After reading countless reviews praising “the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo, I found my curiosity aroused to the point where I HAD to read this book. On our recent anniversary trip to Denver, my husband and I visited the Tattered Cover bookstore (AMAZING, by the way), and lo and behold, there was this magical book on the display stand with other books hand-picked by employees at the bookstore. It had a handwritten note underneath saying it was as good as the hype, so I took a leap and bought the book.
Four weeks later, I have not yet finished the book, but I HAVE made huge leaps in decluttering. Kondo’s writing style is conversational, and reading this book is like talking with a friend. She gives recommendations in such a pleasant and helpful manner, I found it difficult to argue with her logic. Her advice is to begin with the things that we have the least emotional attachment to and to move on to those with the most. Using that logic, she recommends starting with clothing. Keep only that which brings you joy, Kondo says and I love that advice! In order to do that, she says I must gather EVERY item of clothing that I own, which means cleaning out all my closets and drawers. When I first read that, I admit, I was about ready to dismiss the book outright, but when I thought more about it, it made complete and total sense to me.
It took me a few days to get myself prepared to actually start the process, but a few evenings after starting the book, I decided to give it a try. I took every item of clothing out of my closet. Quite a pile formed on my bed, but I knew I had more to go. I then emptied the two storage totes with my “winter items” of clothing. Next, I moved on to my dresser. Many of the items in there had not seen the light of day in years. Out it all came! There was a method to my madness. I piled it high on the bed so that I had no choice but to sort through the items before I could get another restful night’s sleep 😉 Here’s what I was left to tackle:
Scary, right???!!! I did as Kondo suggested and held every piece of clothing and as I did so, thought about whether it brought joy to me. Some items had at one point brought me joy, but hadn’t been worn in years; some I had purchased or had been given to me as gifts, but weren’t my style, didn’t fit comfortably and were inevitibly returned to the closet when I tried them on because they honestly did not make me happy with how I looked. They had made their way in and out of my closet, but had never been discarded because I felt as if I shouldn’t get rid of them since I had spent so much money on them or received them as gifts. She has wonderful words of wisdom about these items. They served their purpose and brought me joy when I bought or received them. In doing this, these items have done their job and can now be released to bring joy to someone else. It’s so much easier to let go of anything by looking at it this way. I turned up my tunes, and with a little help from my daughter, whittled down the massive mountain! I thanked the clothes for bringing joy to me and talked to them as I either hung them gently back in my closet, placed them lovingly in my dresser or folded them and placed them appreciatively in the bags that would go on to others who could use them.
While I can’t say that tidying up changed my life, exactly, I will say that I feel a lot better when I step into my closet now. I really love every item inside and find choosing something to wear in the mornings a much easier task than it previously was! Some of the clothes were shared with my daughter, some with my coworkers, some with my sister and my nieces. In each case, I really did discover that there truly is joy in giving and knowing that clothing relegated to the back of the dresser or closet will go on to be something new and fun for someone else.
If you find that, like me, you sometimes look around your house and think that it’s time to simplify, I think you will love this book! I recommend it highly!