I Organized My Wardrobe Using the KonMari Method

Yes, I am really folding my socks and underwear these days.
Yes, I am really folding my socks and underwear these days.

I recently overhauled my bookshelves using the KonMari method of tidying up. The gist: only keep things that give you joy or are useful, and get rid of everything else. Japanese organizational guru Marie Kondo believes you tackle one category of items at a time (like all books at once, all clothes at once, all toiletries at once), physically piling all of said category on a table/bed/floor. Then, pick up each item, asking if it “sparks joy.”

I know that sounds hokey, but once you start doing it, you realize some things do spark joy, while others do nothing for you.

Since my book project went so well, I decided to tackle my clothes.

First stop? Socks, underwear, swimsuits and bras. Here’s everything, piled on my bed:

Not sexy at all. 
Not sexy at all.

Now can socks or underwear spark joy? Of course! I own some underwear that I love wearing and others that I find to be uncomfortable, ugly or just downright old and embarrassing. Get rid of any pair you’re ashamed to own (you know… like the ones leftover from high school), really cute ones that you never touch because they always give you a wedgie, or are simply worn out. You deserve to wear underwear you love, even no one else sees it (and especially if someone else is seeing it!).

Now do the same with your socks (holes? Who cares if they’re SmartWools, get rid of ’em!), bras/undergarments and swimwear.

Done? Great. Now it’s time to get folding.

Yes, you’re going to fold your underwear. Trust me, it’s going to be incredibly satisfying. I could explain how to do such a thing, but I’ll let Marie Kondo show you instead. She’s a folding boss.

See, isn’t that satisfying? Here’s the final product:

In retrospect, I should've cleaned off my dresser. Oh well, I am just a real person over here.
In retrospect, I should’ve cleaned off my dresser. Oh well, I am just a real person over here.

Next, it was on to t-shirts, tanks, jeans, sweaters, workout and lounge gear…. including off season stuff I’d stored in the basement during the winter. Kondo wants you to go through ALL of your clothes in your entire house at the same time. She also encourages you to keep off-season stuff in your closet (like sweaters) so you can stay reminded of what you have. I kept everything in my closet except extreme winter things, like my parka.

Here’s about half of my crap:

Clothes, clothes and more clothes. 
Clothes, clothes and more clothes.

I held each item, asking if it brought me joy. Here’s what I ended up with.

Long sleeved t-shirts, light sweaters, shorts and foldable skirts:

Do you see my jorts???
Do you see my jorts???

Workout t-shirts and tanks, plus regular t-shirts and tanks.

Can you spot the F#$K 'Em Bucky shirt?
Can you spot the F#$K ‘Em Bucky shirt?

Sweaters & sweatshirts on the left; pjs, workout pants and long sleeved gear (like long underwear) on the right.

My clothes look like burritos!
My clothes look like burritos!

Lastly, here are my hangables and shoes.

Everything all in one place.
Everything all in one place.

And even though I just got rid of a bunch of clothes last fall, I still had this much clothing that didn’t spark joy.

Goodwill, here we come!
Goodwill, here we come!

I did this project about two weeks ago, and while folding does take a little more time, it’s helped me stay organized. I love opening my drawers and just marveling at how tidy and pretty my stuff looks. It’s the little things!

Next up? The kitchen. *gulp*

* * *

Have you tried the KonMari method? Thoughts? PS here are my before and after photos from my book overhaul, plus pics from the last time I cleaned out my closet. I’ve come a long way, baby!

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Comments (14)

  • Harmony 5 years ago Reply

    I think I need to do this. I know I have a lot of crap that does not bring me joy. Can I be the beneficiary of your kitchen purge? Ha!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    If I have anything good, you will be the first to know!

  • Ashley 5 years ago Reply

    Oo I am SO starting here! I did a mini-purge of my undies a few months ago, which did include some leftovers I hadn’t worn in years…all the way from highschool (yikes!). How does this stuff stay with us through so many moves?! (If I count dorm rooms it’s got to be almost 10 moves!)

