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5.20.2016

KonMari Method - Clothes

In my last post, I raved about Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. So, today I thought I'd share how I have actually been putting the KonMari Method into practice in my own home.

The KonMarie Method is a categorical approach to decluttering (as opposed to room by room). The recommended order is clothes, books, papers, komono (aka miscellaneous), and finally things with sentimental value.

So, I headed to my closet. Step one is to gather every piece of clothing you own, and I do mean everything, and put it out in front of you. I threw everything on my bed, like so.
Step two was to separate the pile into the following categories:  tops, bottoms, clothes, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events, and shoes. This is the order you'll go through each item in the discarding process too. I'll stress again that you should have every piece of clothing you own in your pile before starting. This is not a room by room approach, so you have to make sure you have gathered all your clothes from all the various closets, dressers, and other storage places - coats, seasonal stuff, everything! She makes a point in the book that if you discover any clothes after the process has started that you should automatically discard them. If they didn't mean enough for you to remember them initially, then they aren't bringing you joy.

Next, you handle each piece of clothing individually, and decide whether or not it sparks joy for you. If it does, you keep it. If it doesn't, you thank it for its service and discard it. I'll admit, it sounds kind of silly. I assumed this would be just a quick internal decision made on my part, but as I went along I actually started to talk to my clothes. I was saying things like, "Cute little black shirt, we had a lot of good times back in the day, but you don't quite fit right anymore. I appreciate what a great shirt you were for me back then, and you've fulfilled your purpose. Thank you for your service." Then, I would happily throw it in my donation pile with no regrets. Silly? Yes, but it works. It's really hard to let things go sometimes, but the KonMari Method is very cathartic and provides closure as well.

At the end of the process, my pile of clothes to keep looked like this.
And I donated all of this!
That may or not may seem like a lot to you, but remember, I really didn't have a ton of clothes to begin with (see here), so the fact that I was still able to fill three full garbage bags of clothes to give away was pretty impressive to me. Plus, I had an additional pile of things that I just ended up throwing away too. I was stoked!

The next step though, was putting it all back away, and the KonMari Method is all about the fold. I've always stacked the clothes in my drawers after they were folded, so this was new for me as well. The book outlines how to fold (and this video helped me too), but basically everything gets folded into little rectangles that if done correctly, stand up on their own.
I was amazed at how much I could fit in my drawers too, and I loved being able to see all the contents at once. No more digging around for or forgetting about your clothes. Plus, it looks so nice and neat!
I could fit so much in my drawers, that I was left with hardly anything that needed to be hung up. I even have room to grow as my wardrobe slowly increases as well.
I actually did the process back in January, and I've kept it up really well. I've even discarded more clothes as I've replaced them with ones that bring me much more joy. The folding takes a little bit of time still. I'll occasionally end up leaving a pile of clothes on my bedroom floor for a few days before finally tackling folding them all, but I haven't relapsed into my old ways by any means at all.  Also, I'm more aware of my clothes and the state they're in, which is helping me as I try to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe yet.

I think what I'm most surprised by, is that I don't miss a single thing I gave away.

What do you think? Does it seem silly, brilliant, or somewhere in between? Would you be willing to try? I still have the rest of the house to go yet, but so far I'm a fan.  

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