Two Books That Inspired Me to Clean My Closet

A couple nights ago I went out for pizza with my friend Ali, and she told me about a book she was reading called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Life changing magic of tidying up book by Marie Kondo


Ali seemed really excited about the book. She said you’re supposed to gather everything in one category (for example, all the clothes everywhere in the house), spread it all out, then touch each one and ask yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?” before you decide whether or not to keep it.

I went home and looked up the book, which I had never heard of before, but is apparently a best-seller. After reading some of the negative reviews, I wasn’t sure if this was the book for me.

For one thing, it sounds like it completely fails to address the reality of actually living with other people who have stuff, so I can’t imagine how helpful it would be for someone with, uh … three kids, three cats, and a husband.

The other thing (although I suppose this could be amusing, and even helpful, for the right sort of person), is that it’s very touchy-feeling in a strange way. Apparently she spends a lot of time talking about how your socks “are tired after a long day of working hard” for you and they need to be rolled and stored in a way that makes them comfortable and be able to “rest” and get along with each other. And when you discard something, you are to supposed to hold it in your hands and thank the item for its service.

And some of the stuff sounds like a total waste of time — for example, according to the reviews, the author suggests emptying your purse every night. (so your purse can rest, I guess?) and she dries each shampoo bottle and puts it away every time she showers.

I did find her method of folding and stacking clothes … interesting. Although I don’t think I’m ready to try it — I’m too set in my ways to try something this different right now — I’ll probably re-visit these videos the next time I pack to go on a trip.

KonMari Method of Folding Shirts

Either which way, hearing Ali talk about it made me think I probably needed to clean my closets.

Closet -- Before

Closet — Before

Now I’m sure some of you are looking at this photo and laughing, as you might not consider this to be an example of a cluttered closet. The truth is, I’m fairly good at purging regularly, so no, this was not a huge task.

The idea of asking, “Did this item bring me joy?” reminded me of [more practical] advice I read once by Peter Walsh:

“The only things that should be in your closet are items that fit and make you look and feel fabulous.”

Peter Walsh It's all too much

So I used this rule of them to decide what to get rid of.

I did not, in fact, thank any of my belongings before I discarded them, but I did pack a nice bag to bring to Goodwill:

Items that did NOT make me "look and feel fabulous"

Items that did NOT make me “look and feel fabulous”


Then I organized what was left, and this is what my closet looked like:

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

The next thing to tackle (and I really do need to do this, although it will be more difficult) would be my books.

But that will be another day.

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