Here’s what Marie Kondo says about tidying your clothes:
1. Start with your clothes and gain momentum. Clothes are much easier to sort than mementos. You will gain momentum and confidence, as well as hone in on your decision making ability before moving on to more challenging areas.
2. In this order: Tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events, and shoes.
3.Gather all your clothes onto the floor and touch each individual pieces. Check your laundry, other closets, and your car. If you miss any item of clothing, it automatically goes into the discard pile. Cut throat, right!? She reasons that if you have already forgotten about it than it must not bring you too much joy.
Rule of thumb: While going through your clothes, items you can’t part with (old t shirts for example) shouldn’t automatically be delegated as loungewear.
“Precisely because no one is there to see you, it makes far more sense to reinforce a positive self image by wearing clothes you love.”
Great advice. Self confidence comes from inside when no one is watching.
I got started on this one right away! Many times in the past I have gone through my closet and discarded quite a few items, but not at this level. It was so exhilarating.
Since I am all about being true to myself and my mission of self-discovery, I must admit that I didn’t pile everything on the floor in front of me. Nor did I start with off-season clothes. Nor did I follow her order. I did gather all my clothes from every corner of the house. I started in one of my three closets, pulled every item out and put them on the bed and sorted them into either a discard or keep pile. Then I re-hung all the items back up. Then I moved on to the next closet and then my drawers. So I hit every clothing storage area, just not in the order she suggested. Sorry Marie Kondo.
After I finished my tall closet (my other 2 closets belong in a hobbit home) I was feeling good and ready to conquer the other two closets.
This is when I started to utilize the floor. I was so confident tossing items into the discard pile. I think I had always wanted to get rid of them but somehow felt responsible for them. Somewhere along the line I paid money for these clothes so discarding them felt like throwing money away. Those items that I received as gifts were even harder to push aside. Marie Kondo says they have already served the purpose of being a gift and the act of receiving that gift had given you joy. It’s ok to pass them along. The giver wouldn’t want you to be burdened by holding onto something that doesn’t bring you joy. Most items I effortlessly tossed away. I began to feel confident, empowered, lighter and even happy!
That’s a lot of clothes to be carrying around on your back. Since I was feeling confident and tossing clothes left and right I felt that I could deviate from Marie Kondo’s order a bit. After I was done with the hanging clothes in the closets, I moved onto my drawers, starting with the top drawer and visiting every drawer on the way down.
Once I had finished my drawers, I moved onto shoes and everything else left in my closets: accessories, scarves, bags, swimsuits, belts, hats. Wow, I had a lot of stuff!
When you’re done discarding it’s time to put it all away. Marie Kondo has a few pointers:
1. Either fold or hang your clothes.
2. Fold items into rectangles and stand them upright so you are able to see every item of clothing.
3. “Arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right.”
3. Lay socks folded and roll tights.
Everything that was hung before, I re-hung and then arranged my closet so that my clothes were able to rise to the right. Imagine drawing an arrow from left to right. On the left is your dark, long and heavy clothes and on the right your lighter and shorter clothes. I’m not sure if they are supposed to be color coded or not, but mine ended that way. Within each color section I had all my cardigans and long tunics/tanks and heavier sweatshirts and moving to the right I would put the lighter materials and shorter blouses. Voila. Closets are done.
Folding my clothes was more of a hassle because of the time it takes. But in Marie Kondo’s defense this gives you an opportunity to touch each piece, pouring energy into each item. So I folded all my socks into little rectangles, rolled my tights, and moved through the rest of my drawers quite quickly. After I had folded every item into a rectangle, I was able to stand them on edge and see each shirt. I was surprised to see I hadn’t used up my entire drawer!
I felt liberated after finishing with my clothes. I surprised myself with my ability to pick and choose with such confidence. Once I started rolling, I didn’t want to stop until I looked over at the giant pile of clothes I had to physically discard. As I looked at that pile, all I could see was money. Layers and layers of cash that was about to be stuffed into garbage bags to be hauled off to a new destination. Ugh.
I decided to look through it and sell what I thought might go quickly on Ebay. That ended up being 3 items. Not a huge dent but a start. I went through again and gathered all my “trendy” items in an attempt to sell them at Plato’s Closet. That ended in a deduction of 20 items and my wallet gaining $60. Progress!
I posted an ad on our local chapter of “Buy Nothing”, a community Facebook page where you can get and give for free. Turns out a lot of ladies were interested and someone picked up the bags the next afternoon. The recipient took what she wanted and passed it on, even adding from her own closet. The bag quickly became the “sisterhood of the traveling bag”. I felt amazing! I had done it. All of my extra clothes were gone. Liberated, confident, excited.
The first time I chose an outfit post-declutter, it took me very little time because I loved everything in my closet. By choosing to keep only the things that bring me joy, I was left with items that all worked together or if you will, my style! It is actually fun to get dressed, now.
Now that I have completed the first phase of decluttering, I am ready and motivated to move onto the next phase: books.