Friday, September 25, 2015

The Magic of Japanese Tidying: Clothing

Last week I heard about this book about organizing.  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo.  It has been a very long time since I've read a book on organizing, mostly because they all started to sound pretty much the same.  But this book has apparently sold over 3 million copies and been a New York Times Bestseller.  Reading it has inspired me and made me excited about decluttering and tidying my home.

 Google searches come up with page after page of people trying and applying the methods, and going into depth about what it is all about.  So, I'm not going to go into all that.  I will say that one principle of Konmari (the nickname of the method) is that you need to do it all at once to really create change and keep from reverting to old cluttering habits.  This can take up to 6 months, but I intend to measure it in weeks, not months.  And show my progress on my blog.  You start with clothes.  Gather every article of clothing from everywhere in the house.  I didn't grab any dirty laundry, but I gathered from my closet, dresser, laundry room and hall closet.  I can be organized at times, so they didn't look too bad:  This is my closet with all of my Spring/Summer clothing out and the Autumn/Winter stuff in bins that you really can't see.

My Sock drawer, however, looked very disorganized:

So, you take it all and pile it all on the floor.  This includes shoes, accessories and jewelry:

Judging everything, individually, simply based on whether or not it sparks joy made going through it all surprisingly quick.  I really could easily determine about how I felt about each item.  My husband has bought me a lot of really great clothing, including shoes.  But, there are misses that I've hung on to and worn because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.  Going through my stack of no joys allowed me to identify why there were misses.  Instead of feeling bad about my getting rid of things he had given me, he was happy because I was able to explain what I don't like (so he won't buy things that I won't like in the future) and because he really appreciates tidiness.  

End result, this is the good bye pile:

This is the final tidy closet:

It doesn't look much different, but this is now ALL of my clothing and not just for the current season.  I no longer will need to switch out clothing with the seasons.  Which definitely brings me joy!

Everything was folded and put into my dresser.  I already folded my jeans and shirts the Konmari way, but not my socks.  Her way is much tidier!

Lessons learned:  While I didn't talk to my stuff or think its alive, this method did make me more aware of each item and its role in my life.  Secondly, getting rid of the get rid of stuff took much longer than sorting or folding.  Part of that stemmed from the desire to pass it on to my daughters.  Which is a big no no according to Marie!  

Next item:  Books!

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