TACKLING KONMARI CATEGORY 1: CLOTHES
And so the tidying festival begins!
If you hadn’t heard already, my husband and I decided that we would tackle the insanely-emotionally-confronting process of tidying our home. We’ve tried just about everything that you could name, including dropping literally thousands of dollars on housekeeping services. I decided instead to take the “live-your-own-reality-TV-show” approach and hire a KonMari consultant.
Now, KonMari isn’t your normal approach to cleaning. Instead of going room-by-room, the KonMari method advocates cleaning by category. It also treats your home as a feeling member of your family, so the first thing we needed to do was greet the home.
Greeting our home was actually a surprisingly powerful experience. Because of the constant mess and the pressures of having to maintain the home (not to mention the stress of being trapped inside all year), we mostly treated our house with resentment. Taking a moment to be mindful and grateful for our home reminded me of all the blessings we had. It’s not perfect, but our little house has been very good to us. After all, my son was born here!
Surprisingly, it made tackling the next step much easier, and much less emotionally charged.
ALRIGHT…NOW THE CLOTHES.
So remember I said we tidy by category? The first KonMari catergory is clothes. That means that you go get ALL of your clothes–like, every loose sock, every jacket from the car, the shirt from the Zoom corner–and you pile it all together in one space. Yeah, it’s exactly as WTF as it sounds. And don’t try to cheat. Michelle, our KonMari consultant, actually made me take the phone into the empty closet so she could see that we’d really removed everything.
The pile makes you confront how much you really own. And we had a LOT of fricking clothes.
After you pile up everything you have in that category, you handle each item and ask “does this spark joy?” In order to identify what that feels like, you start with three to five items that are an obvious yes. I grabbed a dress from Bali, a super cozy pair of sweatpants, a pair of dress pants that look really awesome on my butt, and a sexy, lacy bra. Those are clothes that kind of just light me up when I wear them (or even when I touch them). That’s the feeling that you’re checking for when you pick up each item in your home.
If you don’t have a big family or lots of clothes, it may not take you very long to KonMari. For us, going through our clothes, plus the kids’ clothes and Damany’s photography wardrobe actually took several sessions. It was a little easier since I had attempted to KonMari on my own before. However, actually getting the clothes out of the house was another process entirely.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAUNDRY…FOUR MONTHS LATER
Honestly, as much work as this was, it made life much, much easier to know where all the clothes are and where they live. I still say I think we have way too many clothes. But I really love mine, and I’m much more mindful about the clothes I buy now. The laundry still gets out of control, but what I’ve noticed is that it’s easier to put everything away once it’s done. There’s also a lot less “unfinished business”–that is, not as many clothes that need to be fixed, dry-cleaned or given away, which brings a different level of ease to putting them away.
So I finally made it through the KonMari clothes category! I’ll update soon with a link to category two (books).