Last year, I used Marie Kondo’s “KonMari Method” (from her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”) to downsize my book and compact disc collections, as well as my closet. Then last month, I applied this simple but effective process to my jewelry box. There’s really something magical about gathering all our like items together, handling them one by one, and asking ourselves whether or not each item “sparks joy.” The beauty of Kondo’s method is that it places the focus on what to keep rather than what to get rid of.
A couple of weeks ago, I read about an exercise that could help us to pare down our wardrobes. The instructions are simple: select the top 100 items in your closet. The idea is that once you separate out your favorite pieces, it will be easier to let go of at least some of the things that didn’t make the cut. Since I love to do wardrobe exercises and am always up for a challenge, I decided to take this exercise on. In today’s post, I will share how it went for me, what I selected, and what I learned from the process.
The Number 100 Isn’t Written in Stone…
Now, 100 items may seem like too many for some of you or far too few for others. As with Project 333 and other capsule wardrobe concepts (like this one for example), the number is not nearly as significant as the challenge itself. If you have a small wardrobe but are intrigued by this exercise, perhaps you might want to select your top 50 or 75 items (or whatever number feels right to you). On the flip side, if you have a very large wardrobe and find the idea of paring it down to 100 (even just “on paper”) extremely anxiety-producing, you can of course select a larger number. The point is to stretch yourself and get to thinking about what you really need – and truly love – in your closet.
In my last post, I shared the results of a wardrobe memory exercise that I recently took on. I tried to remember the contents of my closet and jewelry box without looking. I found that I was able to write down 91% of my wardrobe (including shoes) but only 77% of my jewelry collection. I came to a number of conclusions from doing the exercise, one of which was that I still own too many garments, shoes, and accessories for my lifestyle.
Since it has been almost a year since I used the “KonMari Method” in my closet (I also used the process with my books and compact discs), I have decided to take it on again, beginning with my jewelry. This afternoon, I spent approximately an hour and a half going through my bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry pieces to see what does and doesn’t “spark joy.” In today’s post, I share the process and the results of this session.
The following is a guest post from Megan, who agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you. Megan is a member of my private Facebook group, where shared comments about her wardrobe and style evolution that I thought would be inspiring for all readers of “Recovering Shopaholic.” I asked her if she’d be willing to expand upon her story so we could all learn from her experience, and this post is the result.
If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.
“I Hate Everything in My Closet!”
My story started with a prolonged mental state of “I hate everything in my closet!” I remember that I was running late all the time because it took me forever to get dressed, and I still felt unhappy when I finally did get out the door. I melted down in the middle of great vacation trips because I was not wearing appropriate clothes. I was constantly in the “shopping cycle” but had no good outfits to show for it.
When I shared my tips for a reader looking to downsize her closet and asked for additional suggestions, I never imagined I would get so many wonderful comments from all of you. I was so impressed with the quality of the recommendations given that I decided to share many of them in this follow up post. I know that many subscribers don’t read the comments on my posts, but they are often equally as helpful as what I write. In this case, I would venture to say that the suggestions in the comments may be more beneficial than the tips I offered.
I didn’t include all of the comments and I edited some of the ones herein for the sake of clarity or brevity. I didn’t want this to be too much of a marathon post. I have given credit to the person who made each comment. I hope that those of you who are looking to downsize your wardrobe will find these additional tips as useful as I did. If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so.
About a month ago, I received an email from a reader who wanted some advice for her struggles in paring down her wardrobe. She told me she hadn’t seen advice anywhere that fit her specific situation. I could have just responded to her questions via email like I usually do, but since I’ve been blogging for a few years now and have read many comments from readers, I knew many of you could likely relate to this reader’s challenges. I also believe that those who have overcome similar struggles in the past could offer her additional advice beyond that which I am able to give. So I decided to answer the questions in a post rather than through email.
Summarizing the Questions
I will do my best to summarize the reader’s questions here, as her email was quite a few paragraphs long and I want to preserve her anonymity. This reader is an aspiring minimalist who wants to own less but finds herself with a closet full of items that she either likes or loves. However, she feels she owns too much overall, especially for someone who really wants to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. She is hesitant to store some of her items in boxes because that doesn’t feel “clean” or minimalist to her, yet she also doesn’t want to get rid of anything that is still in good shape and which may be hard to replace in the future. Compounding the issue is the fact that she plans to get pregnant soon and worries that if she stops working for a while, she won’t be able to afford good quality business clothes if she gives up the ones she has now.
After I bought so many new items in April, my closet started to feel a bit too full. So I elected to do something I didn’t think I would do… I decided to use the “KonMari Method” with my wardrobe. In today’s post, I will share what I did, what I got rid of and why, and how I felt during the process.
Most of you are probably aware of the “KonMari Method” by now. Even if you haven’t read my two posts on that topic (see here and here), you’ve probably seen other blog posts or magazine articles on the topic. Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months and you’d almost have to be living under a rock not to have heard of it by now.