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On New Year’s Day Netflix premiered the eight-episode series on the virtues of the “KonMari Method” of tidying. A resurgence of the method first outlined in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has begun. The series sparks joy thanks to the transformation and the personality of Marie Kondo and those she helps.
Writing of the lessons learned from reading the book, One Kings Lane Editor, Cate La Farge Summers, summarizes the method:
“First, put your hands on everything you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it.
Second, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back.”
Simple enough, right? In the full article (click here), Cate tells of 8 lessons learned from the book. We think if you take her advice, you will make it through your clothes in no time. And we all know, uncluttered closets look BIGGER!
Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms
I’d always tackled clutter by room—take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category—deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.
Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings
With my eyes now open, I realized my closets had hit rock bottom. Everything had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your hardworking socks really thrilled to be balled up? It had sounded out there when I read it, but suddenly my clothes looked totally miserable.
Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend
As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.
Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good
Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably….Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief—12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.
Lesson #5 and #6: Fold, Don’t Hang
Once you’ve sorted out the things to discard—and only then—you can decide where the remaining things should go. Rather than folded in a cubby or hanging in a closet, Kondo thinks a lot of our clothing would be better off (or as she’d say, happier) folded in a dresser.
Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up (you aren’t jostling a whole pile every time you take something out or put something back). Folded this way, clothing looks like fabric origami, ready to line your drawers in neat rows.
To keep these little folded packages standing at attention in the dresser, try using shoeboxes as drawer dividers. A smaller box is perfect for square scarves, a deep one in the bottom drawer for sweaters.
Lesson #7 and #8: Fall in Love with Your Closet and Rediscover Your Style
You’ll be tackling the next category before you know it. Trust us, your home will photograph and show better…and you will love the way your home feels!
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