Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (affiliate link) yet?
I read it last month after being on the waiting list at my library since October. Yes, I waited 5 months to read that dang book. And it was so worth the wait.
I won’t get into some of the sillier aspects of the book, like telling your clothes that you’re thankful for them, or emptying your purse out at the end of every single day (ain’t nobody got time for that!), but as a whole I can say the book really did a lot for me in terms of my approach to cleaning out and tidying up my home. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff that we have lately, and I’m just dying to clear it out and get organized.
I’ve tried to clean our house out many times before, but I always end up right back where I started – with too much stuff and not enough room. So, lured by the promise of never having to go through this process again (KonMari swears that once you’ve tidied once, you’ll stick to it!), I’ve decided to tackle the project using the methods and techniques outlined in the book.
Here goes nothing.
For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, let me break it down for you really quickly:
The idea is that you should go through everything (everything!) in your home and decide whether or not each item sparks joy for you. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t? Toss it!
Now, obviously, this doesn’t apply to every single little item you own. Toilet paper sparks absolutely zero joy in my soul but I have no intention of getting rid of ours. It’s more about the material possessions that aren’t necessarily essential to life.
KonMari recommends a very specific order for cleaning out your possessions:
– Komono (Miscellaneous items)
– Sentimental items
I don’t know why this is the order, but I figure I’m just going to roll with it. She recommends working by category instead of by room because it’s more efficient (you often store books or clothing in several different rooms, so you’ll be more likely to do a thorough job if you tackle all of that category at a time).
I’m so inspired by her methods and intrigued by her promises that I’ve decided to tackle the entire KonMari method here on the blog, one category at a time. I’ll be going through each category and then coming back here every few weeks to report on my progress and the lessons I’ve learned from each cleaning session.
I even made myself a handy little printout with the categories and a checklist of what to go through for each category so there’s no way I can miss anything. If you want to follow along with me, you can snag yourself a copy of the checklist by signing up for my mailing list at the bottom of this post! (If you’re already signed up and you want a copy, just shoot me an email and I’ll make sure you get it!)
Okay, so let’s talk clothing.
I jumped right in and went through every piece of clothing I had within a few days of finishing the book – to be honest, I was shocked at how much I had to get rid of, considering I tried out a capsule wardrobe last year and got rid of a ton of stuff then too!
Here are my top lessons and tips from organizing my clothing the KonMari way:
– The folding method seems like a pain in the butt. I didn’t want to do it. Do it. I am in awe of how much more room I have in my drawers and how motivated I am to keep them organized now. I’m a believer!
– If you’re really going to embrace this method, you have to let go of all guilt. There were so many things in my closet that I was keeping just because it hadn’t been worn much or it was a gift and I felt bad getting rid of it. I had to move past that guilt and admit that it wasn’t a good item for me, and toss it into the Goodwill bag. It’s painful, but I’ve found that it helps me to approach future shopping trips much more carefully, and I’m so much pickier now about the items I purchase!
– If you have kids, don’t try to KonMari their closets. I thought about going through Jackson’s closet and getting rid of any of the clothes he has that I don’t love, but then I realized that he’s two years old and sometimes goes through as many as three different shirts in a day. Capsule wardrobes are not meant for toddlers! Quantity is key. (Unless you’re one of those crazy people who does laundry every day. Not me!)
– Don’t stress too much if your spouse doesn’t want to participate. I’ve been trying for months to get Corey to do a thorough purging of his closet, and he is just not interested. He has way (way!) more clothing than I do, and sometimes I want to go through it for him (trust me, he has plenty of clothes that don’t spark joy in me). But, in the end, it’s his side of the closet, his wardrobe, and his clutter to deal with. Unfortunately, I can’t make him want to get organized, so I have to let it go. One of these days I’ll accept the fact that my husband isn’t an organizing and cleaning junkie like I am. I’m working on it.
– The book recommends keeping all of your clothing in your closet at all times (including out-of-season clothes). I used to do this, but changed things up when I tried out a capsule wardrobe last fall, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I keep my off-season clothing in a clothing storage box under our guest room bed, and I love doing things that way – when I pull out my clothes for a new season it’s like rediscovering them all over again! It makes me appreciate my clothes more to put them out of sight for a few months, and since we have the space to do it this way, I’ll definitely stick to keeping only on-season clothing in my closet and drawers.
– I’m learning that right after a big closet purge is the time to really think about how you want to dress. I feel like I often end up wearing the same ol’ clothing I’ve always worn simply because it’s there – but it’s not necessarily what I love! When I clean out my closet I’m able to really see what I have, what I want, and where the gaps are. I now have a very specific list in my head of items that I would like to add to my wardrobe because they fit in with how I want to dress, not necessarily how I’ve been dressing. I’m working on a full post about my new approach to my wardrobe, so be looking for more on that soon!
– Finally, don’t be afraid to be completely honest with yourself! It sounds silly, but let me explain: I love high heels. They’re gorgeous, I feel confident in them, and they’re fun to collect. But I never wear them. I’m a special education teacher, so wearing them to work is totally impractical. I have a toddler, so wearing them on family outings would be ludicrous. I don’t think they’re comfortable, so wearing them ever is probably not going to happen. I had a relatively large collection of heels that literally never got worn, but I just couldn’t bear to get rid of. Now? I’ve purged down to just three or four pairs that I keep on hand for special events. And that’s it.
I have had my clothes nice and organized for a few weeks now and I’m so glad I did it. I never thought I’d be such a stickler for folding my clothes, but having them all nice and pretty in my drawers is, dare I say, life-changing. I am so excited to dive in and tackle my books now!
Have you tried the KonMari method with anything in your house yet?
Psst: Don’t forget! If you want to get a free copy of the checklist I’m using to go through the KonMari method in my home, just sign up for my mailing list below and I’ll email it to you! And on top of that, you’ll have access to an exclusive weekly newsletter from me with content that you won’t see anywhere else. Don’t be left out!