but also liberated! I also was able to fill up 5 garbage bags with clothes to donate. That feels good!
Putting it away:
Now that I had my piles, I had to put all the things that sparked joy away. Giving everything a home makes it easy to keep things organized; if I’m done with my purse it has a home instead of throwing it on the ground.
Marie Kondo has a particular method for folding clothes and putting things away. Like I’ve mentioned I really recommend reading the book – and she provides diagrams and ways to fold and organize your clothing. The Netflix documentary also shows you how to fold clothing.
Because I don’t have a lot of dresser space, I hung my tops (which Marie doesn’t suggest). However, that’s what works for me and my life, and the glory of the system is that you can tweak it to work for your life!
I worked into the next day folding and organizing my clothes, and finally, it was all done!
Here’s a peek at what my closet(s) and dresser look like now that they are organized. They don’t look perfect because so far I’ve only tackled clothing, not the other categories. So the books, and towels, and other things that you see have not been addressed yet. I decided not to remove them from the closets and wait until that category to address them at all.
Now that I’ve gone through all of my clothes, I truly know what sparks joy for me, and what doesn’t. I am also hoping that now I will be more conscious about what I bring into my home and closets. It was hard not to feel guilty getting rid of clothing that I had barely worn, but at the end of the day that piece taught me what didn’t work for me, and someone else will be able to enjoy it!
Up next is books! I will link to that article once I have finished the category. In the meantime, I’m going to go stare in awe at my clothes. Happy organizing!