Take a breath. Close your eyes. Picture a simple, calm, and organized life.
As you can probably imagine, with three jobs, two cats, and multiple ongoing DIY projects… that’s not exactly the case here at the Klein household. While I’ve been spending more time relaxing these days, some other aspects of our home life have gotten slightly more chaotic. With this in mind and some inspiration from my friend Becca Fick, I decided to take matters into my own hands and start the journey known as KonMari, featured in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
KonMari is an organizational and decluttering method created by Japanese tidying expert Marie Kendo. She has so many fascinating principles that inspire her clients to lead a simpler, less stressful, and less cluttered life. Instead of simply throwing away or donating items here and there, KonMari advocates the categorical reorganizing of personal belongings and reflecting on every item that a person owns, asking “does this spark joy?” before making a decision. I really like this video explanation of the method, especially this quote: “experience the happiness of being surrounded by only the things you love.” By sorting in such a coordinated manner (as opposed to trashing a closet or just ripping a few items out here and there), the KonMari method is designed to help you really reflect on what you do have and be grateful.
I love this idea of gratitude, and of course, I love organizing even more. Since I’ve been at a project standstill lately, I thought that some organizing would do me some good, and maybe even inspire me to take on some more projects this summer. By starting with the KonMari category of clothing, I dove into the nightmare that was my bedroom closet. I carried every single item from my closet into the guest room and piled them all onto the floor. I also made sure to include all of my clothing in any closet, including necklaces, accessories, and handbags. Everything that I could possibly wear as clothing or an accessory was organized in just one day.
Because I have an abundance of clothing (that’s the nice way of putting it), I had to break down the clothing category further and started with tops. Yes, you read that correctly: the pile above includes only my shirts, blouses, and sweaters. If you’re trying to count, the actual number is over 200. We’re talking about clothing hoarding here. Being the rule follower that I am, I carefully observed the KonMari method and went through every single top individually before deciding what to keep and what to donate. It was at this moment that I realized I actually had two of the exact same shirts. Yikes.
Here’s the aftermath of Step 1. I separated everything into two piles: the donate pile (closest to the front) and returning to the closet pile (in back).
Next, I sorted through this slightly less overwhelming, but still sizable, heap of pants. While KonMari advocates asking yourself “does this spark joy?”, I reflected additionally on the practicality of each piece and the frequency with which I wore it. I also thought about the flexibility of each piece and all of the outfit options I could pull together. This is my Pinterest mind talking, and now when I look into my closet, I see so many more options as opposed to the constant frustration of “I have nothing to wear!”.
After sorting through my pants, I created this impressive pile of over 50 pairs of shoes and eventually narrowed it down to about 30 pairs. I’m not quite as attached to my shoes, and I’m not as much of a shoe hoarder, so this was a bit easier for me.
Summer dresses, bridesmaid dresses, skirts… even Wallace got in on this action. While it was hard to part with some dresses that have served me well through Skirtathons, summers, and formal occasions, I followed KonMari’s suggestion and actually thanked some of the clothing items for their service. I know – kind of weird, but also kind of nice.
I even sorted my scarves, of which I had 25. Don’t ask.
After sorting through everything, I began the folding and reorganizing process. KonMari’s method of folding is quite different from anything else I’ve ever tried. She advocates for folding all of your items of clothing by storing them like a book with the spine facing up. In the week since I started KonMari folding, I’ve rediscovered more old t-shirts, socks, and underwear that I didn’t even remember owning. It’s only been a week, but I’m definitely on a KonMari high right now, and so is my closet. Here’s some closeups to illustrate the magic of tidying.
This glorious shoe rack actually contains all of my shoes.
Behold: t-shirts that are easily accessible. And folded!
Here’s everything all neatly hung up. KonMari also advocates for hanging the heavier items on the left and moving across the closet in that way, but I decided to move more seasonally from one side to the next. Dresses, tank tops, and skirts on top with pants, sweaters, and eventually lighter shirts on the bottom. Words cannot express how much easier this has made my morning routine. It’s time to move on to the next organizing category!