Now, I am not a naturally organized person - far from it. I've learned over the years that the more detailed the system, the less likely I am to stick to it. Which is why, for instance, my tax file is a large picnic basket into which I throw all bills, papers, receipts, etc. that I might need by April 15. "But Julia," I hear you say, "It must take you forever to get all that in order come tax-time." The answer is yes, it does take quite a few hours of sorting and entering into a spreadsheet for my accountant. However, it took longer the years when I would sort my bills, papers, receipts, etc. into pre-labeled folders for one month, after which they were left strewn about the house until I started having panic attacks in March.
All of which is to say I was happy to let the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up pass me by. But no more! Yes, friends, I have seen the light, and Konverted. (Okay, that was a horrible pun.) I was following along in one of the blogs I mentioned yesterday as the blog author (blogther?) cleaned out and organized her closets the KonMari way. That doesn't look too complicated, I thought. So I checked out the book and read it.
One of Kondo precepts struck a chord with me right away. Her goal is not to teach you how to buy and use better storage systems; it's to get rid of enough stuff so the storage you have works. To achieve this, you don't pick what you're going to throw away. You choose what you want to keep - those things that "spark joy" in you. I decided to translate that into clothes I always felt good in, the items I got compliments on when I wore them, or the outfits I would put on and say to myself, "Damn, girl, you look good."
I wish I had thought of the blog and taken snaps when I sorted my closet! However, I've created a photojournalistic account of KonMari'ing one drawer - my black, gray and white summer things. (The book says take ALL your clothes out before you sort, but there was no way I was going to take two days to collect everything including the winter things in the attic. I'm quite comfortable with doing it a bit at a time.)
Here's my drawer before KonMari - not too bad, if you ignore the fact it's in my bathroom because my bedroom dresser was too full...
I took everything out and dumped it on the bed. The book says to put it on the floor, but I think maybe that's a cultural thing? Or maybe Marie Kondo doesn't have two cats who would eagerly walk all over her clothes and then lie down on them.
So the technique is to pick up each item and see if it sparks joy. My daughters (who believe me, could both use a heavy dose of KonMari in their rooms, which by the way they refused to let me photograph for the blog) pointed out no one's underwear sparks joy. (Well, not the stuff you actually wear throughout the day. There are a few specialty items...) But there's nothing wrong with choosing to keep things that have utilitarian value. I kept several long-sleeve undershirts because they keep me warm in my drafty house during the winter, and that sparks joy.
As you sort, Kondo says to give thanks to the clothing you're letting go, and to acknowledge the item has done its service to you. Since I, unlike Kondo, am not a practitioner of Shintoism, I chose to think about the people who might benefit from my donations. (My church sponsors a "St. Elizabeth's Pantry" for non-food items, and my town has a Community Clothing Closet - both of which are open to anyone who walks in.)
The Shih Tzu is of course optional to the KonMari process.
And here's my drawer after. You can't quite see it, but there's empty space in the back! Kondo instructs one to fold clothing in a very particular way, and I was too lazy to watch the folding videos on YouTube. So I rolled my shirts and sweaters like I would when packing a suitcase.
The final result: these are the clothes headed for the donation boxes! Obviously, that's from my closet and my dresser, not just the one drawer... Around October, I'll bring down the winter clothes and take another crack at them. Meanwhile, I have yet to start the next phase of the decluttering and organizing: books. I expect that will be much harder than clothing. I'll keep you posted.
So tell me, dear readers, have any of you KonMari'd? How do you like to organize?