How to Organize Your Clothes Using the KonMari Method

How to Organize Your Clothes Using the KonMari Method

Here’s a Detailed How-To Guide on Using Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method to Clean Out Your Wardrobe, Organize Your Clothes and Make Sure Everything You Wear Every Day Brings You Joy!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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.

Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way

Step One: Take Out ALL Your Clothes and Put Them in a Giant Pile

Marie Kondo recommends taking all your clothes from your closet, from your drawers, literally everywhere and laying them in the floor. Then go 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.)
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Handbags and the like
  • Accessories (scarves, belts, hats, etc.)
  • Clothes for specific events (swimsuits, uniforms, etc.)
  • Shoes

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.

Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way
In the middle of determining what sparks joy for me

How to Determine What Sparks Joy

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.

Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way

If you’re having a difficult time determining what sparks joy for you, Marie Kondo recommends that you look over your pile and quickly pick out 3 items that you absolutely love.

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.

Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way
Seven Bags(!) of non-joy sparking clothing on their way to make someone else happy

Step Two: Fold Almost Everything and File in Drawers so You Can See Everything at Once

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.

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 no more finding three identical gray t-shirts, one with the tags still on it the next time you organize your clothes. (That happened to, an, um, friend of mine.)

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.

Update: I later went back and folded my underwear and bras the Marie Kondo Way because they just look so pretty like that!

The Final Results

Organizing my clothes took 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.

Update: Here’s my one month progress and my one year progress!

Here are some photos to show the end result. Totally worth it!

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.

Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way
A Closet that sparks joy whenever I look at it
Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way
Organizing my Clothes the KonMari Way
Folded T-Shirts and Sweaters with Room for More

Looking for More?

I’ve got a ton of information about the KonMari process here:

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Organized Clothes using the KonMari Method Popularized by Marie Kondo

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7 Comments

  1. July 7, 2016 / 4:05 am

    Ok – this is the third time the Konmari method has come into my sphere of consciousness in the last 12 months without me going looking. I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me! My dressing room looks just like your before pictures only worse, much, MUCH worse. Your after pictures do convey the sense of calm and order I crave. But unless someone comes and does it for me, it isn’t going to happen – now where did I put that lottery ticket?

    • Katy
      July 7, 2016 / 6:40 am

      You should try it Gilly! The rewards are incredible!

  2. Elly
    June 20, 2017 / 2:51 am

    I just graduated from high school and had drawers and racks stuffed with clothing from my teenage years. Konmari helped me to clear it out and now I have a single rack with hanging shelves for all the clothes I own. But trust me, it’s genuinely so much easier to fold your underwear. You only have to do it once after you’ve washed them, and packing for a trip is much faster and more compact. Good luck with the books!

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