Monday, October 19, 2015

My Konmari Method Closet Makeover

  I really like clothes.  There are so many tangents I could go off on related to them:  the history of a fabric, the idea of creating a pattern, different fasteners, garment finishes, the memories I have attached to things I've worn, thinking about the history of a thrift store item before I bought it, how to copy and create a "look" I want to wear...I could go on and on.

  Because of all that emotional investment, how can I get rid of anything?

  Because of all that curiosity, how can I stop buying new things? 

  I have had to finally answer these questions because I am running out of space.  I have had to confront what I really want out of my clothing because I want to not only enjoy what I have, but also to be smart about what I bring into my closet from this point forward so I don't neglect to use the things I already have. 

 Organizing what I have into a system where I can see it is what I have needed to do.  I've seen articles and forum threads about professional organizer Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which is also referred to as the "Konmari method" of de-cluttering and organizing your belongings.

  How you organize clothing drawers is probably the most recognizable aspect of her method.  In the past I folded things like they are folded on shelves at the clothing store.  The variation of the Konmari method is that you flip them over and fold them in half one more time and store them on end, so that everything is visible and not stacked on top of each other.
 Here is my dresser with my T shirts, shorts, and capri-length pants. I am really enjoying being able to get what I want without digging through my drawers to find it:

These are my dresses in the closet before I reorganized.  I had even more dresses in a drawer because there wasn't room to hang them all up:

 I switched to uniformly colored ultra-thin coat hangers from AmazonBasics.  Changing the coat hangers meant I was able to take the additional clothes from my dresser drawer and put them back into the closet.  It's still full but it's more functional now and dresses aren't getting wrinkled from being squished together.  Here's the after photo:

I've always kept my scarves on a hanging scarf organizer, but I switched to a folded, stacked on a shelf method for them so I can see them all at once:

The last bit I'd like to highlight is how I'm sorting my slips and shapewear.  Everything is black or nude, so it all looks the same in the drawer. I put like items into quart- or gallon-sized Ziploc bags and labeled the contents for ease of use.  The drawer also stays more organized because I'm not rooting around it looking for what I want:

  I've been so happy with this organizational approach that I've done the same with my kids' and my husband's closets!

  I encourage you to give the Konmari method a try- if you don't want to buy the book there's lots of other people posting about their experiences on the internet, on youtube and on pinterest to give you inspiration.

  Here's a nice little summary from a Telegraph website article about Marie Kondo:

Marie Kondo's neat tips

  • Commit yourself to tidying up: The ‘KonMari’ method requires time and effort. But once you have made up your mind, all you need to do is follow it as closely as possible.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle: When you do this, you are clarifying why you want to tidy and identifying the kind of life you want to live once you have finished. The tidying process thus represents a huge turning point.
  • Finish discarding first: One characteristic of people who never seem to finish tidying up is that they attempt to store everything without getting rid of anything. Consider any storage solutions made during the discarding process to be temporary.
  • Tidy by category, not location: For example, when tidying clothes, gather every item of clothing from the entire house in one spot. This allows you to see exactly how much you have. It’s very important to get an accurate grasp of the sheer volume.
  • Follow the right order: It is: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and, finally, sentimental items. Have you ever come across old photos while tidying and found that hours have passed while you were looking at them? This clearly illustrates the point of tidying in the proper order.
  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy: Remember: you are not choosing what to discard but rather what to keep. Keep only those things that bring you joy.

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