I’m pleased to announce that I’m three weeks deep into the KonMari method and so far so good. Full disclosure: I did cheat a little and only did it on the top two floors of the house. Now, before you let out a collective gasp and Marie starts turning in her twinset let me say that my basement is a whole other level of tidying that I cannot handle right now. As I’m on maternity leave all my teacher
crap necessities are piled in the laundry room (hey, they’re in Rubbermaid containers!) and I can’t tackle that mountain until next year once I’m back in the classroom and my resources can find a new (hopefully permanent) home. Also there are loads of baby things down there that we’re not sure what to do with. The basement has also become the place where any discarded furniture and scatter cushions that I changed my mind about go to die. It is like an Aladdin’s cave of relics of decor past down there. So we agreed that one weekend in the spring we’ll hire a big bin and go to town. Phew now I’ve got that confession of my chest I’m ready to talk to you all about the first phase of tidying: Clothing.
How I Began Tidying My Clothes The KonMari Way
Before you start with the method you really do have to get your head in the game. You need to be fully prepared to tidy and have some notion of what brings you joy. This part I found easy to wrap my head around as I don’t attach sentimental value to clothes. I generally see them for what they are; bits of fabric that I bought to serve a purpose at one time or another. The only non-negotiables are my wedding dress and my girls’ going home outfits. Other than that everything is fair game.
Visualize What You Want To Achieve At The End Of The Process.
Before I started this journey I was feeling about low about myself and a little lost with my clothing identity. I have gone through a few years of just buying things for function and not for “joy” as such. I’ve bought cheap things that go tatty and don’t make me feel particularly good. No more. My goal is to only buy things that make me feel fabulous and to take the time to invest. My visualization was of a wardrobe that was calming to look at. Not cluttered with random clothes but a wardrobe that was complimentary, streamlined and classic. I pictured myself in these clothes and I felt good. I pictured myself going into my closet to pick out my clothes and I felt really good. I was now ready to work towards making that visualization a reality. This might sound absolutely nuts but have a think about how you want your closet to look or even how you want yourself to look. The power of thought is quite profound.
Some Questions I Have Been Asked
Do You Really Have To Pile All Your Clothes
Honestly I was not looking forward to this as it was a huge mess that I did not want to deal with. However, by making a frighteningly huge mountain of clothes I was actually forced to finish my tidying up as I couldn’t just leave it on the bed and I was confronted with a visual of how much I had bought over the past few years. When your clothes are in the drawer or hanging up it doesn’t look as much as when you put it all together. I was absolutely gobsmacked with how much I had accumulated and a little taken back with how much I must have spent.
Do you really have to hold each piece?
In short, yes. I am not into thanking inanimate objects at all but I really feel that physically holding each piece is an important part of the method. Why you ask? Because in holding each piece you are forced to look at it and truly consider where it fits in your life and whether it sparks joy. In the past when I have been cleaning out my closet I just flipped through the hangers and donated the pieces that immediately made me cringe. When I actually dumped everything out and looked at each piece I could truly recognize what made me happy. I was actually pretty shocked at how much stuff I hated. That might seem like a strong word but I actually hate a lot of my clothes. They don’t represent me and I am not sure why on earth I felt the need to purchase those items. I put it down to my early 30s clothing crisis that I’m trying to work through. Oh and the fact that I am addicted to cheap clothes. I know, I know but I can’t walk away from a bargain.
How do you decide what goes?
By holding each item and truly deciding whether or not it has a place in your new vision for yourself. I had 3 piles on the go: donate/trash, keep and maybe. In the end I donated the maybe pile as I thought that if I didn’t care enough to keep those items in the first place then they probably didn’t truly bring me joy. See, I’m growing into a woman Marie would be proud of.
Did I find it difficult?
Now that it is all done and dusted I can’t say that I found the process all that tricky. I was in the right frame of mind to discard any clothes that I no longer need and I truly wanted an organized life. I do find the folding a bit tedious but I worked so hard I want to keep it up.
How I’m keeping it up
Like I said above, when you spend the better part of a week tidying clothes you naturally feel like you want to maintain it. I am also a little addicted to seeing everything so neat and organized so that is spurring me on. I feel so much calmer knowing that everything is in order. Also, putting away my clothes and getting ready in the morning is a lot more simple now a mountain of fabric isn’t falling on my head at any given opportunity. It really does become a way of life and so far, so good.
What I learned
You Need To Embrace the art of letting go
I ended up getting rid of 8 bags of clothing between myself and my husband (I think 6 were mine). I realized that I was holding onto items that I hadn’t worn in years because I was holding onto that version of me. Honestly it is not a version of me that I’m happy with. By throwing them away I’ve let go of that person and now I’m ready to fill my closet and my life with only items that spark joy. I promise you that the emotional weight that is lifted from letting go of all that clothing is AMAZING.
I Really Hate Folding
Ah folding. In all honesty I have not completely mastered the KonMari folding method and seeing as I have really deep drawers sometimes organizing in her way isn’t practical. However I tried my best. There are lots of great resources on Pinterest to teach you how to fold and it does take a lot of practice. I have found it really time consuming when I’m folding the laundry. However, I will say that with all the effort I put into folding I am much less inclined to throw my clothes carelessly into the drawer. You sly old fox Marie Kondo, that’s your plan isn’t it. If you are a folding officiando please get in contact with me to show me your ways.
Overall, once you get started, tidying up the KonMari way is actually very maintainable and leads to an enormous sense of well being (anyone else singing Parklife now?). I really recommend getting started right now and discovering how awesome it is to live a tidy life. If my teenage self could see me now. I suppose things that bring you joy change as you get older. Whereas once a trip to a sticky floored nightclub brought me happiness now I enjoy folding and organization. Ah life.
Happy purging friends! I’m moving onto Komono next, pray for me.