KonMari Step 1: Take my sock drawer… please!

So, you’ve read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and you’re ready to start working some life-changing magic in your own home. Here’s some quick and easy steps to get you started.

  1. Make your bed so that when you empty your closet and start piling stuff on it, it will look nice for the photos you take for your blog.
  2. Realize that you don’t have ANY trash bags in the house. Run to the store.
  3. Get back and realize it’s basically lunch time and take an hour long break.
  4. Start three hours later than you originally intended.

Despite a a few hiccups at the beginng, I managed to get all my clothes KonMari-ed this past Sunday.

My walk-in closet before the KonMari method.
The closet… before!

So, I have a fairly narrow walk-in closet that I share with my husband. It’s narrow enough that it was hard to get a photo of just my half. (KonMari says to ignore the belongings of the people you live with. It’s good advice. You’ll only stress yourself out if you try and control anyone else’s things. You worry about youself.) It’s kind of hard to tell from this photo just how jam-packed it is. There’s a whole corner in the back right that isn’t even visible.

All of my clothes piled on the bed, ready for organizing.
The Pile

This is everything from the closet. I don’t think I’d emptied my dresser at this point.

For the most part, deciding what to keep was easy. KonMari says to start with clothing because it is the easiest. I made the decision early on to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit me. My weight has been up and down A LOT in the past ten years, and I have a wardrobe that spans that range. There are a whole lot of things that I’ve kept just because “I’ll be that size again someday.” But this whole process is about only keeping what “sparks joy.” And really, there’s no joy in constantly seeing four pairs of pants that are too small for me. I surprised myself at how quickly things got tossed into the “trash” and “garage sale” piles.

I did hit a couple of speed bumps. One was gifts. Kondo explains that gifts are merely a means of conveying someone’s feelings and once they’ve served that purpose we should feel free to do with them what we wish. But man… it made me sad to have to decide on some of the gifts of clothing I’ve gotten. Pretty much everything I gave up were things that I did actually like (and love)… but just didn’t fit me. And never would in a way that I would be comfortable wearing. I made my peace with letting them go and said another silent thank you to the gift and sent the items on their journey to a new home. (I’ve decided Marie Kondo’s kooky woo-woo stuff about talking to your belongings isn’t so much about making the objects feel good, it’s about making you feel better about letting them go.)

Also hard to give up? My wedding shoes. I searched for months for shoes that were the right style and color… and ended up settling for some that were amazingly uncomfortable. If I try them on now, my feet are in agony before I even put any weight on them. I honestly don’t know how I got down the aisle in them.

Robin's egg blue pumps
Goodbye. I hope you treat the next pair of feet more kindly.

This unflatteringly huge sweater vest was also a hard goodbye. It’s the first sweater I ever knitted… and then wore. In public. And I wore it a lot. But… it’s not really a good look for me.

A striped hand-knit sweater vest
I almost gave it a Viking funeral.

In the end, this is what I ended up keeping.

0301_Keepers
Congratulations, guys!

Now, on to folding. This is a big KonMari thing. And I wasn’t so sure about it. For most of my life, my dresser has just been a place for my socks, underpants and pajamas. Everything else that goes in there, goes in there to be forgotten. Anything I actually wear goes on hangers and gets violently crammed into that overcrowded closet. And… honestly… it was probably ruining a lot of my clothes. Especially sweaters.

So, I gave the folding thing a shot. And I think I like it. For one, storing things vertically is genius. Nothing’s going to get forgotten now! My middle dresser drawers are crazy deep, though, so they look a little cavernous now.

0301_DrawerAfter1
Hello… hello… ello.. o…

At this point I would be remiss in not giving credit to my helper.

Cat in an empty dresser drawer
My helper, and 12 of the 14 pairs of socks I have left.
Cat on a pile of clothes
Helping.
Cat in a window
A little distracted, but still helping.

Anyway, the final result —  my newly relaxed and spacious closet.

0301_AfterCloset
Ahhhh…

It really is a little magic. I feel a lighter. I can better appreciate what I have now that I’m not digging through a bunch of stuff I don’t really like or just can’t use to get to what I need. But this is only the beginning. Things are about to get real.

Coming soon — KonMari Step 2: You want me to get rid of books?

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