“Declutter first” - agreed.
Why would we try to organize stuff that we don’t want, need or wear? Fair.
The [condensed- this is a blog post - her book is 204 pages single spaced.] Konmari Method:
Pull every piece of clothing you own and put it on the bed. Everything. That means every t-shirt, bra, jacket that’s in the front closet, the luggage full of summer clothes, everything goes onto the bed.
Anything not on the bed that you find later gets the axe. #sorrynotsorry
The idea is to clean by category rather than by room. When we clean by room we end up fluttering around the whole house, moving clothing and knick knacks from one space to another. There's a higher chance of getting distracted, never completing a task in full, and by cleaning by category we become aware of how many duplicates we own.
Now. Back to clothes. Which is conveniently Marie's first category. Supposedly the first category to get in the habit of letting things go. We're taught to see clothing as more disposable and so it's easier to let go. -- Which is where Marie and I are starting to shift in perspective.
My experiences making clothes, I do not see clothing as disposable. My clothing is a visual extension of myself and personally, I find it easier to let go of "paper" which is her third category.
In Marie's method, you’re then supposed to go through each garment and touch the item. The items that spark joy for you are the ones you keep, the ones that don’t you donate or toss.
Seems easy enough right?
Again, sorry Marie but no. In this method, you’re looking at each piece as a standalone piece. When was the last time you wore just one piece of clothing as an outfit? Yeah, never.
Every stylist from here till the end of the earth screams that an "outfit" is made up of at least three pieces strategically put together to create a visual representation of you. Or at least, who you want to be today. With the Konmari method, you’re now left with a closet of clothing that I’m sure you love, but that may not work together in a fashionable sense. No idea of the current fit, or how they're going to rationally fit in with your life.
Clothing has two functions. Utility and Self-expression. Your wardrobe needs to reflect both to be functional and work as a tool in your life.
I agree with Marie when she says to bring EVERYthing out and lay it on your bed. You need to be able to see, touch, and experience the clothing you have in front of you.
Now start putting on each piece. Yes. Each piece. This includes bras, jeans, evening dresses. If you want 16 tank tops make sure you want to wear each piece. If you get bored by the 5th or 6th top then you probably don’t need the remaining 10. This is the first indicator that you’re ready to start letting things go.
The way you feel about a certain piece will also change depending on how you wear it. How does the overall look make you feel? What is a a situation in your life that you can see yourself wearing this?
As you remove the item you just tried on, place it into four piles.
HERO pieces << These would be the stars of your outfits. The ones that are harder to pair with other pieces. They could be more extravagant in their shape, texture or have a bigger print.
SIDEKICK pieces << This is where you put your 16 tank tops. The easy to mix and match pieces. Often considered "boring" or "classic" but necessary.
UTILITY pieces << This is where you put your "work" clothes, performance pieces etc. The snow-pants that you wear six times a year but they allow you to go snowboarding which you love.
DONATION pieces << These are pieces that do NOT fit your current lifestyle, body or vibe but are in good enough condition to continue to be worn.
If as you’re working through your closet you’re finding it difficult to make outfits with a garment that you LOVE then either you’ll need to add new pieces to your wardrobe or it’s time to discard the original piece.
3 outfits is my marker for a versatile piece for my wardrobe.
Once you’ve gone through your entire closet like this, then absolutely, let’s get a little woo with Marie and file fold the items that want to be folded. Hang the clothes that want to be hung and organize them “rising to the right.” There is some science that shows that "rising to your right" will encourage the feeling of joy.
The clothes that want to be hung are flowy pieces. These are pieces where the fabrics themselves don't stay folded. Dresses, skirts, some blouses, and sweaters. The pieces that should be hung will be indicated by the annoying strings that are placed in the garment. I know, I know. There's an urge to cut them out but what you can do is cut them out and use a safety pin to put them back in at the end of the night.
These ribbons are put in to protect the garment from stretching out and will extend the overall life of your garment.
The clothes that want to be folded will naturally stay folded. These are your jeans, t-shirts, etc.
PS. No shade to Marie Kondo, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is great with a lot of amazing tips if you're willing to get a little woo.