Monday, October 19, 2015

Talking Strategy

"non-denim pants" = dress pants, khakis, dressier jeggings, etc.

This post is part of a series detailing what I learned from reading Marie Kondo's book TheLife-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and how I'm applying that to creating a simpler, more focused closet of clothing. Check out the "Marie Kondo Monday" tag to see all posts in this series...

In her book, Marie Kondo describes the approach of targeting de-cluttering by category rather than by room as being more efficient and I do feel that she’s spot on with that idea. I have big ambitions to apply her tactics to other types of items in our house to get the full effect of de-cluttering; papers, d├ęcor, beauty products, our entire kitchen just to name a few, but clothing felt like the best place to start. There’s no arguing that I fell into the category of someone who has so much clothing that it needed to broken down into smaller categories to avoid feeling overwhelmed. With that in mind, I created the sub-categories detailed above. I have currently made it through each of those categories, but still have these to go: scarves and belts, purses, and jewelry. This project really is a work in progress! 

That’s a lot of categories, but it’s really the only way it felt manageable. Now Marie Kondo’s rules say to collect every item within that category from all around the house and put them in one place. You’re supposed to then go through these items with no distractions or music even, touching each of your items to see if it “sparked joy”. I made some adjustments to this because not to make excuses, but quiet distraction free time is incredibly hard to come by with a little one around.

So instead I would gather all the items in a sub-category and pile them on the bed in one of spare bedrooms at one time, then come back to the piles to go through them at a time I knew I typically felt most productive: either Jacob’s naptime, in the morning on the days I don’t work until 9am, or a few times at night once Jacob went to bed and I still had some energy. Sometimes I could get through a sub-category all in one shot, many times it took coming back to it several times. But I did it!

I felt very odd following her rule of touching every item to see if it “sparked joy”, but I tried my best and it was helpful. As I was doing this, I tried to keep in mind her explanation that the reason we can’t let something go is contributed to either an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. I get very emotionally attached to my clothing and it was hard to part with something that reminded me of a special time when I wore it. I also had a lot of “what if I want to wear this in 2 months” kind of thoughts, but had to accept that if it had been years since I had worn it, then what makes me think I would suddenly change my mind again over the next few months. So I felt a little cheesy, but I thanked my clothes for the memories they brought me, and threw them in the donate pile. :) If you’re interested/nosy like I am, next Monday I’ll be sharing the numbers so you can see just how many items I got rid of and how many stayed!

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