Monday 27 March 2017

Konmarie - is it for me?

I've heard a lot about Marie Kondo and her seemingly revolutionary Konmarie approach to clearing clutter, something I've always been interested in, so I wondered if her approach was something that could work for me.

Like lots of others, I feel pretty well organised, clear clutter regularly, but can honestly say I have never been in a position where my whole life is free of clutter at any one time.

I have a lot of stuff. Stuff that I don't seem to be able to justify letting go of, as it's cost me a lot of money and just seems so wasteful.

I have also tended to do my clutter clearing by area rather than by item, as suggested by Marie, so it's a bit like painting the fourth bridge and I've never actually been at a point where I could say, that's it, job done.

When following the Konmarie method you clear your clutter by item, rather than by area, gathering all similar items from wherever they may be stored in the house, so you know you've not missed anything.

Marie suggests that you start your clutter clearing with your clothes, as it's likely that your emotional attachment to these is low in comparison to other clutter you will have kicking around.

She breaks it down even further to make it more manageable and I decided to follow the order suggested and started with my tops - shirts, blouses, t-shirts and jumpers.

I had a double wardrobe full of tops for every day, all nicely colour co-ordinated, so I could find stuff easily. There were more tops, for evening wear in another wardrobe, along with a few waiting for repair or to be sold. There was also a work range on a hanging rail in the airing cupboard and a pile of t-shirts and jumpers in drawers and on shelves.

I regularly sort through my wardrobe so was fairly confident everything fit me so I couldn't really imagine I'd find much to let go of.
I collected everything hanging up and laid it on the bed. It looked pretty overwhelming. And that was without the t-shirts or jumpers. I decided this was enough of a category to be going on with.

Tops that were hanging came in at a total count of 93. I couldn't quite believe it.

I have to say at this point I was feeling a bit crappy. All my nicely ordered wardrobes were currently laying on the bed and I didn't really fancy the idea of going through each and every one. After all, I had them all because I loved them ..... Didn't I? Surely my regular sort outs, trying ons and culls meant that I would want to keep them all.

However, for someone who no longer works and doesn't have that much of a getting dressed up and going out social life, in my heart I knew that 93 was a bit crazy.

I gave Martin a shout and asked him how many he thought I had. 30 was his response. When I told him how many I had he asked where are they all? Laying on the bed I said!

I did sit for a while looking them. I knew I was supposed to decide what to keep, rather than what to throw away and I knew I was supposed to handle every one individually and decide whether I loved it or it brought me joy. This was to drive my decision as to what I kept.

I made a decision that I was going to handle each item only once, including any necessary trying on, make my decision and stick to it.

I took a very deep breath, a huge slug of diet pepsi, put a decent bra on, for trying on purposes, and picked up my first top.

From touching it, I knew I loved it, I could remember the times I'd worn it, though I have to say I haven't worn it for the last year. I decided to try it on and looked in the mirror and though I felt like I loved it, I didn't love the way it looked.

I'd like to say that this made for an easy decision, but it didn't. Maybe it would look better if I lost a bit of weight. Should I have a pile for this category? I don't really think that's the idea, so what to do? Another sit down, another look in the mirror. It was no good I couldn't decide.

At the back of my mind I was thinking, what if I decide to chuck it and then regret it? What if I don't have enough tops? Bloody hell, I thought, I have 93, surely I won't miss one!!!!

I decided there and then I needed at least three piles. Definitely keep, definitely chuck and wasn't sure. Then at the end I would review the wasn't sure pile and think again.

God, I hoped it would get easier,

The 2nd one was easier. I'd never really liked it. Just bought it because I was at my heaviest and it was about the only thing that fit. So, not only did I really not like it, it was also far too big. Easy decision, though I have to be honest ... I did have a 'could I alter it?' moment, or 'could I use the fabric for something else?' It went in the dump it

Number 3 was a love it, and it fits great, so back in the wardrobe it went.

Now I don't intend to go through this process with you 93 times, but it was interesting that my first three gave me an item in each pile. One to dump, one to definitely keep and one I wasn't sure about.

When I was at 7 there was a knock on the door, which was a welcome distraction. For a while.

So, just 86 more to go. At this point I felt like just hanging them all back in the wardrobes from hence they'd come.

But I didn't. I cracked on and before long I had a pile of definitely didn't loves on the floor, including a good few never been worns!

I also had a rail of definitely loves, in the wardrobe, divided into ... for the garden, for work, for evening and casual for summer and winter, so I could see exactly what I had.

I also had a rail of 6, yes just 6, that I was not sure about and decided to look at these in conjunction with what I was keeping. So, if I already had a stack of summer casuals that I definitely loved, I didn't really need to keep any of the maybes.

I ended up hanging onto three and losing three.

I also had a small fourth pile of could love if I did something with a for alterations.

So how many were in the wardrobe?

53!!!! So still loads, but I know I love them all, I know they all fit and I know I've got something for every occasion.

More importantly ... I know that, however tempted I may be, I do not need to buy any more tops for a long, long time!!

With the six that need mending, altering or ironing, I am left with 59.

It still feels like far too many, but they fit in the one wardrobe and I kind of feel quite liberated.

I couldn't cope with the way everything was hanging though, even though it would probably be easier to use with clothes hanging by occasion. I couldn't even contemplate The Konmarie way, where they hang in order of length, so it was a quick wiggle around and back to hanging by colour. Now, that feels better.
Next decision is what to do with the pile of 40 on the floor? Part of me thinks I could sell them. Part of me thinks could I use them as fabric. My head tells me to get a black bag and get them to the charity shop quickly.

A black bag it is.

And finally, the pile that needs attention. I have set myself the goal of making any necessary repairs or alterations during the coming week. If I do, they can stay, if not, then they will start their journey to the black bag and onward to hopefully find love elsewhere.

Update ...

I completed this activity about three weeks ago and since then ...
  • I completed the same exercise on my t-shirts and jumpers - that was a lot easier
  • I still have five tops awaiting alteration and I haven't kept to my promise to myself to throw them out
  • It is so easy to find a top to wear now they are all in one place and all loved
  • I am planning to continue with the exercise throughout the house, but am not sure I will get it done in six months


  1. I was laughing! Very similar to me!

  2. I've not built up the courage to do my trousers yet 😂😂😂


Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.