A few months ago I was introduced to the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo (referred to as the Konmari Method). I know, I know, everyone knows about this book now, but at the time I thought I found a hidden gem.
If you haven’t heard of the book, it’s basically instructions on how to throw away all your stuff. Okay not everything, but everything that you don’t absolutely love. Then you put everything else away. Now that I’m typing that out, it sounds stupidly simple. But still, how many of us have piles, rooms, houses full of stuff we don’t need. #raiseshand
I was also really inspired by the post my friend Joann wrote about how to create a smaller wardrobe. Girlfriend got down to 26 pieces! #iamnotworthy!
As the book suggested, I started with my clothes. I put every piece of clothing I owned on the floor of my living room.
Yeah, that happened. Not only is that everything from my closet and dresser; it includes my bin of maternity clothes, my bin(s) of “crap these don’t fit anymore” clothes, and every other random stitch of clothing I own that was in some hidey hole somewhere. I found them all.
I even did all of my laundry so no shirt was left behind.
Then, as any self-respecting person would do, I held a contest among my Facebook friends to see who could guess how many articles of clothing I owned. Which meant I had to count them.
I made piles of ten items each, and quickly realized that I
need a larger living room have a serious problem.
The final count was 600.
No person and their mama needs 600 pieces of clothing.
So I started sorting. The Konmari method suggests that you hold each article and decide if it brings you joy. Unfortunately “bringing me joy” and “fitting” didn’t always come together, so I had to use my best judgement.
I started with maternity clothes because I had some that were so hideous it was no trouble at all to put them in the
burn donate pile. The pieces I decided to keep went into a “maternity” bin (now half the size of the one I used to keep maternity clothes in!).
Then I followed the Konmari Method of going through my tops, then bottoms, then clothes that get hung up (jackets, dresses), socks, underwear, bags, accessories, specific clothing (swimsuits, uniforms), and shoes.
I had so many clothes, and I have a really hard time getting rid of things (because shirts clearly have feelings, and dresses hold grudges), so I would purge as much as I could bear, move onto the next category, and then revisit each category.
This occurred over several days, and at one point I had to dump everything that was left into my closet because I couldn’t make another single decision until my brain got a break.
The idea was to get down to a capsule wardrobe of maybe about 50 pieces, but the reality is that my weight has fluctuated a lot, and I plan on one more pregnancy, which means another “transition” period, so I kept more than I wanted to. There will be another purge in the future, for sure.
I ended up with three bins in my garage- one for maternity clothes, and two for clothes I wanted to keep but which don’t currently fit. There are probably approximately 100-150 articles of clothing in those three bins, but the 50 in the maternity bin will eventually be purged for good, and once I fit into the other clothes, I’ll just replace the clothes currently in my closet!
So in my dresser and closet I ended up with:
14 pairs of pants
8 activewear tops/bottoms
91 other (swimsuits, underwear, socks, bras, etc)
and more space to move around!
That’s still a lot of clothes. 212 pieces. With the clothes in the garage, pretending like the maternity clothes are already gone, I got rid of about half of my 600 pieces. Not a bad start, and there will be a second round in the future!
Marie talks about making your closet a place that you love, and a place to keep things that don’t really serve a purpose, but which make you happy. She says to make it your personal shrine. Someday I hope to have a bigger walk-in closet, but this one is pretty good for now!
Everything that I didn’t keep went into bins in my garage and marked for the yard sale of the century (which I’m having in about three years when our youngest child, who is not born nor conceived yet, graduates from the crib and we can get rid of EVERY BABY ITEM WE OWN).
I’m not done. There will be more purging. There will be more shopping (because yolo). But getting 300 pieces of clothing out of my house makes me feel lighter, and I can’t wait to chase that feeling through every room in my house! Books are next.