I got totally inspired after watching a few episodes of Marie Kondo's Netflix special and spent one afternoon and evening completely decluttering our master closet! Here is the result and what I learned after using the Konmari Method..
I didn't Think I Needed to Declutter
When Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out in 2014, I thought it was just another method of decluttering, not anything all that special. I have realized lately that I'm a skeptic when new things come out, and I take a while to warm up to things that seem like bandwagons.
Though I kept hearing about how interesting her method was and became intrigued, I never bought the book. I've always considered myself to be a pretty neat and tidy person, and have no trouble decluttering several times a year to the point where I'm throwing out bags of trash and donating even more to Goodwill!
So honestly, while it sounded nice, I didn't think I needed it. That is, until her Netflix show aired this month.
To learn more about the Konmari Method, see my post here. For now, I'll stick to how I decluttered our master clothes, dressers, under the bed and eventually our entire master bedroom! We feel like we can breathe again and are really enjoying the results.
How I Followed the Konmari Method
I didn't read her book first, I just got the ideas from her TV show. I'm the kind of person that doesn't need or want many details before I get into action – I learn by getting into action first! For me, watching the show was enough information to give me the confidence to get to work. However, if you are a more detail-oriented person, you may want to read her book first before going for it!
Took All of My Clothes & Piled Them On the Bed
In Kondo's method, you start by decluttering your clothes first. You take all of your own clothes from all over the house, and put them in one big pile. Crazy, right? It helps you to face just how many clothes you have. Once I did it myself, I understood why. It's a big part of the process to become aware of just how much you have to realize you don't need that many clothes (or books, or papers, or jewelry, or toys, or whatever you're decluttering).
Take Each Item – Hold It & Decide If It Sparks Joy
This part of the Konmari Method wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be! I found myself analyzing different pieces, trying to decide if I should keep it or not. But it's not supposed to be an analytical process – it's supposed to be more of an emotional process. Why? Because when it comes to clothes, hanging onto things just because they're practical doesn't add to the joy and happiness in our lives. In fact, it could even bring us down!
Here's what Kondo says in her book:
Are you happy wearing clothes that don't give you pleasure?
Do you feel joy when surrounded by piles of unread books that don't touch your heart?
Do you think that owning accessories you know you'll never use will ever bring you happiness?
The answer to these questions should be no.
Now imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn't this the lifestyle you dream of?
So often, we live our lives to get by. Not engaging in much of what we truly LOVE. Living our lives by default instead of by design. I love that the Konmari Method addresses that and helps you to envision your ideal life, which includes our homes and possessions, and how you want them to be.
How to Know if It Sparks Joy
So what I found is that at first, I really didn't get what sparked my joy that is until I got to the items I truly loved. The ones that literally made me excited to look at them! Then I GOT it. Okay, so if an item doesn't give me a little jump, a little burst of joy, why am I wearing it? Don't I only want to wear things that make me excited?
Think about it – when you go to get dressed in the morning, you'll start your day on a better foot when you're wearing something you LOVE. And then every single time you walk by a mirror, you'll smile. Those moments may seem insignificant, but they aren't. They add to or take away from our confidence, our self-worth, our satisfaction. And when we feel good about ourselves, we are much more at peace. We are nicer, better versions of ourselves. We get more done, we accomplish more and life more of our ideal lives. Kondo is brilliant for figuring this out!
So I know I'll use this Konmari Method when I buy new clothes, too. Hold it, and be really honest with myself. Do I LOVE it? If not, put it back, no matter how good the deal is.
Thank the Item – The Lesson of Gratitude
I'm BIG on gratitude – if you've followed me for a while, you know that already! But even then, I was not really sure what this meant or why it was important. But again, once I actually put it into practice. I got it.
When we thank an item, we can acknowledge that it taught us a lesson and we can let it go without guilt or shame. Think about how many items you might be keeping (like clothing that still has tags on it) because you feel guilty that you haven't used it or worn it! But that item taught you a lesson – it taught you want you didn't like or need, and maybe also taught you what you DO like. Gave you clarity.
So it served a good purpose and now you can let it go that you've learned the lesson. I love this part!
Haven't Mastered this Quite Yet
I will admit, though, that I don't feel I've mastered this yet. I did keep some practical items that aren't my favorite colors or patterns. So now I'm on the lookout for things I can replace them with, but I know for now that they aren't things that spark joy for me but I do need them between now and then. Things like black dance pants and leggings that I need for my ballroom classes. Black does nothing for me and makes me feel blah. So I look forward to replacing those items, but now that it might take time. I'll donate them once I find things I LOVE!
Hanging and Folding
Once I had sorted through and filled my bags of clothes to donate, I began rearranging the clothes in the closet. Kondo recommends to sort the clothes by color and category. I did that it really does make the closet pleasant to look at!
I also folded the clothes her way (there are lots of tutorials on YouTube) for my dressers and WOW! What a big difference! I can see all of the clothes I have at one time and don't have to lift up other shirts or pants to see what's at the bottom, or dig through things to see what I have.
Now that I've experienced what she teaches, it all makes so much sense. And it's easy!
An All-Day Process
It took me from 3 p.m. until about 11 p.m. before I was completely finished! I had a headache, and stopped only for dinner and a few cups of water. I pushed myself a little too hard, but I wanted to finish so our bedroom was beautiful in time to go to bed. I crashed at midnight after a long, hot bath but was so happy to come out into my room and see the decluttered, tidy space.
Lessons I Learned While Using the Konmari Method
I'm totally sold on the Konmari Method! I was skeptical at first, but once I did it for myself, it all made sense. I don't know if I'll stick to everything exactly going forward (the folding takes more time), but I really do feel like it helped to change my lifestyle and mindset.
I now value my possessions more. You guys, I found two pairs of cute, corduroy pants from Gap stuffed under my bed that still fit me and I hadn't worn in years! What a waste of money! That's what happens when our things aren't organized – we can forget about what we already have, and go out and buy more of it and waste our hard-earned money.
I learned to be a better steward of possessions. Put things away where they belong, handle them with care. My clothes will last longer and get more use. And we don't get more things if we aren't taking care of what we already have – it's the law of gratitude. Taking care of what we have helps us to be more grateful for it and want less.
I learned how important it is to have beauty in my home. I keep going into my closet just for fun! Best part is, I didn't buy a single thing to make it look beautiful! Simply by decluttering and reorganizing, and folding Kondo's way, it made our space look beautiful. I LOVE that about her method – it's not about purchasing more stuff to organize your stuff. She uses old shoeboxes as drawer dividers, for example.
I feel more confident in knowing what makes me happy. This is quite possibility the most powerful part! I can apply it to every area of my life so that I'm doing more of what I LOVE, and not just what it takes to get by, or keeping and doing things out of guilt.