lifestyle

Marie Kondo

I’ve skimmed Marie Kondo’s famous The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I’m sure you’ve at least heard of it as well. The practice called the KonMari Method is (very, very basically) about methodically going through belongings and cutting back on anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” I love the idea and I’m constantly trying to pare back on what I have, with more or less success.

Now that she has a show on Netflix, it’s taking off like wildfire again. I watched a couple of episodes one night when I couldn’t fall asleep and nearly jumped off the couch at 2 am to start going through my drawers. I have a few issues with the show (the use of “babe” in the first episode nearly drove me mad) and I’m not sure you really need to watch more than one episode to really “get it.” I didn’t find it particularly entertaining– instead, more inspiring and perhaps even eye-opening. (If you’ve watched the entire series and think otherwise, let me know… I’m obviously judging it on the three episodes I watched and can’t speak for the whole thing.)

It’s funny because even before knowing about the method, I basically did my own version of it. Namely, when I switch my closet over between seasons (twice a year for cold and warm weather), I take everything OUT for the big switch. As I’m putting away clothes from the previous season, I take things out that I haven’t worn, don’t love anymore, or for any other reason just don’t want to bring it into the next year and sort it out for donations and giving away to friends or selling to a second-hand site (usually through ThredUp because it’s just so simple). And I do the process again as I’m putting away the new season’s clothes: as I hang everything up, I try to figure out what I don’t need anymore or don’t love. I’m always surprised that certain things still slipped through the cracks or that my preferences change even with just six months in between.

(Here’s a video where I walk through the process.)

I also did a bigger version when I packed up my Connecticut apartment to move to Hoboken.

This has always worked for me and I can’t imagine how much “stuff” I would have accumulated had I not been in the practice of this. Especially as a blogger when stuff is flying into my apartment whether I like it or not and when sharing what I wear is part of my job.

like clothes, but I don’t love them. I think if I weren’t a blogger and found myself going into an office every day of the week, I would have a very basic “uniform” that I would wear every day. Judging from my closet and what I tend to buy frequently (ahem, too often) it would be white button downs + black pants + black ballet flats and a grey sweater and jeans for days of leisure.

As I went through the process, I found that I had a WAY HARDER time letting go of books than I did my clothes. Books, I love.

KonMarie Method

What I like about the method though is that it’s one-size-fits-all BUT with personalized outcomes. It’s not about being completely minamilist– if that’s not what you like. It’s not about having a sterile house or a boring closet (unless that’s what makes you happy), it’s about keeping and surrounding yourself with things that you like and then allowing that to dictate your space. But at the end of the day, it gives everyone control over their space… and then their lives (which sounds like a stretch, but it’s something I believe in and it definitely was demonstrated on the show).

Even though I wasn’t ready for my seasonal switch of my closet this weekend, I decided to tackle it. At the very least, I knew I’d be taking everything out to refold which would result in a much more organized bedroom. I ended up with two garbage bags of donations, which felt pretty shocking considering I felt like I just did one a few months ago. I really tried to channel my inner Marie Kondo as I held each item to see if it “sparked” something in me. What I found was that I was much more inclined to feel a moment of “Oh, I remember not liking how this shirt tucked into skirts” or “Ugh, the waistband of these jeans are really itchy and I always end up wearing a different pair.” Toss, toss.

I had to improvise on her folding technique a little bit as apparently, my drawers aren’t deep enough for thirds. (Folding into quarters makes it small enough to fit inside so I can close them.) This is how I’ve always folded clothes for my drawers so I could see everything, but I tried to be more methodical and patient and ~appreciative~ of my clothes as I folded, just like Marie Kondo. I did turn on an audiobook while I did this process and just fell into a nice, relaxing rhythm.

Marie Kondo

I still have to do dresses and coats (dreading my coat closet, to be honest) and I will say, I liked doing everything by sections (sweaters then pants then shirts) because it made me feel more productive and made the task seem more manageable, too.

While I still plan on doing this bi-yearly, I think I’m going to incorporate a third wave of it at the beginning of each year like I just did. Here’s why:

Last year, I decided to challenge myself to not buying new clothes. It started off as a one-month challenge and then I pretty much kept it up through the first quarter of the year. I found that it’s way easier for me to resist buying new things January-March when it’s still very cold and very winter-y and that I have a bigger weakness for summer clothes and holiday-specific items. Even just knowing that from last year is helping me this year. (For example, I know a sundress brings me more joy than even a cute sweater… so I’d rather wait.) I was pretty good about the year overall, especially considering past behavior, and I think I can be even better this year.

Going through my closet this past week showed me what I do not need more of AND I was reintroduced to some old favorites, which will be helpful for putting together outfits. Since I tend to wear the same things, those favorite items were at the front of my drawers (since they were being put away more frequently) and then they’d be top of mind because they were right there when I opened the drawer the next day. I shuffled some things around so other items (that I still like!) get some airtime too.

I still have the rest of the apartment to go through, but the closet is my biggest obstacle right now!! Mostly because the closet is our only form of storage for the most part. We don’t really have space for anything besides clothes, haha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

29 Comments

Lien

Agree with you on not needing to watch the whole series, which I did (to see if I would learn anything new/just to be aghast at all the things people have as a somewhat minimalist). I’m glad that Marie Kondo got such a big platform to inspire people to purge/pare down though. I didn’t love how people’s drawers looked folding their clothes via her method, but I love yours! (Must be because your wardrobe has a color theme :))

Reply
Kristin

I LOVE your drapes!! Can you share where you got them? They are so sweet and charming!

