Who knew folding clothes could be so fun?

By Angela Marsh

In the past few months, Marie Kondo has been everywhere. The Japanese organizing expert has written four best-selling books and has a hit show on Netflix — all focused on tidying up your home and other spaces and bringing some peace and balance to your life.

Her method and tips — known by the name KonMari — involve identifying items that bring you joy and getting rid of just about everything else.

I read everything I could find about how to KonMari the heck out of the shelves and drawers and hangers in our master closet. From sparking joy to folding clothes into teeny, tiny rectangles, and repeating the mantra “clothing, books, paper, komono, sentimental.”

Did you know “komono” more or less means “miscellaneous” in Japanese? I didn’t.

Here are five things I learned while transforming our closet.

Folding clothes in tiny packages is fun. Laundry is the bane of my existence. I don’t like it and it doesn’t like me. However, our relationship may be turning a corner. I genuinely like folding the clothes the way Marie suggests. It’s cute in the same way that tiny bottles of ketchup make your heart skip. It’s a laundry craft project! The whole family is making clothes origami. Perhaps laundry and I won’t need couples counseling after all.

 I want my socks to be happy! Marie says that our possessions spark joy through their energy and the way they bring us comfort. In order to bring out the best of our things, we need to treat them with respect. My sweet little socks, who carry all the weight of the world, are much happier now that they are gently folded and stored neatly away. Thank you so much, ankle cut crew socks! You were real troupers today.

 Buy all the things…that bring you joy (and you can afford)! One of Marie’s lessons is to keep what you love with confidence. My daughter told me that she will never again buy something she’s not 100 percent sure about. It must be right or it’s not coming home with her. Even more importantly, she’s going to seize the day when she falls in love with an item. Brilliant idea! Why do we talk ourselves into things we don’t love and talk ourselves out of the things we do?

Your closet can punch you in the face. My previous experience with getting dressed was so negative. “Nope. I don’t fit into that anymore.” “No, that is ugly.” “Where did that sin-of-the-devil shirt come from anyway?” By the time I settled on an outfit, I didn’t like anything — neither my clothes nor myself. Now I can go into my closet and know that what I pick out will fit and I will like it. It’s simply a matter of what is appropriate for the occasion. No more beating myself up through my wardrobe.

Tidying up really is magical. Like most of us, I have a lot going on — an empire to build; teenagers, husband, and animals to look after; and TV shows to binge watch. There is too much to think about all day. I can’t put that much thought into menial tasks! I just need to be able to find my vegetable peeler. Having a place for everything and everything in its place allows me to only focus on what’s important – like the next Netflix series.

The Main Principles of KonMari 

  •   Envision your ideal home first.
  •   Commit to tidying up completely.
  •   Let go of things before you start organizing. Store them in your garage or basement until such time as thrift shops, shelters, and consignment stores reopen. 
  •   If an item doesn’t bring you joy, you should likely get rid of it.
  •   Tidy things up by category, not by location.
  •   Follow the correct order: clothing, books, paper, komono (accessories), sentimental mementos
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