Easy and practical tasks for organizing and decluttering the closet using the KonMari method. Follow these step by step tips to tidy up your wardrobe.
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Hey there! I’ve been wanting to share my KonMari experience with you for a while. My friend suggested I read the best seller a couple of months ago and I was immediately hooked! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo is a decluttering method I’ve never seen before.
Decluttering Clothes the KonMari Way
Is it a happy coincidence that we actually live in Japan? If you are new around here, we are a military family living in Okinawa. This method couldn’t have come at a better time for our small space living situation in a rental. I can’t wait until we move stateside and I can apply everything I learned to our long-term storage!
What is the KonMari method? In a nutshell, you declutter by category (not by room or closet/drawer). Every item that you own, you literally hold it and ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” In the end, you are surrounded by things you love which totally goes with my slogan, “love your space”. Super duper.
Kondo’s method promises that if you declutter and organize by category all at once (she mentions this could take up to 6 months so take a deep breath!), it will have such an impact on every area of your life, that you will only have to do it once! Sounds awesome, right?
I’m going to take you through my experience of tidying up starting with the master closet. I have to warn you since we live in Japan, 70% of our belongings (mostly furniture and cold-weather clothes) are in long-term storage which is why I mentioned that I’m looking forward to practicing the KonMari method when we move back to the states. With that being said I absolutely love simplifying and organizing things by making sure each item has a home and getting rid of things we don’t love, use, or need.
How to KonMari the Closet
Decluttering order for Clothes:
- Clothes that should be hung
- Clothes for specific events
The first step for the magic of tidying up is to declutter!
Put all your items in a sub-category on the floor. Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy! At first, it was difficult to not have dialogues like “does this fit?” “I just wore this last week” “it still looks new” with myself. After a few garments, I finally started getting the hang of it. It was simple, when I picked it up, did it put a smile on my face?
After going through my tops, I quickly went through the other sub-categories. I have to tell you, a few items that I felt apprehensive about and kept, I have gotten rid of since then.
The next step is organizing.
Kondo suggests folding as much as you can. Only hang items that won’t stay folded, outerwear, and dress clothes. Our walk-in closet was large enough to hold two government-issued dressers with plenty of space for hanging items. I was happy to have the ugly furniture out of sight.
To make the most out of drawer storage. Fold your items so that they sit up vertically in a smooth rectangle. You will find that different clothes need to be folded in a different way.
3 steps for folding:
- Fold each lengthwise side of a garment toward the center.
- Tuck in sleeves and straps so that you have a long rectangle.
- Fold the end up in half then again in half or thirds.
I contemplated showing each of my drawers but I decided that I didn’t want my undergarments published on the web! All of my clothes, including socks and bathing-suits, are folded into neat little rectangles. I LOVE getting into my dresser now.
Kondo also suggests going from light to dark in your drawers. The lightest clothes being in the front. Hanging clothes from light to dark should go right to left. Your hanging and folding clothes should also be arranged by type.
I’m happy to say that I now have an empty dresser drawer and that all seasons (in Okinawa that’s only two: hot and not so hot) of my clothes fit in our closet easily.
Since we were only allowed to bring about 30% of our belongings, we had to be very picky on what was coming with us to Japan. I brought only my favorite shoes and accessories but still found out that not all of them sparked joy. I guess I had only thought they were my favorite!
An important step to remember when you are doing the KonMari method is that you look for your items in a specific category everywhere! Your car, purse, and every closet/room in the house needs to be searched. When you are organizing them, keep similar items stored together.
A note on the things you are getting rid of. Marie Kondo says “throw it away!” I decided to try to sell a few high value items and donate the rest. Let me suggest that you GET IT OUT OF YOUR HOUSE ASAP. Otherwise, family members and fond memories might persuade you to keep a thing or two!
After I looked at my “get rid of selling/donating pile” for a few days, I finally put in my car and took it to the thrift store. It felt SO GOOD to just get all of it off my hands.
Are you taking this journey with me? I would love to hear about your KonMari method experiences and whether you have found joy!
Can you believe I got my kids on board? I shared about we decluttered the kids’ rooms and KonMari”ed” their clothes, books, and toys. A couple of nights ago my husband said he was ready to declutter and organize his clothes. Be still my heart! Kondo mentioned in her book how the family will go along once they see you sparking joy!
Curious about our small Japanese rental? You can learn all about it in our home tour.
Make sure to check out the best decorating ideas and DIYs for Spring and Easter! You’ll find loads of information with free checklists and cheatsheets.
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