KonMari and Me – My Clothes

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I have fallen behind in sharing my progress toward my 2018 goals.  So…..here I am!  Catching up!

 One goal that I had for 2018 was to declutter my house using the KonMari method.  If you have never read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I would highly recommend it.  Even though I’m not quite on board with EVERYTHING she recommends, I had several “aha” moments while reading this book.

There is a specific order that Marie Kondo recommends for this process and she says you should tidy one whole category at once, rather than tidy by room (ALL clothes, ALL household items, ALL paper, etc.)  It is based on reducing time spent reminiscing over sentimental items in order to gain momentum.  It’s kind of like the Dave Ramsey debt snowball, but with clutter.  Based on her recommendations, I decided that streamlining my clothing situation would be a good place to start.

Nightstand with Pile of Clothes Before KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

So….I gathered up all of my clothing from my closet, my dresser, on TOP of my NIGHTSTAND (since our new furniture is slightly smaller than what we used to have), and from the off-season storage bins in the garage.  {Marie Kondo believes that, if you only keep what sparks joy AND you store things correctly, you don’t need to have seasonal clothing storage; everything should fit in your closet and dresser.}

Closet Before KonMari Tidy - Mommy Standard Time Blog

Looking at everything I had.  I was doubtful.

Deciding on what sparked “joy” for me was difficult when it came to my clothing.  Marie Kondo says that you should hold each item when you are deciding whether or not to keep it, rather than just opening a drawer and saying “Yep, I wear all of these clothes.”  I did a little bit of both.

Clothes Pile Before KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

I started by immediately purging clothing that I hadn’t worn for a long time.  No questions asked.  I also got rid of clothing that was ridiculously too small. But I will admit that, at first, I still held on to clothes that I wore often even though they didn’t spark joy.  These clothes were still all over my bed at this point because Marie Kondo says you should make all of your “keep/toss” decisions BEFORE thinking about where they need to go.  That was a big change for me; I’m a person that has always just decluttered my clothes to the point where everything fit comfortably in my dresser.  I would keep clothes just because I had space for them.

So when I looked around and saw that I still had a lot of clothes that I was really “meh” about, I buckled down.

I started handling each piece of clothing to decide how it really made me feel.  One thing that helped me was to think about the rare day when all of my laundry is clean at the same time.  What articles of clothing do I ALWAYS reach for when they are available?  Which articles of clothing have a place in my closet solely because they help me procrastinate laundry?  You know the clothes I’m talking about….the ones that scream “I’m running low on clean laundry!”

After all of the decisions were made, it was time to put everything away.  This was my first time folding clothes according to the KonMari method.  There is a very specific way that Marie Kondo recommends folding clothes, and she has many reasons for her method.  The main reason is to maximize space and keep your drawers organized.

Again, I was a little skeptical.  THIS is how my I was stuffing my tiny dresser drawers because I was just SOOOOO over it.  (Yes, I’m a tad bit embarrassed by this photo.)

Dresser Drawer Before KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

Dresser Drawer After KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

But I’ll tell you what….I was AMAZED by how many shirts and pants I could fit into my small dresser drawers when I folded them in the KonMari-recommended way.  The best part is that when I take something from the drawer, the rest of the clothes stay perfectly in place; no messy drawers from pulling a shirt out of the bottom of a pile.  I decluttered my clothes over two weeks ago and my drawers still look like they did the first day, which is a miracle in my world.

Closet After KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

The other thing I loved about this experience is that it takes me much less time to decide what to wear in the morning. Everything I have in my closet is something I REALLY like; I don’t have to push my way through clothes that bring back cancer memories or that make me sad for the body I used to have.  When I open my closet or a dresser drawer, it feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s crazy!

Extra Hangers After KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time BlogHere are the nitty-gritty results: I got rid of two LARGE black garbage sacks full of clothes.  I had cleared out TONS of hangers from my closet.  I was able to remove the second shelf from my closet (which had always bugged me because it prevented my dresses from hanging freely).  I was able to move my shoe organizer back into my closet where it belongs (and yes, I “KonMaried” my shoes as well).  To top it all off, every article of clothing I own now fits comfortably in my closet or dresser; no more clean laundry piles on top of my nightstand and no more totes of clothes in the garage.

So…..

Do you think this is something you’d like to tackle?  Here are a few tips from me for using the KonMari method to tidy your clothes.  These tips are based on what I learned from going through this process and are not straight from Marie Kondo’s book.  I don’t want to be accused of plagiarizing anything.

READ THE BOOK

Many of you have probably heard enough about the KonMari method that you feel ready to give it a go without reading the book.  I would HIGHLY recommend that you still give it a look.  It’s a quick read.  Like I said before, there are many ideas I’m not quite on board with, but she has SO many thoughts that really did give me a ton of “aha” moments.  It is worth the read.

LIMIT DISTRACTIONS

This could very well be a more emotional process than you were expecting.  I know it was for me.  It is important to tackle this process when you don’t have little ones under foot.  I started with my kids in the bedroom, eager to help me (and they did at first) but when it came down to really focusing on whether an item sparked joy, I had the kids go in the other room with Mr. Blue Eyes.

GUILT IS NOT JOY

I am a clearance shopper.  I love finding a great deal!  But I often let those “good deals” sit in the closet because it turns out that I didn’t really like the style or fit all that much. I was more excited about the low price.  However, I can never get rid of these barely-worn clothes because I feel guilty.  It feels wasteful.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Part of the KonMari method is recognizing that maybe the purpose of a particular article of clothing was to bring you joy in some other way.  Getting rid of an article of clothing that brought me joy when I bought it, but no longer sparks joy, is not necessarily wasteful.  That object served a purpose.  It sparked joy while I was shopping and it taught me more about my personal style preferences.  Its job is done and I can send it on to bring joy to someone else.

Or, if you received an article of clothing as a gift that no longer sparks joy, don’t hold on to it out of guilt.  That article of clothing sparked joy when you received the gift; the joy that you feel when someone thinks about you.  Acknowledge that joy and then pass it on.

JOY CAN BE RELATIVE

Now, Marie Kondo might disagree with me on this, but I’m going to admit that there were VERY few clothes that really brought me JOY.  I don’t love my current wardrobe but there is no way that I can afford to replace it right now.  I also don’t love the way my clothes look on me right now, at 30 pounds overweight.  So I picked out a few of my absolute favorite articles of clothing and paid attention to how they made me feel.  The other clothes I kept had to come close to that feeling.  That might have been joy, it might have been something a little bit less.  But I have to be clothed, people!  So, whatever your standard for “joy” might be, just make sure you’re still paying attention to the feelings that you get from those clothes rather than whether or not you wear them often.

FOLD YOUR CLOTHES

I’ll say it again…I was skeptical about the whole clothes-folding method.  But it’s the real deal and it WORKS.

Pants Folded in Drawer After KonMari Method - Mommy Standard Time Blog

So there you have it, my closet and drawers make me happy now.  I am no longer cranky when I put my laundry away because I can easily find a spot for everything.  I’m excited to tackle the next KonMari project!

Have you ever decluttered your clothing using the KonMari method?  What tips would you add to my list?

KonMari and Me - How I Tidied My Clothing (and you can too!) - Mommy Standard Time