Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says the best place to start tidying in your home is your closet. Well, I did it. Oh-my-goodness. That was a HUGE job, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. Phew. I’m glad it’s over and I can’t believe how clean I feel – not just because my closet is clean, but my overall life is starting to feel cleaner, and I love it!
Are you ready to begin tidying your life? Well, here is how you at least tackle your closet. First of all, Marie says you should gather every last bit of your clothing in your entire house and put it all in one pile on the floor. I laughed out loud when I first read this. I remember thinking that I could just leave a few coats and gloves in the downstairs closet and not worry about them, as well as keep my swimsuit in the laundry room – but the book says to gather every last bit of clothing – gloves, hats, coats, everything. If you don’t get every last piece you won’t fully immerse yourself in the process…I drug my feet because it seemed like a lot of work, but eventually I grabbed a laundry basket and gathered everything and hauled it upstairs to my room. I took every single piece of clothing out of my closet – shirts, jeans, fancy dresses, suits, bras, purses, scarves, etc.. – EVERYTHING!!!
I even pulled out my precious tubs of maternity clothes (which I had 3 giant plastic tubs worth) which I swore I would never get rid of. The dust on top of, behind, and around these maternity tubs was thick, and I was beyond terrified to get rid of any of it. I’ve had such a journey the last 11 years of being a mom and so many memories are tied to those maternity clothes. I could not imagine going through them, let alone getting rid of any of them, but I pulled them out of the closet and piled them up with everything else.
After it was all piled up on the floor I sorted it into clothing types and tackled my shirts first. I was doing great at discarding shirts that were lumpy, stained, pilled, and had holes in them until I found the pink glitter chihuahua shirt. I got stuck. I sort of freaked out. I put it in the discard pile and then I grabbed it back out. I panicked. That shirt has such deep memories. Does is spark joy? Yes, it does. It sparks all sorts of memories of a wonderful life I’ve had with my spouse. I got that shirt while I was dating my husband and was dreaming of marrying him, having kids and of one day having a little white chihuahua that I would name Lucy. For real. I loved pink, glitter and little dogs and felt like my whole life was ahead of me. Great memories that make me wish life was simple again. I cannot part with that shirt, even though I’m fairly positive that I”ll never actually wear it again.
I continued on with my sorting and then my daughter walked in to see what I was up to. She immediately asked if we could do her room too! That’s my girl! Love her! It’s funny how if you start organizing your own life, that others watching want to do the same thing. This also applies to my husband. When he got home that night, he was so amazed at the transformation of my side of the closet that he immediately starting pulling things out of his side of the closet to discard. :)
Back to my process – I started to fill up bags and bags of clothes to be donated – it’s was liberating and felt wonderful! When everything else was sorted, I finally tackled the tubs of maternity clothes. I had to scrape off a layer of dust just opening them. Ewww. I plunged ahead and was really surprised when I made it through the first tub and easily discarded all of it. Nothing sparked joy. All of the items in the first tub were very big and out of style – they were 11 years old and from my first pregnancy – I was gigantic when I was pregnant with my oldest. I hated everything about being pregnant with him. I was uncomfortable, sick all the time, hungry all the time, wore very big maternity clothes, and when I picked them up and examined them, they gave me a feeling of yuck.
In the donate bag they all went and this process continued until I came to the last tub with all my cute clothes from when I pregnant with my daughter. I loved being pregnant with her. I was super thin because she made me sooo terribly sick all the time that I could barely eat, it was summer and I love summer maternity clothes, and overall I felt like a rock-star mommy. It was one of the best years of my life. I loved the attention of being pregnant, I felt cute the whole 9 months, and I was elated to be having a girl! I loved all my maternity clothes I wore during that time – they were colorful, cute, and I would wear them all again if I had another baby. I even loved my maternity swim suit – and honestly, who can say they love a swim suit? Needless to say, I kept about 12 items, including my swimsuit and that was all I kept from my 3 big maternity tubs. These items fit in a small diaper box.
I’m so glad I took the plunge and opened up those bins – because it taught me I was holding onto memories that I didn’t need to hold on to anymore. I don’t plan to have any more kids, but if I do, then I still have a few cute items that I love dearly. I’m sure at some point down the road, I will discard that box, but for now, I’m so proud of myself for purging 3/4 of a category of things I had that were not exactly what I thought. I didn’t need to take up a huge space in my closet holding onto things that I didn’t really even like when I further examined them. Again, it’s liberating to get rid of them! I also know that someone else could use all of those clothes that I no longer needed, so I posted 3 garbage bags of maternity clothes size Small, Medium, and Large on a local Free Facebook group that I’m a part of and all 3 were picked up the next day by ladies who needed them. It’s a win-win!
It only took me 3 hours to complete my closet. I spent the next hour vacuuming, dusting and cleaning my closet floor which had not seen the light of day in probably 6 years. When you have so much crammed in a tiny space it’s more effort than it’s worth to clean under and around it. Right? I love all the white space on my side of the closet now. Love it!
I learned a lot about myself by the items I decided to keep. Sorting through your clothes tells you a lot about who you are. I discarded a lot of things that I’ve held onto for a long time – fancy dresses, high heels, jeans, suit jackets from my working days, etc. I held onto my leggings, tunics, yoga pants, athletic gear, and running shoes. Wow. It’s weird to even write that. My fashion sense and lifestyle have changed a lot in the last 20 years (yes, there were things in my closet that I’ve had for 20 years). Honestly, I’m not sure what this says about me. I’m still thinking about it and mulling it over in my head. My husband did comment that I used to dress a lot fancier when he first met me. Of course I questioned him about that and he just said it was an observation, but it did worry me. Am I looking to mom-ish? Just stuff to think about. Wow, who knew that tidying my home could go so deep?
So, what has tidying taught you? Have you sorted your closet? How did that go? Can’t wait to hear all about your tidying journey….