How to Declutter the Closet with the KonMari Method


Inside: Week Two of our Konmari Method Journey; full honesty on how we used it to declutter our closets and our clothes; the lessons learned. 

Are you ready for this? Gather up the motivation because we are well into our journey to #SparkingJoy and today we are talking about How to Declutter the Closet with the KonMari Method!

(New to this? It’s the Japanese art of decluttering your home and your life, pioneered by master organizer and author Marie Kondo in her breakthrough book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We recommend following the book if you really want to declutter with KonMari)

New to this? Make sure you check out the entire Konmari series. 

This week, we’re sharing how we’ve (like MEGA) been decluttering the closet. Once again, we’re joined by these other amazing bloggers who are all sharing their personal experiences with KonMari as well!

Some of you may remember when we renovated one area of our top floor in order to open up the walls in the master bedroom and create a huge and wide walk-in closet. Then, through various discussions, it became apparent that we needed to flip that entire room into our blogging office. So fun. (And now… it’s back to being a bedroom. C’est la vie!)

But I think the size of the space and all the shelving options allowed me to hide a bunch of stuff in there that didn’t give me joy.

How we used the KonMari Method to Declutter our Closet

Here’s how you do it! (And the method we followed)

  1. Empty your CLOSET COMPLETELY (don’t cheat) Pull every piece of clothing you have from every closet rod, drawer, cabinet, hook and room (not just your master closet…every single closet)
  2. Sort your clothes according to function (pants with pants, sweaters with sweaters etc.)
  3. Now go thru each pile and mindfully hold EACH PIECE of clothing
  4. Ask if it truly gives you joy (in this case, that means – does it serve a purpose, it it beyond it’s usefulness, is it worn out, do I feel good wearing it… all those questions)
  5. If it doesn’t give you absolute joy – get rid of it (donate or toss)
  6. Keep going like this until you’ve touched every piece of clothing you own and you’ve reduced your piles significantly.

We knew we were going to KonMari our closets. So we actually did some prep ahead of time. I desperately needed new work appropriate jeans. Having switched jobs less than a year ago, my wardrobe has changed in a big way. Dan is also starting a new job this month and needed some new work attire as well.

At the same time, we both decided that we are starting to move towards a modular wardrobe. We don’t plan to go so far as to buy 12 of the exact same shirt and pants – but I am moving towards a totally black, white and grey wardrobe with brown leather and denim. I am definitely not there yet. But as things wear out or stop ‘sparking joy’, I plan to replace them with items that fit the modular lifestyle. (PS. I have another post about the 8 clothing items you should just get rid of right MEOW.)

As per KonMari, we started by gathering all of our clothes into one room. 

We sorted them based on type and function.

KonMari Clothes 1

KonMari Clothes 2

And then we went through the piles, ‘touching each piece’ and asking ourselves if it ‘sparks joy’.

The Result of an Afternoon of KonMari Decluttering in the Closet

This is what we ended up with. Almost a 50% reduction. Most of the clothes we are parting with are in very good shape and, the next day, were dropped off at our local charity thrift store.KonMari Clothes 3

The rest – the stuff with holes, stains or that was just plain worn out, ended up in the garbage.

We also employed the KonMari folding method. It does take an extra 5-6 seconds per item – but it totally lets you see what’s in your drawers and therefore, results in you actually wearing the items you have.KonMari Clothes 4

Marie Kondo says you should technically have the folded edge UP at all times, but Dan’s big sweaters didn’t fit in the drawer that way. Nevertheless, the method STILL works and let’s you see all of your things much easier. KonMari Folding Method KonMari Drawer Close Up

It feels funny to say this – but I feel like we probably could have done more. Even with this drastic reduction – I’m now aware of how few of the remaining items I’m turning to each day. Marie Kondo doesn’t really talk about doing it ‘again’ – but she does talk a bit about maintenance. So perhaps before this is all over, I’ll do one more sweep of the closets.

But LOOK AT ALL THE SPACE I MADE!!! (Sorry, I don’t mean to yell, it’s just exciting!) Update: If you want to see this updated space, check out our One Room Challenge. We completed finished this closet space and I was able to squeeze even more storage out of it with a hanging jewelry organizer that I have been using for two years!KonMari Closet Complete

Next week, we tackle toiletries and accessories. That’s gonna be a DOOZY. But I know that it will clear this space even more and help it reach maximum function. KonMari Closet Close Up

How are we feeling after two weeks? Fabulous and very motivated. One thing we’re noticing is that we are spending WAY less money.

For the first time in recent memory, our credit card bill was just recurring payments (like our bridge tolls, phone bills and Netflix.) It’s nuts to think how much more we’ll have if we keep this up – only purchasing things that truly spark joy. I’m saving up to go to Haven Conference next year, so maybe this is how I’ll find the money!

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