Good advice — most times, especially when decluttering your clothing wardrobe.
And easier to say then do, so maybe its why organizing
consultant Marie Kondo’s book, The
Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and
Organizing, is an international best seller.
Sure, I've tackled this
task by other names — simplifying, de-cluttering, downsizing. What’s different now?
Ms. Kondo’s approach, the KonMari Method,
is two-fold: First, place your hands on things you own and, this is very important, ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn't, then chuck it. When only your most
joyful items are left, organize each where its visible, accessible and easily
Following this approach this per Ms. Kondo’s directions
will not only clear your place, but also your mind. That's what's the book states, but I can't vouch for that claim. And don't yoga and gate chai classes make similar claims?
Admittedly, I haven’t read the
entire book, only some portions; however, have read about Ms. Kondo and her methods, and various watched
Almost forgot, a very important
tenant before discarding/donating items — remember to thank them for their service.
So, yes, you will be talking to your belongings and this might best be done in
private, depending on how emotionally attached you are to your shirts, socks, jeans. If any talk back, be very afraid. There's no advice on how to handle sassy clothes.
And, it’s not OK to say everything
brings you joy without handling it first. “Don’t just
open up your closet (drawer) and
decide after a quick look that everything in it gives you a thrill,” Ms.
Kondo states, adding: “You must take each outfit in your hand."
“When we take our clothes in our
hands and fold them neatly,” she writes, “we are, I believe, transmitting
energy, which has a positive effect on our clothes.”
Sounds far-fetched, I agree. But she emits a positive energy in photos and online videos, so I figured a couple of dresser drawers could benefit from positive vibes.
Prepare to spend time doing this because the book states that “tidying is a dialogue with oneself.”
Like I said before, best done in private. Admittedly, you might forget to thank
all toss-outs after several hours of talking to them. (And, who could blame you?)
After you’re all talked out, what's next for those items that spark joy?
Items stored in a drawer, you fold neatly. The KonMari Method of folding can be
widely seen on YouTube videos. Basically, you fold everything into a long
rectangle, then fold that in upon itself to make a smaller rectangle, then roll
that up into a tube, like a sushi roll, then set items upright in the drawers.
Hanging clothes gets more
challenging as Ms. Kondo advises hanging anything that “looks
happier hung up.”
How to know? Maybe once you get some experience talking to your things, just ask
them their preferences?
According to Ms. Kondo: “Clothes,
like people, can relax more freely when in the company of others who are very
similar in type, and therefore organizing them by category helps them feel more
comfortable and secure.”
After all, we want our
clothing to feel secure, don’t we? (No need to answer this.)
I didn’t follow the
exact KonMari Method in purging a couple of dresser drawers last week, then rearranging contents based on the visibility and accessibility
principles. It was neater than before (forgot that photo). Maybe these turtlenecks and socks are happy too as they made the cut and got to stay. (Lots of socks, I know, but we are living in New England now. I foresee more clothes talking/purging at a future date.)
It’s worth mentioning that Ms. Kondo’s instruction on paper sorting is the most liberating of all her advice: Just throw them all away. She writes: “There is nothing more annoying than papers . . . After all, they will never spark joy, no matter how carefully you keep them.”
Amen to that, Ms. Kondo. (Except I'm not sure how the IRS would feel if we were called in to explain something on a filed return without supporting documentation.)
Have you sorted out things that no longer bring you joy?