See how I applied tips from Marie Kondo to purge and organize my closet. It’s a great exercise to get organized this year.
Okay I know I’m late to the party on reading this book because I’d heard lots about it for months. It wasn’t until I saw my lovely client Lisa in New York this past Spring that my life started getting magical. The book came up in one of our conversations and Lisa said, “I’ve read it so you are welcome to have it”.
The premise of this book is basically when you are organizing and purging your stuff, you hold each item in your hand and ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’, if not, OUT it goes.
She has since written a follow up to the first one called ‘Spark Joy’, and I’m thinking I should read it as well because it answers frequently asked questions about what to do with necessary items that don’t spark joy. When I posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago, some of my followers said they liked it better than the first one.
Our master bedroom
The magical art of closet organization.
One of the first chapters I read was about socks. I laughed when I read the except about storing socks because what she described was exactly what our sock drawers looks like:
“. . . When I opened her sock drawer, I could not suppress a gasp. It was full of potato-like lumps that rolled about. . . “
Marie says your socks work hard for you and need to rest in between wearings. If they are balled up they are always in a state of tension and sometimes if they get forgotten in the back of a drawer the elastic stretches beyond recovery.
I got to work on the sock drawer right away. There are no visuals in the book but there’s lots of videos on youtube that show how to fold socks, here’s a good one:
[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW_9iwzhAjk” rel=”0″]
And one more thing, I bet you always wondered what the heck you’re going to do with all those shoes boxes you save (I do). Well, here’s where you can use them, just like I did when I organized my two sock drawers here:
I admit, I have opened and closed my drawers a few times afterwards, just to admire them.
Next, my scarves!
I’ve had them hanging on this IKEA scarf organizer
stuffed hanging in between my dresses, for years! And they wrinkle when they simply get pulled through the loops and hang there (below):
I realized that out of the three drawers in my night stand, one was completely empty! So, I got to work folding all my scarves.
Do you not hear angels singing right about now?
I certainly did ; ) ; ) and I have room to spare as you can see. It also felt very satisfying to have a use for all the empty shoe boxes I had lying around on the top shelf of my closet. And I can see all my scarves at the same time, so they will get worn!
Next, I moved on to the closet! The three drawers that you can see is where my bras, panties and PJ’s live.
Here’s what they looked like:
As you can see my panties shockingly look kind of folded because every time Terreeia (pronounced Maria with a T) does the laundry she folds my underwear. So then I always fold hers too. But when I pull mine out of the laundry I have ALWAYS just thrown them in the drawer so they are half folded and half a disaster!
Well not anymore my lovelies! I have turned over a new leaf. Marie says once you organize your house once using her system, it stays that way, and I can see that. Who would want to go back to the way it was once you learn how to fold everything properly? Not me!
I even had room for my tights on the left side once all my underwear was folded up in tiny little rectangles!
Here’s my wall of shelves behind mirrored doors in my closet. I really love the hooks that my necklaces hang on, I only wish I had the foresight to hang them slightly lower (above).
Marie advocates folding as much as possible and everything should be folded in a rectangle so that it stands up in the drawer instead of piling everything on top of each other. This way you can see everything all at once when you open the drawer:
[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpc5_1896ro” rel=”0″]
This is what my closet looked like even before the organizer by Designer Closet Guys was installed.
I painted my closet orange because it was going to be the accent colour in the bedroom. That didn’t end up happening but I still love this colour in here, it’s happy and energizing!
Terreeia got totally into it along with me and folded all her clothes too! She has the four lower shelves and I have the three on the top.
It’s crazy how much room you suddenly have when you fold everything the right way.
Marie says “Every piece of clothing has it’s own ‘sweet spot’ where it feels just right”.
In fact she talks a lot about how satisfying it is to fold everything just so. I was skeptical until I got the hang of it. Then I kept looking around for what I could fold next.
Once you learn how to fold the KonMari way, you feel like you’ve suddenly mastered a very useful and practical skill you can use the rest of your life.
Next it was time to tackle my pants. I have most of my jeans and pants piled on two shelves at the front of my closet:
You can see two of my scarves that I’ve stuffed on the bottom right of this shelf because I was tired of pulling them wrinkled out of the loops where I was storing them.
When I folded my pants I thought for sure they wouldn’t fit with the new rectangular system but they did with room to spare. And I did discard a few pairs, especially a $400 pair of True Religions (they’re coming to you Leah) that I’ve been hanging on to, waiting to fit into them again. Sigh, but they will be dated before that happens at this rate!
Here I want you to notice the hanging clothes on the left. Marie says that you have to start with the long sleeves and then go shorter and shorter until you get to the tank tops. It’s like drawing a line with an arrow going up!
It’s amazing how it transformed the look and feel of the closet immediately! See the after below:
The bag of clothes you can see on the bottom left is my permanent ‘Sally Ann’ bag. If I wear something and that day decide I never want to see it again, in the bag it goes.
With this purge I obviously had more that was going out the door but not that much. Terreeia and I are pretty good at clothes purging so besides the clothes we disposed of that were simply worn out and too ratty to be recycled, we only had two big bags left to donate.
Have you noticed a theme with the colours in my wardrobe? Orange, it’s like I knew my closet should be orange because that’s a big colour in my clothes. Why? Because yellow is rarely available, apparently not everyone likes that colour or looks good in it. Every time I want a colour I often end up with orange because it’s the only one available.
There was one more chest of drawers located in the guest room (below), with my work-out gear with miscellaneous resort wear in the bottom drawer.
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The top drawer has all my fitness tops and the second drawer all my bottoms.
It’s truly amazing how folding everything into a rectangle suddenly gives you so much more space!
Marie says you start with what you know will be easy to get rid of like clothes and then books. Leave the items you might be attached to until the end.
I’m going to keep going, books next, I wonder what Marie says about books that are purely decorative! I have a lot of those!
Happy 4th to my American friends!! xoxo Maria
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Maria’s Master Bedroom: Before & After (in my last house in the city)