I think the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, is all about challenging yourself to think differently. And, for me, I decided to face things head-on!
Kondo highly recommends sorting and clearing through your stuff in a very specific category by category way. First stop: clothing. For me, that began in my closet.
One reason I was excited to start on the closet was as a personal challenge. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is seemingly adequate for two people. However, I have overtaken every square inch of space in it – in addition to a full nightstand and six-drawer chest. If I were married, I have no clue where my husband’s clothes would go. One nightstand is kept empty for that purpose; however, the closets in the other two bedrooms are unavailable. One is for my office and the other is in my Mom’s bedroom. So, there is only this one closet for two people. The house does not have a linen closet, so all sheets, mattress pads, comforters and other bed linens must be stored in the closet as well.
i took “before” photos of my closet, but i’m not going to include them in my posts just yet. I’ll wait until I complete my clothing purge, catalog everything in Stylebook, sell some discards on eBay and fold and store the keepers as I see fit. Plus, I have many items in my closet that fall into future categories, so I won’t be cleaning through them for a while. I’m as anxious as you are to see if clothing for two people plus the linens can fit in this closet!
One thing Kondo mentions in her book is that you have to successfully live in your own space. She says the space you have is the right amount of storage for you – I’m paraphrasing here. That thought process ties into one I discovered in my Law of Attraction studies. So, it seems to be universal.
Somewhere along the line in my research, I came across the concept of having different forms of “me” in the closet, meaning the reason so many of us have so many clothes is we have the old me, the me I want to be (perhaps through many different trials and errors) and the me that I am. I found this an intriguing way to think about my belongings as I began my KonMari journey.
The question we’re supposed to ask as we hold each item in hand is, “Does this spark joy?” As I was tidying, I added a caveat to that – “Do I love it so much I’m willing to move it?” – meaning, the next time I pack up for a new abode, do I want that to come with me? And, pay the moving charges! Certainly, by that time, many items in my wardrobe will have been replaced with new ones, but I kept the question in mind for future categories.
Once I discovered the Stylebook app, the energy surge I had for this was so strong, it was almost scary. I didn’t know if this was for my benefit or for my readers. Either way, it was an energy I hadn’t felt in a long time and it felt good.
I think most people clean through their clothes somewhat regularly, so I wasn’t sure just how much I would discard, but at the very least, I was interested in reworking the items in the closet and drawers to utilize them more efficiently.
As i go through my wardrobe, I also want to identify and discard those items that I have that don’t bring me joy when I wear them. You certainly must have a few of those items, the ones where you almost dread putting them on but you haven’t found adequate replacements that make you feel good so you just keep wearing them. Well, this time they’re going!
When it was time to get started, I knew I’d have to break every category down into sub-categories, just due to time constraints. I’m sure it’s a very interesting experience to clean through all your clothing at once, but smaller categories are easier for me to digest. I suspect I wouldn’t be able to walk through my bedroom or living room if I put all my clothes into a big pile, but because I take care of my Mom, it just wasn’t practical. I had to do it in chunks.
I decided to start with t-shirts. I knew I had a lot but i hardly ever wear them. I put them all in a pile on my bed – sorry, I refuse to throw my good clothes on the floor. How would you feel if someone did that to you? – and was quite amazed to discover that for someone who rarely wears t-shirts, I had almost 70 of them!
I decided to do this first batch a little differently than Kondo suggests. Since she says you should feel energy when you touch an article of clothing, i decided to clean through my t-shirts with my eyes closed. To my left, I put a chair where I would place items to keep and to my right, discards.
To my surprise, the final tally was actually pretty close to accurate. I did pull five shirts from the discard pile, but I also discarded five shirts from the keep pile once I started cataloging and folding them.
In the end, I kept only 23 t-shirts, mostly from university, sports teams or concerts. I followed the video on Lavendaire’s YouTube channel and lovingly folded my t-shirts, placing them into their new home. Once hung, these shirts now take up exactly one drawer, Most people place them horizontally in the drawer, but for me, vertically worked better,
My t-shirt discards filled an entire garbage bag! I can only imagine what is yet to come once I get into more clothing categories.
Folding was actually fun, and I’ve since used t-shirts from the drawer and they are wrinkle-free! I used to hang them because I thought that would prevent wrinkles, but in actuality, they were more wrinkled hanging, and I couldn’t tell what I had. All I saw was a sea of green or black or white sleeves. Now I can see everything I own!
What category will I do next? Come back and see!