It’s been a year since I first started the KonMari Method. Has it been life-changing? Yes. Why am I doing it again? ‘Cause I want my life changed twice. Duh. 😛 (And for another reason I’ll mention a little later on.) So let’s start with a quick recap of the clothes category from last time and whether I kept up the good work in the interim, and then move on to how I fared the second time around.
Saddle up, 'cause this'll take some time.
The KonMari Method -- 'Clothes' -- ROUND ONE (2015)
How was it different first time 'round?
Well, the last time took me a bloody age, for a start. Granted, a chunk of that was taking pictures for the blog, but it was still a sizeable amount of hours. This time around it took significantly less time (fewer pictures and, of course, fewer clothes).
Click the pic to catch up on last year’s effort:
About 40% of my clothes hit the donation highway… but only after about 4 months. Y'see, I had grand plans to sell them at a car boot sale. Except, as soon as I decided that, the local one shut up shop. ‘Cause the luck of the Irish is a total myth when it comes to me, apparently. I kept waiting for it to pop back up but no such luck. Eventually I got fucked up waiting, packed up the car, dropped everything off at the local charity shop, and never looked back. It was my first big lesson in the KonMari Method — get that shit out of your house as soon as possible.
Did I keep it up in the interim?
Somewhat. I still fold some of my clothes, they still look neat and tidy, I usually hand-wash my bras instead of subjecting them to the machine and generally take better care of things, and everything has a home (even if it isn’t in ideal living quarters).
The KonMari Method has also pretty much eliminated my desire to shop. I haven't bought much at all in the past year and, if I did buy something and later realised it didn't actually spark joy, I was quick to get rid.
So for the most part I'd say yes, I kept it up.
Where did I fall down?
I eventually reverted to taking my clothes for granted and just throwing them in the laundry without a second look.
Also, despite the big cull, I still found myself turning to the same clothes over and over again. If all my jeans sparked joy, why was I wearing the same pairs over and over again? I realised pretty early on that I’d have to re-do this category.
So 10 months later, I tackled it again. Better late than never, right? 😉
The KonMari Method -- 'Clothes' -- ROUND TWO (2016)
Why do it again?
The book says that tidying should be a one-time event, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think there are plenty of situations in which you may find yourself re-evaluating things. And, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’m now in one of those situations because…
We’re emigrating! Eek!
(Or, at least, we will be if our visas are approved.)
My husband, my daughter and I are about to shut up shop in Ireland, and drag our backsides and all our belongings across the Atlantic to the good ol’ US of A. So now the question isn’t so much “Does this spark joy?” as “Does this spark enough joy that I want to pack it, pay to ship it thousands of miles, unpack it, and find it a new home?”
I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
I was pretty excited to re-start the KonMari Method but one thing I wasn’t looking forward to was taking all my clothes out. Last time I wasn’t too bothered ‘cause, honestly, a lot of them were just in a heap on the floor. But this time they were pretty neat and tidy (and a lot were folded) so I wasn’t thrilled at the notion of undoing all my hard work and then having to re-do it. But anyway. That was the biggest challenge I faced second time around so I thought it was worth sharing.
The process (with pics):
I started with items of clothing, piling them all on the bed and then going through them one by one. It only took me about 5 or 10 minutes to gather them all together, and then about 2 and a half hours to go through everything, including trying a few things on. Then about 40 minutes to put everything back.
In the end, I got rid of about 20% of my clothing. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed because I thought that was a pretty low percentage, but I realised it just meant I must have done a good job first time around, and that I’ve been consistent in getting rid of stuff throughout the year. So a fifth is still a fair amount, I guess. And I freed up a whole drawer and about half a wardrobe.
2 days later I tackled shoes. It took me less than 5 minutes to pull them off the rack, and about 15 minutes to go through them. It would’ve taken less time but, I have to say, there were a few pairs I agonised over. So, this time around I allowed myself a “maybe” pile and it really made a big difference to how quickly I was able to get through stuff. I used it to separate things that required a little extra thought (or trying on) so that I didn't break momentum. Once everything else was finished, I went back to it and made final decisions.
I’m a creature of comfort so I generally don’t wear heels, but there are so many occasions where I feel they're needed (weddings, nice dinners, etc.) so I kept some for that reason. They spark joy in those situations, even if they don’t otherwise.
