January 24th, 2019

The KonMari method, part 1

Well, I caught the bug that’s been spreading. You know the one where you watch just one episode of the new Marie Kondo show, and suddenly you want to refold all your clothes and declutter your whole house? Yeah, that’s the one.

Though I knew of Marie Kondo and her popular book before, I had been avoiding it. I wasn’t into decluttering at the time, and then when I finally was, I wanted to do it my own way because I had heard her method was a bit on the extreme side. Her Netflix show piqued my interest though.

What I saw was Marie giving guidance and then leaving her clients to pick what they wanted to discard. The end result were homes that still looked normal instead of the stereotypical minimalists homes you see where they only own like 10 things. Sometimes the house still had more things than I’d be comfortable with, but the owners were happy and that’s what mattered. I realized that her method might be more reasonable than I thought.

From there, I read her book, and it really spoke to me. She wrote about how, in the past, she’d declutter and declutter but never feel satisfied. That’s me right now! No matter how much I’ve decluttered, it’s never enough. I still feel like I live in clutter. She also wrote about how she’d blame her family for clutter but then realized her own room was still cluttered. She needed to take care of herself first.

And so, I’ve decided to use her method but only for myself right now. I told my husband I was going to try it, but I’m not forcing him to nor will I touch his things. I need to do this for myself.

Lesson 1 – Clothing

A big part of her method is to go through things by category, in a certain order, instead of by room. The first is clothing, which is to be put into one pile, and then you go through each item, one-by-one, and keep the ones that “spark joy”.

To be honest, I didn’t think my pile would be that big. I had already decluttered my closet a few times before and donated several bags of clothes. Not to mention, I had developed the habit of continually curating the clothes I wear by getting rid of something old every time I bought something new.

Well, I was wrong. Here’s my pile of clothing.

And here’s my pile of purses and bags. (I don’t even like buying purses. Where did this all come from???)

I know putting everything into one pile seems annoying and tedious, but it did do a few things for me. It made me…

  1. face how much I actually had.
  2. go through clothing I didn’t spend time on before (like underwear and socks).
  3. reevaluate clothing I didn’t discard before because I felt pretty neutral about them.

Now for the before and afters! Let’s start with my main closet.

The clothes on hangers are the ones I wear day-to-day, and I only got rid of a few items there. That’s where I focused my previous decluttering and where I currently curate, so it was already in a good place. That was my flaw though. I focused so much on this area but not enough in others. This method made me realize this.

The clothes on the shelf were off-season items, clothing I liked but didn’t wear anymore, shirts I got from work, and maternity wear. My aim was to get rid of most of those. Her book mentions that if an item used to give you joy but doesn’t anymore, then it has already fulfilled its purpose and can be let go.

That resonated with me, and I was finally able to discard clothing I didn’t wear anymore but held onto because I liked their design. I was left with a few shirts I still needed for work and a few winter items. (I kept all of my maternity wear, but I boxed them up with other maternity items.)

Our second closet stores formal wear, jackets, and bags. I really wanted to follow the KonMari method and order, so I had to resist decluttering the other things in there! I managed to get rid of a few jackets, about half of my dresses, and half of my bags. I also added a simple 3 cube shelf for bag storage.

Lastly were my items in drawers. I discarded a few from my jeans and pajamas drawers, and I had to toss several socks, underwear, and sports bras because their elastic were worn out. Then I refolded everything! I love her idea of folding such that you can see everything when you pull the drawer out. It’s so satisfying to look at!

Where the discarded go

I always want to point out where things go when I get rid of them because I really try to be less wasteful.

  • I brought my work shirts back into work so that people could take some of the older designs they may have missed. Anything left over will be recycled.
  • Clothing in good condition will be donated to local thrift stores whose profits go towards local communities and programs.
  • Underwear or clothing in poor condition will go to a clothing recycling program.

Moving Forward

When I started decluttering a while ago, I became more thoughtful about what I buy. I’m not really the type that enjoys clothes shopping, but I have to admit that I used to have hoarder tendencies. I kept holding onto things I had good memories of, even though I wasn’t using them anymore. I’m going to work on better curating all of my clothes moving forward, not just the ones in my main closet.

Next up is books! I’ll have another update after that step is completed!

12 Responses to “The KonMari method, part 1”

  • Joy says:

    I’m so impressed with what you did! Everything looks so good!
    Like you, I heard about her books some time ago. I was interested but at the time, it just wasn’t the kind of the book that I would read. Now that I’m older, I really appreciate a good self-help book.

    Honestly, seeing someone that I actually know do this gives me more inspiration than watching the show, I don’t know why. Holly over at Empfire has been doing the same thing and you ladies are giving me such a boost!

