Tag Archives: closet organization

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #12 – Folding

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #12 – Folding

If you’ve read the book and are joining the fray, then you understand that folding is a big part of the KonMari method clothing cleansing/storing experience. Of course, the book I’m referring to is Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. And, if you’ve been following along with me on my KonMari journey, then you know that I’ve dealt with the folding issue in some of my previous blog posts.

My first introduction to the KonMari folding method was to watch videos on YouTube. The folding seemed easy enough but I wasn’t sure that it would a) save enough space to be worthwhile and b) keep the clothing from wrinkling.

I can understand the whole bonding with your clothing idea and by touching each piece every time you fold it, you can identify areas that might need repair, or even that the piece of clothing has outlived its usefulness although it still brings you joy. But, I’m still not totally sold on the concept.

Just so you know, I’ve always liked to fold certain clothing items. If it goes in a drawer, it’s folded. I’ve also worked many years in retail and I love the look of perfectly folded displays. However, the KonMari Method suggests a different way of folding clothing which required a tweak to my previous habits.

Mastering the technique is pretty simple. Once you fold a few pieces, you develop a rhythm that sustains you through the pile. It kind of reminds me of when I used to spend an evening ironing. It’s almost like active meditation.

However, I’m the kind of person who likes to hang the majority of my wardrobe. To me, out of sight is out of mind. That may explain why my folded shirt drawers – although they look marvelous! – are in such great condition almost two years after their initial KonMari fold. Since the tops are no longer hanging, I forget I have them and often choose something else while I’m in the closet. On the upside, I was able to fit a large quantity of tops into two drawers which opened up hanging space for new purchases!

I’m not convinced that folding works for everything except dresses, coats and jackets or flowy tops. I feel a lot depends on fabric and frequency of use, and some items are too difficult or small to fold. I suspect that many people who have cleansed their wardrobes with the KonMari method will have relatively minimal wardrobes left so everything will get used regularly. That’s not me!

I opted to fold some items because, as I stated in one of my first posts on this journey, I wanted to more efficiently use the space I had, both in my closet and in my drawers. I have a lot of stuff to fit into a small space, so folding seems to make sense. Once I’ve had a chance to completely redo my closet, I’ll have a better idea of how it all works for me. My closet is supposed to be big enough for two and even after this initial cleaning, I’m having trouble fitting just me in it.

When you watch the videos of KonMari folding, everything looks wonderful when it’s initially folded and the drawer is full. To me, the issue is just how quickly it can get ugly once you start pulling items out. You have to regularly adjust what’s left to keep some semblance of organization.

I’ve seen on blogs several people who have absorbed the KonMari Method of folding, and use it not only at home but to pack their suitcases and set up their hotel rooms. I suspect, now that I’m utilizing this method, I’ll continue to do so for years to come, but I will also hang as much as I can.

I feel your relationship with your clothing is very personal but also something we all struggle with, particularly when it comes to organizing everything. We forget what we have which is why utilizing closet/clothing/style apps help. However, they do take time to maintain and I must admit, I’ve fallen away from using mine. I just have higher priorities at the moment, but I think they’re amazing aids and I wish I had mine updated.

Now, before I digress further, here are a few pointers regarding my KonMari folding experience.

  1. Watch videos. There are several on YouTube, not only by Kondo, but by several people who follow the KonMari Method. I highly recommend watching the videos before you begin your folding phase.
  2. Use plastic. I know Kondo suggests using leftover shoe boxes and lids for small item storage, but I much prefer plastic. Cardboard is susceptible to dust, bugs and dampness. Even in a drawer, cardboard gets dusty and dirty and is just too difficult to clean. Plastic can be washed and dried at will, and if you buy the clear plastic, you can actually see what’s in there. My vote is for plastic.
  3. Cut the tags. Kondo suggests cutting all tags so your clothes will feel wanted and part of your life. I’m paraphrasing here. Anyway, I struggled with this at first. Sometimes you like to know which tops are new, particularly when it comes to camis, tamis and tanks. There are times when you absolutely want to wear a new one, and once you cut the tags, that easily identifiable designation is gone. However, if you’re going to fold, you quickly discover that the tags get in the way. Even when I was sorting, the tags kept tangling. So, I caved, dug out the scissors and cut the tags.
  4. Look at the big picture. Once you’ve cleaned through all your clothes, they need to be organized in a manner that works for you. It might mean emptying everything – again! – so you can decide how best to locate your clothing. Coats in the coat closet. Pajamas in the night stand. Scarves on a hanger. Figure out how you’ll best utilize everything you own, then organize it that way. Not everything has to be folded.
  5. Fold smoothly. Be sure to smooth each item out before you fold it, otherwise the creases will likely remain. Some items are easier to do than others, and some, like pajamas, you might not care as much if there is a wrinkle or two.
  6. Fix what you see. The good thing about folding is that you do see every inch of an item you’re folding. Tears, snags, falling hemlines, and so on, become ever more obvious. Also, you can see when a piece of clothing needs to be tossed due to wear. I sadly donated a few shirts when I got up close and personal with them.
  7. Do what’s best for you. Remember, in the end, the KonMari Method is simply the suggestion of one organizer who wrote a book. Fold or not fold. Your clothing is up to you.

