our house: the life-changing magic of tidying up: clothing

the life-changing magic of tidying up : the ordinary life of jannybean

from Amazon.ca

So if you look around the internet at lifestyle/organizing/mom blogs right now, you will see a LOT of talk about a new book called the life-changing magic of tidying up. I had heard about it a little after the New Year and knew it was something I would be interested in. So once I was recovering after minor surgery, I bought it and devoured it within 48 hours.

So personally, I LOVED the book. It was filled with a LOT of great tips that framed things in a new way, even for me who reads a LOT of organizing and simplifying books and blogs. The main things that were different were working by category not rooms and removing everything at once to only put back what you want to keep instead of thinking of what you want to remove. Sounds like it is the same thing, but as I worked through this first day, I realized it is VERY different.

A few reviews of the book I read beforehand poked fun at her tendency to make inanimate objects anthropomorphic, but I looked at that as just part of her culture (she is Japanese and doesn’t speak any English so this book is also a translation).

Today I woke up ready to start with the process. And the first thing she asks you to go through is clothing. So I went around and removed ALL my clothes from everywhere in the house (bedroom closets, drawers, front hall closets, etc) and threw them in one pile on my bed to sort through individually.

Once you handle it, you decide if it gives you joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for it’s service/purpose, etc and let it go. She outlines that you need to let go of guilt for stuff you didn’t wear/use and accept that sometimes buying something IS the joy you get from an article of clothing, nothing more. And sometime the purpose is to teach you what you don’t like.

Honestly, my closet has never been that bad. My drawers are not overly full. But when I open either, I often felt like I had nothing to wear. Or nothing that I loved to wear. This is what I started with. This was a hard place to photograph, I have to admit (and why the photos appear dark). I had to put the camera in my husband’s closet as far back as I could.

our house - my closet & magic of tidying up - before : the ordinary life of jannybean

So not bad I know, but once I started picking out the stuff that brought my joy, I was happy to realize that I have a LOT to wear, it was just diluted by the stuff I didn’t like. It is much nicer to have less of something you enjoy over lots of ho-hum items.

I also noticed (and have for a while actually) that I don’t wear a lot of colour. I will often buy it because I think I should but then it will sit in my closet unworn. My colour of choice for shirts is white. I LOVE white shirts with detailing. I have finally decided to allow myself the freedom to know myself in this way and not be hesitant or apologetic if you only ever see me in white shirts. 😀

So by the end of the day, I got my clothes, shoes and bags DONE. Which feels amazing.

And now, here is my finished closet. Not too different but it FEELS different to me. I can easily pick out every item hanging in here as something I want to wear. And the luggage isn’t coming back. It was there for a while but is going into a closet in the basement so my closet can always feel this light and tidy.

our house - my closet & magic of tidying up - after : the ordinary life of jannybean

My drawers feel super spacious but I know based on what I gave away, I am not missing a single piece that I like and wear.

our house - my closet & magic of tidying up : the ordinary life of jannybean

I wish I could snap my finger and be completely through this process but I know it will be worth it in the end. I am going to work on the kids clothing this week as well (March Break) WITH them in the exact same manner. It will be interesting to see which items they decide give them joy.

Have you read this book yet? Has it inspired you to work on your house?

Update: Check out the chalkboard labels I made for my closet. It looks ever prettier now.