Very few of us get extreme joy out of cleaning, but scientists are again and again concluding that having a space filled with clutter makes us unhappy and unproductive. Thankfully, I’ve discovered a way to turn this chore into an opportunity for joy!
It’s not the clutter itself that causes issues, but the mindset that comes along with having a space filled with stuff. When we live in a society that is obsessed with the collection of things, it’s no surprise that Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has become a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Her method of organising, called the KonMari Method, has revolutionised how people declutter and organise their spaces (and in turn, their minds).
The KonMari method revolves around the idea that the items you own should bring you joy, and if they no longer serve this purpose, they should be discarded from your life. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being sent on their merry way. People are drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and optimistic.
Particularly when it comes to buying clothing and the tempting fast fashion industry, it can be easy to end up with a wardrobe overflowing with items you once thought you ‘had to have’ but haven’t worn for years.
So if your wardrobe is causing you angst, let’s “Kondo” it into shape!
1. Firstly take everything out of your wardrobe and organise into categories. Work through your clothing systematically – start with all of your tops, then sort your pants, then dresses, etc.
2. You need to decide what you want to keep, and what you want to discard. To do this, take each item in your hands, feel if it still brings you joy, or if it has come to the end of its useful life with you. Say thank you, and place those items in the ‘discard’ pile. If you are struggling to make a decision it means that item isn’t bringing you enough joy, so say goodbye to this too!
3. While you are carrying out this process be reflective and present. Learn from what you are keeping or not keeping as this can help you make more informed purchasing decisions in the future. Perhaps you don’t like polyester jumpsuits as much as you once did, or noticed you have far too many white t-shirts.
4. Once you have finalised your keep pile for all categories, the key is to now put these away in a magically organised manner. Roll items and store them vertically so you can see them all in your drawer.
5. Wondering what to do with everything in the discard pile? One option is to bag up your discarded clothes and drop them at your nearest thrift store – keeping in mind that this option isn’t without its downsides. You can also take your high-quality clothes directly to the people who need them, such as your local women’s shelter or to programs such as Fitted for Work. If you have items that are too worn or damaged (ask yourself – would you give this item to a close friend?) they may be able to find a new life as industrial rags. From upcycling to clothes-swapping, there are so many ways you can ensure your discards don’t end up in landfill.
Voila! Be proud of yourself, enjoy your new zen wardrobe and most importantly, remember the lessons you learnt to make more informed and mindful purchases in the future.