I was the woman with a walk-in closet full to the brim with clothing. All organized by color and style, much of it with the tags still on. There were labeled containers to hold accessories I never wore, shoe racks for shoes I never touched, and hooks for purses that were never opened. It looked beautiful and full, until the day it collapsed. Literally… the rack holding it all collapsed and my beautiful, well-organized wardrobe was in a giant heap on the closet floor. This was the first time I began to think that perhaps I had a problem with excessive amounts of clothing.
Over time I discovered Marie Kondo and her idea of clothing “sparking joy”. I used the method to go through my closet. Although I got rid of a large amount, I still didn’t quite understand what she was talking about.
Fast forward a bit and a couple of pregnancies providing me the opportunity to experience the pure excitement of starting my wardrobe over from scratch. I loved my maternity clothing. Each piece was carefully selected, as I knew it was only going to be worn for a brief period of time. I had few items but was happy with everything. It was lovely on laundry day.
Post babies I looked at my closet and knew I needed to switch things up a bit. My body was different, my clothing needs were different. I ended up donating a lot of it and this time last year my mom took me birthday shopping for a brand new wardrobe. Much like I did with my maternity clothing, I was selective, minimal and careful with my decisions.
Currently, I am blown away by how few clothes I own and yet how it feels like I have so much more then I ever did before. It’s easy to get dressed in the morning when there are less options and I know I will like what I put on.
For the first time in my life I get it when Marie Kondo speaks of clothing “sparking joy” and can now describe what this means to me in a very specific way.
This is how I define it.
1. If I want to purchase doubles of the item. It is the shirt I want in multiple colors or to have when the first one wears out.
2. If the piece of clothing becomes damaged I don’t just say “oh well, time to donate it”, but instead take the time to sit and repair it.
3. It is the clothing that when all of my laundry is clean I reach for first. I would wear it every day if I could.
4. It is the clothing that I put on and it is effortless. I don’t have to adjust it all day or worry something is showing that shouldn’t be. It isn’t itchy or tight or uncomfortable. Clothing doesn’t need to be painful.
5. It is the clothing that allows me to lay on the floor and play with Ninja Turtle figurines or Barbies or snuggle up in the chair and read to my babies. Because that is my priority right now. Not my clothes.
This is what it means to me for clothing to spark joy. This is how I know whether or not this item deserves my time and energy and a place in my home. Every single item of clothing feels this way and if it doesn’t it is not worth taking up space in my closet, life, body or mind.
About the Author: Nikki Cox is a mommy of two striving to clear away the clutter both physical and emotional so she can live life with intention and clarity. Find her at Lovelylucidlife.com.