  • Shanae says:

    I see in my absence you created a new domain. I LOVE it! Those origami stars make me very happy inside, lol.

    I’m highly impressed at your attempt at minimalism. I have been meaning to do this for a very long time. For one, I am one of those people who gets excessively anxious with too much clutter/”too much going on” yet my house is ridiculously cluttered because I can’t ever just get rid of things. Somehow I accumulate more! I honestly don’t even know how half my clothing appeared as I don’t remember buying it, and it doesn’t fit anyhow!

    I keep telling myself I need to go with a minimalist view as it would probably ut my mind at ease so much. I’ve heard that Marie Kondo had an “extreme” view, but I also realize that this may be better for someone like me because admittedly I have zero self-control, and my two roommates(I let them move in as they had nowhere else to go) are slobs and it literally drives me crazy.

    After reading your post, it makes me want to go home early and clear out my house while simultaneously ordering her book xD

  • Richel V. says:

    I read her book before and tried to do her method, and it has been a big help. But like a lot of people, I just seem to /always/ have clutter no matter how many items I throw away or donate. The series is just another inspiration and I went to tackle the other items in our house. We were able to clear out the cupboards the other day! And it’s a relief to have no items falling when we open them now lol

  • Nancy says:

    I hear so much about the KonMari method lately – I am living for it! Marie does a great job at empowering people into really thinking if they really need that item. Oh wow, it is amazing how much things can add up when you put it into one big pile. You have really cute bags! I like the results of the cleanup. It’s great that everything looked really neat at the end. Sending you positive vibes to keep this up!!

  • Mija says:

    Oh my husband just did our closet as well!! I gave away old con/game shirts I got from booths but never wore away on a fb group!

    We are def. going to be doing our other rooms soon!!!

  • Kim says:

    I’ve heard so much about the KonMari method before but haven’t put it into practice. From reading your post, decluttering items by category seems a lot less overwhelming than tackling it room by room.

  • Kenny says:

    You did a great job, Cat.

    I’m sure Marie Kondo is a sweet lovely woman, but I’m pretty much ghosting her at the moment. xD

    I know I need to declutter but my problem is the stuff I want to get rid of aren’t things I would want to donate. I would want to sell them, and selling right now would be completely overwhelming for me. So, for now, I say no to decluttering. :p Although I would love to in the future.

  • Claudine says:

    I’ve always wanted to declutter too and I’ve heard about Marie Kondo and her show, but as of the moment I am delaying it because I don’t know where all my discarded items would go! I would prefer to donate them, but I am finding that even donating is sooo hard to do here, like I literally don’t know where or how to send them -_-

    I do like the idea of decluttering by category! That sounds less overwhelming and I feel like that would tackle so many areas at once, instead of doing it per closet or per room. Maybe I’ll use that method once I start my decluttering project!

  • Karin says:

    The KonMari method really is everywhere these days! I still haven’t watched her show or read her book, but I think I’ll have to after all the hype. 😊

    I too have had the strategy of getting rid of things as I buy new stuff to keep the closet from overflowing. But I suspect if I put everything in one big pile it would be a huge mountain of clothes 😬 You’ve done a great job with your wardrobes! It must’ve taken a while getting it all sorted, but it must also be nice to see the difference!

    It’s great that you also feel more mindful of your things and make more conscious choices 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    I probably need to do that again soon. I’m someone who doesn’t hang on to stuff much cause I got a little bit of OCD problems, haha. I tend to go through my closets and bathroom and throw things out 2-3 times a year. I do need to start getting rid of clothing again because I doubt I’m ever going to get skinny enough for some of them ever again, haha! I recently went though my PJs (for some reason I had a large collection of PJS haha) I’m glad you were able to get this done and feel better though. I’m slowly getting the itch reading your blog post… I have been avoiding the netflix show for that reason haha!

  • Amy says:

    I loved reading this post, Cat! I’ve been decluttering too and finding it so difficult. I got rid of a binbag full of clothes, but still hung onto some things I barely ever wear. I’m very much a “just in case” kind of person so it’s so hard to throw things out.

    It looks like you did an amazing job with your clothes. I love how Marie Kondo folds things as well. It looks so cute and it would make it so much easier for me to find things on a morning. I need to do it with my folded clothes!

    Hope the book declutter goes well! That would be even harder for me as I have so many. There’s no way I could get it down to 30 or less like she recommends!

    • Cat says:

      I used to be a “just in case” kind of person too! Over the years, it’s been easier for me to let go of things like that, though I still have an attachment to sentimental items.

      Oh, and the 30 books thing is a common misconception! In her book, she says 30 is the right number for her, but that doesn’t mean she thinks everyone should get down to 30 🙂 It’s all about finding the right amount for you!

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