I watched the first episode of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix, and I was hooked. I instantly connected with Marie the person, who has a bright, warm smile and a ringing voice. What is so likeable about her persona is that she exudes genuine empathy, is not judgmental but very understanding of whatever hoarding traits people have. You will notice that people start out by shaking her hand, but by the end of the episode they are warmly hugging her and telling her that they will miss her. It must be amazing to bring so much joy to so many people.

Pic courtesy: India Today

After all that gushing, let me give you a bit of background about me. I am not a huge fan of cleaning or dusting. I do what is necessary but I don’t derive any joy in it. It is boring and monotonous work. And often I am the only one at home doing it. Add to it, the constant battle with clutter. I declutter every few months. I clean the drawers and wardrobes. I fold and arrange. But a few weeks later, the drawers are a mess. We can’t seem to locate simple stuff as it is kept in some ‘safe’ space we all have forgotten. It unnerves me and makes me unhappy. And despite having a fairly large house and lots of storage, I started feeling that we have less storage.

Seeing Marie Kondo’s show was something that instantly spoke to me. I want my house to be clutter free, not neat as it is now where externally things are tidy but the drawers, wardrobes and attics are messy. The task is daunting, and it will take weeks to do it. But I have made a start. So I first bought her book and read it completely. I have to say that the show episodes and book complement each other. You will not understand very well if you don’t visually see her folding methods or storage solutions that she recommends or even the ‘spark joy’ philosophy which did not make much sense to me initially. 

I am going to do a post on each of the Categories of declutter. I loved it that she recommends tackling a category instead of a location like room etc. when starting the process. The categories are clothes, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental items. The experience of putting all the clothes you own as a pile on your bed is sobering and shocking as well.

So here’s my experience with 10 days of Clothes declutter:

What worked for Me with Marie Kondo’s #KonMari method of decluttering clothes:

1. Spark Joy

This may sound pretty ridiculous to some but Marie advocates that we only keep those items in our home that spark joy when we hold them/feel them. As someone who is not really attached to her clothes, I did not know how to implement this. Some of the daily wear or other clothes are purely functional. So I tweaked my way around it. I did dump all the clothes from my wardrobe on to the bed and went through them one by one. I thanked each item that either I had outgrown or just didn’t feel anything for. I started with less interest but slowly I warmed up to clothes. “Thank you for being for favourite jeans.” “Thanks for keeping me warm and for holding so many memories for me.” I was expressing love and gratitude to my clothes, and it did not feel strange. (I must be losing my mind :))

konmari Marie Kondo clothes
My wardrobe! So much space now.

Despite just giving away clothes in November around Diwali, I came up with 2 bags of clothes to discard. I was pretty surprised. Discarding is the first step in her method. Don’t start folding and putting back things till you’ve completely done this. Mind you, it takes time; it is hard work, and your house will look messy for days while you are doing this.

2. Folding

My favourite part of decluttering was following her folding methods for clothes as well as stacking them vertically (where possible) instead of one on top of another as most of us do. She also taught a new method of storing socks instead of the potato-ball method. Her folding methods has many advantages:

konmari Marie Kondo clothes
Kid’s dresser
  1. Saving space: Folding and stacking vertically helps you fit many more items in the same storage space. She recommends folding to hanging unless items are coats, jackets etc.
  2. Better visibility and more difficult to mess: This I instantly noticed. I can pick the exact t-shirt or jeans that I want instead of browsing through a bunch of clothes. That is much less work once you have done it.
  3. Easier to maintain: Stacking them on top of each other takes more space and often the clothes at the bottom never get worn. I face this in my ironed pile. Now I’ve split the ironed pile into smaller batches so that even the lowest cloth item is visible. Unironed stuff is stacked vertically.
konmari Marie Kondo clothes
Another dresser drawer

3. Easy Storage solutions

This again was another favourite of mine. She recommends using smaller cardboard boxes, shoeboxes etc. that are free of cost and help instantly make your drawers neater. So, I implemented this for socks, handkerchiefs, underwear to make them easier to store and maintain.

konmari Marie Kondo clothes
How to fold socks

Most people complain that the kids don’t keep things organized But my point is that no one likes clutter. Often it is just too much work to declutter on a regular basis. What Marie says is that if we declutter once, we will never have to do it again. That is a very exciting prospect for sure. Only a few months down the line can I comment if the method has completely worked.

konmari Marie Kondo clothes
Bed linen and towels organized

4. Maintenance:

Allocate a place for every possession. That way you will instantly know where to put every item, and it will not be left here and there. She has useful solutions for handbags, shoes and accessories like belts, scarves etc. and how to store them properly.

I highly recommend that you watch her series because visually seeing the points she mentioned in her book helps you really understand and implement. Reading the book is also necessary because it is much more detailed on several points. As you can tell, I took down notes.