Reply
Irene Tjia

I’ve been really into KonMarie for a while but started to accumulate a lot of stuff again recently. My space feels more cluttered and that definitely affects my stress levels. Feeling inspired to get things sorted again, thank you for this post Carly! xx

Reply
Juliana Grace

I am so obsessed with Marie Kondo. I have started watching her Netflix show, Tidying Up, and I keep saying that I want one of her! She is like the cutest little person to have around haha!

I love her method and how simple it is. During the Spring I always take one category a day for about a week. I can’t tell you how wonderful it always feels to rid my space of things I never use, wear, etc.. LOVE her!

Great post Carly! Keep up the great work!

xoxo,
Juliana Grace | http://www.julianagraceblogspace.com

Reply
Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

I finally got around to reading her book at the beginning of last year because I was curious about what all the hype was about. After reading the book, I understood why there was so much hype, but personally I felt like it was a bit repetitive and could have delivered the same message in say, a blog post. I mean, I still enjoyed it though! When I heard that the Netflix show was coming out, I felt neutral, but then I watched the trailer and it kinda reminded me of Queer Eye, which I love, so I’m going to be giving it a go! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

Reply
Malinda

I find the show very soothing, even though it is pretty repetitive. I watched a few episodes on Sunday night and it was a great way to relax and get rid of the “Sunday Scaries” before the work week ahead. It totally makes me want to clean out my closet too!
Cheers,
Malinda
https://www.pearlsandpinot.com/

Reply
Danielle

I felt exactly the same way about the show! I love Marie as a person and it was so inspiring to watch the transformations but other than that it’s a little dull. I personally started going through everything in my house after watching a Youtube video by the channel Pick Up Limes… you might like her series on minimalism and lifestyle! She references the KonMari method in her videos.

Reply
Ashley W

Thank you!! I knew I couldn’t be the only one cringing every time the Friends said “babe.”

Reply
Kelli Creech

I really also recommend the book “A Simplified Life” by Emily Ley. I read it December 2017 and it also sparked a great clean-out. I really believe in her motto of “best, favorite, necessary” and use it all the time. It even works as you’re shopping! I hope you enjoy!

Reply
Keri Chaves

I love this Carly! I, too, just watched the first episode of the show and found it inspiring, but mainly loved that she didn’t push the minimalist thing so much, but rather what sparked joy. I also learned the folding in thirds for the drawers thing from you so was excited to see that on there and say “I already knew that” haha.

Reply
Gabbie

I’m about halfway through watching the series and while I don’t think you need to watch it all to understand the principles behind her methods, I do love hearing each person/family’s story and seeing the different things that spark joy in different people.

Reply
Crystal Konz

I am SO glad I wasn’t the only one whose buttons were being pressed with “Babe” in the first episode. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. I, too, found that every episode was far too similar, not much entertainment factor to it.

Reply
Elisabeth

I haven’t had a chance to watch the show yet or even read the book as I already do this on a regular basis. I always feel good after sorting and giving things away. That was my to-do list during the holiday so I could start the year off on a good foot.

Reply
Kristen from Pugs & Pearls

Marie is a little whimsical for me, but I do really appreciate the method! Her book had some really good tips, like organizing in a way that was easiest to put away-rather than to pull out.
The folding technique is great and I love how I can see everything filed in the drawer!
If anything it’s a great idea to reacquaint yourself with what you own!
And I’m totally with you on the babe thing! The show did inspire me to take another look at my kitchen and office, places I had already de-cluttered. I definitely found more things to get rid of!

Reply
Kim

Hi Carly,

Thanks for this post. Just wanted to point out it’s actually called the KonMari method (versus KonMarie).

Reply
Allison

I am WITH YOU on the “babe” thing in episode 1, I thought it was intentionally played out as a joke

Reply
Libby

What a great way to start the new year. When I moved from MN to NJ, I only brought what I could stuff in the back of my car, so I did a similar thorough clean out, and it felt great. But, I feel like I have accumulated A LOT of stuff since being in NJ, so time for another deep clean..maybe with this method!
https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com

xoxo Libby

Reply
erin

i’m slowly, but surely, going through my apartment, too. i’ve been wanting to purge for a while and i do think my BF and I are pretty good at it but we could be better!

i so feel you on the summer clothes > winter clothes — it’s probably why i have like, 7 sweaters v 15+ pair of fun shorts!

Reply
Cassie F

I love your modified version of the KonMari method. The idea of putting all my clothes in one giant pile is honestly terrifying, but I like how you did it in sections. I feel like your way makes it so much more manageable.

Reply
Anna

Like you I do a bi-yearly cull. And lately I’ve been getting rid more clothes than I accumulate.
The most useful thing for me from the show was some folding, organizing tips for different areas of the house.
One thing I don’t like is that her folding technique is only geared towards dressers+ drawers. In Greece we are more of shelves persons!

Reply
Emily

I watched the whole series, and I think it’s helpful to do so because she addresses different areas of the house/categories in each episode (and gives great folding hacks).

Reply