Update! After you read this post, check out what my closet and drawers look like one month later! Was I able to keep things organized? Check and see!
In my last post, I talked about The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and how I plan to make room in my life for new endeavors by organizing my home according to her KonMari method of organization.
First up – clothes! As you can see from these before shots, I was in need of an intervention. I honestly didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw the pictures.
She recommends taking all your clothes and laying them in the floor and then going through each item one by one, asking “Does this spark joy?” For increased efficiency, break your clothes into the following categories:
- Tops (shirts, sweaters, etc.)
- Bottoms (pants, skirts, etc.)
- Clothing that should be hung (jackets, coats, suits, etc.)
- Handbags and the like
- Accessories (scarves, belts, hats, etc.)
- Clothes for specific events (swimsuits, uniforms, etc.)
You must touch each item to determine if it sparks joy, because clothing has energy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and give it away immediately. Go through everything before you even start to think of putting things away.
Determining what sparks joy is harder than it seems. This gray sweater, for example. I love it. I haven’t worn it since 2010. I just don’t have anything that goes with it. All of the “if you haven’t worn it in two years, give it away” books would have me toss it. But I love it so I kept it.
However I tossed a white cardigan that I probably should have kept because I work in the coldest office in the planet and I need something to keep me warm when I wear summer clothes to work because, you know, summer. But I don’t know, I’ve just never liked it. So I thanked it for its service and stuffed it in a garbage bag.
When it’s time to put things away, Marie Kondo believes you should fold whatever you can. And you should fold them according to the KonMari method of folding, which is basically putting things into a little packet and filing them in your drawers. This was the surprise delight of the KonMari method. It’s actually really easy to fold your clothes this way so it’s not something I’m going to do once and then stop the next time I do laundry. And storing clothes in this manner enables you to put more clothes in each drawer and they are easy to see so there’s no more finding something you haven’t worn in six months down at the bottom of a drawer. And, hopefully, no more finding three identical gray t-shirts, one with the tags still on it, the next time you organize your clothes.
She recommends folding everything that can be folded and hanging only the heavy stuff like jackets and dresses. I went into this thinking I wouldn’t necessarily do this and ended up happily folding my jeans, sweaters, and shorts into little packets and committing to doing so for the long haul. I’m a believer. I even folded my socks and tights instead of rolling them so they could spend their time off from serving me resting in peace rather than tied up in knots.
I drew the line at only one thing. I did not fold my underwear. I actually started to and then realized what I was doing and threw them all in a drawer willy-nilly as God intended. I did cull out and keep only the pairs that spark joy.
Organizing my clothes took my two full weekends but the time spent was totally worth it. The true test, of course, will be if it’s sustainable; but so far, I’m not only hopeful, I’m confident. I’ll report back in a month with honest photos.
I think I’ll wait a month as well before I tackle my next KonMari project: books. These projects are great life enhancers but they take a lot out of you.