I’m no stranger to the practice of decluttering. I love having fewer, better things; and I’ve spent a lot of time honing my process for deciding what to keep and what to toss (donate) over the years.
I’ve even worked with a professional before who helped me to find the strength (sounds corny, but it’s true) to let things go. And I found that as soon as I experienced the lightness I felt with fewer possessions, I was hooked onto the idea of learning to live with only things that I love.
This latest round of Kondo-ing/decluttering was brought on after a recent binge watch of Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which is a television spinoff of her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has been on the scene for years now.
After watching one episode, I literally hopped off my bed, put the baby down to nap and then proceeded to (per Kondo’s method) pile my entire closet onto my bed for review.
I ended up breaking this post down into several parts because there is so much to cover. Today, I’m talking about:
First, you need a reason to be motivated. And what better reason than feeling like you need some extra space not only to store your current clothing, but also to clean out old and unused items?
You need to get motivated, because you’re about to come face to face with a whole. lot. of. crap. you NEVER knew you owned. And before it gets better, it gets a little tougher. But I promise, it will all be worth it in the end!
Which brings us to…
Next, it’s time to get messy.
The whole idea behind the Kondo method is that you must put everything into one pile so that not only can you see everything you own, but also because you need to put your hands on–and really look at–every item to review it before deciding whether or not it “sparks joy,” therefore determining if you keep it.
Here’s a good basic explanation of the method.
Finally, come up with your “Why.” Marie Kondo suggests asking yourself if the item sparks joy. I also like to add on, Does this fit my current lifestyle?
If you’re in a profession where you require lots of professional-looking pieces, you won’t want to throw away your whole collection of blazers. If you’re a work-from-home mom instead, like me, maybe a handful of well-curated blazers makes the cut, while the rest of the ones go to the donation pile.
You are not going to want to take all of your clothes and put them into a giant, messy pile onto your bed. Do it anyway.
And don’t forget, you may have an emotional attachment to certain items that still don’t serve you, or serve a purpose in your wardrobe. For example, I have many fond memories of the maternity clothes I wore throughout my three pregnancies, but that doesn’t mean they serve a practical purpose for me any longer; therefore, they go.
Knowing my things will bring someone else joy makes letting go that much easier.
The world at large would have us believe that we need things to feel fulfilled–that the season’s latest fill-in-the-blank item will make us feel better about how we look.
But that’s not true. We need a lot less than we think we do, but what we do need are things that make us feel good when we are wearing them.
What I’ve found is that having things that reliably make me feel stylish, but also inherently myself, matters most.