On Marie Kondo-ing My Wardrobe
Ever since, well, as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the idea of minimalism and making my space as neat as can be.
I would spend hours upon hours rearranging my room, sorting through clothes, and meticulously organizing my belongings. My dad even imposed a “one rearrangement a month” rule for me growing up because I always embarked on such intense projects that went on for days.
Recently, I watched the first few episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and, while I have admittedly never read her book, many of her principles resonated within my minimalist soul. Keeping only the items that spark joy is an excellent gauge of what I actually need and want in my closet.
So my friend and I embarked on an epic closet dumping, holding up each piece of clothing and evaluating its use in my life.
Talk about radical and piercing self examination.
It’s not really about the clothes, although they provided the vehicle for this introspective challenge. It was easy to point out the first few pieces that obviously brought me joy, that I couldn’t imagine living without and I wear nearly every day.
The other pieces really caused me to pause and reflect: do I need this? Am I holding onto this out of obligation? Did I spend the rest of a gift card on this dress, hence I don’t want to part with it? Is this something I am “waiting” to fit into? is this something I convince myself I will wear someday? Is this something I am sick of simply from looking at it everyday, not actually wearing frequently? Do I hold onto something because I used to live in the Midwest and wear winter things, but now don’t have a use for it?
It’s a scary thing, purging ruthlessly. It hurts a bit, saying goodbye to the material things that you acknowledge don’t bring you happiness or fulfillment, but you still are mindlessly attached to.
It’s a good exercise in interior simplicity to say “thank you, next” to the parts of life, no matter how small and insignificant, do not spark that joy within you. For while material things cannot provide happiness, it makes great sense to keep only those goods that remind you of beauty and comfort and that invoke a spirit of intentional living and happiness, and to shed what does not.
Because, as Marie Kondo reminds us all, minimalism isn’t about getting rid of more: it’s about making more room, substantial and meaningful room, for the things that matter most to us.
Sigh. Goodbye, dress with the horizontal stripes that only looked good in my imagination.