When The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up made the New York Times best seller list, I checked it out from the library, read a chapter, turned it in again. My closets were crowded, disorganized, dusty, and a little depressing; but Kondo’s recommendations weren’t for me. Too strange, dense and time-consuming.
This year Kondo published a comic book version, which got rave reviews. Parents reported teens cleaning out closets.
Thinking this might be helpful for our adult children (who are fairly tidy and don’t live with us), I bought it. And read it in one sitting.
Then I headed to the closet.
Here’s Kondo’s method:
Sort one category at a time.
Pile up everything you own in one category. All of it. If it’s clothes, that means every scarf, winter coat, every pair of underwear, stockings, everything.
Pick up each piece. Hold it close. Does it make you feel good? If not, set it aside for the Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul or your local used clothing store. Someone would like that whatever it is, and you are keeping them from having it.
There were clothes in my closet I was hanging on to — because they rocked in 1999? There was stuff I occasionally made myself wear because it was in my closet.
On the other hand, a scarf I’d never worn made me tear up. It belonged to my Mother who died in 2001. It smelled like her. Save.
Most of what you keep can be folded. Properly folded clothes stand up on their own:
Hang only things that should obviously be hung, long to short, left to right.
Thank the things you’re giving away for their service. It makes it easy to let go.
It is tempting here to pontificate about the success and stuff, consumerism, waste — but I won’t. This is simple, powerful, fun. If you don’t mind reading young adult comic books and if your closet, jewelry box, tool box or bookshelf is tottering/towering/haunting you — I recommend.
Marie Kondo’s books are available on her website and on Amazon.
Thank you Ray for the header photo.