Posted in Minimalism

Letting Go – Part 3: Clothing

This is part 3 of my journey to tidying and minimalism.  For part 1, click here.

According to Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the first step in decluttering should start with clothing.  And by clothing, she doesn’t just mean tops and bottoms, she also means shoes, bags, scarves, hats, belts and jewellery.

So, how exactly should one go about cleaning out one’s clothing according to her?  Take everything out.  She is adamant about this.  Go around your house and pick up every last bit of clothing that is hiding in a closet or box and put it all out on the bed (or the floor, or…wherever).  This is important because it allows you to actually see everything that you have.  If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised by what you own.

Then, you pick up every item in your hands and ask yourself one simple question:

Does this spark joy?

That’s it.  No “if you haven’t worn it in over a year, toss it” rule, no “keep only x amounts of this and x amounts of that”.  Nope!  Does.  It.  Spark.  Joy?

Sounds simplistic and a little bit hazy right?  But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense!  I mean, why would you want to keep something that you don’t like?  Why would you want to keep something if it doesn’t suit you well?  Because it was expensive?  Because you received it as a gift?  Because you only need to lose 10 more pounds before you’ll fit into it again?  Because you thought you’d like it (and really, really want to like it) but it just doesn’t “click” for some reason?  Because, because, because?

Personally, if I’m going to live with less (and even if I chose to live with what I had in the first place), I would much rather live with things that bring joy into my life.  Things that I love.  Not things that I keep out of guilt or any other reason.

Now, given that I have kids and not a lot of uninterrupted alone hours, I decided that instead of pulling out every single piece of clothing and putting it on the bed, I would go sub-category by sub-category.

Once I finished going through everything, all that was left to do was to put my clothing away.  Now, Kondo, suggests folding pretty much everything (except stuff like dresses, skirts and stuff that just don’t belong in a drawer) and her method seems weird (at first, at least).

She explains that she believes the best way to fold clothes is to do so in a manner that they stand up (a great tutorial for visuals like me can be found here).  The point being that when you open your drawer, you can see very quickly exactly what you have.

Curious to see how my decluttering and sorting went?  Wait ’till you see my before and after post next week!  I’ll give you a sneak peek though.  Here’s a look inside one of my drawers (it’ll also help you visualize Kondo’s method of folding):

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Welcome to my shirt drawer!