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Decluttering: Clothes – Where to Begin

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

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.  




Decluttering:: Books - The How and Why - Cupcakes and Crinoline

Sunday 27th of September 2015

[…] Magic of Tidying Up and my perspective changed.  After seeing the success that I had with decluttering my clothing and finally once again having a clean bedroom (going on 3 weeks now and still no lapse in the […]

Decluttering: Accessories and Makeup - Cupcakes and Crinoline

Saturday 26th of September 2015

[…] about how Changing Your Thinking Can {and WILL} Change Your Life, Week Two I shared with you my clothing and bedroom before {those pictures still make me a bit queasy} and after, and today I’ll be […]

Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness

Tuesday 15th of September 2015

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!

Project Inspire{d} Link Party #136 - Cupcakes and Crinoline

Monday 14th of September 2015

[…] past week was Part 2 of My Series on Decluttering and dealt with clothing – if you feel at all overwhelmed by clutter in your home because […]

Jamie | anderson + grant

Monday 14th of September 2015

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.

Mary Beth

Monday 14th of September 2015

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