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Decluttering: Clothes - Where to Begin

Decluttering Clothes- Where to Begin Putting the KonMari Method into practice #SparkingJoy at cupcakesandcrinoline.com

I'm so glad you're here for Week 2 of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: A Journey to Sparking Joy.  If you missed Week 1 (it was an intro to my inspiration for taking on this challenge) you can find it here

So here I am at Week 2: Clothes (oh my heavens this is a biggie for me!) and I'm joined by the awesome bloggers below with us all sharing our own tips for how we're dealing with this category in the tidying process 

A Journey to Sparking Joy:

Anderson & Grant ::  Making it in the Mountains  ::  DIY Passion  ::  Dwelling in Happiness  ::  Zevy Joy  :: (Me) Cupcakes & Crinoline  ::  Lost in the Found  ::  The Happy Housie

I'm sharing pictures today that I NEVER thought I would share but I want to be sure that if you struggle like I have with keeping your home tidy and feeling like there was no way you would ever get it under control I want you to be encouraged.  If I can do it, honestly, anyone can! 

[Tweet "Tidying is a dialogue with one's self - Marie Kondo "]

Clothing - Where to Begin

Bedroom Before

This was my before....it's embarrassing but I wanted you to see it! I had books on my dresser, a nightstand covered with creams, hair spray and who knows what else and luggage in the corner from a trip I took in March for heaven's sake.  

 And here's how it all started! -- First, place every item of clothing in the house on the floor - Marie Kondo 

Floor Before and After KonMari

To be absolutely honest, a LOT of my clothing was already ON the floor.  I ran out of room in my closet and drawers long ago and stuffing things into drawers just wasn't cutting it.  I absolutely dreaded laundry day-not the washing, drying and folding of the clothes but putting them away.  I had no place to put them so I often just stacked them on the floor and pulled from the stack something to wear or I left them in the laundry basket.  When I woke up in the morning one of the first things I saw was my huge mess on the floor and my first thoughts of the day were that of being overwhelmed.  That feeling stunk.  I just could not take it anymore so I was ready to start by getting all of my clothes out of the dresser drawers and closets and adding them to my already large heap on the floor.  

Bedroom Before starting the process

The sight of the process almost got to me and I wanted to throw the towel in but one of the tips that Marie Kondo shares in her book is to NOT be overwhelmed by the amount of clothes you have.  I remembered reading that and pressed onward! (p.s. I have a lot of Spanx and I got rid of a few of those as well.)

After gathering my clothes now it was time to touch each piece of clothing and ask myself it it sparks joy.  That may sound a bit strange but it really isn't.  At first, I felt a little silly doing that but then I quickly realized the benefit of it.  I wanted to keep only those things that did, indeed, spark joy.  That doesn't mean that it had to be beautiful but it had to be something I wore, enjoyed wearing and wanted to wear again.  

Part of the large pile of clothes I went through were suits I wore over 8 years ago when I had an office job.  I kept them because, well, they were expensive and 'what if' I needed them again.  When I was totally honest with myself I didn't like them and they were no longer in style.  If assured myself that 'if' I needed a suit I would never wear one of them again but instead would go out and buy a new one.  That assurance made it so easy to let them go.  After putting the first few items into a bag for the thrift store I was able to easily part with blouses, sweaters and pants that I would never wear again.  What surprised me most was how many pieces of clothing I had that I had never worn.  They still had tags on them.  If I bought them and never wore them I must have not really liked them in the first place so into the bag for the thrift store they went.  

Not quite the final count but on my way

When I was all done I had 10 bags of clothes for the thrift store (this isn't all of the bags) and

Four Bags of Garbage

4 bags of garbage.....14 bags of clutter that were leaving my house and the feeling I had was that of peace.  

Closet Before and After - Kon Mari

My husband and I share a closet but as you can see I have about 70% of it 😉 My closet now makes sense to me.  Instead of things jammed so far in there everything is in order (and I realize that I need to add some color to my wardrobe....I have far too much black, gray and white!).  

Bedroom After mid view

Also, see that blue set of drawers in the corner? It's now EMPTY and will be finding a home somewhere else.  

Bedroom After Side View

I haven't redone my bedroom in 11 years but now I want to.  I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it but I can redo it.  The thought of it before seemed so daunting but now it seems exciting.  Getting rid of clutter is helping me more than I ever imagined it would! It's been almost 2 weeks ago that I went through my clothes and the after pictures were all taken on Saturday, September 12th (the day before this post).  My room has stayed clean, organized and tidy unlike before when I thought I was doing this whole tidying thing right but now I know just how wrong I was.

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Is there anything you read or saw that helped you today? If there is I would love to hear about it and if you'd like to learn more about this simple but effective method you can find and purchase The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on Amazon as well as just about any store that carries books! 

I hope you'll come back next Sunday as I tackle accessories, shoes, handbags and makeup.  

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11 Comments

  1. Holy smokes! That's incredible Mary Beth! I can just imagine how amazing it must feel to have that weight lifted from you life!!! GREAT work my friend!!!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Kristi! I really didn't want to share the before pictures but my life had gotten totally out of hand and I'm hoping it will help other people to know they aren't alone and there is a solution. It feels so good to finally be getting a grip on things. 🙂

  2. Wowzers! That is amazing! I am sure being in your room is so much more calming now. Fantastic job!!!!

  3. Mary Beth you did an incredible job! I felt the same way about seeing the difference between cramming things so far back that I didn't know what I even had in my closet. I am really enjoying the process and excited to be doing it with you all!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Annie! It was hard to show my before (I absolutely HATE those pictures) but the after is definitely a wonderful difference not only to see but to feel! I'm enjoying this process with you and the other gals as well. hugs, mb

  4. Jamie | anderson + grant says:

    I love how honest you were in this post. My room right now is cluttered not from clothes but all the furniture and decor stuff I use on my blog. (Some of my dresser drawers contain dishes rather than clothes.) That is why there aren't any pictures of my actual space because I figured it wasn't anything anyone needed to see. But then reading your post I realize that THOSE pictures are the ones that we can all relate to. Your after looks fantastic and it is so great that you not only have a cleaner space, but that this series has given you the desire to do a little redecorating.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Jamie. I appreciate the encouragement. I really struggled about sharing the before pictures. I am a clean freak but the clutter has been stressing me out so much and the stress was making it worse. I'm so glad to FINALLY be getting a grip on the problem. One of the categories I have to address in a few weeks is my kitchen and dining room - I have china, dishes, formal dishes, etc., that I NEVER use because I can't even get to them and getting rid of those items is going to be really hard! My Mom passed away when I was younger and some of the items are hers so I'm not sure how I'll handle that but the journey so far has been totally worth it. Have a great week - hugs, mb

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  6. Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says:

    Yay, way to go!! Your after looks amaaaazing. I love that you showed real life photos, I can totally relate to those!! Such an accomplishment, I bet it feels amazing!

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