Closet Chronicals

Thoughts About The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Last year, before I became aware of Mari Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I started reducing my wardrobe and attempted to build a small capsule collection. I’ve discussed my purchases ever since this blog started, but these haven’t always been successful.

Regardless, I thought I did a good job during this process, picking only the clothes I was likely to wear.

After reading about the KonMari method, my road to build my capsule collection took another twisty turn. Let’s discuss.

I commute to work, and a about a month ago I ran out of audiobooks and noticed that TLCMOTU (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for short) was a bestseller. I thought, why not? I could use help getting more tidy. I mean, really, who wouldn’t?

Reading It

Generally, while I really like the KonMari method itself, I found reading the book to be both super motivating and super dull. I struggled to stay totally focused as I listened to it, but at times I had to pause it and spend some time driving quietly just to reflect on a particular point. I imagine reading the book, rather than listening to it, might make it a little easier. Some of the discussion about folding was totally lost on me.

Contemplating It

Certainly, I felt incredibly motivated to start tidying up every time my commute ended. However, I think that the stress on imagining your life in that space before beginning the process was very important to me. I actually found this quite challenging, and for a while I really felt at a loss. The moment I finally nailed it down, though, I started feeling a real sense of purpose and calmness. It’s as if I could finally relax because I knew where I was headed.

Hm. Lots of driving metaphors today…

Attempting It

Initially I set a date to being my tidying process, but I’ll be honest, that changed when I bought a new bowl. Really, the bowl matched my ideal lifestyle, but I couldn’t find a place to put it, which started a chain of events that led me to feel that I just had to start the processes.

I collected boxes and bags, searched the house for all my clothes… and dove into it.

Seen in this pile: my wedding dress. It has since been donated. I love my wedding day memories, but I just didn’t know what to do with that dress.

Lessons Learned

  • While I already had a limited amount of clothes, placing all of them on the floor left me with a real sense of awe and shock. I can see why this process leaves quite the impression.
  • Seeing my discard pile it dawned on me that I really wasn’t that successful in purchasing only things that I loved. I bought a surprising amount of duds that I kept because I felt that I just needed clothes. It was painful seeing how many of these items just didn’t spark any joy, but focusing on the items that do bring me joy helped.
  • Only keeping things that sparked joy really helped me nail down my current personal style and shopping preferences. I really struggle when making a purchase because, as it turns out, I don’t like most trendy things. It also occurred to me that a part of what brings me joy is the story behind the piece of clothing. Hence, a new focus on ethically made quality clothing emerged, and was honed.
  •  There were some things that the author suggested us reader do that I thought sounded silly. I am not very likely to thank my clothes, but I did attempt removing the content of my bag each day when I arrived home. At first, it seemed cumbersome. After a few days I realized how much I liked it! I have only three bags, so rotating them seems simple, but I tended to stick to one (Hermes Picotin MM) for a while. Taking out the content of my bag allows me to make a conscious choice about what bag I truly need that day. I love it.
  • Finishing a category made me feel really pleased and relaxed. Yeah, it’s not surprising I feel joyful when surrounded by the clothes I truly love. Looking at you, Brora cardigan and Small Trades shirt!
  •  I’m not following the book perfectly. When faced with the idea of sorting my books next, I didn’t feel quite ready. I’m really attached to my books, so I dove into organizing my kitchen instead. At least a little. Books are next on the list.
I kept the pieces I liked, and donated a lot of IKEA kitchenware. It was super useful when we just got married, but now I prefer handmade pottery so much more.

So, What’s Next?

Books! I will be tackling those in about two weeks, I think. The school year will be over, and I can go through them more purposely  – though not slowly so as to avoid reading them as I go. I am committed to this process, and I foresee a marathon of discarding and keeping coming up soon.

Have you read this book or tried the KonMari method? What did you learn during the process? Please share in the comments below 🙂


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