I watched the kids not only take up the task with gusto but do it well. Both of them gave away clothes after holding them close and thanking them. As Indians, it is not hard for us to assign emotions the inanimate.  I can think of how precious and pious we treat our books and paper so why not our other belongings? Unlike the West, we can connect more easily to how she greets the house or treats clothes, books and other possessions with respect.

They quickly learnt how to fold and are doing it now for their clothes. They come to me and ask if they are confused. And they are absolutely delighted to see how neat their drawers are now.

The lesson for all of us is that we can do it. And that clutter should never be a way of life. Also, this activity helps you become mindful of what you own, whether you need to own so much and how to unclutter your mind as you unclutter the space you inhabit. I am excited with this new activity. Wish me luck to complete all categories.

After this step, I am moving on to the second category – Books. Will update you on how that went in the next post.

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konmari Marie Kondo clothes

Do you struggle with clutter? Have you read Marie’s book? If so, has it inspired you?

Pic courtesy for Pinned pic and sock folding: By Kostikova Natalia on Shutterstock

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19 Thoughts on “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo – How I Decluttered Clothes

  1. This sounds fantastic. And I love how your wardrobe looks. I did try to catch an episode on Netflix but it didn’t hold my interest maybe because I hadn’t read the book.
    Folding seems like a lot of work and I love all my clothes so that might be a problem point. But I’ll wait to get my hands on the book before I take a final call.

  2. The whole spark joy thing wouldn’t work for me – there are things I have out of necessity rather than joy {read: a lot of my kitchen pots and pans!} As for the folding, it really looks good in theory but again, I put things like socks and underwear away so quickly that I just stuff them in drawers. The rest of my clothes are on hangers and activewear, I’ll fold but I honestly like to spend the least amount of time it takes to put away my clothes after they come off the line! I do declutter but more based on am I using this or not. Also, books don’t count as clutter!
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…All of the thingsMy Profile

  3. I began watching her show yesterday and was stunned to discover how similar mine and her thinking is!
    I am a control freak when it comes to cleanliness and de-cluttering. I simply detest hoarding stuff. SOme time back, I read that if you haven’t used a particular item for a year or two, just give it away so that someone else can make use of it and you will have some extra space in your wardrobe/house for positive energy to flow easily. And, that is what I have always been following.
    And, I love folding laundry and putting it away neatly in the wardrobe. Although, I don’t fold like Marie does, I make sure all the clothes are always neatly stacked. But, I am thinking of storing my clothes the way she teaches…

    Today, after watching the second episode, I was like, “WOW!! I Am Marie Kondo!!” You know, I too use different sized boxes to store stuff. And, I go a step ahead…I label the boxes in case they don’t have transparent lids. So, when I look at the drawers with labelled boxes, it gives me such a high! 😛

    Do I sound crazy? 😀

  4. Your wardrobe looks super organized. I love this way of rolling clothes as it takes less space. I use the same technique while packing suitcases… easier to fold and pick up. I haven’t thrown away anything in years and badly in need of some decluttering. So glad that your boys are also excited about cleaning up and discarding things they don’t need. Loved this post Rachna. Wonderful takeaways from the show.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Ikigai – Zentangle Inspired TypographyMy Profile

  5. This looks so good. I also reorganise the clothes cupboards once in two months but in a few days, they are back to square one. And then everyone is searching for something all the time. I need to catch this show now. So tempting.

  6. I am usually a very organized person, but I do have problem areas. Not clothes, I am a minimalist when it comes to them. But unsurprisingly – books! And I am hesitant to Kon Mari my books , because well..they are Books!

    I want to believe all of them Spark Joy for me. Though even as I am writing this I know they don’t, not all of them. Some actively add to my stress levels. But I am going to wait for your update. See how it goes for you, and then take a call. 😀
    Shantala recently posted…2 Book Recommendations to Start Your Year RightMy Profile

  7. This is amazing! I’ve been dying to use the KonMari method on my own but it’s gonna take some practice! This is inspiring me to give it a shot!
    Jasemine Denise recently posted…ClaustroClothic #20: Little Black Dress // Vintage FashionMy Profile

  8. This is a much needed post. I bought her book a few months back. Gifted a copy to Shailaja also, but somewhere down the line I lost interest reading it. Think I will revive my interest by watching the series on Netflix. I love decluttering and do it at a fairly regular pace.

