If you, like us, spent your entire winter bundled up inside watching Netflix, you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo, the bubbly, magical host of the streaming site’s new hit show Tidying Up, wherein people ranging from messy to downright hoarders are tasked with cleaning up their homes and, therefore, their lives. It’s fun to watch, especially because you get to see the always exciting before and after shots of messy and clean homes, and even more especially because you’re not the one doing the work (of course).
We mentioned Marie Kondo in another of our recent posts for obvious reasons: we both love a clean home and know what it can do for people. If you don’t already know, Marie Kondo’s career started in Japan where she was a cleaning consultant (a job we’re pretty sure she invented, which makes her even cooler) before she wrote her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s all focused on the Kon-Mari method, her theory for living a clutter-free life. Clutter is her greatest nemesis.
If you don’t feel like watching her show or reading her book, but clutter is also your nemesis, look no further than this blog post. We’ve got all the Kon-Mari tips to declutter your closet that you’re going to want to steal for yourself.
Start With Joy
The first and foremost thing you should know about Marie Kondo and her methods is that she believes at the root of all our organization decisions lies joy. Let’s face it – in America, we love to buy stuff. It’s fun, it’s exciting. But the Kon-Mari method, while not discouraging us from purchasing, says that during our declutterization (can you believe that’s a word?) (It’s not), we should go through each and every item and consider the joy it brings us.
This is your first step, your runway. Well, actually, the real first step is to remove everything from your closet. Ev-er-y-thing. Shoes, clothes, socks, underwear, as well as all the junk you’ve been hiding deep in the back, untouched in years. This also means any and all boxes of memorabilia from the past.
Once you’ve removed everything, it’s time to go through each and every item, look at it, and ask yourself one very simple question: Does this spark joy? If not, it’s time to either throw it away or give it away.
A key thing to remember here is that nostalgia does not equal joy. That doesn’t mean throw away every reminder of the past – it’s good to keep family heirlooms, photographs, and keepsakes. But just consider the worth and make sure they’re truly valuable. Oh yeah, and don’t store them in the closet.
Time to Categorize
Once you’ve gathered all your joyful items, it’s time to figure out what gets to hang and what goes in the dresser. Marie Kondo is a huge fan of folding. In most of the episodes of her show and in her book, she encourages people to fold clothes as much as possible in a specific, tidy way, then place them in your dresser, vertical and not horizontal, so you can see all your options at once.
For nicer clothes, like suits and dresses, we recommend hanging as per usual. But now, with only your finest pieces hanging, your closet will look clean and luxurious. Your prettiest and fanciest items will be on display with plenty of room between each of them, rather than being squished by t-shirts you got ten years ago.
Finally, get those boxes of stuff out of there and, if you’ve gone through them and they still have a lot of joy left inside, do not return them to your closet (unless you’ve got some sort of specific storage area in your closet where those things belong). Speaking of “where things belong,”…
Give Your Things a Home
If you’re some sort of superhero whose closet only contains clothes and nothing else, then you can maybe skip this part. But if your closet is that organized, why are you even reading this? Exactly.
We’ve gone through your clothes, but now we have to deal with the other stuff in everyone’s closet, like the previously mentioned boxes as well as any other random artifacts from your life like golf clubs, old musical instruments you don’t really play, unused notebooks, etc. Basically, if you’re keeping those things, they need a new home.
The Kon-Mari method goes far beyond the closet. She recommends doing the whole house at once, so that when you place things in their new homes, they’re there for good. However, you might not be ready to do a full house decluttering, so for now, just get them out of the closet.
No matter how thoroughly you’re cleaning your closet (or home), now is the perfect time to start, as your home can be full of allergens at the start of spring. If you just finished decluttering, but don’t feel like doing the cleaning part now, give 2 Green Chicks a call! And if you’d like to know more about those allergens we mentioned – and how to get rid of them – download our free guide.