So I did it. I got all Kondo on my closet. It feels great. I feel great. I feel fucking happy too. Marie Kondo is genius.
Get the damn book. Or Audio version. It’s a quick easy read. I felt so inspired after reading about the closet transformations. The basic concept it to ONLY surround yourself with things that truly spark joy. I’m probably not going to thank my purse each day for it’s hard work or believe that my socks are alive…lol. Trust me, you’ve got to read the book.
You can purchase the book here The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Or go the Stacy route and reserve it at the library. They have audio and book versions available.
I’m sure you’re completely sick of reading about the KonMari method that I’ve been writing about over and over. But, the more peeps I chat with, the more I realize they don’t even know what KonMari is. Here is a brief breakdown….
Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Whereas most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, the KonMari Method’s category-by-category, all-at-once prescription leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have been repeat customers (and she still has a three-month waiting list of new customers!). With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home–and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms
I’d always tackled clutter by room—take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category—deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.
Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings
With my eyes now open, I realized my closets had hit rock bottom. Everything had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your hardworking socks really thrilled to be balled up? It had sounded out there when I read it, but suddenly my clothes looked totally miserable.
Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend
As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.
To be honest, I was probably procrastinating. In theory, I was sold on the idea of living exclusively with clothing that gives me joy, but I still had hang-ups: What will I be left with? Will I have anything to wear to work? Will I have to sacrifice beloved things, all for the sake of decluttering?
Then my 18-month-old son, Henry, wandered in, and there’s nothing he loves more than recluttering. The afternoon was basically lost. If you do this, don’t waste time like I did (and maybe book a babysitter for this project).
Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good
From then on, I followed Kondo’s advice to a T. I gathered every piece of my clothing and put it in one giant pile. While I normally tidy my clothes only when I’m on a long phone call—distracted from the task at hand—today I wasn’t even supposed to listen to music. Channeling Kondo, who says a prayer upon entering a client’s home, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started digging through the mountain of clothes.
Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably. I realized I had many things that seemed great in theory but weren’t actually my style—they’d be better on someone else’s body or in someone else’s life (examples: an überpreppy skirt or a corporate-looking jacket).
Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief—12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.
Lesson #5: Fold, Don’t Hang
Once you’ve sorted out the things to discard—and only then—you can decide where the remaining things should go. Rather than folded in a cubby or hanging in a closet, Kondo thinks a lot of our clothing would be better off (or as she’d say, happier) folded in a dresser.
I hadn’t been using a dresser at all before, but now, having begun with four overflowing closets, I was down to enough clothing to fill one closet and one dresser. Pulling from the tops, pants, and scarves now destined for the dresser, I started folding using Kondo’s special technique.
Lesson #6: THE Fold!
Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up (you aren’t jostling a whole pile every time you take something out or put something back). Folded this way, clothing looks like fabric origami, ready to line your drawers in neat rows.
To keep these little folded packages standing at attention in the dresser, Kondo suggests using shoeboxes as drawer dividers. A smaller box is perfect for square scarves, a deep one can go on a bottom drawer for sweaters.
Lesson #7: Fall in Love with Your Closet
This is why people become evangelical about the KonMari method. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter and put things away, your dresses and skirts—the fun stuff, let’s be honest—can see the light of day. There’s breathing room between pieces, so you no longer have to do that awkward arm wrestle with the racks. All of which means you get a hit of joy—even hope!—just opening your closet, whether you’re getting ready in the morning or planning a party ensemble.
Lesson #8: Rediscover Your Style
For years, I’ve worn the same rotation of easy-to-grab, reliable pieces without dipping into all the color in my closets. And there’s a lot of it—maybe because I grew up near the ocean, I have a weakness for turquoise and pink and love a color mash-up and summertime prints. I’d almost forgotten about these colors in the daily race to get out the door.
It’s actually kind of embarrassing looking at these pictures. I always considered myself to be pretty organized. But my closet – NEVER. Mainly because I have wayyyy too much shit. Not enough hangers to even hang all my clothes. Shoes I haven’t worn in years. Ugly purses that I will never use again. Over 30 pairs of jeans.
These piles are ALL of my clothes. Every single item I own.
I even have proof
The KonMari Method states that you must remove everything from your closet to really organize.
The B is totally right. I found things I didn’t even know I had. Like my Doc Martins from high school. I kept them. And I plan to wear them too.
This mound of hangers stressed me out. All those clothes are gone for good. That’s a lot of damn hangers.
This is my donate + sell piles. Crazy, right? Over 200 items. I filled 8 garbage bags of garbage + donations. 8 frickin garbage bags!!!
Do you follow the Online Yardsale group on Facebook? I’m selling TONS of shit. Go join and check it out. Yesterday alone I made $67. Today I’ve already made about $40. That’s over $100 on shit I don’t need. Someone is going shopping 🙂
Cory made a trip to 4th + Hope to drop off my first donation pile.
When I passed Bailey’s room, look what I found…..
She, 100% on her own, decided to declutter and organize her own closet. Those stacks of books on the floor she will be donating to her school’s library this week. Bailey’s closet wasn’t nearly as disastrous as mine, but she did pull EVERYTHING out just like I did.
Bailey asked “how do you know if something sparks joy” she just couldn’t wrap her mind around it. We decided that if it’s something that made her smile or something that is useful or something she needs everyday…then keep it. Bailey made a donation + trash + sell pile too. She’s made $30 selling old toys that no longer sparked joy:) I see a Target trip in our near future.
CRAZY! Not counting boots, I have 10 pairs of shoes. 12 pairs of jeans. And I’m a jean whore. So this is a big fucking deal peeps.
I notice myself standing in my closet admiring everything. I truly feel like a weight has been lifted. Every time I walk by this space I smile. For reals.
We celebrated in true Stacy fashion….
I began working on my closet at 10am and finished around 7pm. I did NOTHING else and got almost 20,000 steps. Organizing is exhausting.
I will continue the KonMari Method throughout the whole house….after garbage day. We litterally have NO room for anymore garbage this week.
Please do yourself a favor and read the book. You will thank me late, promise 🙂