Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Unburden Your Soul

When you walk into my apartment some visuals will hit you on the way in like the multitude of shoes lingering at the doorway or the many piles of clothes (some clean, some not) in the sleeping area, dressing area, and even the dining room of my studio. Sure, laziness is a part of the problem but I think it's more and yesterday I experienced a bit of an epiphany 

It started a couple days ago when I watched a Google Talk with professional organizer Marie Kondo. Her services have yielded in her extreme popularity in her native Japan. In the presentation, she talked about her process of organizing a space: start with items that are cluttering the place, collect all of them and pile them in one spot, and begin letting go of the things you no longer need. It's also important, she says, to do it all in one sitting. The making of a singular pile really struck a cord with me. Its purpose was to see the entire weight and burden of what your holding onto.

So I thought about it and I decided to engage in this "movement". I looked at my apartment, looked at all my clothes scattered around and I understood that I really do have a ton of space for my clothes. I have three closets, two of which I actually use.  In my wardrobe is a collection of clothes I've had since high school, a fraction of which I actually wear. High school is the foundation of my closet and ever since then, I've been superficially adding to the collection. Shirts several sized too small, dresses I've never worn, bins of jeans I haven't thought of in years. All of this was the embodiment of my ego.

A look into my closet and my ego begins to talk to me again about how ugly or how fat I am. It's the reason why the clothes I wear that do fit me end up on the floor instead of a hanger. It's the reason I crack my closet door open only to shut it again in disappointment. I've been worshiping my ego and all the negative thoughts I've had about myself without awareness. I've made an alter out of my wardrobe to all the baggage I've been trying to relieve myself from. I had a lot of cleaning up to do.


Before, my clothes were everywhere.

My closet, a.k.a. the place of doom and despair.

The KonMari Method in full swing:

This is what my ego looks like: a pile of shit of which I wear less than 15%. 

 Three garbage bags and a bin of assorted clothes, all going to Goodwill.

The suitcase of amazing clothes that my friend will greatly love and appreciate more than I ever could.

After I've cleaned out all the stuff that has amassed in my closet and drawers, I can now say that I'm happy with it. I've never been this happy over something as inconsequential as my closet so this is a new feeling. The key part of the process is to ask yourself if the things you have spark joy. You keep the items that do and remove the ones that don't. It's that simple. A friend of mine is around my size and I told her of my plans. She asked if she could have some of the clothes I was planning to give away. So after separating everything, I packed her a suitcase with the lovely clothes that no longer parked joy for me and while it may seem silly, I said a few words over it. I gave it my love and joy and thanked all the clothes for their service. I also told them of how grateful I was at the opportunity of having them in the first place. Halfway into this blessing, I broke down into tears. They weren't tears of sadness but the tears that came with letting go. 

Afterward, I organized my closet some more and put away the items I planned to keep. There's a particular way to fold according to the Konmari method and I've linked it here. The process is basically folding the clothes into small rectangles and turning them vertically so that all the items may be seen. For bulkier things like my hoodies, I had to compromise but the end result still looks good in my opinion.

The Aftermath:


 My closet filled with clothes that actually spark joy within me.

My clothes folded and tucked away neatly in their place.

Honestly, I've never felt this renewed over something so small as tidying up and I am extremely satisfied by the results of this experiment.

~Renee Brown

Links helpful items:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Ikea Skubb drawer organizers- $7.99