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I’ve Kondo’d My Clothes: What’s Left & What I Learned

Author: Miranda Eason

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.

What’s left

  • 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.

    {Contributors}

    Photography: Anna Clarke Photography

    Author
    Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.

    28 thoughts on “I’ve Kondo’d My Clothes: What’s Left & What I Learned

    1. I ‘Kon-Mari’-ed my wardrobe about a fortnight ago, and everything (believe it or not!) is still organised and folded and neat … madness! It makes getting dressed in a morning a crazy amount easier, you’re right I just love all of the things.
      Also it made packing for a weekend away an absolute dream!
      Abel x

      1. I love hearing that the KonMari effect is lasting for you Annabel. I hadn’t even thought about the benefits of packing to go away but looking forward to a calm experience ahead of my next trip instead of rushing around hunting high and low for that one top I know is… somewhere! x

    2. I am going to have a go at this. The only slight problem is that I don’t think any of my clothes spark any joy! For a few years now I have wanted to overhaul my wardrobe and buy some staple items which I love. I’m a lazy shopper and go for the same old. Perhaps now is the time to do it!

        1. For restocking a wardrobe with the missing items, or for an overhaul, I have recently discovered the joy of the free personal shopping services places have. I tried it at debenhams and haven’t looked back. No pressure, keeps you on track and, if you want, they even help you choose between the 4 blue dresses you want so you stay on budget!

    3. I have next week off work and I need to tackle the atrocious mess in my spare bedroom. It is covered in piles of clothes, shoes and books etc. So much so, I can barely even get to my wardrobe – where is the sense in that?! I think I may have to be ruthless. When I have been away on holiday over the last couple of years I have done a great job of planning a capsule wardrobe for the time I am away and felt so much better for the simplicity of it. I need to try and put this into action for everyday life.
      I think the problem is that I end up with so much stuff that the rational side of my brain tells me not to buy anything else and I feel I have to wear my clothes out before buying anything new – whereas if I had less stuff I would be more likely to have the items that bring me joy, and to assess what is not working in the wardrobe. Wish me luck!

      1. Lots of luck Claire, simplicity, owning less stuff and loving what I do have is definitely where it’s at for me RN!

    4. Not clothes (too chicken) but I did tackle the bathroom cupboards and my hair make up product mess and feel a lot better about it?!! Can I have a KM gold star anyway?? ??✨

      1. Absolutely Lucy! Maybe I’ll do hair and make up product mess ahead of books and magazines – definitely a less onerous task for me!

    5. You have inspired me to do this now. I moved recently and thought I did a good purge but I still have a mountain of clothes I hardly wear let alone love.

      1. Yay! I’d say definitely worth doing Caoimhe, my flat already feels different and there’s still lots to let go of, in terms of books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, papers, kitchenware and so on. It’s also making me much more thoughtful in terms of what I plan to buy. I’m determined to not buy a tailored jacket until I find the perfect one!

    6. Love this, you’ve put me in the mood for a big Autumn wardrobe clear out Miranda! I’m pretty good with homeware and beauty products- I had a huge cull before I went travelling last year and was surprised about how little things you actually need/use if you really want to downsize. But I definitely find the wardrobe trickier to cut down- perhaps I’ll try the KonMari method this weekend 🙂 x

      1. Good luck Claire! The whole does it spark joy thing really has made a difference, I’ve let go of things that I’ve been keeping for YEARS!

    7. Next you’ll be doing Project 333-33 items (not including workout, nightwear or underwear for 3 months). I’m doing this Sept-end of Nov and so far so good.
      Also might be an idea to donate bags of clothes to a shop like h&m. You get £5 voucher of a £30 spend with each donated bag. I’ve checked and they resell the clothes if they can or use the material in another way. I was satisfied with the ethics x

      1. I’ve just read up on Project 333 Siobhan, sounds really interesting. I love that it tells you that you can only wear your workout clothing to workout and that you can’t wear PJs to the supermarket! (I’m always surprised when I see people out and out in their PJs, I mean seriously, how hard is it to put on a pair of jeans?!). And thank you for sharing about H&M, sounds like a great initiative. x

    8. I bought the book! Its all in the master plan to declutter the loft. I’ve already capsuled all the wardrobes in the house so we skipped that and went straight to CDs as they are the only thing I think we can actually reach in the loft at the moment. I’ve not quite finished reading it all yet but I love this crazy lady. Anyone who has just extensive chats with her shoes is a star in my eyes. Love both the outfits in the images above Miranda – especially the floral dress. 🙂

      1. She is bonkers, but in the best possible way. Good luck with the CDs Amanda! And thank you, the floral dress is one of my faves!

    9. I need to do this. I love the idea of rating every item of my wardrobe based on the level of joy it gives me. I love clothes so this seems the perfect measure. However I fear a lot of the clothes in my wardrobe right now would be best categorised as joy zappers. Time for a clear out.

      1. It was a surprisingly effective way to finally say goodbye to things that have been cluttering up my closet for years Laura. Good luck with the clear out!

    10. I bought the book after reading the last post on this and did my wardrobe at the weekend; 5 bin bags to get rid of – and to be honest I probably need to do it again as I kept some stuff just so I had something to wear to work… but the difference I feel just walking into my bedroom is huge – so much calmer and I’m sleeping better too. I even did the sock rolling – it’s oddly therapeutic!

      1. It really has made a massive difference to the way my flat feels too Beth (and that’s my whole flat as my clothes were kind of everywhere!). I haven’t done the sock rolling thing yet, a job for the weekend!

    11. I read her book about 6 months ago and have been thinking of it again recently. I’m pretty strict with my clothes in terms of aggressively getting rid of things, but I’ve been trying to persuade my husband (a hoarder!) that we both need to do the KonMarie on our wardrobes at the same time as trying to create a capsule wardrobe. I definitely have things I’m holding on to “just in case” or that are lazy in-a-rut options rather than something I really love!

      1. I have to be honest and say that I held on to a couple of things that come under the just in case heading too Anna and I do worry about her saying to get rid of instruction booklets for all your electricals and so on – I have a drawer full of them!

    12. This is a fantastic idea. I’ve decided this weekend is the one to get ruthless!I moved 4 months ago I made a promise to myself that the wardrobe would stay tidy / organised, of course that hasn’t happened and I hate half of the stuff in it! Great post.

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