Making Space – More Clothing

I am on a roll this week! I don’t know if it is the warm weather, the long, light evenings or just a sense of having slightly more control over my thesis work. Whatever the reason, I am getting so much done around the house. I have several craft projects on-the-go or nearly finished, mostly as a result of that pile on my kitchen table I mentioned last week. I managed to explore a small town just outside Ottawa on Sunday, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages (more on that on Friday’s post). Plus, on Saturday, I tackled my second sub-category (of about half a million) in the KonMari decluttering/tidying process.

My first session was a marathon on a Sunday afternoon and evening that affected my whole week, both physically (it is surprisingly tiring to try on that many clothes) and emotionally. The emotional part was unexpected but made sense in retrospect. I was more ruthless than I’d ever been before and I had to deal with a long of nostalgia and other emotional baggage to get through it all. However, this second session was a lot easier since I did it on Saturday (giving me Sunday to recover) and I had easier sub-categories to tackle:

  • Dresses and other hanging items
  • Coats/jackets
  • Socks/tights
  • Underwear/bras
  • Bags

The dresses and other hanging items I got through in the two weeks between sessions, since I don’t have that many items. I kept 2 dresses that I love, plus one pair of dress pants, one ‘business’ skirt and a suit jacket. That’s really all I need right now. I got rid of 3 dresses and one pair of dress pants that didn’t fit. The dresses were all nostalgia, but I’m finally starting to accept that my body isn’t going to change any time soon and keeping clothes I can’t wear is just a constant reminder of that fact.

I kept all the coats and jackets. I only have 4, two of which are kind of iffy but I’m keeping because they are functional. My plan is to re-evaluate them in the fall and winter, when I have the opportunity to wear them and the money to replace them if I want to.

That left only 3 sub-categories on Saturday: socks, underwear and bags. The socks and underwear were easy; I dumped out the one drawer they all fit into, and got rid of everything that had a hole or worn out elastic. I also put two pairs of thick ankle socks I’ve never worn into the donation bag, and pitched a bra that doesn’t fit any more. Just because it was expensive when I bought it doesn’t mean it needs to take up space in my drawer any more.

Then I folded all the socks in the KonMari manner, just to try it out.

2015-07-11 16.30.42

I had to roll the thicker wools socks and the stockings, but otherwise it worked well. We’ll see if I stick with this technique since it takes a little longer than the way I usually fold my socks.

I rolled all the underwear, folded the long underwear (a crucial part of any Canadian winter wardrobe) and put it all back in the drawer:

2015-07-11 17.00.44

The bras are now in that space on the right and I’ll probably put my bathing suit in the space on the left.

Now came the harder part: the bags. In this sub-category I included everything that wasn’t a canvas grocery bag or actual luggage. It took awhile to find all the bags, since I use a lot of them for craft storage:

2015-07-11 19.43.06

I had to go through this pile multiple times because I had a really hard time getting rid of some of these, either because I used to use them a lot (but haven’t for years) or because they *could* be useful. The worst were bags that I love but never use because of some design flaw, like the big teal one whose straps are too short to carry comfortably over my shoulder. I probably got rid of about a quarter total, although I found two more in my closet in the process! Here is what I kept:

2015-07-11 20.20.44This pile doesn’t look that much smaller, but it is, trust me. Knightley very much enjoyed this process, between insisting on being in the photos, and climbing into one bag:

2015-07-11 20.04.36He even let me pick up the bag with him inside!

I’m trying out a few different storage ideas for the bags, trying to make them more visible and more easily accessible. There are hooks behind my bedroom door and on the back wall of my closet, two big purses on the top shelf in my closet and one basket full of small drawstring bags on the same shelf. I need to move the closet hooks, they aren’t very well arranged in terms of where the closet doors open so one is hard to get to. Once I’m through this whole process I’ll post some photos of the closet. It is in transition right now so I’m not quite ready to share it yet.

My second decluttering session based on the work of Marie Kondo (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) was much easier than the first, which is very encouraging! The next session includes the rest of the accessories: hats, mittens, scarves and shawls. Since I’ve hand-knit many of those, I think that one is going to be much harder. Still, I’m getting rid of more than I ever have before and I think if I keep this up it is going to be a huge weight off my shoulders. I hope to do the third session in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

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6 Responses to Making Space – More Clothing

  1. Pingback: Making Space – Will the Clothing Category Ever End?? | One Stitch, One Step

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