Spring Cleaning the Physical Space: How to KonMari Your Closet

I was a fan of Marie Kondo long before the Netflix show.

Ever since my dad handed me the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I became obsessed with the idea of a clutter-free, tidy space.

I've watched dozens of people declutter their homes and create a fresh start through the KonMari method. I've even thought about becoming a consultant and official tidier through Marie Kondo's conferences. But as much as I've decluttered over the years, sometimes the stuff creeps back in.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I figured out why: I never truly decluttered my space using her method. I took the bits and pieces of the process that I liked. Threw some clothes in a basket and called it a day. But I was nowhere near that "minimalist" closet I used to strive for (more on that later).

So here is personal documentation and a guide of how to use the KonMari method, specifically in the first category she suggests to declutter: clothing.

Tweet this: Now I have the KonMari bug. Thanks @Rosie

The process

Bring everything from the category you are decluttering into one space. I pulled every piece of clothing out to dump on my bed (including boxes of clothes and items on hangers). Take in the size of your pile. Mine was... bigger than I thought it would be. It was interesting to see everything I owned, piled together. The photo below isn't even half of it.

Now to begin decluttering. Pick up an easy item, something you know sparks joy (this varies from person to person - I would define it as something that you pick up and instantly feel a rush of warmth or affection or even excitement for a time when you could next wear that item). Use this initial feeling as a basis for how you will know when to part from something because it does not spark joy.

For items that don't spark joy: thank them, fold them, and gently place them in a designated pile for donations or trash, depending on the condition of the item.

During my declutter, I also added the element of trying on the piece. I'm very much a visualizer and a feeler, in that I want to know what a piece looks like on me and how I feel wearing it. Sometimes this isn't the best method, because the item may need to be styled in order for it to spark joy. Or maybe you become ruthless due to a negative body image taking over your mindset and you just want to get rid of everything. So I suggest finding what works for you.

Look through the pile and keep only what sparks joy. Some people feel ridiculous asking themselves what "sparks joy". Others are all for it. If you're more analytical, focus on a checklist of your own creation and run through it with each piece - does the piece have any unfashionable rips on it? Does the item still fit? Is it functional for your day-to-day? When was the last time you wore it? What memories are attached to the piece (and are they good or bad)?

Be thorough and honest with yourself. Take frequent breaks! There is such a thing as decision fatigue. When you're getting tired, cranky, or even hungry, stop and refresh. Work on something else and come back with fresh eyes. This will stop you from getting rid of something you may actually find you want to keep.

Fold. There's a lovely infographic below (credit goes to Juju of Juju Sprinkles) about how to fold your clothes, KonMari style. This folding style isn't for everyone, however, I can attest to it has helped me see what I have available to wear in my closet (because I am such a visual person) and avoid purchasing duplicates.
Can we take a moment to appreciate this awesome graphic by Juju of Juju Sprinkles. She demonstrates how to fold these clothes so well. If you're still having trouble, make sure to check out the vast array of folding videos on YouTube.

What I discovered about myself through this process

1. I have A LOT of clothes.
Here I was, thinking I was living a minimalist lifestyle - at least not by definition of some. You can imagine my shock when I saw the big mound of clothing on my bed that leaked onto the floor. However, I don't think minimalism is about owning less than thirty items of clothing. It's about owning what's essential for ME and my life. So it's not about the number but A) how I feel wearing the clothes I own and B) I actually wear the clothes and use them.

2. I like that I own a lot of clothes.
There are options for every one of my moods - whether I want to go monochrome or bright yellow, edgy or sweet. I like that I can create a variety of different styles for a variety of different events. Right now in this phase of life, I'm not worried about narrowing down to the bare essentials or cultivating a capsule wardrobe (though someday I would love to experiment with that). My current focus is on having fun with what I wear, even if it's just a touch out there and doesn't follow the trend.

3. I plan on buying more secondhand clothes.
There's something thrilling to me when I find a piece that screams to my soul - especially if I had to dig through items covered in cat hair to get to it. You know, those items that fit you in all the right places and are all the right colors and you're already creating an outfit around it. The pieces that you can't wait to take home, wash, and wear every day. (There's another definition of sparking joy for you.)

Just talking about it makes me want to share, so here are some of my favorite thrift finds:

Every time I wear these pants, I get complimented on them. There's just something about them that improves my mood and boosts my confidence.

I definitely have a thing for black and white. The material of this shirt is so lightweight, perfect for summer.

I have come to accept that one can be minimal and still own a lot of stuff. It's about being intentional and looking at what you use and continuing to refine what you own.

What do you think? Is there a cap on minimalism? Is there a certain number to hit before one can consider themselves minimal? Are you going to declutter your clothing or have you already done this? Do you prefer tidiness or a little bit of freedom in your space?

1 comment :

  1. I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THIS POST. o-o I definitely relate to the decision fatigue thing... Ugh. It happens to me all the time. -.- And I love how you wrote about keeping things that bring you joy. I don’t have a lot of clothes but I already want to get rid of the ones that I just get tired of looking at. I feel like this can also apply to the other miscellaneous things that I keep because I’m #sentimental.

    Your “blogger voice” inspires me. <3 I can’t wait for more. ;)

    Your obsessed pizza-lover,


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