If you’ve read the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you’ll remember that Marie Kondo, the books author, mentions that once you go through her system and tidy everything, she has never had anyone slip back into untidiness.
She may have met her match in myself!
That might be hyperbolic. After all, I haven’t done everything, but I have gone through my clothes before. At one point in my life I was seriously considering moving into a tiny house so I had culled my clothing into a capsule wardrobe and it was working well. Then I took a job, moved, didn’t get a tiny house, got a significant pay raise which led to lifestyle inflation, and here we are.
I recently tripped, broke my foot, and had to have surgery. I was stuck at home and the amount of clutter around began to weigh on me even more. Some of it was literally getting in the way of me just moving around my space safely, as well as weighing on me mentally. Luckily I am now working on getting back into walking in normal shoes and I’m able to tackle the literal mess of my life.
As Marie suggests, I started with clothes. Here are photos of my closet. It’s a bit cluttered because I don’t have a storage space so my decorations for holidays along with boxes of sentimental items that need to be gone through are also in here. Oh, and my cats litter box.
The vast majority of the clothing you see here will stay. I already know that there are some items on the side with dresses and pants that I know will go. A lot of those were aspirational purchases. You know, the “oh, I like that, I want to be the girl who wears these things a lot so I’ll buy them and wear them (but never will more than once)” sort of purchase. They will be posted on a Facebook group for the designer and will go to a good home.
You should also know that I have already gone through a lot of my accessories and sold several of them on The Real Real. This declutter is mainly about my dresser/armoir.
If you aren’t familiar with the KonMari method, here’s a summary. Take everything in a category, and she means EVERYTHING, and put it all in one pile. For clothing she wants you to take every item of clothing and pile it up. That includes taking them off of hangers if it’s in your closet, each sock, coats…all of it. Take a pause now to go look some up on YouTube or do an image search in Google to see the sheer size of some of these piles, I’ll be here when you come back.
My pile was decidedly smaller than those. My dresser has 5 drawers. The top is for jeans and lounge pants, some leggings. Below that are pajamas, t-shirts of the geek variety, and sweatshirts. Next up are work out clothes including sports bras, yoga grippy socks and weight-lifting gloves. Finally we have bras, socks, undies. The 5th drawer currently houses my scrubs (not going anywhere) and some random things like photos from a Game of Thrones convention.
Here you can see my “pile” of clothes. You will note there is one skirt, a green one, that I pulled from my closet knowing that it is going to be decluttered.
I had already begun to go through this pile when I remembered that I needed to snap a photo. KonMari tells you to pick up each item and ask yourself “does this spark joy?”. If you’re not sure what that means, then pick up an item you know you love. Hold it in your hands then pay attention to how you feel emotionally, and if you feel it physically. Do you feel a little excitement in your stomach? Do you feel a sense of calm come over you? Did you get a little smile when you held it? Whatever you feel, that is the joy she is mentioning.
Not many of these spark joy.
Some of these I did end up keeping out of practicality purposes. For a little bit of insight, I am a Game of Thrones fan (see above mention of the convention I have attended). I have several GOT themed shirts, most of which I don’t wear often though I do at conventions. I have two from the same company. One has the phrase “I drink and I know things” on it in gold, and the other has “Be a dragon” on the other. I am a bigger fan of Daenerys Targaryen than Tyrion, so the Danny shirt gives me more joy to wear. I am decluttering the “drink” shirt. After you hold the item, thank it for
At the end of the reckoning of my dresser, I was able to declutter
2 sets of pj’s
2 pairs of stockings
3 pairs of underwear
1 unmatched sock
And 14 items of shirts and leggings and 1 pair of jeans
All for a total of 30 items
This equated to 1 empty drawer.
Now, what will I do with these? Glad you asked.
Some are automatic donates/trash due to amount of wear. Some I will take to a clothing consignment shop (the one I usually go to here is Clothes Mentor but you can find some in your area). I’m also hoping to sell a Kanken backpack and a purse I got from Target as well. I also had in a box items I had already planned to declutter including some tank tops and at least 1 sweater, so really this totals well over 30 items total but I didn’t include those because they’re not in the photos I already took. I packed a lot of these into a backpack I had been struggling to declutter but decided I no longer needed.
It feels really nice to have that empty drawer! It also feels nice to have an item checked off of my To-Do list, something I’d been putting off that really didn’t take a lot of time or effort to complete.
The next step is to fold the items, and then organize. I had already folded the vast majority of the items when they were in the dresser so this was easy. KonMari has a specific method of folding which I had incorporated into my life in the past. I don’t fold exactly like her though. I have a folding board (yes, I’m OCD enough to need a board) but it helps me get all items the same size. When I’m finished folding an item with the board I then fold it in half again and it ends up being the size of a KonMari folded item. Since I only have two pairs of jeans and a few pairs of lounge pants I don’t fold them to stand up. I could, but I don’t need to, and I don’t need the space. My non-work pants all fit into one drawer already. If you’re curious and want to know more, you can look up how to KonMari fold on Google/Instagram/YouTube/Pinterest for a plethora of sources and examples. She also has a method for hanging items. She says to go from left to right in your closet with the darkest, longest, heaviest items to the left and lightest, shortest, brightest items on the right. I had already been following this mostly. I personally arrange my items in reverse ROYGBIV order. Each color is then arranged with tanks on the left, followed by short sleeves, then long sleeves. You can see that best in my first photo posted above.
I had already sold one item from my coat closet and will list two more. I struggle with my thick winter coat. I live in a subtropical climate but it does get snowy and very cold occasionally. I haven’t used it this winter season but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I used it quite a bit in 2018. Weather here really is hit or miss.
Next in the KonMari method is books. This includes magazines, which I have very few of if any. I had already gotten rid of some books before I began this process (again). This is a difficult section for a lot of people so keep an eye out for a post on this soon to see how it goes for me. Perhaps it can serve as inspiration for you!