I’d love to hear your comments on how you’re adapting to KonMari folding and organizing your clothing. Leave your comments below!

Next up, more random thoughts and what I’ve learned so far. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #10 – Accessories, Special Occasion Clothing and Shoes

Magic of Tidying Up

Yay!!! We’re at the last clothing category and they are three of my favorites. Which means, I’m going to have a hard time parting with anything. This post covers accessories, special occasion clothing and – wait for it – shoes! In case you’re wondering, I’m following the recommended category order detailed in Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Accessories can be overwhelming! After all, it includes everything from jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, pins) to scarves, gloves, hats, and belts. It’s a huge category! I suggest breaking this down into its sub-categories to make it easier to deal with. I kept putting off this part of the cleaning simply because i knew I’d have to look at every single earring i haven’t cleaned out for years! One issue I have is I’ve never found a storage/display solution for my jewelry so i tend to grab the same items over and over, which gets boring considering how many items I have.

Now, I don’t own much quality jewelry. but as i live a relatively casual lifestyle, i don’t need it and i don’t want to have to worry about it. Still, the items i have look fine and work for me. But there are a lot of them! This exercise was good for me to finally clean through and somewhat organize what I have. I only gave away 10-15 percent of my jewelry because I really love what I own. The problem is I can’t find it because I haven’t settled on a way to store it that works for me. Stylebook might help me here but I have so much I can’t imagine how long it would take me to even get them in the app. So, my search continues.

I have few scarves and belts, so I kept everything I own. I don’t wear them very often but they do bring me joy. Many of my scarves were purchased on trips overseas so there are memories that come to light when I wear them.

I was quite surprised to find that I owned 15 hats! I live in a warm climate so I don’t really need a lot of winter hats, and i try to stay out of the sun as much as possible since i have fair skin. I kept four hats and gave the rest away.

Gloves are another item i seldom use in this climate, although it can get chilly in the winter. I only had a few pair to go with my coats, so I kept them

Overall, accessories is the clothing category that took the longest. Sadly, i feel I need to go through my earrings again…

This was a big category – accessories, special occasion clothing and shoes!

Clothing for special occasions. I lead a pretty casual life at this point, mostly writing, blogging and taking care of my Mom, so my social calendar is not as full as it might be. There are invitations I must refuse simply because of my responsibilities. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking for awesome bargains for special occasions. You never know when you’ll need that special dress! Plus, I tend to dress in what I call classic with a twist, so basically timeless designs, worth the investment if I find something I love at a great price. Some people need to wear the latest and the greatest, and while I enjoy doing so, I don’t have to.

I tend to view designer gowns as works of art. I’ve been fascinated with gowns since I was a kid. I used to sketch eveningwear of my own design all the the time. Bling it out and I’m on board! I’m also fascinated by how inexpensive some gowns can be purchased on eBay if you’re willing to wait and search enough. As an example. in the past, I purchased a brand new $3,500 gown for $66. Yep, that’s right, $66! And, it was authentic! I’ve also found some pre-owned dresses for less than $100. Many society ladies buy beautiful designer gowns, wear them just a few hours for an event, then sell them. Buying them at a good price is better than renting! Even if you need to pay for alterations, you’re probably still thousands of dollars ahead for something really exquisite.

I know, I’m supposed to be explaining how I cleaned through my special occasion clothing, but as I looked at the mere 22 pieces I owned, memories of my spectacular deals came to mind. Just touching these works of art brings joy to me. I did sell two gowns that I thought weren’t really my taste even though they were beautiful, but the rest I’m keeping until I either wear them, share them or replace them. The biggest issue here is how to store these beaded numbers which are quite heavy and may need to be stored flat. But, that’s an issue for another day.

