I’ll be the first to admit when Marie Kondo released her book; The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I read it and loved it, thinking she had very useful tips of simplifying the clutter in my home using her KonMari Method.
When the Netflix show came about, the first episode involved a couple going through their wardrobes and I had this strange feeling that people were about to start throwing out their basics because they didn’t ‘Spark Joy’.
And I was right, because nearly every second day after the show was released, I was getting messages from clients to be and readers of the blog. They wanted to book a wardrobe makeover session because their wardrobe was no longer sparking joy after they’d KonMari-d it.
They’d thrown out their nude bras and seamless knickers because they didn’t spark joy (but later realised those underwear lines they were getting weren’t sparking joy either), they’d ditched their boring jackets, plain pants, plain tops and even their go-to around the house clothes because these didn’t spark joy. And at the end of it all, they were left in a worse situation than where they’d started because they didn’t consider the factors I urge clients to before decluttering their wardrobes.
In every craze, whether they’re diets, minimalism, terrarium building in your home or whatever it may be, there are certain situations where making drastic changes can be harmful. In this case, I believe going through the Marie Kondo process on your wardrobe is harmful not only to your wallet; you’ll still have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear at the end of it, but to your sense of style.
MARIE KONDO DOESN’T CONSIDER YOUR STYLE OR LIFESTYLE
As a Stylist, this is a big one for me. When I’m going through a clients wardrobe, we’re not in there for the sole purpose of decluttering. There are other factors at play, we’re building a style and finding the pieces that match that and removing the things that don’t.
We’re setting limitations for how much each person needs in their wardrobe before they start to feel overwhelmed with choice and we’re also thinking of ways we can make that space more user-friendly, providing less, what I love to call, mental clutter. What isn’t included in the method are the practical things like picking colours you love and ensuring you have enough colours in your wardrobe that match together, and enough other pieces to work with them.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed that the Marie Kondo method doesn’t do when it comes to wardrobe decluttering is to consider the person’s lifestyle. There’s no in-depth look into making an informed decision on removing items and if we did consider our lifestyles more before decluttering we’d have more successful decluttering happening.
Checking how much work clothing you have compared to how often you work is important, Ie; if you work half the week and more than half of your wardrobe is work clothing then this is an over-crowded area that needs attention. If you have too much gym clothing and you rarely visit the gym, then it’s not motivating you to go, it’s just filling space – expensive space if you live in Sydney.
Compare your schedule with your wardrobe and see what you’re wearing before you do any decluttering. Something I find super useful for people to do is take a photo of every outfit they wear for a month, then asses the things you haven’t worn and ask yourself why that is. The Marie Kondo method is on the right track in helping you to remember what makes you happy in your wardrobe, but it’s a cookie-cutter solution to something that needs more consideration.
LET’S CHAT ABOUT WASTED CLOTHING
These days, recycling is more important than ever and clothing is what has Australia listed as the second most wasteful country in the world when it comes to textiles because so much of our clothing is going into landfill. Reasons it’s going there is often due to overcrowding of donation bins or stores but the main reason clothes are sent to landfill even if you’ve dropped them off at your local Vinnies or Salvation Army is the clothes are soiled.
Clothes left outside a donation bin can get damp, insect or mould infected, clothes that smell or have any stains on them may not even get recycled into rags and much of the time it can take only one item in a bag to be soiled before the entire bag is sent to landfill. When you’re doing big wardrobe clean outs, the best thing you can do is separate your garments into piles.
WHAT TO DO WITH OLD BRAS, UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS
One pile should be for soiled clothing like old underwear, swimwear and gym clothing, these garments can be sent to a textile recycling centre which then recycle your old under-things into insulation, furniture and various other things we need and buy.
If you have underwear you’ve not worn, or bra’s that have been worn once or twice but are washed and stain free, checkout The Uplift Project who provide bras to women in need not only in Australia but various locations around the world.
WHAT TO DO WITH OLD SHOES
If your shoes are still in wearable condition, put these in a cardboard box and take them to a Salvation Army or St Vincent De Paul if they’re everyday shoes or if they’re women’s work shoes – donate them to Dressed For Success.
If your shoes are no longer in wearable condition, donate them to your local recycling centre.
WHAT TO DO WITH CLOTHES YOU WANT TO SELL
We’ve all bought things we’ve regrettably not worn, some things might even be sitting in your wardrobe with tags on them and that’s okay! The KonMari Method advises you to remove tags from your items as it will make your wardrobe a happier place, but your clothes still have tags on them for a reason. The second you remove those tags the resale value will go down, so to get the most out of your money consider selling your items. There’s a post all about selling your pre-loved and new clothing right here!
When you’re doing your wardrobe declutter, start small and don’t rush through it. Every piece in your wardrobe should be deserving of its place and it’s okay to take the time to work out which pieces really work and which no longer fit your style. If you’re considering the Marie Kondo method, remember to think about what you actually want to achieve from your decluttered wardrobe and always consider your personal style and lifestyle – without these two factors, you can’t spark joy!