Living Below Our Means: The Closet Update

At the beginning of the year, I made a post about clutter-free living, featuring Marie Kondo's Book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Now I'd like to write an update to that post, and to share with you my experience thus far. Please pardon the picture quality -- all are taken with my iPhone.

The above is a good representation of how my closet looks like now. Not much has changed from a few months ago. Nothing has been styled or removed; in fact, I left my laundry hamper and a pair of jeans on top of the dresser there to show you how it looks like on daily basis. Notice I hung a skirt on the closet handle because I planned to wear it that day. The perk about this method is that it completely eliminates the needs for seasonal clothing storage. Apart from some shoes and coats I store downstairs, this is all the clothing that I've got.

I've added things on the very top rack and the bottom drawer (that was previously empty), but those are only re-arrangements and not newly acquired things. Let's take a closer look at those.

As you can see on the right-hand picture, I keep the KonMari way of folding for easy viewing of my items but I've got two exceptions. 

On the left-hand picture is the bottom-two drawers. The right-hand drawer used to be empty -- now I use it to store my lounging/playing clothes, various t-shirts and cotton leggings. Living with an incredibly active and normally messy boy, I use these clothing when we cook together, draw, play in the yard/garage, walking about the neighborhood, frolicking in the park, etc. Notice also that I don't use the KonMari way of folding because this drawer is a fast-mover -- I would go through the whole content of this drawer in a week-time or less. The left-hand drawer are my sportswear as explained before -- many are too bulky to be folded KonMari way, so I leave them as such. 

Up on top, I store a green cardboard box that contains my accessories, and I nestle my hats next to it for easy access.

Remember I was going to declutter of the Tod's clothing in the last post? I did it!! This space next to my drawer set used to be full to the brim with bags and bags of clothes (did I say that they were vaccuum bags?? which can contain more things than regular bags?). Now, the small tub is all I keep as momento from the Tod's baby clothing; things that I would not throw away forever such as his first going-home onesie, his first pair of shoes, etc. The flowery box and striped box contain PapaLorp's stuff (and as Kondo said in her book, we do not declutter other people's belonging... although I am incredibly itching to do it!!). I also did the KonMari on the Tod's clothing, let me know if you want to see them.

I offered some suggestions or tips to those who are wanting to try this method. Those tips can be found here. Another tip that I can offer you is: don't be afraid to re-phrase the question "Does this spark joy?" -- which to me, can be quite fatiguing and draining emotionally.

In re-phrasing the question, I pondered of what Kondo means by "spark joy." I recently watched her Talks at Google, in which she described in Japanese what the phrase means. She speaks of things that "brings happiness" or the literal Japanese translation of "shiawase-kureu mono" (幸せくれるもの). One may argue that things cannot bring happiness. True enough. Happiness points to something deeper that does not always correlate to function, novelty, status, trend, etc. In fact, definition of happiness is very fluid. What "brings happiness" to me means different things to what "brings happiness" to someone else, or to me in the future or in the past. As written in the book, one should focus on one's life here and now, owning things that reflects one's current life, one's current definition of happiness. 

If you are stuck with "spark joy," I offer you these alternate phrases:

 "Does this reflect who I am right now?" 
 "Do I want to keep this?" "Which of these do I want to keep," Focus on the keep and not on the get rid (e.g. which of these I want to let go). This slight change in perception will help highlight the true value of an item to you.
"Which of these do I want to live with from now on until the rest of my life?" which is an exaggeration but still capture the essence of the question. 
 "Do I want to be with this item?"
"If this item can speak, what will it tell me?" Not for the unbeliever of the hoccus-poccus but works for me.

When I keep in mind these questions daily on things that I wear or use, naturally things will get donated and new things will be acquired. This is one of the issue that Kondo does not discuss directly in her book; how things are "maintaining" themselves -- what "maintained" things is the mindfulness of choosing which brings happiness or sparks joy in one's life.

In the next installment, I will address some lingering and/or common questions and skepticisms about this method -- some surrounding how to keep self from rebounding, boredom, etc. I also plan a separate post about impulse buy.

Keep in mind that what I share with you is from my own experience. If you are doing the KonMari and blogging about it, let me know and I will link up your blog on my next installment so we can keep the conversation going. Here's one from Monika at Rocaille Writes. Have you done the KonMari? How was your experience? What have worked for you? What do you want to know from my experience with the KonMari?


  1. Great post! i love staying organized :)
    -Jenna <3
    Follow me back?? The Chic Cupcake

  2. Love this post - wish I could do the same! I just want to be able to get a little money back from my unwanted clothes and Ebay is terrible to sell from these days.

    1. Hi Charlotte, there are other ways to sell clothing in the U.S. besides eBay, such as private lists, consignment stores, etc. I'm sure those are perhaps available where you live? If not, a garage sale may be in order?

  3. Thank you for the link love, Claire! I love how your closet looks right now - everything is in one spot, easy to access, organized, clearly visible. My clothes are still in two spots (a dresser and a small walk-in closet without shelves), but since they're very close to one another in my bedroom, I think it works fine for me. I'm thinking of following your example and doing a little wardrobe tour on the blog quite soon!