My closet spring cleaning using the konmari method: Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has changed me. For the better. Period. I have spent more time decluttering in the past two months than I have in the past two years – and I’ve never felt better about the place I come home to.
I’m late to game, but I can’t possibly not share what I’ve learned. Let’s do a little spring cleaning for our closet, shall we?
Here’s Marie Kondo’s big idea we need to keep in mind thought the process: ask yourself this ONE question when deciding what to keep: “Does it spark joy?” Simple right? Yes…and no. This question has elicited a much more emotional response than I expected – and it also took more than one pass (in the same area) to really nail it. Here’s what I learned at the end of the journey:
- See ya Later, Skinny Jeans: Those harmless pants I’ve been saving because EVENTUALLY I’ll lose the 10 pounds… they aren’t so harmless. And, the’ve got to go. They don’t spark joy, which means that ultimately they take away from my joy. Kind of crazy, right?
- You Wear the GOOD stuff: When you get rid of everything you’ve been holding on to that doesn’t spark joy, every single thing you own sparks joy. In terms of your closet, everything is in great condition, fits well, makes you feel good. You CAN’T reach for your sunday pants because…they gone. You have to wear the good ones. #JOY.
- It Gets Easier: I mentioned that it took me awhile to get the hang of this. For some, it comes really, really naturally – which is great! I had a harder time letting go. I had to take three passes in my closet before I really, really got serious with myself about what sparks joy. So if it takes you awhile, don’t worry, sister! Pour yourself another glass of rose and stick with it. And if it does come naturally just pour yourself another glass of rose anyway.
- It’s Also Going to Get Weird: So, you’re going to start talking to your clothes. Specifically that really cute madras skirt you got in college that is a little too short and tight…but so cute! You LOVED that skirt. Talk to it. It’s going to feel oddly powerful. I told my skirt, “Thank you for being my go-to in college – especially when I get in a bind during that trip to the Long Island Beach Club on Spring Break. You helped define my style in my 20s” as I put them in the donate pile. Sometimes respecting something means letting it go.
- You Don’t Have Sell Everything: Selling your clothes takes a lot of time, energy and can feel yuckie when those crappy resale shops don’t take your prized DVF pencil skirt from 2010 (are you flipping kidding me?!?! That thing is a GEM.) Donate. It’s another thing to feel good about. It’s okay to take this route – don’t feel bad about that $15 you are leaving on the table. This is TOTALLY worth it.
- Like Elsa Says…Let it Go: Realize when something has served its “purpose” and has to go, even when (at first) it doesn’t feel good. Even if you only wore it once. Even if it was expensive and you don’t think you got your money’s worth. Sometimes the joy simply comes from the buying process. That’s OKAY. Let it go. Free yourself. Don’t tie yourself to anything that doesn’t bring you joy. You WILL feel better. I promise.
To be honest, I think I have one more pass to take in my closet. I don’t want to go overboard – and have nothing to wear at that – but it’s so incredibly freeing. I’ll report back in a month or so to let you know how I’m doing. But…I don’t miss that madras skirt from college one.single.bit. Happy (respectfully) decluttering!