10/15/2015

Does Your Closet Spark Joy?


I'm a Type A neat freak. Because of this, I am a person who is effected by my environment.  When my personal space is cluttered and disorganized, I feel cluttered and disorganized. When my closet is a mess, I feel a mess.

It's because of this, I had the cult favorite book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, on my must-read list for months. By now you're probably familiar with this book. People all over the world have tackled the challenge of organizing their closets and homes, and raved about the outcome of following Marie Kondo's process.

There's a lot of inspiring information in the book and I definitely recommend you check it out (especially all you fellow/aspiring organizational nerds), but there were two ideas in particular that I believe to be genius, especially when tackling one's closet.

1. Focus on the positive. When decluttering, instead of focusing on how much you have to get rid of (negative), focus on what you truly want to keep (positive). When we think of spring cleaning or organizing, we all tend to center that around getting rid of stuff. Yes, that is the ultimate outcome, but who gets motivated from focusing on items you don't like? Try focusing on the pieces that make you feel special. The pieces you feel amazing in. The pieces you love.

2. Ask yourself of each item, "does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, get rid of it. I know this may sound extreme, but the final product will be worth it. Sometimes we keep things because of the utility of the item (think a basic nude t-shirt bra), and that's fine. But even those necessities should make you feel positive. Does that t-shirt bra support you in the proper way? Does it fit correctly? Maybe it brings joy in that it seamlessly helps the rest of your wardrobe fit better. Even our basics should fit and spark joy. If it doesn't have some useful purpose and doesn't make you feel great, why keep it?

I'll tell you why. More often than not, we keep things out of guilt.

It was a gift, I feel guilty getting rid of it. 

I spent a lot of money on it, I feel guilty not wearing it.

I wore those when I was 2 sizes smaller, I feel guilty for no longer being that size.

We hang on to things because we feel guilty letting things go. Letting go is hard.

But you know what else is hard? Staring at a full closet of clothes that no longer suit you. Wouldn't you rather have a streamlined wardrobe where every single piece in your closet fits and makes you look and feel great? Where you have the confidence to open your closet, get dressed, and head out the door with zero stress? In order to do that, I truly believe that most of us need less (usually, a lot less), not more. And we are being distracted by pieces that no longer suit us. We are distracted by the clutter.

We are distracted by guilt.

I've started doing an exercise with some of my clients to make the letting go part easier. As I sort through their closets, we go through every single piece of clothing they own. I have them create 3 piles.

The first pile is for items they truly love. Pieces they gravitate towards. Clothes that they wear over and over again. These are pieces you don't hesitate about whether or not you want to keep them. It's a gut reaction. You know.

The second pile is for pieces they like, but haven't figured out how to wear yet. Maybe it has a neckline you're not sure works or a print you can never find the right item to pair with it. These are the items I will help assess during our style session to see if it truly fits in with your current (and future) wardrobe.

The third pile is the get rid of pile. These are pieces you are ready to let go of. Pieces that don't fit, are too worn, or no longer represent you and your style.

At the end of this process, I have the clients really pay attention to the first pile - the love pile. This is the pile that sparks joy. This is the pile that makes them feel amazing.

Wouldn't it be amazing if our entire closet was made up of pile one? Wouldn't it be magical if our entire closet sparked joy?

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Ready to find the joy in your own closet? I can help