If you are like me, then you have seen this KonMari Method (from “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo) EVERYWHERE. Well, it turns out that there is a reason why you are hearing and seeing this book everywhere – it is actually works and is pretty damn life changing!
Organizing – You’re Doing it Wrong!
I started my Glutton Free Journey back in January, and was feeling quite accomplished. I had about 400 pins I could refer to for guidance in my various GYST boards (Get Your Sh*t Together). I had already sorted, purged, and organized my craft storage, bedroom and bedroom closets, TV cabinet, and kitchen. I will admit, this was taking forever because I was only doing a little bit at a time and was only impacting a small area at a time. Here is what I think Marie Kondo would say I was doing wrong:
- I attacked my disorganization area by area instead of by category.
- My purging criteria was based on whether or not an item was still useful or if I was stilling using it (“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”).
- I tackled one small area at a time.
- I was too focused on organization tools and storage.
The KonMari Method – Just Do It!
The KonMari Method takes a completely different approach to sorting through your personal belongings. Here is what Marie Kondo would say to do:
- Attack your disorganization by category in the following order: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, and then sentimental items.
- Only keep items that spark joy.
- Tackle every single item in the category all at once.
- “Storage experts are hoarders” – if you require organizational tools and storage, then you probably own too much.
I had already assessed, purged, and reorganized my closet and clothes back in January and then again about a month ago. Here are my before and after photos from back then:
I took a cube shelf that was nice and useful but totally out of place in my bedroom and shoved it in the closet where it fit perfectly! I used the shelves for folded sweaters, sweatshirts and jeans. The cube baskets hold accessories – one for scarves (I wear them a lot), and one for hats and belts. I removed the suitcases from my husband’s closet and added plastic storage drawers. I seriously thought I had purged all unwanted and unworn clothes but that was before I ever heard of the KonMari Method.
KonMari in Action
I really didn’t want to start with my clothes because I am very anxious to sort through my jewelry and my girls’ bedroom. But Marie Kondo is quite convincing that you absolutely have to go in a very particular order so I gathered ALL of my clothes and piled them on to my bed. Seeing everything you own all together is quite effective. I have to admit, I had more than I realized AND I still had a lot more purging to do than I expected. She is pretty unforgiving here and says you have to discard anything that you forgot and left off of the pile (if it brought you joy, then you would have remembered it), so I made sure I included everything from downstairs as well (like my jackets). The only thing I did not include was a load of laundry that I had running because I didn’t want to wait any longer and figured I must wear those items frequently if they need to be washed, right? [Wrong – I did end up purging some of those items too.]
I sorted my piles by types of clothes (I pretty much had 3 piles – tops, bottoms, and other). I then handled each item and decided if the item sparked joy in me. This was harder than I thought it would be at first. In fact, none of the clothes I handled at first brought any joy at all, but I did feel like they were useful and worn often (this was mostly loungewear and pajamas). I stopped with this section and started again in an area with my some of my favorite clothes – my shirts. This was much easier and I did find that most of my shirts do still spark joy while others had run their course. I hugged a few old favorites that no longer fit or were too worn now to spark joy and thanked them for bringing me joy back when they did (for real, this is what she suggests). Once I got through this section, it became much easier to go through the rest. I left the loungewear and pajamas for last. Those sections were the hardest for me. I have a crazy cozy sweatshirt that does spark joy, but everything else is just comfortable and stuff I wear around the house, but I couldn’t really say that they really brought me joy. In the end, I discarded a LOT of my old comfy clothes.
I was left with a large pile of clothes to donate, even after I had already thought I had purged twice this year! Filled 2 garbage bags, in fact!
After you discard the depressing clothes that no longer spark joy, the KonMari Method has you decide what will be hung in the closet and what will be folded neatly (straight and upright) in a dresser. I actually started folding vertically last year when I saw my friend’s shirts all lined up straight and upright in her dresser. I do this for the kids too so they can see what they have in their drawer (vs digging through the stacks and making a giant wrinkled mess). I ended up folding a lot of my shirts that I had been hanging. My dresser has 4 drawers (the last drawer photo shows what I ended up putting in the empty drawer):
[I will admit I was hesitant to share my underwear drawer, but I decided that it is safe to assume all of my readers have seen a bra before and can safely assume in return that I do wear them.]
As you can see, I was left with a ton of extra space! At first, I had half a drawer filled with just my remaining pajamas and loungewear. I folded my exercise clothes the old stacked way and it definitely took up more space so I then folded them straight and upright and it looked much nicer.
I was left with an entire empty drawer so I stored my “seasonal” items that still spark joy there (like that crazy cozy fuzzy sweatshirt, my St. Patrick’s Day shirt and sweatshirt, and my Disney sweatshirt). These are not folded vertically because they are so bulky.
This left very little to hang in my closet! And my cube shelf has extra space as well. [I would put books there but I haven’t sorted that category yet.]
This process took me about 2 hours (again, this was my 3rd time this year sorting through my clothes, otherwise, I think this would have taken MUCH longer). I was so motivated that I sorted through all of my accessories (scarves, hats, and jewelry) before bed!
This whole process was extremely freeing and motivating. The approach is efficient and effective. I got so much done in such a short amount of time because my mindset was different. One of my greatest challenges with getting rid of things has always been Guilt. I have always felt guilty if I got rid of something that was still useful or was a gift. I think the reason I was able to let go of so much more was because the KonMari Method teaches you to be grateful to your personal items. You thank each item before you discard them, which recognizes the purpose they once served and allows you to discard without guilt. My Glutton Free Journey was inspired by the guilt I feel for owning too much, so much more than I need. I am excited to donate these items or share certain things with friends and family that I know will appreciate them.
I plan on going through my shoes next, then my linens and towels before tackling books. I will go through my own items before going through the girls’ stuff but I seriously cannot wait!!! Have you tried the KonMari Method? What organizational or decluttering system has worked for you?
Find Part 1 of this story here.