The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Part 2: Clothing

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Onto Part 2 of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up series, Clothing!

If you missed the introduction, go here: Introduction


As I mentioned in the original post, Marie Kondo emphasizes the importance of doing the categories in order. I figure after all these years of decluttering. clearly what I am doing now is *not* working for me, so I am ready to try things her way. My room-by-room approach, or bit-by-bit approach was not working. Keeping a continuous donation box was not working, as there was a never-ending stream of things to donate, yet I was still tripping on the clutter. For someone who works so hard to eliminate clutter, I sure spent a *lot* of time cleaning up stuff. 

I decided to follow her book by the letter, and begin with clothing. This was tricky, as anyone with children knows, there is clothing all over the house in various stages of cleanliness and repair. There was dirty laundry, clean laundry, and mending. There were winter clothes and summer clothes, the latter of which was still packed away. True to Kondo’s method, it is necessary to bring ALL the clothing together and tackle it all at once. So I got the laundry caught up, sorted through the mending basket to determine what was worth mending and what wasn’t, and hauled out the seasonal clothing.

I started with my own clothes. Kondo believes you shouldn’t attempt to KM (KonMarie, a descriptive term for her method) anyone else’s things until you have done your own. So I did my closet and my drawers, and satisfied with the results, I moved on to the kids’ clothes.

my drawer
This is Marie Kondo’s folding method. This in itself is worth the price of the book! She believes in storing clothes vertically.

Kids’ clothes:

Pretty thinned out, we made a list of what she needs to fill the gaps.
norah's drawer
My daughter’s pyjama drawer. See how much easier it is to see what she has with this folding method?
Once clothing was done we decided to go ahead and clean up the rest of the room – much better!
The boys share a closet – the youngest gets the left side, and the oldest gets the right. Much easier to make decisions with fewer choices!
Now they can choose a t-shirt without taking them all out! My oldest boy needs a few more t-shirts.


After that, we tackled outerwear, which is the only part of clothing that I switch out seasonally. Kondo advises you not to pack away seasonal clothing, but rather to leave it all out. She believes that clothes packed away when out of season are forgotten about, become musty, and often end up getting replaced accidentally. By keeping ALL your clothing out, it stays active, and you don’t forget about it. I decided to follow her advice for coats – since we don’t really wear coats in the summer, it was really just our winter and spring/fall coats, so I decided to purge those and then store them all in the hall closet. After we were finished discarding, there was plenty of room in the closet for all of our coats. No need to pack them away. Hooray! One less storage bin needed. 🙂


Next up was shoes/boots. Since there are four of us, and seasonal footwear is pretty distinctive, I decided to pack away the winter boots and only keep out the spring/summer/fall footwear. We are limited on space for footware storage, so I made this compromise. I also packed away the winter hats/scarves/mitts (after discarding), and swapped them out for sun hats/sunglasses, etc. I may change my mind on this, but for now, packing them away works for me.

Need to fill some gaps for those who outgrew shoes this year!

I managed to purge 3 garbage bags of clothing/footwear. This was after multiple decluttering sessions, including a fairly recent one where I thought I was being thorough! Clearly I was not thorough enough. By following Kondo’s method of only keeping items that *spark joy*, I was able to release a lot more. For myself, it was clothes that werent flattering or didn’t fit properly. Or clothes that I *thought* I should wear, but just weren’t me. For the kids, it was stuff that was uncomfortable for them to wear, or clothes that didn’t fit our clothing ethics (no tv characters, no synthetic fabrics, no “billboard sayings” on children’s shirts, etc.). Also, the kids tend to wear their favourites over and over again – things that are comfortable and easy to pull on. Out went the jeans, the clothes with finnicky buttons and zippers, the clothes that drove my sensory-sensitive daughter crazy – anything that itched or dug into her skin, out it went.


The end result was that we were left with very little clothing. But, realistically, those were the clothes we were wearing anyway! They were just buried with all the mis-fits. We made a list of what we were lacking by the time all was said and done, but for the most part, I am thrilled with the results! I believe the laundry will now stay under control, the only clothes in our closets and drawers are things that are comfortable and that we enjoy wearing. I declare that a success!

Read Part 3 here.

Read Part 4 here.

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