The Big Closet Purge With The Konmari Method

Right, so after I finished reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I was bursting with energy and ready to start tidying up my mess right that second… Alas, I was on a road trip, many many hours away from home… But luckily on the way home! I got home very late that night and my whole body was literally itching to start off tidying, her book had filled me with such an amount of energy and enthusiasm… I surely had to leave it for the next day when I finally was able to gather all my clothes together from my double-closet, my cellar, and my attic…^^ It took quite a while to find everything and put it in a pile.

tn_watermarked-closet purge before konmari method 1 tn_watermarked-closet purge before konmari method 2 tn_watermarked-closet purge before konmari method 3 tn_watermarked-closet purge before konmari method 4

As I was doing so, I felt my face flush with heat after every pile I brought onto the living room floor (since my own bedroom was already cluttered and would have never been able to hold the amount of clothes I had). I started to get very very embarrassed at the amount of clothes that started to pile up – the whole floor was covered and I had to take a moment to soak it all in^^. These were literally all of my clothes which I needed for all my activities and hobbies and daily life. All but one dress which I knew I was keeping anyhow and didn’t bother taking it away from its place 😉 I cheated on that. I know. I was actually going to cheat much more but my partner found out and made me take down the prop box for my photography sessions… Heaven bless him ❤

I intended to follow through Marie Kondo’s suggestion of starting off with the tops, going on with bottoms etc… but to be honest, I was so utterly lost in my pile of clothes that I just started wherever I could get to and with whatever I thought seemed easy enough to sort out.

I truly stuck through with her method otherwise – picking up every single clothing and asking myself if it does spark any joy. Whenever I cracked a smile when picking a specific piece and even hugged some of them, it was truly easy to decide 🙂 Whenever I didn’t – off it went, or if I wasn’t sure, then I left it aside to pick it up later and found out I then was better able to make the right choice.

At times, it was still very difficult to part with some pieces of clothing. Some of them were my favourites for years – but being honest to myself I had to admit that they either wouldn’t suit me or were just not my type anymore. Sometimes, it feels wrong to wear something you used to love so much because that you is a past you of yours^^.

Whenever I was at a loss, I simultaneously went back to my closet to clean it. The whole procedure took about three days. During these three days it felt very good to look at my closet being so empty. It was inspiring. It felt a bit like freedom. Like when you walk through a  furniture shop looking into all those beautiful empty closets imagining how you would fill them. It felt good !

tn_watermarked-empty closet after closet purge konmari method

After I finished with my closet purge I was confronted by another challenge: how to organize the clothing on the inside. Marie Kondo explains a lot of possibilities on how to store clothes, how to hang them or organize them. But most of her explanations and videos were related to dressers. I couldn’t find anything on closets of the deep kind. I searched and searched but could not find another way to stack my tee’s and everything else properly. She explains in her book how it is better to store clothing vertically instead of on top of each other, but I just couldn’t do it with the amount of tee’s I had and so far they are still stored the way I used to. I am still thinking about another way to maybe fold and put them away the way she suggests, but I’ll have to look into it with more time. Maybe I’ll have to look into more storage suggestions to keep them folded the way she suggests.

Marie Kondo has a rather cute way of describing items with feelings. Like, say, the socks feel sad and poor after helping you through a hard day and then after washing you just leave them bundled up and ignored until the next time you need them. They too, would like to have a rest and feel appreciated. You can’t give much appreciation to socks that way…

Although I was a bit skeptical about the way she describes that specific part, I must say I adapted her method and used it for most of my socks and stockings. My regular black ones I kept the way I used to in a separate box, this seems to suit me better as I feel they are more handy that way and I’m happy with it. I love the way my other socks now look in my drawers though and how a simple pink shoe box found a new life by storing them, and it makes me nearly squeak with joy every time I open up my closet door 🙂 I never though I could ever feel that much joy when opening a simple drawer in my closet ❤

tn_watermarked-folded inside a drawer after konmari tn_watermarked-folded stockings inside a drawer after konmari

tn_watermarked-nice looking socks after konmari

Another neat thing I found on the internet and tried out was how to put away your sheet nice and tidy. If you put the sheet inside the corresponding pillow case you can put them all stacked away neatly in one pile instead of two different piles whereas the pillow cases tend to clutter around the closet. So far it has worked very well for me 🙂

tn_watermarked-sheet in closet after konmari method
pile on the right side: sheet stacked away neatly in corresponding pillow case

As you can see here in the before and after pictures of my closet – it looks way much more organized than before. It is a delight to see that most my clothes really do all fit in my closet. I even have some room to hang some of my T-shirts which I never thought I would be able to do and I always wished for – I mean, who has enough room to be able to hang the T-shirts? I’m truly delighted on how this experiment went on and still can’t believe my eyes every time I open my closet again.

tn_watermarked-closet purge before konmari
before
tn_watermarked-closet purge after konmari
after

Now I have only one prop box with costumes up in the attic (instead of nearly 2) and one plastic container on top of my closet with the current winter clothes instead of two plastic boxes I always kept for the unused seasonal clothes. Marie Kondo explains how you should not keep seasonal clothes outside your closet but where I live it is just plainly impossible and leaving the winter clothes out seemed to suit my wardrobe best for the moment.

