What Happened When We Folded Our Clothes the Marie Kondo Way
Some may know Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru, from her 2011 book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. However, she has recently made her way to the top of the news cycle due to her 2019 Netflix hit Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
In this Netflix series, Kondo makes her way through the homes of very disorganized American homes, and she teaches them how to figure out what to keep, how to store things properly, and how to figure out what sparks joy.
Why Tidy Up Your Clothing?
One of the biggest areas of any home to tackle is arguably the closet. We live in a world where fashion trends change every week and fast fashion is the norm. (Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.)
Because of this, a lot of us have a ton of clothes. Pun intended. And according to the chief design offer for California Closets, we only wear about 20% of the clothing in our closet.
Kondo has a special method for figuring out what to keep, and it’s all about figuring out what sparks joy for you. Kondo says on her website, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”
The idea is that you hold the clothing item in your hands, and if it immediately makes you happy, you keep it. If it doesn’t, you sell it, donate it, or throw it away depending on its condition.
Once you finish the decluttering process, it’s time to store things the KonMari way. This is a special folding technique that allows your clothes to stand up so that you can see everything you own in your drawers. You can watch Kondo explain her basic folding technique here:
Tidying up that closet and your dressers is a huge undertaking, but it also can change your life when it’s finally organized and tidied up. Or can it? Some of us Decatur natives tried folding our clothes according to the Marie Kondo method, and here’s what happened.
Heidi: “My Drawers Actually Spark Joy”
Heidi recently learned about the Marie Kondo folding method, so she set aside an entire Monday morning to go through her dresser. She was a little skeptical about the overall effect it might have on her life, but it turns out the organized drawers have had a massive impact:
“I can just open that drawer up, see everything, and just pull out what I want in the morning. It makes my morning so much happier. I mean, I didn’t really think organized drawers were really going to be a ‘joy’ thing, but it is. It’s weird.”
An unexpected side effect of the organized folding method is that laundry time is a bit more enjoyable. "Not that anyone loves folding laundry, but knowing that I have a system in place makes it easier. It's not just a jumbled mess anymore. It's so precise, which makes that process nicer," she explains.
After she spent some time with her newly decluttered drawers, Heidi decided to do it everywhere! Each time she sees a drawer that can be organized according to the KonMari method, she does it.
Now that all of the clothing and fabric-based items are folded, Heidi is thinking about extending this method to other parts of her home, such as the drawers in her kitchen with gadgets:
“Kondo says to put things in smaller containers inside drawers, and I was thinking about whether or not I could figure out a way to do that. Right now, I can never find anything. I know it’s in there, but I have to shuffle things around to find what I’m hunting for. If I could organize it that way, maybe I could get my husband to put things away properly.”
Bethany: “It Feels Freeing to Look Around and See Less Clutter”
Bethany, a mother of two little girls, first heard about the Marie Kondo style of tidying about a year ago. Her friend was in a local Decatur, IL book club, but Bethany didn't end up reading with the group. She recently watched the series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and learned more about the Kondo process through the show.
She explains, “I donated a ton of items that don't spark joy for me but that could spark joy for someone else. It felt freeing to look around and see less clutter.”
Out of all of the Kondo tidying tips, Bethany has most enjoyed the folding technique: “It's nice looking into a drawer and seeing every item. It even makes dressing my baby easier being able to see all of the possible outfits in one glance.”
Bethany has also tidied up all of her and her husband’s drawers. You can see each and every item – not stacks of folded up clothes.
Rebekah: “My Husband Doubted It – Now He’s All In”
Rebekah first learned about the Marie Kondo folding method through the Netflix series. “My husband thought the show was ridiculous. The idea that you could hold an item and tell if it ‘sparked joy’ for you was laughable to him,” she says.
However, she noticed over the years that were a lot of clothes she wasn’t wearing because she couldn’t see them in her drawers. Her husband also felt like he needed new clothes because he had nothing to wear, despite the fact that the closet and all the drawers were full of options.
She decided to give this folding method a shot, doing one drawer at a time. The first day, her husband came home and opened his sock drawer. “He was amazed,” she recalls. “He told me that maybe that silly show had some merit after all.”
Now, Rebekah and her husband only fold their clothes using the Kondo method. “You can see everything, and there’s never a day anymore where we say that there’s nothing to wear. Plus, the fact that it looks so neat really does improve your day,” she explains.
Turns out there may be a little something to the Marie Kondo folding technique! Give it a try in your home and let us know how it goes!
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