It’s that time of the year where we make some space in our wardrobe to welcome new outfits. I started off 2016 with the idea of letting go of fast fashion and investing in higher quality outfits. Just before I decided to spring clean, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s best selling book - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever. I heard rave reviews and many people spoke evangelically about this book so I thought that I’d give it a quick flip.
First few pages into it, and I thought Ms. Kondo and I have a few things in common. We are obsessed with tidying and I too, have always adopted her brutal yet effective approach to decluttering. I’m good at packing and thanks to frequent renovations back in college, I have also mastered the art of throwing stuff away. With that being said, at the end of the final page, I set off to “Kondo” my closet and achieve peace of mind. Here is what I learned:
Envision the lifestyle you wish to achieve
Start off the ritual by visualising the end goal you wish to achieve by decluttering. Be specific with your objectives like : I want to live a stress-free life. This will set your intentions right and now, the process of decluttering begins.
Organise according to category
Start by sorting and purging by category instead of going from one room to another. It might be natural instinct to start in the bedroom and work your way to the living room and then to the kitchen. However, it’s is best to clean by category like clothes followed by books. Her justification is, similar items are more likely to be all over the house and not only in one room. You can start by gathering your clothes and start tidying via the KonMari (what her method is called) method.
Ask if the item sparks joy before discarding
This is an unconventional method of laying your clothes out and then asking yourself - “ Does it spark joy?” If it does when you hold it in your arms, then keep it. If it does not or you hesitate, then dispose of it. While discarding your items, nostalgia is not your friend. Often times, we keep gifts out of guilt, because we attach our emotions onto them. We keep knick knacks, birthday cards, letters from friends and family but these items do not have any added value because most of the time, we keep them in boxes and store them away. When asking yourself the question, you MUST be truthful with yourself.
Respect your clothes
The KonMari method asks that you give your clothes the respect they deserve by thanking them for their service and folding them in a certain way. My closet has always succumed to messiness shortly after tidying. I find the KonMari folding technique a breath of fresh air. Instead of laying your items flat in a drawer, fold them and let them stand in an upright position. That’s right, you fold your shirts, pants, underwear in a way that they can stand on their own. Her theory is that, the more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item, and they will be ready for wear.
Welcome your brand new wardrobe
Once I had cleared my clutter, there was a huge sense of relief knowing that I had achieved my objective. The KonMari method allowed me to establish a new relationship with my belongings. I grew to appreciate the things that I have and I now think twice before purchasing new items by asking that simple yet impactful question, “Does it spark joy?”