I recently discovered the easiest way to clean out your closet, thanks to an interesting article about a Japanese organizational method called KonMari. I’ve read dozens of articles on cleaning out your closet, very few of which have inspired me to actually take action. But this one resonated with me for some reason and I went home and looked at my closet (and the rest of my tiny apartment) in a new light.
I realized when I moved in a year ago, I lugged a ton of stuff from my previous apartment without stopping to evaluate whether I needed everything I was packing up. Dresses I’d only worn once, shoes that had seen better days, apartment knick-knacks that felt more like clutter than decor… Honestly, I probably only needed half of what I mindlessly brought into my new space. And when you’re living in 400 square feet with one closet, that extra fifty percent of stuff makes a pretty big difference.
The KonMari method, founded by Marie Kondo, is simple but effective: you keep the items that “spark joy” and eliminate the ones that don’t. It’s not some taxing twelve-step program to closet recovery; you simply weed through your closet asking whether each piece makes you happy. And because Marie believes that clothes have energy, you have two easy choices: either keep a piece because it brings you joy or say “thank you and goodbye” to a piece you can donate. Thanking my donate pile felt a little bizarre at first but it actually made me feel less guilty about getting rid of items that don’t fit or don’t make me feel good about myself.
The result? I filled three boxes with clothes and shoes that went straight to the Goodwill in my neighborhood. Among the things I parted with: a dress I haven’t fit into since high school, a pile of blogger gifts that never fit to begin with, jeans that I’d accidentally had hemmed too short, and at least three shirts with billowy sleeves that I don’t know why I ever bought because they made me feel huge when I put them on. (Note to self: put down the billowy blouse.) I culled my closet into an assortment of items I actually wear and rediscovered more than a few old favorites in the process. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it was to purge the items that were weighing me down and how nice it is to space out the hangers in my closet so I can actually see what I own. Even if most of the pieces that spark joy for me are all blue, white, and striped. 😉
I’m now totally sold that this is the easiest way to clean out your closet and can’t wait to apply the same thinking to other corners of my apartment, starting with the drawers in my kitchen. Would you try the KonMari method to clean out your closet? (I really recommend it!) What other methods have worked for you?