As you know from yesterday’s post, I’ve recently boarded the KonMari crazy train. Welcome aboard! If you haven’t read my overview of the KonMari Method, I suggest you start there. Otherwise I’ll just look like a lunatic, rather than a lunatic with a guide book.
My plan is to write about purging my house of all things that don’t “spark joy” using the KonMari method, which is detailed in the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This process will continue until my house looks like a vacant building, with nothing but tumbleweed blowing through my rooms, unencumbered by my non-joy-giving appliances.
This one must have escaped out my side door.
I started with my clothes. Like all things KonMari, the suggestion to start with clothes was written with such conviction that I wouldn’t have dared to start anywhere else. That would doom me to certain failure and a guest spot on Hoarders. No thanks!
To start the purging process you gather all of your clothes so you can assess their joy-giving properties. I’m not sure if they were supposed to be dumped in a huge pile like this, but I improvised. So sue me, KonMari.
Nolan is assessing this shirt for joy. I think it goes without saying that this process is expedited by the presence of a toddler.
As I went through my piles of clothes, I consistently ran into a few road blocks:
- Brand name items
- I would come across a barely used, say, Banana Republic sweater that I didn’t like, and I would hold that damn thing in my hands and while it would not spark joy, I would not want to get rid of it. Why? Simple. Because that shit is expensive! Because it is nice! (I realize this is all relative. Banana Republic is kind of like Prada to me). And then I would come across a Lululemon item and all bets were off, because those jackets are basically gold doubloons. And then I remembered that I want a tidy house, not a house filled with gold doubloons, because I don’t even live in medieval Spain. And then I had the power to purge these name brand items. I won’t lie, it was tough.
- Sentimental-ish items
- I’m a sucker for novelty t-shirts made specially for pub crawls. Ditto for anything emblazoned with an old school mascot. Ditto for anything I got as a gift. For years I’ve kept clothes like these jammed into the backs of drawers, unable to part with them because they were special. But as KonMari reminded me, are they really being treated as special if they’re shoved into the back of your closet, never to see the light of day? I had my answer. Out they went. (Except for a few really special things. I’m not a monster).
This sweatshirt is from my first trip with Brian. We went to New Zealand THREE MONTHS after we met! Way to be youthful and spontaneous, Liz!
This photo is from that first trip. And the sweater I’m wearing here I did keep, because it does spark joy. The “I Love Big Dumps” sweatshirt doesn’t really do it for me anymore, weirdly.
- The person I imagined I might be vs. the person I am
- As I was going through my clothes, I had some surprising (and sometimes vaguely painful) realizations. Looking back through years worth of accumulated clothes, I had to recognize that in some ways I hadn’t lived up to my own visions for myself. Our possessions tell us something about the person we wanted to be. Maybe we became that person, and maybe we didn’t. Maybe we once were a version of ourselves that we really loved, and we have to recognize that we’ve outgrown that person. When we part with the things we’ve been clinging to, we acknowledge that we aren’t the person we thought we might have been, or the one we used to be.
The sweatshirt below, for example. I loved it for years. It suited me in my twenties. I felt like myself in it. But you know, I haven’t worn it for a long while now. It doesn’t fit me that well anymore. It’s not really who I am, now.
It turns out that the KonMari Method forces you to confront yourself.
WHAT AN A-HOLE!
Although maybe now, with this new space, what we gain is the chance to find out who we are today. Maybe we need a little space to shake off the old versions of ourselves and let the new ones in.
When I was done with the purge, I had a grand total of 7 large trash bags full of clothes to donate or bring to consignment.
Once the non-joy givers were evicted, the folding and putting away process began. I love this part!
Here are my clothes, literally on a platter. I couldn’t figure out how else to transport them from my tv room without ruining my very lovely KonMari folds.
Overall I’m really pleased with my results so far. I’m getting unnaturally excited to clean and tidy. And I have some space now (literally) to let the person I am today explore a bit. So far so good, KonMari.
If you’re interested in the book, you can find it here.
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