Hello my awesome readers!
This is going to be somewhat of an embarrassing post and it’s not an easy one for me to share but because I think it can help many people as it has helped me, here it is!
I have a problem and I am finally admitting it to myself, I am a borderline clothing hoarder. As of last week I had occupied 3 closets and an entire spare bedroom FULL of purses, shoes, dresses, gowns, coats, jackets and massive piles of casual clothing. To be clear, I even donate clothes on a regular bases but when you can’t even step into your spare bedroom or utilize it in any functional way… you know you’ve got some issues.
I guess as embarrassing as it is I am a recovering shopaholic. This wasn’t such an issue a few years ago when I use to live in a house with nicely sized walk-in closets and 5 bedrooms, one of which I fully turned into a closet. However, since I moved into a condo downtown… things got really cramped and I don’t even know when it started to get out of control!
Every season, I pack bags of clothing to donate to charity and yet somehow my shopping way surpassed the amount I was even donating. Before I knew it I had occupied the closet in my room, the closet by the front door and spare bedroom and then slowly the ENTIRE spare bedroom.
And you guys want to know what the funny part about all of this is? Of all the clothing I owned I probably only wore 1/10th on a regular bases (it’s not like I can wear gowns and dresses all the time). Anyways, after recognizing my problem, I needed a permanent tidying up solution.
As I mentioned in my previous post I am really starting to clean house and trying to tidy everything up in my life! It’s partly for space saving purposes but mostly for mental ease so that I can focus better on what’s really important.
You know the feeling when you are trying to study for a really important exam and all you can think about is the mess in your closet? Well, I always thought that only happened to me but apparently it’s a thing that happens to a lot of people. “The Urge To Clean Before An Exam”: where the brain actually really wants to study but when it notices the clutter it gets distracted. When I read up on this it totally clicked for me how clutter can literally weigh down your brain!
I was desperate and ready to do anything! Even if it meant giving up my most beloved gowns… (tear). Therefore, I did a little bit of research on Feng shui and tidying up, that’s when I came across the KonMari Method.
The KonMari method comes from Marie Kondo; professional consultant for de-cluttering and revamping the way you organize your space. She is the author of:
And you guys, this book is life changing! I mean it. Not only does it motivate you to really declutter your space it teaches you real techniques on how to organize your stuff properly, so you never have to do it again.
“Clutter free space changes your way of thinking.”
Ok, so the book is pretty revolutionary and although I was initially only looking for advice on how to maintain my closet space I am now looking to do this for everything!
Marie Kondo starts off the book by explaining her obsession with tidying up from the time she was a little girl in Japan and how she has turned that into a full time consulting career. In short, she is legit and I mean legitimately knows what she is talking about with over 15 years of experience under her belt.
“Messy Room = Messy Mind”
Marie Kondo explains that tidying can transform your life and has immeasurable impact while using some of her clients’ success stories as proof of what tidying up can do in other areas of your life. While she suggests that the right technique is critical for organizing your stuff, the root of it all is in your mind and therefore the mind needs to be addressed first.
“If you tidy a little a day you’ll be tidying forever.”
The biggest misconception that people have when it comes to cleaning up is to do it one room at a time. In fact the KonMarie method suggests not to clean one room at a time but to clean a category of things at a time in a specific order.
“Putting things away is an illusion of tidying up”,
“Tidying = Discarding first”
Step One: Visualize Your Ultimate Goal
KonMari method explains that you can’t just be tidying up for the sake of cleaning. You need to have an end goal and visualize a space you want to obtain from this process. Write this down and or even draw it out so that you can look back at this regularly. For a little inspiration, look at interior decorating magazines!
Step Two: Why Do You Want To Live Like That?
It’s really important to write down why you wish to obtain the goals you have set for yourself and to do it in at least 2-3 filters of asking “why”?
“Set goal ⇒ Why? = Answer ⇒ Why? = Answer ⇒ Why? = Result”
For example, this was my question and answer:
⇒Goal= “to have functional closet space”
⇒ Why? “So I can see all my clothes”
⇒ Why? “If I can see all my clothes in one space, I will have a fresh memory of what I own so I will have less of a need to shop”.
⇒ Why? “I have so much stuff that I can’t remember what I own when I am out shopping so I feel the need to buy more”.
I know the question “why” can be a little repetitive but it’s really helpful in pointing out your end goal and makes the process of discarding superfluous things a lot easier.
Step Three: Categories and Order
The KonMari method is pretty revolutionary in that it’s literally going to flip your house upside down! She suggests to ditch the old habit of cleaning one room at a time and to instead switch over to tidying things up in categories and in this order:
1) Clothing & Accessories
If you guys are interested I have attached a super detailed worksheet that has subcategories for each of these! click here for that master piece.
Step Four: All In
KonMari Method is an all in kind of deal when it comes to tidying up each category as she suggested to lay everything in that category out on an open floor space so that you can see it ALL!… At once…In the open…In all it’s glory.
Which means to start with clothing and accessories, you have to empty all your closets and lay single thing out.
This can be very overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of stuff in one category! So KonMari suggests that you make an event out of it and even goes so far to say that you should dress up for the occasion!
The bad news is that this really takes a lot of time, for me just doing the clothing alone took about 2 days but the good news is that that category is now totally over and done with! And after 12 bags of clothing donations, I have never felt more relieved.
Step Five: Does It Spark Joy?
The KonMari method teaches you what you should keep and what you should discard by emphasizing on touching every single item you own and really focusing on how you feel about the item. If it creates a spark and still gets you excited it’s one to consider for keeping. If you feel no spark of joy at all from that item, it’s likely not one you are going to utilize very much and it can be discarded.
As you discard everything you can also say goodbye and thank the item for having been a part of your life! KonMari method is very sentimental towards items and almost talks about them as if they are alive in some way (which is super cute but also very weird at times lol). She really believes that items and especially articles of clothing carry certain energy with them and for that reason she advises on very specific folding techniques.
Step Six: Give Each Item a Permanent Home!
After, the purge for each category is over you are going to be left with the items that A) Spark Joy & B) You truly functionally need. Now you need to find a permanent home for these items and all in one place for each subcategory, this will ensure that you never revert back to clutter again. The KonMari method also advises against fancy stackable storage solutions as she says it actually encourages hoarding. Instead she suggests keeping thing simple and easy to use for permanent results.
I really hope this post helps inspire! I really enjoyed the book and although it was a little crazy at times I do suggest the KonMari method thus far as it has totally helped me with my clothing purge. I still have 4 more categories to go through so wish me luck you guys!