FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza
For the last few months I set out to achieve one major OCD seasonal goal: clean out my closet. Over many many weeks, I slowly read (or more accurately skimmed with intention), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In summary, Kondo suggests during the act of ‘tidying up,’ ask yourself whether it be a book or a piece of clothing “Does this spark joy?”
Initially, I didn’t buy the whole ‘joy’ idea with I looked at my H&M tank top from two years ago. Seriously, would folding clothes spark a joy inside me? Using the Kondo method, I identified what sparks my joy and ultimately, I practiced an exercise of self-discovery.
“Clothing: place very item of clothing in the house on the floor”
The Kondo method starts by taking every piece of clothing you own out and determining whether each piece does or does not bring you joy. No joy? Throw it out.
I started my clothing cleanse by pulling everything out, going through all my drawers, all the clothes on hangers, all my sweaters folded on the top shelves of my closet. Ultimately all my clothes formed a mountain shape on my bed and then my anxiety overwhelmed me. I thought, Here I go again, starting some ridiculous project because I read some book. (See Brene Brown). But at this point, I accepted my committment and I figured I couldn’t half ass this project (or at least try not to half ass it).
I found some music online and got to work.
Jeans. I’m embarrassed to say I kept jeans that I wore 12 years ago. Maybe in part, hoping that I would one day fit them again, maybe in part hoping they would come back in fashion. Let me start with the fact that I loved these jeans. I wholeheartedly believe this particular pair of jeans brought me luck whenever I walked around New York City. These were my first expensive fashion purchase as a working adult with a real paycheck and pension. I remember saving all my money to get them so I literally didn’t eat for a week. Didn’t matter because these jeans were perfect. The cut, the color, the way the jeans magically made my 20’s self feel confident and cool. I wore these jeans to clubs, bars, dates, walking through Soho with my El Sombrero margarita. I took full advantage out of these jeans; I know I did because I probably wore them 3 times a week when I lived in NYC. During Close Purge 2016, I considered trying to see if I could fit them still and go down memory lane, but I looked at the size tag. What the heck? Was I really this small 10 years ago? Damn, getting old sucks. I wish I could be that skinny again but let’s face it, not going to happen. What I don’t wish is to be that poor again where I only ate crackers for week just to buy jeans. Refinery does this segment on living on X dollars in a particular city. I realized I could be incredibly thrifty when I lived in NYC. No wonder I was skinny I was hungry.
Spark joy? Sadly no.
Ex-boyfriend shorts. There was a time when my ex- a.k.a. the Ghost, left a pair of shorts at my apartment. Somehow forgot these shorts were still in my closet. I pulled out the shorts and happier memories came back. But just for a few seconds. You don’t bring me joy. Get the f out of here. And so with the new sneakers you left. I’m taking these shoes to consignment. I hope I get money for your stuff. Self-discovery moment, guess I’m still bitter.
Spark joy? Hell no.
Hoodie. Another ex bought me a college hoodie in an adult men size. I’m short. I wish I could ask him, why in the world did you buy me such large gear? Looking back after 2+ years since the breakup, I get it, you really didn’t know how to shop for me. Of course I didn’t recognize that warning sign years ago! (Pending post idea: poor choices)
This hoodie sure don’t bring me joy!
Purple. Why do I have so many clothes in the shade of purple? Stop buying purple. You never wear it.
Spark joy? No. Remember that next time you are at the mall.
Kondo emphasizes that downgrading your existing clothing you no longer really like to loungewear is taboo. As she explains, it doesn’t seem right to keep clothes we don’t like for relaxing around house. I decided no more lounge clothes. I’m one of those persons that save slightly old blouses or t-shirts for future lounge clothes or pajamas. But Kondo suggests you instead buy specifically pajamas or lounge wears.
Raggedy shirt form h&m that I wore 5 years ago to the club, you don’t bring me joy.
My closet cleanse was a success. I folded my remaining clothes, hung it and put everything away. Using the Kondo method, I fold my remaining items with love and appreciation. In the process I recognized how grateful I am for all that I have. I am grateful that I have my own apartment; grateful to be out of unhealthy relationships; grateful that I’m working on feeling comfortable with my own self.
Closet cleaning can in fact spark joy. Thank you Kondo method!