Ms. Mintly Does KonMari: Part 1

So, are you all familiar with the KonMari method?

THE clutter-busting book of 2015 was/is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

I first heard about it on one of my daily reads: ApartmentTherapy.com. Then I felt like it was cropping up everywhere on the internet. I didn’t get truly interested in it until I talked with my cousin back in May about it. She described all the Before-and-After pictures of closets her friends posted on facebook. She told me about some of the “funnier” parts of the book (and there are a few “huh…” sections, I admit) but said she was thinking of going all-in.

I reserved an e-book version through the Overdrive (library) app and waited patiently. When I finally received the notice that I could download it, I hopped right to it and dove in.

This is not a review of the book, so I will only note the following points:

  • The ONE thing that everyone knows about this method is that Marie Kondo says you should only keep something if it sparks joy. Some people chafe at this idea (“What if I need it, but it doesn’t spark joy?”), but I’ve found it works well for me.
  • There is a level of spirituality to the book that I actually found soothing and helpful (though I am not religious). For instance, Kondo makes it clear that even if things are not visible in a room but are crammed in closets, their presence can still become overbearing and even stressful. I know it sounds “frou-frou,” but this is exactly how I feel. Even when we get things “straightened up” in our house, I still feel oppressed by how much stuff we have.
  • Kondo stresses the importance of letting go of items that we feel we have to hold onto so that we can hold on to the items that truly make us happy. Going through this process has really helped me let go of the idea that I must keep things for the sake of keeping them. No, I really don’t need to keep that ladybug ornament just because my Grandma gave it to me; instead, I have my memories (and other things she gave me) that are more valuable than that item. We’ve moved quite a bit (which is not usual for people our age), and I’ve dragged things around for longer than I’d care to admit, only because I just didn’t think I should get rid of them.
  • Recognizing an item’s former purpose and its satisfaction of that purpose really helps to let it go. It’s difficult to admit that I’ll never fit into those pants again, but I don’t need them. If I honestly do get that thin again (ha!), I’ll treat myself to a new pair of pants that I love. It’s hard to toss an old shirt I used to love but never wear anymore into a pile to go to Goodwill, but when I take a moment to recognize how the shirt has served its usefulness to me and how it could go on to make someone else happy – well, that makes it a lot easier for me.

I have begun the process as described in the book, and in the order recommended by Kondo. This means clothing first, then books, and on down the line. When I texted my cousin to let her know I was starting the process, she was super excited and sent me her own before-and-after photos as well as information about two Facebook groups (The KonMari Method and Konmari Method: Life-Changing Magic, though there are plenty of others). She stressed the importance of going in order and not skipping steps, and that’s been harder than I imagined. Through joining those FB groups, I’ve also discovered something else: it may take up to 6 months to complete the process! I’m really hoping it doesn’t, but I’m starting to see how it could. You can’t half-ass this, and if you have a job and/or kids, everything is going to take a bit longer than it would otherwise.

So, what have I done?

I started with my clothes, but ONLY my clothes. I will not do H’s clothes, because A) I don’t have the right to sort through someone else’s clothes, and B) He recently purged so much that his stuff hardly takes up any room!

Ready for the Before and After pictures?

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Closet: Before (1) – Those pants hangers and the accessories ring had a bunch of stuff on them (scarves, belts, etc.) prior to this picture, as well.

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Closet: Before (2) – This is where all of my pants were hanging, but I had removed them already to sort before I remembered to take a picture.

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Closet: Before (3) – This is my dresses that were hidden in the first shot of the closet.

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Closet/Drawers: Before – This is both all of the pants from my closet as well as lounge-wear and pajamas that I had crammed into drawers. Beautiful, eh?

I know the pictures aren’t beautiful (thanks, iPhone), but when you’re getting ready to buckle down and purge, you don’t first think, “I’m gonna take a well-staged shot with my fancy camera….” Or maybe you do….

Here’s two shots of the process:

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During: Dresses, etc. to consign and give away (sorry about the bra, but what are you gonna do?)

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During: Pile of items to give to Goodwill or throw away (I went through the pile a second time to find socks with no mates, and things that no one would buy, and I just threw those away – only one not-quite-full bag of completely unusable stuff, thankfully)

And now: the After shots!

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After: Cardigans/Sweaters

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After: Socks, hosiery, belts

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After: Pants

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After: Casual clothes (t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, and a huge comfortable sweater a friend knitted for me!)

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After: Exercise and lounge clothes (this set of drawers used to be overflowing with socks and hosiery and who-knows-what-all that ended up tossed…)

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After: Closet (I’ve even done more work on my closet to make it prettier since this)

In my next post, I’ll also show you my shoes, though I don’t have a “Before” shot of that mess. However, I’ve been astounded at what a difference I feel when I look into my closet and it feels so much cleaner and easier to find things.

I also have not noticed a difficulty in folding my clothes right after doing laundry and getting them put away (though it’s only been one load so far, so I need to wait and see how it really works long-term!) and I also enjoy changing into my loungey clothes when I get home after work. I just put all my clothes and shoes away (or into the laundry) when I get home and I get a ton of satisfaction in seeing how pretty they are, all tucked in to their rightful places.

Here’s the stats on my KonMari’ed Closet:

  • 1: bag of trash
  • 2: almost-overflowing 18-gallon tubs of clothing, shoes, and accessories to consign
  • 1: 18-gallon tub of clothing, shoes, and accessories to consign for spring (since the place I consign with won’t take out-of-season clothing)
  • 2: bags of clothing, shoes, and accessories for donation
  • 1: box of random crap for donation
  • 1: Back-of-the-door shoe rack for donation

What’s left to do?

  • Locate all my bags/purses in the house and KonMari them
  • Go through all of the jewelry I have
  • Update you on my shoes 🙂

…and…

  • all the rest of the categories!

Anyone else doing KonMari? What has your experience been? Would love to know how it’s working for people long-term…. And P.S. – I don’t miss anything I got rid of… at ALL!

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