Okay, so now that we know the basics of the KonMari Method from Part 1, I’m excited to share with you how the actual editing process went for us. My husband and I edited our clothing using the KonMari Method which asks you to touch each item and ask yourself if it “sparks joy”.
Editing My Clothes
As recommended in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up * by Marie Kondo, I pulled all my clothes out and touched each item. I actually did not do it by category but did it in sections – out of season clothes in the plastic storage tub, the clothes hanging in the closet, and then clothes in the dresser drawers. I definitely had times when I touched a piece of clothing and immediately thought, “I love this shirt and wear it all the time.” Does that count as a thrill of joy?
Other thoughts I had when I decided to keep the item of clothing:
- I like this color
- This style looks good on me
- This is comfortable and in good shape
Thoughts I had when I decided to donate or discard a piece of clothing:
- This doesn’t fit me comfortably – it’s too loose, too tight, too short, etc.
- I don’t really love this but I’ll wear it if it stays
- Be honest – you have never worn this and you will never wear it
- This is getting too worn – you wear it out of habit, but you should let it go.
I was trying to be more intuitive with my editing, but I’m pretty sure I was mostly using my rational versus intuitive side. Kondo writes:
Human judgment can be divided into two broad types: intuitive and rational. When it comes to selecting what to discard, it is actually our rational judgment that causes trouble. Although intuitively we know that an object has no attraction for us, our reason raises all kinds of arguments for not discarding it, such as “I might need it later” or “it’s a waste to get rid of it.” These thoughts spin round and round in our mind, making it impossible to let go. (p. 59)
I do think that considering things from a “joy” perspective allowed me to let a lot of things go that I normally might have “rationalized” keeping. If there was one negative thing about an article of clothing, I felt free to put it in the donate pile. I’ll continue honing my joy skills, but in the meantime, the process did help me to edit my wardrobe down significantly.
Editing Hubby’s Clothes
Later that night my husband agreed to go through his clothes with me. This was really encouraging to me because decluttering has mostly been a solo project for me.
We followed the same process that I used with my clothes – we pulled out all the clothes from the plastic bin, then his drawers, and then the clothes hanging in the closet. I instructed him to touch each item and asked him if it “sparked joy”.
Although he was annoyed at continually hearing me ask him if something “sparked joy,” he was surprisingly decisive throughout the process. He only waffled on a few shirts that held sentimental value, but were clearly heading to the trash/recycle pile. A lot of his clothes clearly did NOT bring joy, but he wore them anyways because they were clean and in his drawer.
If we had not gone through his clothes, he would have continued to wear those things because editing is not natural for him…yet. How often do we surround ourselves with things that we feel neutral or downright negative about because we haven’t intentionally dealt with our stuff?
Folding with the KonMari Method
Between the two of us we are donating approximately 90 items of clothing and recycling a large bag of clothes. Here are our piles:
My husband’s plastic storage tub was now empty and I only had a few sweaters in mine. I decided to try the KonMari folding technique in order to get everything to fit in our drawers and closet.
The idea is to fold your items of clothing into a rectangle that should stand up on it’s own. There are some good YouTube Videos instructions here (for shirts), here (for pants), and here (for the underwear drawer). After I folded our clothes this way, I was able to fit all of our clothes for the whole year in our drawers and closet. No need for out of season storage! Here is how our closet and drawers look now:
I reorganized my section of the closet the way that Marie Kondo recommends – having the clothes rise to the right. She suggests putting heavy or items with length on the left and as you move to the right the “length of the clothing grows shorter, the material thinner, and the color lighter” (p. 79).
Another thing I really appreciated was her use of everyday household objects to organize the things that remain. She suggests that a shoe box is the perfect container for folded socks! I always appreciate ideas on how to reuse and re-purpose items.
Asking myself if an item “sparked joy” seemed to give me permission to let a piece of clothing go if it sparked anything else but joy. It was much easier for me to recognize that a piece of clothing sparked annoyance rather than joy. My wardrobe now is filled with items that are pleasing to me. It’s not perfect, and will probably be pared down even further as I continue to understand what gives me a “thrill of joy.”
Have you tried the KonMari Method? What was your experience like? I’d love to know!
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Angela this is very inspiring. I like the idea of going from least sentimental items to most sentimental and to focus on making a home with things that spark joy!
Thanks for commenting Josina! Yes, definitely a good measure of whether to keep something or not.
I think “I love this” would definitely count as a spark of joy!
I, too, used Marie Kondo’s method to go through my clothes–amazing results!
I agree Stephanie! The folding technique saves so much space.