Shoes. I suspect most women have a weakness in one of the clothing categories, and it’s generally handbags or shoes. I like to think my handbag collection is small since I’ll use my daily handbag sometimes for years before replacing it (although I do have a number of clutches) whereas shoes are worn every day. So, for me, my weakness is shoes. On occasion, I’ve topped the 250 mark but I’d already downsized to about 88 when I began this cleaning.

I tend to clean  through my shoes regularly, so it surprised me when I found 20 pair to part with. When you have everything in a big pile, certain patterns emerge and those 20 belonged to a part of my past that no longer applied.. I hadn’t worn any of them in quite a long time, so it was easy to let them go. There were a couple pair that were brand new in the box, so those I sold on eBay. Looking through them all at once also made it clear what I was missing. I’ve since added a few new items to the stash, and there are one or two more I could use.

Well, that covers each of the clothing categories in detail. Up next, I’ll do a final analysis on this entire category, then another post on what I’ve learned through this process so far. There’s still a whole house to go! The next category to clean will be books, but I’ll get to that in a few posts. Thanks for joining me on this journey. There’s much more to come.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #3 Stylebook

Magic of Tidying Up

As I mentioned in my last post, while I was doing online research before the big start of my tidying journey, I came across something that really excited me – in addition to living in a clean and organized house surrounded by things that bring me joy.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo was the first stop. In the book, Kondo takes you on a category by category tidying of your house beginning with clothing. I think clothing is a great place to start because most of us are pretty good about cleaning out our closets on somewhat of a regular basis. Plus, once you’ve purged all the unjoyful stuff, you only have pieces that you are excited to wear.

I really felt that this tidying journey would be a great opportunity for me to try new things with my wardrobe, mixing and matching items – if I only knew what I had and where they were. Let’s face it. Unless you have less than 10 items in your wardrobe, you’re bound to forget something. It’ll get buried no matter what. This drives me crazy!

I don’t know how I found it exactly, and many of you may already be aware of it, but for me it was a dream come true. I’d longed for something like this but with everything I had in my closet, I wasn’t sure when I’d find the time to get all the data entered. However, I knew once I had completed a closet cleanse I’d be ready for it.

What is it, you ask? Why, the Stylebook App! Here’s a quick video:

This little find got me as or more excited than Kondo’s book when it came to my clothing. I had to have it!

I’m usually not one to spend any money on apps. Even my games are freebies. However, it took me a nanosecond to spend $3.99 on this little goodie. That’s far less expensive than having a personal stylist come to your house.

I read the reviews and it does have some downsides. First of all, it hasn’t been updated in a year or so. I don’t care. As long as it works, I’m fine with that. It also doesn’t have an automatic sync between devices, but it’s actually pretty easy to share data as long as you’re diligent about doing it each time you add items to the app. You also have to make sure the app is backing up to the cloud so all your work is not for naught should you get a new device or something happens to the one you have..

It sounds like it will take two to four days to get an entire wardrobe entered, depending on the quantity of items and how much detail you enter for each one. I plan to do it category by category so elapsed time might be correct but it will be spread out over several days for me.

What it does do is amazing! It catalogs all items in your wardrobe, from skinny jeans to winter gloves. You can enter as much or as little information you want, including brand, size, price and fabric content and even add little notes.

You can play with your closet and create unlimited looks. Then, place your looks on the calendar. The app provides statistics as to how many times you wear an item as well as cost per wear if you entered your purchase price. That’s how you can justify your new pair of Louboutins!

You can store inspiration photos as well as create a packing list, a great feature for people who travel a lot. And, you can create a wishlist of items to add to your wardrobe.

I’m fearful of checking out the shopping function but if I decide to see how it works, I’ll let you know.

I believe the Stylebook App is currently only available on iPhone and iPad, but I did find something similar for Android called Stylicious which is also available on iOS. Here s their video:

There are other apps out there, some of which are free, that offer similar functionality. Let me know if you’ve used any of them and which you prefer – and why!

UPDATE: Stylebook was updated January 2016 and now includes fun new features such as having the app create new looks for you based on your wardrobe! How fun is that!

Next time I’ll offer some random thoughts, all in preparation for the big clean out!

Happy tidying!