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Yeah, if you’re going through your underwear drawer and thinking, EMBARRASSING!… get rid of ’em!

    It’s comical what stuff we schlep from place to place.

  • Lizzie 5 years ago Reply

    I’m gearing up for a move to a smaller place and plan to try the KonMari method to pare down my stuff, so this glimpse at it is really helpful! My question for those who’ve started purging: what do you do with the things you don’t keep? Drop them off at a thrift store? Clothing bank? Consignment? Craigslist/eBay/yard sale? Hand down to friends and family? I’m leery of taking everything to a thrift shop because I know a majority of their donations wind up in the landfill (that’s industry standard due to how much stuff most stores receive). But I don’t have the energy to individually sell or give away every item in a meaningful way.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I’ve done all of the following:

    1. Goodwill/donation to the Epilepsy Foundation/Thrift Store
      2. Specific hand-me-downs to friends and family (like don’t just drop a bunch of crap at their house and say, "bye!" Try to give them things you think they’d like!)
      3. Consignment/Retails stores (they hardly take anything that isn’t in season or very new-ish…. a tag inside your clothes has a born-on date. Grrrr!)
      4. Yard sale (this was the most fun because I did it with a bunch of friends and we drank bloodies and laughed our asses off!)
      5. Clothing swap with a bunch of friends. Also very fun! Do it!

    I think I am going to write a whole post on it.

    In the meantime, I will leave you with this: so let’s say you drop off a bunch of stuff at Goodwill and half of it goes into a landfill. That sucks. But does it suck more than having it sit at your house, unused, taking up space UNTIL you eventually throw it away and it ends up in a landfill?

    Sort of related story, I have an uncle who used to eat ALLLL of the leftovers because he didn’t like to see food wasted, even if he didn’t want to eat it or was already full. At that point, what’s the difference between throwing it away and eating it? I will tell you: one makes you fat and the other doesn’t.

  • Firchy 5 years ago Reply

    Glad to see that the f*ck em Bucky shirt still sparks joy in you!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Damn straight… though I wish it was a different shape. I might hunt out one that sparks more joy in the fit department.

  • Firch 5 years ago Reply

    Also final pic of the hangables please!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    sadly Firch, that is my final pic. It’s just not as satisfying as the foldables. BUT consider this…. it’s ALLLLLL of my hangables (Except 4-5 winter things, like my parka).

  • Nicole 5 years ago Reply

    Hey Molly, since you did this two weeks ago, have you regretted getting rid of anything?

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Not a thing! I dropped off most at Goodwill then sold some stuff to Buffalo Exchange (made $50). I still have the unwanted BE stuff in my garage and have been meaning to take it to another resale shop just to see if I can make a little more moolah. But so far, no regrets! The key is to not get rid of anything you love, so if you can do that, you’ll be in good shape.

  • Morgan A. 5 years ago Reply

    I’ve never heard of this method, but I did something similar not to long ago. And it really did start with my underwear drawer! It seemed so silly but I had so many pairs that I never wore, didn’t feel good in and were totally those "last resort" undies. So I threw a ton out and then went and bought about ten pairs of just black bikini bottoms, because they were always the ones I reached for first. (sorry tmi?) I’m totally intrigued by this!

    Thanks for always sharing! I’ll be going to fold my underwear drawer now..

    -Morgan x.

  • Denise S. 5 years ago Reply

    I just heard of the KonMari method less than a week ago, and I’ve since gotten rid of about 20 bags of stuff. I’m not even done yet. I love the concept of keeping what "sparks joy" instead of keeping things out of guilt, like gifts that I didn’t like. Although it may not be comfortable for anyone else, my bedroom has the feel of a luxury hotel room now. It’s like I’m on a vacation every night! Plus I love being able to look into my closet and actually see what I have, rather than just seeing a jumble of colors.

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