Happy first day of spring, dear readers! For many of us, this is a time to take stock of our homes and clean, refresh, and de-clutter. This was certainly the mindset I was in two years ago when I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and embarked on what would turn out to be the biggest spring-cleaning project of my life. If you haven't hopped on the KonMari bandwagon yet, perhaps this is your season to do it! To inspire you to tackle your own closets and cupboards, here's a little rundown of how it's changed my life for the better in the last two years.
1. I buy fewer things overall.
This was probably the biggest, most immediate, and most noticeable change post-KonMari. Although we live in a one-bedroom condo, our tidying marathon still took three months on and off. That was three months of having clothes and shoes piled in the middle of the living area; sorting through books and DVDs for the ones that sparked joy and donating the ones that didn't; finding defunct electronics and dead batteries that had to be dropped off for recycling; reaching into the deepest recesses of cupboards and pulling out dishes we'd forgotten about. Such an arduous process made us realize how much stuff we owned. When everything was spic and span again, we were in no hurry to clutter up our lives with new possessions! Instead, everything we bought and brought into the condo was carefully considered. I even started writing down everything I purchased.
2. I know my own style better.
Many OOTD style bloggers (myself included) probably started with the intention of honing and showing their personal style, but somewhere along the way—between experimenting with trends, accumulating followers, getting likes—we may have lost ourselves. Pre-KonMari my closet was a jumble of clothes I rarely wore except for outfit posts. There were funny-cut tops and dresses that needed a special bra; pants that I could only tuck certain blouses into; sweaters and skirts in bright hues that would only go with specific pieces; stuff that looked great in photos but was too constricting IRL.
Ironically, I didn't get to know what makes my personal style tick until I pared back everything to the essentials. Now I know exactly what works for me and what doesn't:
- My day-to-day lifestyle calls for casual, comfy, denim-driven looks. Jeans, walk-able shoes, goes-with-anything coats and bags, and easy-to-wear dresses are all staples.
- Blue is my colour, particularly cool shades of blue like navy, indigo, and cobalt. Anything I buy in another colour has to be a neutral or a bright accent hue with a cool undertone.
- I don't actually like wearing blazers, all black, or leopard print.
- I'm lazy when it comes to drycleaning or ironing, so clothes that don't require me to do either are the best option.
- I need to be able to wear a normal bra under any top or dress.
My day-to-day looks are admittedly a lot more repetitive now, but I get so much more use and joy out of my clothes. It takes me less time to get dressed in the mornings and I feel mentally free to think about other things. Plus, when I go shopping I buy things with confidence because I know I need them, I'll wear them often, and they'll fit into my life and current style. This is a far cry from buying clothes just to try on trends and personas for size.
3. I have more room in my life—physically, mentally, financially—for what sparks joy.
Not shopping constantly (and mindlessly) for new trendy clothes, not having to take things to the drycleaner or cobbler, and not having to take OOTD photos anymore freed up a lot of time, energy, and money for other things. I spent more quality time with the boy—going on date nights, taking weekend trips together, reading books side-by-side in companionable silence, getting coffee and exploring the city. I started an herb garden (something I'd been wanting to do for ages!) and began exercising much more via the Bar Method. When I did go shopping, it was for things that supported my new interests and goals: workout wear, patio furniture, new living room decor, and comfy weekend/lounge wear.
4. I'm engaged in an ongoing dialogue with my possessions.
In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo claims that people who've used her methods never have to tidy again and never fall back into their old ways. That's true to some extent—you'll never tidy to the same extent as your epic KonMari marathon—but I found that, for me, it kicked off the beginning of an ongoing dialogue with my things. Two years in and I'm still evaluating whether things in my life spark joy—still whittling, editing, refining—and discarding what doesn't. That explains why, as I type this, there's a small pile of clothes in our closet earmarked for donation, as well as some beauty samples that don't suit my hair and skin type. This has probably been the most valuable takeaway of all from the KonMari method: the self-awareness and confidence to let go of what doesn't serve me and my best life.
Have you tried KonMari-ing your place yet (or do you have other de-cluttering methods you swear by)?