I have finally finished The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo *. I utilized her method for our clothing edit as I switched out our clothes from Winter/Fall to Spring/Summer. I did my clothes by myself and then my husband and I did his clothes together. I’m happy to report that my husband said it was “fun” to edit his clothes together with the KonMari Method!
The KonMari Method
If you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo’s book, she advocates tidying up by category – not by space, and to do it all at one time. Her method has you follow this order:
clothes that should be hung
clothes for specific events (swimsuits, uniforms, etc.)
4. komono (miscellany)
skin care products
valuables (passports, credit cards, etc.)
electrical equipment, appliances, cords
household equipment (stationery, office supplies, etc.)
household supplies (expendables — medicine, detergents, tissues)
kitchen equipment (tools and appliances)
other (spare change, home decor)
items related to a particular interest or hobby (ex: cds, dvds, kitchen equipment, etc), and
5. lastly mementos (sentimental items and photos)
She recommends doing it in this order because it goes from least sentimental to most sentimental. The thought is that as you are editing, you are honing your intuitive sense of what gives you joy.
The KonMari method asks you to hold each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you donate it or throw it away.
Current State of the Clothing
My husband and I share one small closet and one dresser. We each have two large dresser drawers and a smaller drawer. We used to have two dressers – one for each of us, but when my sons’ dresser fell apart, I made a conscious decision to pare down our clothes so that we could share one dresser and our two oldest sons could use the other one.
My husband and I don’t have an excessive amount of clothes. When this year began, I did a quick edit of his clothes without asking him (I know, I know, this was before I read all the recommendations of only dealing with your stuff first) – mostly just old t-shirts that were frayed and stained but he kept around for working in – how many work t-shirts does a man need?
I did a quick edit of my clothes as well. I had received a huge influx of clothes handed down to me by my oldest sister. I couldn’t keep everything. At the start of winter I put our spring/summer clothes in plastic rubbermaid tubs – one each. This made storage manageable with the amount of space we had to work with.
Tidying in a Quiet Space
I did my clothes first alone. I usually listen to podcasts or an audiobook while I declutter, but I didn’t this time based on Marie Kondo’s recommendation to “tidy” in silence. She writes:
The work of carefully considering each object I own to see whether it sparks joy inside me is like conversing with myself through the medium of my possessions…For this reason, it is essential to create a quiet space in which to evaluate the things in your life…I feel that noise makes it harder to hear the internal dialogue between the owner and his or her belongings. (p. 58)
I agreed with her that there is often an internal dialogue happening as I decluttered – usually full of rationalizations of why I should keep an item. This time, however, I was going to edit my clothes intuitively – touch each item and see if it “sparked joy”. To be honest, I was skeptical. How often do people feel a thrill of joy when they touch one of their possessions? If I were to only keep clothes that sparked joy, I may not have any at the end – which would definitely be problematic.
Hand Me Downs
As a third child, I was given my sisters’ hand me downs, and still gratefully receive my oldest sister’s clothes. I joke with her that I am her donation drop off. When I read Kondo acknowledging this phenomenon of the younger sister, a light bulb went off for me. She writes:
..(younger siblings) don’t really know what they like, which makes it hard to decide whether they should part with it. Because they receive so much clothing from others, they don’t really need to shop and therefore they have less opportunity to develop the instinct for what really inspires joy. (p. 56)
This was so true of me. I have never enjoyed shopping. I often feel overwhelmed and tire easily when shopping. Hand me downs are a great way to “shop” in the comfort of my own home. I know what sparks rejection (“I would never wear that”) but I’m not sure what sparks joy.
Now that we have set the stage, I’ll share about our actual editing process and the results in the next post, Part II. Stay tuned!
You might also like:
Have you used the KonMari Method to edit your clothing? How did you know what sparked joy?
*This is an affiliate link, which means that at no additional cost to you, if you purchase this item, I may get a small percentage of the sale if you buy through these links. Thanks for your support!
This has been shared at these awesome linky parties.
Kate @KateMovingForward says
Interesting! I like the idea of only keeping things that are useful or like you said “spark joy”. That’s a greta way to declutter!
Thanks for commenting Kate!
MARTE SIMPSON says
Very clear, concise. In process but as a 3rd/5th child only got a few hand-me-downs & we were different Seasons, Coloring & Bodies. I LOVE to shop & usually am the one giving. But life is full of changes. Right now, we are in “Frozen Frugalilty”, & our current temporary setting is a 1 bedroom apt w/ 1 tiny closet. I’ve gained weight but my BFF is sending me a few things that fit fabulously! now she’s lost weight thru ISAGENIX!
What sparks joy ? Something that fits! Feels great! Looks good! I am also doing ISAGENIX (up down) but going thru my stuff & sending BFF things that will fit her. Yay USPO, UPS & Fedex! saw DOORMAN on Shark Tank wonderful idea! My sister says, “Please don’t send she has no more room”!
I appreciate your younger better way of looking at clothes & helping us baby boomers downsize!! Our parents lived thru Depression & you hung on to EVERYTHING! So with 2 of our 3 kids the pendulum is swinging to “Less is Best” & “Declutter”!!!
Embracing yet another change & we thought becoming Senior Citizens would be dull!
Marte, I love that idea of a long distance clothing swap between you and your BFF! I agree that the clothes that fit, feel great and look good should spark joy!
I’m letting go of so many clothes because of my weight loss. Feels wonderful to be doing that instead of other way around! 🙂
That’s great Melinda!
Anna | SheisJoyful says
I LOVE to declutter 🙂 Part of why I’m so excited to be moving into a home with my fiance after we get married is to keep the house beautiful, clean, and organized — isn’t that silly!? It’s just fun & therapeutic for me to get rid of things and make things look simple and beautiful. I really like this method — how you think about how that item makes you feel. I definitely have clothing I need to get rid of! I feel like I’m afraid to throw it out because I’d have almost nothing left — I have yet to discover my real “style.” I don’t know what kind of clothing I really like, haha, so that makes me feel a little “ehh” about most of my clothes I think.
I feel the same way Anna about my clothing. Now that I’ve pared down its easier to see the things I always reach for. I think I’m probably due for another edit soon. That’s wonderful that you love to pare down and keep things simple – keep it up!
Jamie @ Medium Sized Family says
Everyone is talking about this book! I need to read it! I really enjoy getting rid of “stuff”. It always feels like a weight has been lifted from me. It’s great that your hubby went for it. Mine can tend to be a bit of a hoarder, but he is getting better now that he can see how much easier life is without all of that stuff!
It’s a helpful book! I’m seeing a lot of progress with my husband as we declutter our basement together.
Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride) says
I love Marie Kondo’s book! She inspired me to get rid of more than 50% of my belongings, and I’m still going. I just wrote a review of her book on my blog and explained how to declutter the KonMari way 🙂 I’m now creating a capsule wardrobe to minimize my clothing even further.
50%! That’s awesome. I love capsule wardrobes – haven’t specifically done that yet but I do want to!