tn_watermarked-kept props konmari
prop box and some winter coats for the attic

After the whole purging procedure I was able to discard 11 bags of clothes. In relation to the amount of clothes I originally had it is not much. I guess most of my clothes made me way too happy 🙂

tn_watermarked-discarded bags konmari

The first two bags on the left side went back to my mother. Yes I know, that is against the Konmari rules… They were good and expensive quality clothes though that she had given to me and I just don’t wear anymore. I figured it was best to give them back to her so she can dispose of them the way she likes – she donates lots of good clothes to friends who have family in poorer countries so it seemed like the best idea and I didn’t feel I’d clutter her back with them (and she didn’t feel cluttered either, so 😉 ). The two bags next to them were full of winter clothes I donated to Mongolia. Winters over there are much harsher than here so I’m sure they will find new owners who are happy to use them. The items in the three bags in the middle I am giving to friends, selling or trading in different platforms of the internet. And the last four bags I already brought to the Brocki (charity shop) to make new people happy 🙂

Last week I’ve also sorted out an issue I’ve been having with my scarves: I finally found nice looking and suitable storage containers to put them in and this is what the scarf section in my closet looks like now – much more tidy and just plainly beautiful, don’t you think 🙂 ?

tn_watermarked-scarf box after konmariSo far my closet is still tidy and neat! It takes me a lot of discipline to keep folding the clothes the way I decided to fold them from now on but as so many other people said already before: I take my time doing so and it calms me down, like it’s some sort of meditation 😉 Call it weird if you like, but only if you’ve tried to do so as well and it didn’t work for you 🙂 ! Marie Kondo is right about the effect a tidy place has on you: if you’ve ever experienced how nice it can feel to have a tidy place, you never want to get back to the way it was.

I am happy and proud of myself that after about five weeks my closet still looks beautiful and tidy, even tidier than before since I’ve vamped up the scarf section.

After going through the whole discarding procedure I am also much more aware of what clothes I need, should buy or won’t make me happy anymore. I’ve bought a few pieces for the summer during the past weeks but not so many that won’t fit my closet anymore. I have also found a few pieces where I thought: “…hm, why did I keep them? They actually don’t really make me happy…” and got rid of them as well soon after the purge. It was a joy to discard the downgraded shirts I had used for training sessions and go to a store to buy actual sweat T-shirts instead… I’ve never done that before! I was so much into saving money or using just because you still can, that I didn’t realize some of the clothes I had weren’t making me happy. It is truly much nicer and enjoyable to be surrounded by clothes that bring you joy.

Thank you Marie Kondo ❤

PS: if you’re wondering how I’m keeping up with my closet now after 6 months, go read my newest post about it here.

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23 thoughts on “The Big Closet Purge With The Konmari Method

  1. It’s great to see you getting in line and moving a step towards your goal! Your cleaning process has made me equally happy and I more wanting to stay neat and proper. The effect of tidying up is really cool and it makes you want to stay more tidy. Good luck with that and thanks for sharing! :*

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  2. Wow, what a HUGE accomplishment! I wanted to swim in your clothes and make clothes-angels. LOL! I hope you gave yourself a nice treat afterwards 🙂

    I now also treat my socks with more kindness. I don’t roll them up as I used to since Marie said something to the effect of stretching out their elasticity. Oh and I said “goodbye” to our old house before flying off to Indonesia which is another thing I got from her. I have yet to try the “I’m home!” jingle though. Marie knows how to make it fun 🙂

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    1. Thank you dear Paardje 🙂 Haha, the difference is remarkable although when looking at the pictures some people might not see TOO much of a difference. I guess other people are more radical about it but to me it is already a huge improvement!!! Yes, the socks definetly look happier don’t they :)? I haven’t done that house jingle thing 😉 but I’ve adapted into thanking the items that go to the Brocki – it only feels fair 😉 ! Thanks for your nice comment :)!!!

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  3. Congrats on completing your big closet purge! I also know how hard it can be to let go of certain shirts or dresses, but as you say, it belongs to the ‘past you’ and really has no place or relevance to the ‘present you’. It feels sooooo good to clear out and finally have a tidy space. I hope you rewarded yourself for all your hard work! 🙂

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      1. Aaaah, that’s great Sandy 🙂 How did you get on? I should add a link to a before and after picture of your pantry to the post of influences 😀 Still trying to get on with crafts…^^ Should at least try to start writing the next categories 😉 Thanks for stopping by again, I appreciate it ❤

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  4. It looks great! I just did my closet, and it feels soooo good! Maybe you could use containers on your other shelves to store your folding clothes in the same way that you did your scarves.

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    1. Thank you Tamron 🙂 ! It does make one feel great, doesn’t it? Yes, I was thinking of the same thing! I was thinking of maybe trying to fold the Tees to fit into such a container… I’ll have to go buy some… Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it ❤

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    1. You’re right – when traveling it’s a whole complete different story. I’ve been on the road as well for 14 months and a not-full backpack was more than enough for me. It’s good to make that experience every once in a while – it shows you that you don’t need much to be happy 🙂

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  5. wow, you are really very brave showing the contents of your cupboard on the world wide web!!! i think most people have messy closets from time to time in their lives – or more often, for some of us! 🙂 it is good to declutter though… i like the idea of ‘if it doesnt make you smile, chuck it” – but what if you have too many clothes that make you smile, whats the next step…?? lol 🙂

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    1. Haha, well thank you dear Debbie 🙂 It’s not very brave – I’m not hiding any skeletons in my closet or anything so it’s just basically my mess or how I got rid of much of it 😉 Well, yes, that was my problem – I just had too many clothes that sparked joy 😀 But I keep going back and back and keep chucking more as I then admit to myself that not all of them spark the equal amount of joy… The method is really helping me! 😀 Thanks for stopping by ❤

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