Tidy Your Closet Like Marie Kondo: FAQ
As promised, here is your post that will hopefully answer your questions and concerns that can come up when tidying your clothes. For any and all concerns, I advise you to still do the following:
Declutter fully and completely. Pick up each piece of clothing and give it your sincere scrutiny about whether it sparks joy or not.
Put the items that spark joy in one pile, and those that do not in another.
At the end, see what you are left with.
Depending on the issue that comes up for you, see my suggestions.
#1. I won't have any clothes!
This is the top concern, that if you discard every piece of clothing that does not bring you joy, you're going to wind up with just the clothes on your back, if that. This concern can be related to a number of other concerns that can come up below.
Declutter your clothes fully.
See what your are left with.
Decide if you can live with just the clothes that spark joy, or
Follow the "Bare Closet Fix" below.
#2. Clothes, in general, don't bring me joy.
If this is you, often I find it's because there's an unhappiness with how clothes fit the person's body, therefore clothing becomes something that's just utilitarian. Maybe there's even some numbness around clothes because of this unhappiness. However, we do need to wear clothes.
If you find this is where you are in relation to clothing, then try approaching it from another angle:
Do you like how something feels? Like, literally - does it feel nice against your skin?
Do you like the color?
Is it comfortable to wear?
Does it go with other things in your closet?
Have you worn it in the past year?
Make Your Own Capsule Wardrobe
Another approach, if clothes aren't very endearing to you, is to create your own capsule wardrobe. Most of us have some attachment to clothing, so if you are less so, then take advantage of this and make better use of your space and your clothes by honing your wardrobe to pieces that all go together.
#3. I don't like my body, so clothes do not bring me joy.
We have all been here, and it's a very uncomfortable and emotional space to be in when attempting to tidy your clothes. When you dislike your body, clothing takes on an antagonistic persona in many ways. But again, we have to wear clothes, so what do you do?
I can always recommend we love our bodies exactly as they are, which is never a bad thing, no matter what size or shape you are.
Follow the strategies above under #2.
#4. None of my clothes fit.
Also works for anyone who says, I hate all my clothes!
Whether it's because of weight loss or weight gain, this one is similar to #3. No matter what the cause, all we know is that clothes don't make us feel good right now. What should you do?
You know your body best. Figure out if this is a temporary or longer term transformation. If it's just temporary, then don't rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe just yet. If it's longer term, then perhaps it's time to invest in clothing that fits you better.
Aside from investing in new clothes, choose the pieces that fit you the best right now, as you are.
You can always invest in new pieces and discard ill-fitting clothing at any time when your budget allows.
#5. Some things I have to keep but don't love.
This happens if you have things you have to wear for work, or clothing that's more utilitarian in nature, like clothes to paint the house in or go work in the garden.
Do the full tidying process, even with these pieces.
Set them aside as you go, just noticing if they bring you joy.
If they are things you have the authority to change (as in, it's not a work uniform), then consider replacing it in the future, or now, with something you like better.
If you cannot change them because it's a work uniform you're required to wear, then adjusting our attitude can go a long way. Recognize that this is something you are required to wear, and accept that this uniform brings you something far greater, such as your income. If this is the case, then it's a small concession for your livelihood, especially if you quite enjoy your work. Likewise, notice if this small concession is unacceptable. Does it point to your truth in that perhaps you are unhappy with this job and need to start looking for something new?
The Bare Closet Fix
So you declutter your clothes and now you're left with just the pieces that bring you joy. If the pile in the Keep section feels far too bare, do the following:
Ask yourself, Is my closet truly too bare, or am I afraid of such a big change? Going from a packed, nearly sardine-like closet to a far less packed one can feel terrifying at first. It's okay if this causes anxiety. Just acknowledge that's what's happening.
Notice the number of items in your closet that truly bring you joy. Does it seem like enough? Count - maybe it's more than you think. Is it hardly anything at all? Take a few moments to sit with that and take it in. No judgment - just notice.
Looking at what you are left with, what is missing? What would complete your wardrobe? Don't look through your discard pile. Just think to yourself, what would complete my wardrobe? Am I missing a blouse to go with that blazer, or slacks for work, or a pair of shoes that don't hurt my feet? Use your imagination. Make a list if needed.
Go shopping, but do it strategically! If this is an option for you, and only after you've identified what's missing, and therefore, what pieces could fill the gaps, then make it a point to find those pieces. However, if shopping is a weakness for you, and this will feel like an invitation to overindulge, then skip this option all together, and go to step 5.
If shopping or investing at this time is not in your budget, instead of going to a store to buy new, identify those pieces in your discard pile that can fill the gaps for the time being. When you do have the budget or happen upon a replacement you love more, then you can make the switch.
I hope this post helps you as you declutter your closets and hone it into a wardrobe filled with pieces that feel wonderful against your skin and make you feel fabulous! xoxo