Tidying Up — Words of Wisdom From The Front Line

Tidying Up The messy process of Kon Mari method

Tidying up -cleaning the closetLast week I outlined the KonMari Method, from the best-selling book-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo- which promises that tidying once and for all will change your life. If you missed it, take a look here! Now I’m happy to share my own experiences applying the method to my wardrobe in hopes that it will help you in your own tidying journey.

As I mentioned in my last post, the most important part of the process is taking out every clothing item you own and dividing them into categories before doing anything else. See below to witness how my closet exploded onto the floor of my living room…

Tidying Up - The messy process of KonMari

I made a mess. But seeing all of my items out in the open made it even clearer to me that there was work to be done.  I’m going to share three scenarios that arose for me, and that will most likely arise for you too, as you ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”

Item: A geometric print skirt in dark and neon colors that I got in high school. It made its way to college with me, and I wore it on my first date with my now-boyfriend of over four years. Even though this skirt is not my style anymore, it brings back so many fond memories that I still wear it once in awhile. Sometimes an item is so drenched in good memories, that even if it’s impractical, you should keep it. See also: your wedding dress that brings a grin to your face whenever you see it from the corner of your closet or the ridiculously dorky but amazing dog pajamas that are slightly too big but make Sunday mornings your favorite.

Item: A striped zip-up sweater that I got before my first trip to Europe. Although it brings back many fond memories, I look at this striped sweater and it does nothing for me. I feel no joy, even though it’s in perfectly good condition. It served its purpose, and for that I am grateful. I said “No” and “Thank you” and tossed it in my discard pile to be consigned. See also: well-loved designer jeans that don’t fit anymore, that dress you impulse bought and felt fabulous in that one night but never slipped into again, designer shoes that never quite worked for you despite their unmistakable beauty.

Item: A hand-me-down lavender top from my mom. Hey, I love my mom, and I even love her style. Which is why when she asks, “Do you want this?” I usually say, “YES!” I have even joked when she has bought new things that I can’t wait to own it in a few years. I have made rewearing her items a sport–even when something isn’t particularly my style, I find a way to make it my own. This is definitely a great creative exercise, but not the most practical way to feed your wardrobe. There is nothing wrong with hand-me-downs. There is something wrong with blindly saying yes to a bag of clothing that you did not pick out yourself. Sure, there will be treasures. But mostly they will be half-treasures–things that aren’t quite your style or size, things that you might wear once or twice before realizing you now have more clothes you don’t actually wear. These should be easy NOs. This is the essence of the magic of tidying up. See also: your mom’s leather jacket that’s amazing but doesn’t quite fit, that upscale cocktail dress that you got 50% off but never wore, those earrings your older sister got bored with and passed along.

Tidying up - hanging items in my closetObstacles aside, I couldn’t help but feel completely relieved when I was finished tidying up. It was so liberating to be able to part with so many items, and look into my closet with fresh eyes. I was also thrilled to find that I had a bag full of items to consign! Because do you know what that means? Earning money to buy new wardrobe items at Here We Go Again that will bring me joy! Next week I will share some tips on creating your ideal wardrobe now that you have discarded your extraneous, no longer inspiring items. Stay tuned!


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