The 2nd half of this past week I decluttered and reorganized our his and hers bedroom closets. We have a mid-century smallish closet. We don’t have a ton of stuff. Truly, we don’t. But the 1st night I worked on this I went 7 - midnight non-stop until I pretty much passed out on top of my bed.
I pulled every last thing out and piled it all up. I took out everything that shouldn’t have been there to begin with (had nothing to do with getting ready—baby books, high school yearbooks, my wedding dress preserved and boxed up in a container the size of a Chevy Spark) and put it in a closet that I will have to deal with later. Then I went through each and every item, carefully considering each piece before I put it back.
I want to share some thoughts I had as I was untangling jewelry and gasping in discovery for that shoe I had lost. If you have gone through the konmari process or your own decluttering and purging process, these will probably sound very familiar.
- Everything is connected. I’m a financial podcast junkie. When Suzie Orman was on the air, it was incredible how many people lost weight (mind you—without that being their aim) after reducing debt and becoming financially healthy. I truly believe that if we take care of something in our lives, it blesses so many other aspects.
- The way I acquire clothes is changing. When I was younger I primarily shopped in the name of fun. Necessity is always there and yes, I would sometimes go to the mall searching for something for an occasion, but buying clothes was usually framed around what I liked and what I felt like buying. After, I got married it was first and foremost about figuring out the best deal. But now things are shifting and I’m thinking more and more about investment pieces, foundational pieces, and having quality items that I can wear often and in different ways.
- I stuff. I stuff social media. I stuff food. I stuff … stuff. I’m working on this. Maybe it’s a journey I’m on this whole year. I’m seeing how I consume … just because it’s there, not because it’s good. I haven’t written about the more negative aspect of being off Facebook and realizing how few good friends I actually have (there, I said it), but it’s true. When I was done with my clothes and put back what was good…well, there wasn’t a lot there.
- Marie Kondo was right. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year and I loved it. I was sold. I thought I was ready. But as life goes sometimes, I didn’t carry out a big one-time decluttering/purging push as Kondo suggests. Now that I’m really doing it, I see how right Kondo is about all of it. I started noticing some of these things even when I wasn’t actively decluttering. One example is her insistence that like items should be all together in one space wherever possible. I’ve since moved all our toys into the boys’ room. When I read the book, I thought she took the purging a bit too far. Now, I get it. I want that minimalism. I want less so we can do more.
- I had forgotten the order Kondo laid out. I just put the book on hold but I’m 49th in line, so that probably won’t work. I’m interested in exactly the order she prescribed. However, there are some good resources online. I found this helpful. I think, from what I’m seeing online, the order goes something like: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, mementos.
- Our belongings tell a story, so what’s mine? About 1/4th of my closet was clothes I wore as a teacher and haven’t really worn since. I’m still not sure if I’m returning to teaching, but I know that if I did, it won’t be soon. Being a teacher was such a source of pride and happiness for me, but seeing all those pretty dresses there has been such a thorn. My choice to be home is one that is intentional and purposeful and I’m happy to be here, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to open up my closet and be reminded of a prior season. If there’s one thing I want to accomplish in this decluttering process beyond less stress and more peace is having a home that truly reflects my current life and values, not my past season (or seasons….cause girl also found some jewelry and clothes that were clearly bought by a teenager trapped in a woman’s body?)
- I’m very easily overstimulated by input. After seeing our closet so nice and thinned, I kept thinking about how critical it is that every part of our home looks and feels just exactly like this. I’m so overwhelmed by stuff, I think even more than the average person. Even when someone brings me stuff, I panic a little. The more is not the merrier for me when it comes to stuff. Not in the least bit. It’s just more that I have to manage and fix and clean and put back and feel like I have to use.
- We are so blessed! So blessed! Going through all my items and keeping those that do spark joy just had me feeling so very grateful. My gratitude is for every single little thing. Bras that fit. Socks that keep my feet warm. A pretty necklace for special days. Button downs for a job (Paul’s) that has been so good for our family. A scarf I wore in NYC while holding hands with Paul. Purging brings about an outcome that’s the opposite of what it feels like it should. The more I tossed into those bags and could see the very good things we have, I felt like I had gained more and more. I felt truly rich in the truest way.
Well, after writing this all out, I’m reading to take on some more.
I rested quite a bit, with either toddlers hanging out in my lap or a book in my hands or both, this weekend while Paul was home with us. I’m refreshed and eager to take on the next space.
Let me know if you’ve gone through the konmari process or any recent decluttering and reorganizing! I get so excited seeing other people minimize and love it!