I’ve done previous posts on my attempts at cleaning out my closet. While my intentions were always good, I just never seemed to get a clean closet. It was still messy, cluttered, & overstuffed. I’ve tried various closet cleaning strategies, including “if you haven’t worn it in 6 months, toss it,” and “if you saw this in a store would you buy it again,” but these strategies were unsuccessful attempts that left me feeling like I may use something in the future. I just couldn’t let things go. Then I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo.
Let me say I didn’t expect much from this book. I mean, there are so many books out there that claim a perfectly cleaned home, usually referencing the above mentioned strategies. I had high hopes, but wasn’t convinced. Boy, was I wrong! Before I get into details, please, read this book! It is life-changing!
This book was written by a Japanese woman who spent the majority of her life trying to find ways of creating a perfectly clean, organized space. But she never felt like her space was clean, until one day she had an epiphany. Instead of getting rid of items that you don’t like, you need to focus on the ones you love, or that bring joy. That’s her main philosophy.
- Does It Spark Joy? This is the main focus of the KonMari Method (coined from the author’s name). You must place all items of a category in a pile, then one-by-one hold the item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” As weird as this sounds, you really start to focus on what makes you happy, and what you can live without.
- Go By Category, Not Room Typically, when cleaning out spaces, we go by rooms. For example, you try to clean your bedroom first. But Kondo believes this is where people fall short when attempting to clean their spaces. She has a set order for discarding your items: Clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and finally sentimental items. Going in this order allows you to hone your decision-making skills, because you start with the items of the least emotional attachment, making it a lot more simple to discard by the time you get to the last category.
- Discard First, Tidy Last You must go through each category, by the KonMari Method, before you find a place for your things. You can only find a place for the items that spark joy once you have gone through every item in that category. Otherwise, you end up putting things away before you have discarded everything. This results in clutter. When you don’t have a specific place for each item, you end up placing it anywhere in your home. This defeats the purpose of cleaning/tidying.
- Fold and Store the KonMari Way This is so important! Kondo has a specific way of putting away clothing. Only heavy items (coats, jackets, dresses), and flowy items (blouses) that look better hung should be hanging in your closet. Otherwise, fold it. However, she also folds a specific way that allows for more room in your drawers, and gives you an appreciation for your clothing. It teaches you to handle each item with care, and lets you see if an item has wear or needs to be discarded from being overused. Here is a great series of videos that specifically shows her method, which was difficult to visualize while reading the book. When you find that “sweet spot,” it feels so good! Do this!
- Tidying Is Life Changing After going through my clothes, I feel so much lighter! I got rid of about four trash bags full of clothes. I didn’t think I’d be able to get rid of anything. But this method of tidying is seriously life-changing. My mind is more clear, I’m able to pick out an outfit in about thirty seconds, and it just looks prettier in my closet! 🙂