Friday, October 30, 2015

How I Used the KonMari Method to Organize My Clothes

I am a self-described neat freak. That doesn't mean my house is spotless, or that everything is in order. It's quite the opposite, actually. I'd like to blame my children, but my husband and I are just as much at fault as they are. As a result, I'm constantly picking things up, organizing, reorganizing and  picking things up again. It's a never-ending battle that has become a workout in and of itself. Enter the KonMari Method for tidying up. I mean, everyone is talking about it so it really must be an easy way to organize the house.

I bought the book and have been trying out the method, starting with my clothes.

Does your clothing spark joy? Use the KonMari Method to tidy up your closet.
Gotta say, I'm hooked and totally motivated. Seeing everything so perfectly organized, lacking unused makes me feel lighter, happier, and (obviously) motivated to move through the rest of my house.

In essence, it's all about one question: "Does this spark joy?"

If it does, then you keep the item. If not, then you toss or donate it. But you can't just move through your closet, go through your bathroom drawers or do it all little by little. Marie Kondo wants you to organize by category, and she suggests you start with your clothing and do it all in one fell swoop. Literally, you have to feel every item of clothing in your home and decide if it sparks joy. You decide what to keep, not what to throw away.

For example:

Why do I still have this skirt?
Like I'll ever wear it again.
It's from my Abercrombie and Fitch college days.

So it's currently in a bag waiting to be donated.
Here's a before shot of my closet:

Use the KonMari Method to tidy up your closet and organize all the clothes that you really need.
My husband would like you to note the difference between our two closets.

"Make sure you point out that I have, like...a third of what you do. Your closet is out of control. Why do you even need that many clothes?" He even has room for a bathroom vanity in his closet (we're in the middle of a remodel).

My response: "Sorry...did you say something?"

Anyway, he's a bit right. My closet is out of control. I wax nostalgic when it comes to my clothes. I hang on to things because they remind me of times in my life, even though I'll never wear them again. It's kind of silly if you think about it because I probably have pictures of me in the clothes.

Point of the matter: I purged my clothing according to the KonMari Method and ended up getting rid of four bags of clothing (including some accessories and shoes).

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo helped me organize my closet.
It was really, really easy to part with everything. My closet now:

Organize your closet by asking yourself one question: Does this spark joy?
It still looks full, but trust me, it's free of everything that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago. And I'm especially excited about the visible floor and shelf that lacks clothing.

My drawers are in better condition now, too. But we'll get to those in a minute. First, I want to give you some pointers from the KonMari Method that could possibly help you organize your clothing more efficiently...although, seriously. You should buy the book. Until you do:

1) Put every piece of clothing you own in a pile, then sift through it by category. Here's the thing, my clothing was fairly organized from the get-go. I really just needed to purge. So I didn't put everything in one big pile...I did, however, create piles by category right from the start. For example, here are my shirts:

Use the KonMari Method to organize and tidy your clothing by category.
I worked through each category before making a new pile for the next one. This worked for me, I never felt overwhelmed and the end result is definitely an improvement.

2) Fold each piece in a simple, smooth rectangle. The KonMarie Method places huge emphasis on folding, rather than hanging, most of your clothing. And there's a very specific way you're supposed to fold it. Everything is essentially rolled, which eliminates stacks of clothing and makes everything visible. For me, this wasn't always realistic. It worked for my sweatshirts, sweaters, pajamas...some other things, too. But not my activewear. That remains folded as it always was, minus a few things I no longer wear. But the drawers that are now folded accordingly are so nice. They're virtually perfect:

Tidy up your house, starting with your clothing, using the KonMari Method.
3) Hang clothes so they rise to the right. This is supposed to be refreshing, if you're into that sort of thinking. So, heavy clothes like long skirts, dresses and pants should be on the left, with tops of various lengths sweeping up toward the right. Again, one huge rule I didn't follow because the logic of my organizational methods works for me. I like how I've been doing it, so why should I change it? I feel like my closet is still refreshing, just with a little more room between the hangers

4) Don't ball up socks. Yep, the KonMari Method requires you to fold your socks. And here's the logic: When you ball up your socks, you're essentially stretching them out. Makes sense. So I un-balled all my dressy socks and folded them, although I couldn't figure out how to get them to fold nicely according to the official sock-folding instructions, so I improvised just a bit. Take a look:

Tidy up your house with ease using the KonMari Method.
I could go on and on about the various ways to employ the KonMari method in your clothing closet, but if there's one piece of advice you're looking for, I'll sum it up with this:

Take your clothes out, either by category or all at once, then take each item in your hand. Decide if it "sparks joy," and donate it if it doesn't. Don't think about it too hard, you should know immediately whether or not something is worth keeping. Don't downgrade anything to loungewear, just get rid of it. Once you've narrowed it down, take the time to organize your clothing so that everything is visible and easy to grab. 

Sounds easy enough, right?

Up next: Our books.
This will be a huge challenge because I'm a book hoarder, for real.

Want more #fitnfashionable scoop? See what my friends are up to...

Question: How organized is your closet? Have you read 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up'? What did you think? Did it work for you?

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