A couple of weeks ago I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo (more on that here ICYMI). The KonMari Method, as MK calls it is a totally new (to me) approach to tidying. MK advises you start with your clothes and so earlier this week I put every single item of clothing that I own in the middle of my living room floor. There was quite a pile, I can tell you.
As per MK’s instructions I went through the pile and item by item asked myself if it sparked joy. If it did it stayed, if it didn’t, well, it was out. For the most part the joy question made for an unequivocal answer either way. I wobbled a couple of times with items that I linked to a particular event, or that had cost a significant amount of money, or were gifts. If you hesitate, MK’s advice is to consider carefully why you have that particular item in the first place. Think about when you got it and what meaning it had, then reassess the role it plays in your life.
So in the case of a dress that made me hesitate, it was bought to wear when I was giving an important presentation at work and cost quite a lot of money but I’ve never worn it since. To MK’s way of thinking the dress has fulfilled its role in my life, as she says not all clothes have come to us to be worn threadbare and so I sent the dress happily off to the charity shop where, hopefully, it will be found by someone who will wear it many times.
Once I’d finished I had three bags to take to the charity shop, a couple of things to put on eBay and everything in the list below. The playsuit, dress, boots and shoes from the pictures above, shot in the very early days of Rock My Style, all made it through the does it spark joy test (because, pineapples, obviously!). I haven’t included workout wear, nightwear or accessories aside from bags and shoes, in the list.
10 x dresses (1 x dark denim, 1 x light denim, 3 x floral, 1 x embroidered, 1 x blue lace, 1 x red patterned, 1 x silk patterned, 1 x leopard print)
7 x pairs of boots (2 x wedge trainer boots, 1 x black biker, 1 x black studded heels, 1 x brown suede, 1 x grey heeled, 1 x black suede peep toes)
5 x bags (1 x black leather shoulder bag, 1 x brown leather shoulder bag, 1 x black clutch bag, 1 x grey rucksack, 1 x striped oversized summer bag)
4 x t-shirts (1 x white, 1 x black, 1 x grey, 1 x navy slogan)
3 x jackets (1 x leather, 1 x denim, 1 x khaki army style)
3 x pairs of jeans (1 x dark blue, 1 x vintage wash, 1 x grey)
3 x sweatshirts (1 x dark grey, 1 x light grey, 1 x metallic grey)
3 x pairs of shoes (1 x black and gold flats, 1 x black and gold platform heels, 1 x grey suede heels)
2 x pairs of denim shorts
2 x skirts (1 x midi black leather, 1 x short patterned)
2 x wool coats (1 x wool camel, 1 x wool heritage tweed, 1 x parka)
2 x beachy kaftan type tops
2 x plaid shirts (both red and green)
3 x vest tops (2 x black, 1 x grey)
1 x jumper (lightweight metallic grey)
1 x playsuit (pineapple print)
What I Learned
I have a lot of dresses.
I probably need a few more tops
I buy the same thing over and over again. I knew that, but I hadn’t realised to what extent. This also applies to clothes that don’t spark joy, several, ahem, lightly worn shirts, blouses and maxi dresses were sent to the charity shop.
I try to justify buying the same thing over and over again by picking out tiny things that make one grey sweatshirt different from another grey sweatshirt, but really I’m fooling no one.
Shoes can spark joy even if you rarely if ever wear them.
There are some gaps in my wardrobe, in the shape of a black or grey blazer, a pair of smart trousers, a going out dress, and a cardigan to name but four.
While a higher proportion of items I kept were carefully considered purchases than spur-of-the-moment-buys, I did let go of some items I’d deliberated about for ages and kept some things that were instant purchases. Not massively helpful, however it should be pointed out that I’ve made fewer mistakes recently, but I’ve bought less stuff recently so that’s kind of inevitable.
MK’s definitely on to something. All the clothes I kept are currently either hung up or neatly folded away, a state of affairs that hasn’t happened recently or indeed ever. When I open my wardrobe, even though there’s a lot less in there, I feel happier, less arrgghh-I-have-nothing-to-wear because I genuinely like every single item.
Anyone else going through an Autumnal clear out, whether you’re following the KonMari method or not? How are you finding it? What was the hardest thing to let go of? Anyone gone further than clothing? I’m already feeling a shift in how my home feels and I’m looking forward to applying the same method to everything else in my home, although I’m going to give myself at least a couple of days before I move on to books and papers (next in the MK order of doing things). I have a LOT of magazines.