Do you KonMari? Either you are obsessed, think it’s ridiculous, or you’ve never heard of it. In a nutshell, KonMari is a method of complete reorganization of your possessions so that you are happy with them all. A lot of people get hung up on the folding or the getting rid of stuff or the “how can I possibly do this with kids running around?!” But you really have to step back and see the whole process to understand how it will work in your home. In this post I’ll show you how I created my KonMari capsule wardrobe.
The system was developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese professional organizer. Her first book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has reached millions around the world. He second book: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up was recently released.
After reading them both and being inspired by other bloggers and Facebook groups, I was ready to begin.
I had read the first book while pregnant. It appealed to my minimalist sensibilities and my nesting urges. But it was difficult to make decisions about clothes for myself or the baby. There were also questions I had. Reading Spark Joy helped clear many doubts and now that I’m three months postpartum, I’m ready.
So, when should you start? My best advice is to start at a time when you won’t have a problem with your house looking like an utter disaster for a bit. If you start and then disrupt yourself to fix everything up for visiting friends or family, you’re setting yourself up to fail. I did start before I knew I was ready, but I accepted that it would be temporary and knew I would start over from the beginning.
Here’s my beginning
KonMari Clothes for a Capsule Wardrobe
I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for years–before I even knew it had a fancy name. It’s basically a minimalist wardrobe that’s sometimes based around seasons. And while Kondo suggests keeping clothes out all year, I do put away off-season clothes. There are a variety of reasons I do this. Mainly, I live in a place with four distinct seasons and I need to be excited and prepare myself for each one. So that’s what I do.
To begin with my clothes, I put everything on the bed in a huge pile and then I asked my kids to come and rummage around in it.
It’s really important to get buy-in from kids. They should be a part of the entire process. To truly give them an education for life, I have to teach them how to choose and care for their possessions. Doing this is absolutely part of my homeschool. So I asked for their help to go through my clothes. I explained that we were going to do a huge project in the house and that I needed everyone’s help to problem solve. I told them when it’s all done, we will have a beautiful place to play.
My son wasn’t too interested in the clothes part and wandered off after a few minutes. But R kept going through my clothes, putting them in little piles. She watched me as I held each item and decided whether or not it sparked joy.
The trick to letting your young children “help” is to let them go through the clothes you aren’t working on at the moment. For example, I’m looking at pants while she picks up dresses and twirls them around and throws them on the floor. It might not be respectful of the article of clothing, but you’ve gotta admit it is fun to make a mess. Let the kids get it out of their system.
Here’s what I have in my Winter KonMari capsule wardrobe:
- Three long dresses
- Three pair of pants
- Two long sweaters
- Five waist-length sweaters
- Five dresses (I wear these as tops over pants.)
- One pair of shoes (Not pictured. I wear one pair of Dansko clogs every day. I also own some sandals and OluKai flip flops that are put away for the season.)
- One purse (The others that are in the photographs are put away.)
- Fourteen scarves (These are year-round. Yep, I’m a hijabi in case you didn’t know. So my scarves are items of clothing for me.)
- Three pajama/loungewear pants
- Two leggings
- One pair of legwarmers
- Six tees
- One flannel sleepshirt
- Two sweatshirts
- Seven pair of socks
- Underwear and bras (Not pictured, but I need to get new ones anyway. I will probably have seven underwear and two bras. That seems reasonable.)
- Two coats (Not pictured. One is a big puffer and the other is a grey wool jacket.)
Here’s why I love my KonMari capsule wardrobe:
- I can get ready like super-fast. I know what goes together and I can grab it and put it on.
- By thinking about what works at the beginning of the season, I can look put-together without taking the time to think about it every day.
- I do one load of laundry for myself each week.
- There’s enough flexibility that I can mix things up if I’m feeling like it.
- All of my clothes fit in a very small area of our family closet (yeah, that’s right… 5 people in one closet).
- I truly love all of my clothes, even the loungewear for just around the house.
For the clothes that I don’t wear often, are out of season, or aren’t breastfeeding-friendly, I have a storage box from IKEA. Everything is organized inside and grouped together. I have a few things labeled because it’s not apparent what they are when folded. If needed, I can quickly and easily pull out an item for a special occasion.
I will continue to post about my KonMari adventure. I’m committed to seeing the entire process through–no matter how long it takes–and looking forward to a home that sparks joy.