About a month ago, I told you that I was committing to the KonMari method from Marie Kondo. I have read and reread her first and second books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. I have completed the first two steps of the KonMari method and am in the middle of the third step. For the first step, I went through every item of clothing I own and reorganized my entire closet and wardrobe in one weekend. For a few weeks, I was forced to temporarily store my empty plastic bins in our closet. I had previously used these bins to switch between summer clothes and winter clothes, but now every item of my clothing has a place either hanging in my closet or folded neatly in my dresser.
Quick Before & After pics to entice you
The start with, I was encouraged to dump all of my clothes in one place. I could not realistically do this with every item of clothing I owned, as I had way too many, so I split everything up based on the order KonMari recommends. You can find yourself some lovely checklists that people have put together and use that as a resource if you so desire.
- Underwear (socks, bras, underwear, lingerie)
- Accessories (scarves, hats, gloves, belts, purses)
- Gym / Swim
- Costumes and super fancy clothes
Then I went through the joy check and said goodbye to numerous items of clothing. I released myself from the need to hang onto old clothing “just in case” it fits again soon. I said goodbye to many older garments that I wore so often they were now worn and tattered and beyond reasonable repair. I allowed myself to discard any items that I didn’t feel were “me.” I realized that I kept my most colorful clothes, finding joy in the neon yellow dress and the boldly colored maxi dress. The clothes that I love portray my personality well.
Sunk Cost Fallacy
After I went through my closet, I immediately donated 5 trash bags of clothing and accessories. I found myself hanging onto one plastic bins’ worth of clothing of “nice clothes” that I had hardly or never worn in hopes that I would sell the clothing items. I felt guilty, like I had to recover the money I lost by selling an item for less than half of what it was worth.
I read a fascinating article by an economist who discusses the KonMari method in more practical terms. If you are the kind of person who prefers logic over emotion, I recommend you read this article. This portion of the article in particular rang very true for me:
Kondo aptly attacks what’s called the sunk-cost fallacy. The term “sunk cost” applies to payments (of time or money) that have already occurred and thus can’t be recovered. The money’s spent, an investment has been made, and it makes people irrational because it seems a waste to not use something that one has poured resources into. The irrationality of this thinking is that people ignore whether an item they own is still useful to them, and whether they’ll actually use or resell it.
The Economics of Tidying Up, The Atlantic
I initially listed a few items casually but never truly pursued it. I’ve decided that for me, selling stuff on Craiglist or similar apps seems like way more trouble than it is worth.
- First, I have to deal with strangers (that’s the clincher) who are in no legal obligation to follow through and pay me what they agreed upon. I learned that the hard way a few years ago.
- Second, I have to meet them publicly in a place that is convenient for both of us, which is a safety concern and time sucker. Honestly, for me, no place is convenient, because it requires me leaving my house. Can you say,
- Third, how much will I realistically profit from selling a second hand object at 50% or less of its original cost? Not enough to pay for my time and effort, that’s for sure.
Donate it, donate it all. This has become my new motto. And/or freely offer it to my husband’s younger sister who just started college in my town and has no spare money to shop. But seriously, I found some satisfaction in searching for a charity that really spoke to my heart, and I donated to them. It made my donation more personal and it made the parting of these “fancy clothes” much easier to bear.
Before and After Pics
Enjoy all the views of my closet. Try not to judge me too much.
Now my husband has his own dedicated space now in the closet, which makes him really happy!
In case you’re wondering…
Is this method practical? It has been several weeks since I cleaned my closet. I have kept my clothing neatly folded and hung up, with all items where they belong. The only thing that temporarily differed from the images I’m displaying were those empty plastic bins that I had to re-home. Now my closet it restored to its full glory, and it feels magnificent.
Are you missing anything you gave away? No, not at all. I can recall some of the items I gave away with fondness, but I would not trade the space I have in my closet to regain those items I gave away. Sometimes I still feel like I have too much. My ability to hone joy is getting better and better.
Do you really follow all of KonMari’s steps? This time I tried to stay as true to her method as possible. There are a few things that I have not yet figured out how to do:
- Find the space to lay my bras totally flat. Right now they’re better off than they were, but not perfect.
- Have my hanging clothes rise to the right. As you can see, the shelves in my closet are located in the back. If I had my clothes rise to the right, the long clothes would block me from getting to my items stored in the shelving.
- Put my dresser inside my closet. Due to the configuration of the built-in shelving and the size of my dresser, I do not believe I can complete this at this time. My goal is to have all of my clothes in my closet at some point in the future.
- We do not have a coat closet. We have a second bedroom with a big empty closet which is close to our front door, so I decided to use this space to hang up our big coats, scarves, hats, and gloves. This has made my closet for every day clothes much more breathable.
Why do you have so many stuffed animals in your closet? KonMari recommends you display the items that bring you joy in visible spaces. When I enter my closet every day, I can’t help but smile when I see my cheerful stuffed animals enjoying their newfound life rather than stuffed away in a bin.
I have made my closet beautiful, and I know exactly how many clothes I own at any given time. I can step into it and breathe deeply and feel a sense of calm and space and order that I’ve never ever felt before. Above all, I am thankful for the things that I have.
Become a Konvert with me, my friend. Get to know this lifestyle of simplicity and joy.
Thank you for reading! If you would like to see how the KonMari method plays out in my life with before and after pictures, please consider subscribing to my blog by entering in your email at the top. Feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have.