I have one pair of heels in particular that, on their own, don’t necessarily spark joy, but they go with a dress that absolutely sparks joy. So the outfit as a whole is a winner, even if I wouldn’t really wear those shoes with anything else. I kept them.
In the end, I got rid of just over a quarter of my shoes so I ain't complaining.
Bags only took me a minute or two to pull out because, again, they were all in the same place. And then it only took me about 10 minutes to go through them.
I’m not really a bag person — I much prefer to be able to carry things in my pockets — but with a kid, that’s no longer realistic. So bags, for me, are a necessary evil. Some of them do spark joy because I find them beautiful (like that green Orla Kiely gorgeousness in the middle below, and the YSL beside it), but I'm starting to migrate much more towards backpacks because hey, hands free. (That "superhero" backpack you see on the back left is what I use 99% of the time nowadays.)
Still, I got rid of a little over a quarter.
Storage is a big problem here though -- they're currently all just shoved on a desk in my room. Not ideal!
Jewellery was next and this was one of the biggest improvements for me last time. Originally, a lot of it was just in a big, knotted heap. It was a disaster. So after KM#1, everything looked lovely and neat in the storage box and I actually started wearing my jewellery a lot more. Win!
For KM#2, I went through each drawer (of which there were four) one by one.
It only took me about 10 minutes and, again this year, I saw a huge improvement. I got rid of almost half of my jewellery which, on the one hand, I was very surprised by and, on the other, not really that surprised at all.
A few days later, I tackled the final sub-category which was accessories, so hats, scarves, gloves, belts, swimwear… That sorta thing. Again, it only took about 5 minutes to gather it all together and another 10 minutes or so to go through everything.
I got rid of about 25% of it (mostly scarves). My main problem with this category is storage. I don’t have a good storage solution for belts and scarves, etc. yet and, right now, I’m not really inclined to go buy something because we’re going to be moving. So, for now, I’ve put the scarves and gloves in a cupboard downstairs, and swimwear and belts in the empty drawer I had after doing items of clothing.
And that’s the entire clothing category completed!
And, actually, between then and now, I’ve dumped a few more items of clothing. Go me!
MY HUSBAND FILLED A FEW BLACK SACKS OF HIS OWN CLOTHES! FIRE THE CONFETTI CANNONS!
Baby steps up in here, peeps. Baby steps.
So what did I learn from Round Two?
By doing it the second time around, I’ve gotten back into the habit of appreciating my clothes a lot more. And I still got rid of about a third of my stuff just in this category so it just goes to show that there’s always room for improvement. I mean, I thought I did really well the first time around, and I was still storing everything neatly and everything had its home, so it’s not like I re-bounded or anything. But things change. Styles change. We go through different seasons of life. So, overall, I’m really pleased about the fact that I could do this all over again and still see benefits.
Also, it took a LOT less time. Huzzah! There were 2 reasons for that:
1. Quite simply, I had fewer items than last time.
2. I allowed myself a “maybe” pile. Last time I spent ages agonising over some things, and it slowed me down and broke my momentum. This time I only spent a second or two on most things. If I was unsure about something, I threw it straight into a “maybe” or a “try it on” pile and just kept going. It meant I didn’t break momentum, and I left the ones I was unsure about until the end when I was already on a roll or after I’d had a bit of a break to re-charge my energy levels. So that really helped speed up the process a lot.
One of the biggest mistakes I made last time was not getting the stuff out of the house as soon as possible. Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson this time around and 99% of the stuff is already either sitting in the charity shop or the bin.
Below is the video I made on the process, which you can watch if you so wish. It's pretty much the same as what I've talked about above, but you'll also get to see a timelapse of me actually completing the category, and I answer some questions I've been getting about the clothing category, such as:
- How do you know if something sparks joy (as opposed to just liking it)?
- How can you stop procrastinating on the process and just get started? and
- What should you do with clothes that don't fit right now but may fit in future?
And hey, before we go, let's just take one last look at those progress pics, shall we?
Didn't take a photo of what was going. Just imagine some scarves and belts here. 😉
All well worth the effort, I think you'll agree.
Later this week, I'll have a "closet tour" over on YouTube so head on over there and click the red 'subscribe' button if you want to catch that: HowToGYST YouTube channel.
And hey, don't forget to pick up your free checklist on your way out. 😉