    I actually stack my clothes in my suitcase in the manner she has mentioned, good idea to explore the same with my Wadrobe too. I’m getting on to the documentary later today and will get started on the book too. Thanks for the reminder, Rachna.
    You wardrobes look great.
    Wonder if I will ever be able to Konmarie my books. Love them too much.

    https://natashamusing.com/2019/01/breathe-wordoftheyear-woty-monday-musings/

  9. I saw the first episode of Marie Kondo and truthfully I was wowed away. However, I know it’s not practical for me. Firstly, I don’t have drawers but large shelves, secondly I will have to buy trays/boxes to hold folded clothes and I don’t want to buy more things as I am on a minimalistic drive.

    I stack clothes neatly, while some go on hangers and socks usually go in the drawers and forgotten. I clean my wardrobes every 3 months and take out bags full of clothes, but this time I will do more than that. I will try the Konmarie method where I will say thank you to the things I want to discard.

  10. A beautiful post, Rachna. I saw the first episode of Marie Kondo and truthfully I was wowed away. However, I know it’s not practical for me. Firstly, I don’t have drawers but large shelves, secondly I will have to buy trays/boxes to hold folded clothes and I don’t want to buy more things as I am on a minimalistic drive.

    I stack clothes neatly, while some go on hangers and socks usually go in the drawers and forgotten. I clean my wardrobes every 3 months and take out bags full of clothes, but this time I will do more than that. I will try the Konmarie method where I will say thank you to the things I want to discard.
    Anshu Bhojnagarwala recently posted…How to make mom friends in a new city?My Profile

  11. I have seen posts about Marie Kondo’s book shared on Instagram. It did not catch my fancy until I saw your blog update and here I am inspired by you (more than Marie Kondo, I think) to de-clutter my small flat. Stacking clothes one over the other and forgetting the ones which are at the bottom of the pile is something I know very well and yet I cannot do anything about it. I need to read the book first and download Marie Kondo’s Netflix series. I am really interested in how you deal with all your books. I can give away clothes and shoes but books? No, I think.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows #KidLitBookReview 24My Profile

  12. I would like to give this show a try. I am like you Rachna. I derive no pleasure in cleaning or organizing. I am organized so in my stack of clothes, I pull from the bottom to wear so that works but yes, no harm trying to learn better techniques. 🙂 thanks for sharing! I am already intrigued.
    Parul Thakur recently posted…The Green Letter BoxMy Profile

  13. Reading this post made me smile so much Rach! I was imagining doing these things and then realised I wouldnt be able to. I gained so much weight in last one year that I have tonnes of my pretty clothes which just dont fit and I am holding onto them as I am dreaming of fitting into them again!! I will die if I d this. I need some more time with them 🙂

    But this really sounds very interesting and I will try some of these organising methods – the socks tray looks damn neat and yes I too face that problem in piles that stuff at the bottom never get worn!!

  14. I have to get the book now before I get on to the show. It will be my guilty pleasure I’m sure. I’m someone who like cleaning a lot. I like making plans, arranging things in a particular format and everything. I know I’m crazy, but yeah! 😀

    Marie Kondo would help me a lot, I’m sure of it. I love the way you have arranged your clothes, they look so clean and easy to pick. I love it that she asks you to talk to your clothes, I’d love to do that too. I’m not a materialistic person so I’m not attached to things, but it would be interesting to see where implementing this method would take me.
    Soumya recently posted…Action Replay + Gratitude List: January 2019My Profile

  15. Great tips and ideas Rachna. I like the idea for the socks. 😉

  16. I need to try the vertical space model to create space and also get rid of socks folded the potato way. Already got so much stuff in my wardrobe and true, decluttering a room can be postponed endlessly with me, making it a yearly event. Heard Marie Kondo is making waves on Netflix. Your wardrobe looks super organized in a neat fashion!

  17. As I mentioned on Insta to you, I love how your clothes have been organised so very beautifully. You’ve completely taken this to heart and implemented it right away. So very inspiring 🙂

    Isn’t her way of folding clothes so beautiful? I swear I want to get Netflix just to watch her show 😀

    One of the things I really liked about her, the person, from what I saw on TV interviews is that nothing fazes her. She’s so calm and collected and Zen. A quality I hope to achieve one day.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Best Book Series for Tweens & TeensMy Profile

  18. I think I heard about her on one of our rides home in the car pool. A friend mentioned something similar. After reading your post, I realised I do most of the stuff like discarding clothes frequently. The vertical folding thing, I need to look into it and make my mind ready to do it first. We live in a big house too but with less storage….lol..no just enough storage I should say. The son gets hand me down T shirts from his uncle and he wears only those that he finds visible all the time and they are hung in the center of the closet. The others keep going to either ends of the closet :D. the son doesn’t really care to give away clothes but the daughter….god…she’s a hoarder…it runs in the dad’s side of the family…lol
    Found In Folsom recently posted…Small things do matter!My Profile

    • I discard too yet using her philosophy made me give away more. The kids have also accepted the method of folding and stacking so far. That hoarding habit I tell you is really our bane.

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