Clothes de-cluttering, KonMari style.

10 July 2015

What is KonMari style? Good question. In my retired life under a rock, I had not heard of KonMari or Marie Kondo. I can hear some of you saying, "What! Not heard of KonMari!" And others, like me, saying, "What? Who?"

So let me tell the story.

This all began because I made the decision last week to spend as much time as necessary clearing out my emails. Decluttering. They were out of control. In the process, I became a little sidetracked … well, okay, a lot sidetracked … like reading numerous blog posts, watching copious youtube videos, downloading an e-book … Why? Well, this book title, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, popped up in an email I was decluttering and my little Virgo heart skipped a beat. This is a "Libby" book. I love being tidy … or, at least trying to be tidy.

"Life-changing", "magic", all those blog posts, all those youtube videos, I thought this was worth a try.

So, I read some, the first two and a bit chapters. 

KonMari would be horrified. I should have read ALL the book before I started. But I had read all those blog posts and watched all those videos ... I had gained a lot of knowledge.

I started on my clothes because that's where KonMari says you're supposed to start and because they needed doing.

My clothes storage was breaking a number of KonMari's rules. Like, store all similar items in the one place.

I had clothes in my bedroom, 

 the back bedroom wardrobe (my winter coats and special dresses),

a box (some summer clothes) and a few still in the washing basket, which was a good thing because it meant all my clothes were clean and ready to be KonMari-ed.

It's not necessary to store similar things in different places, she says. We have enough room to store our clothes in one place and it is best to store similar things in the one place.

Oh yeah. I was sure she hadn't seen the pathetic wardrobe space in our rental.

My clothes were relatively tidy … not perfect … but I knew where everything was. I never used the coats in the back bedroom because, like KonMari says, you forget they're there and it's too hard. And the summer clothes in the box … not a good idea, she says. Same reason … you forget about them and it's the middle of summer before you think, "Where is …?" and you could have been enjoying that item from the beginning of summer.

The most important rule I was breaking was having things in my clothes stash that didn't "spark joy". Yes, spark joy. 

KonMari also treats all objects with a degree of spirituality. Talking to them, thanking them, greeting them. Cute. Treat them well and they will treat you well. 

A little bit out there, but, I was willing to give this a go.

Step One.
Put ALL of your clothes. Everything. Every little single piece of clothing in one spot on the floor. 

I used my bed because it was easier.

Effect. Wow! I didn't think I had that many clothes!

Step Two.
Handle each piece of clothing. Those that spark joy stay; those that don't go. 

Work quickly. Don't take time to think ... or try on … or ponder. Make swift decisions. Spark joy? Yes … No?

So, I set to work.

Spark joy. Not spark joy.

It was amazing how quickly I went through my pile of clothes. Every ... little … single …  piece of my clothing.

This is the almost final not-spark-joy pile. (I added two other pieces from a suitcase that holds old bridesmaid dresses and my wedding dress and a couple of things I cannot bear to part with. KonMari would definitely NOT approve of this suitcase.)

Those in green basket will go to the Salvos. The pile on the right on the floor will go to the bin. And that one white top, I am keeping because it does still spark joy. I love the lace, but it needs to be remade.

KonMari would not agree with me keeping it but … One day I will remake it. I promise.

Step Three.
The KonMari method of storing. Store and stack things vertically. They take up less space and with clothes they are clearly visible and easier to access. Hang only things that are "happiest" hanging. Yes, happiest.

So using the KonMari method of folding … the youtube videos showed me how to do this … I set off on my adventure to put all my clothes back in order, keeping in mind to keep similar things together and keep everything happy.

And ta da! T.I.D.Y.

In the past, I have hung my T-shirts. KonMari says ... no, fold them.

So I fold. And then I think I have nowhere to store them. MLP has to have some space for his clothes.

Then I have a light bulb moment. In my guest room is a dresser which is empty and used rarely. Why have it sitting empty in the guest room? It can't be happy being unused.

I move a few pieces of furniture and I have enough storage space, as KonMari said I would. The guests have enough too. The dresser is happy. Win, win, win.

My new-to-our-bedroom dresser

with KonMari folded T-shirts, tights, scarves, sarongs, loungewear (A KonMari term. I call them my play clothes.)

Clothes are done, more quickly and more easily than I expected. It was so easy to offer something to charity having thanked it for its time with me. No guilt, just happiness.

So I tackle my jewellery and shoes.

Spark joy … not spark joy?

From this …

To this. T.I.D.Y.

Now it's time to confess to my non-KonMari outcomes.

I still have three wear-to-weddings-and-special-dinners dresses and my beautiful red wool coat in the back bedroom wardrobe. You've seen the size of our wardrobe!

I have one dress which still sparks joy … but I need to try it on. I'm not sure it will fit me. KonMari would not agree; it would be gone.

My hanging clothes do not rise up to the right … another KonMari-ism. It just wouldn't work in this wardrobe; I wouldn't be able to see half my clothes in that terrible corner space. So, they rise up to the left. Best that I could do.

I did finish decluttering my emails.

I did finish reading the book.

I do intend to hit the linen and the office supplies next.

I don't think I will ever meet all of KonMari's rules. Some seem a little too OCD and OTT for me.

My clothes and jewellery and shoes are happy. Oh, and the dresser. Yes, happy. And me. I'm happy. Such an easy guiltless way to declutter.

Have you heard of KonMari?

Have you KonMari-ed your belongings?

Are you a tidy freak or more relaxed and casual?

Are you about to run off, like me, and read the blog posts, watched the youtube videos and buy the book?

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