I Tried Marie Kondo's KonMari Method
When I heard about Marie Kondo’s latest show called ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ on Netflix, my inner tidy freak shrieked and went on to watch the entire series in just 1.5 days (I could’ve done it all in a day but I had RuPaul All Stars to watch too!!). And not even midway through the first episode… I knew that I had to try it out for myself. I mean it’s not like I haven’t heard of Marie Kondo’s methods beforehand but I guess watching the show is visually inspiring and motivating enough that it makes you feel a certain way. I had that itch to tidy and gurl, did I tidy. Before I delve into my experience, here’s a little 411:
Who is she?
Marie Kondo is the tidying expert from Japan with a #1 New York Times Bestseller on, you guessed it, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. Her simple and effective approach to an otherwise difficult task has won the hearts of many.
Fun fact: she started her career as a tidying consultant at the age of 19! Oh, and if you’re wondering how tall she is… she’s smaller than me. By a full inch! Yes, I googled it the moment I saw her on-screen 😅🙃.
What is it?
Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method is all about keeping things that ‘spark joy’ and letting go of all the things that does not. Her approach to tackling things by categories, namely: clothing, books, paper then miscellaneous/komono create an immaculate process that allows room for introspection within oneself.
What I loved most about the KonMari Method was the little gesture of thanking each item for the service and use when they’re being let go. This tiny yet powerful detail works wonders to lessen that feeling of guilt that prevents us all from donating or discarding an unused item.
So tackling clothes first, here’s what went down:
I gathered and pulled all the clothings I owned onto one bed. And though I was shocked by how it looked, I was definitely not surprised that I had that many. I was however, embarrassed at the mountainous pile of clothing that was now on my bed because - let’s be honest - no one actually needs that many pieces of clothing. And given that I am currently trying to work towards building a capsule wardrobe and a more minimalist style overall, I decided to let go of a few items that I thought were no longer cohesive with my current fashion. In other words, they were clothes that no longer sparked joy for me (cheers to that 🥂).
I finally completed the task and went through each item of clothing… 6 hours later.
The KonMari Method is definitely a very time-consuming task because it forces you to deliberate and decide as you go through and hold each piece in your hands. I can’t believe that such a simple idea can be that effective and this is me saying that but it is. My close friends would know that I am not one to let go of things easily because I believe that things will always come in handy — you never know when you’ll need it. In total, I’ve decided to let go of around 40 items that consisted of shirts, sweaters, jeans, skirts and even a few pair of socks. So yes, the verdict is that it works. The KonMari Method has made my wardrobe lighter and better. Oh and all my clothes are also a lot more visible thanks to an effective folding system that allows me to easily see what they are. And somehow, this folding technique has also created more space. But here’s the next thing that I want to talk about that the show did not address…
How to properly discard or donate all the things that you no longer want to keep:
One of the things that kept crossing my mind repeatedly throughout each episode was the worry and sheer horror at the overwhelming amount of things that were being discarded as thrash. Each episode showed bags after bags full of items being dumped into trashcans and it was alarming because all those perfectly good (though unused and no longer wanted) items were headed for the landfill. That’s a lot of thrash that could either be recycled, up cycled, donated or passed on for a new loving home.
So this is me saying: please find ways to let go of items with consideration and care. Just because it no longer sparks joy for you, doesn’t mean that it should head to landfills. You should never, ever, ever, ever throw away your clothes. Please think twice before you thrash and donate responsibly!
Here’s an infographic on how long clothes take to decompose and an excerpt, both taken from The Fashion Revolution’s ‘How to be A Fashion Revolutionary’ -— “According to Oxfam, more than 70% of the clothes donated globally end up in Africa, which has destroyed the economy for local tailors.”
I’ve been guilty in the past for donating everything to Oxfam but after reading Fashion Revolution’s guide, I’m definitely changing my ways so I’ll be holding on to these 40 items till I find a good solution.
FYI: Stores like H&M, &Other Stories and Monki all have garment collecting bins that will take any textiles no matter the condition or brand but if you have the time, do your research and try to go local by donating to a local shelter or recycling resource.