It’s safe to say that Japanese cult figure Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her organisational consulting and mindful detox methods. After the launch of her bestselling book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” back in 2011, things really took off. She has since published four books to date and sold millions of copies.
The New Year saw the launch of her Netflix series which firmly established the KonMari method into popular culture and it seems there is no stopping this deceptively diminutive figure. So how exactly does the KonMari method translate into buying and selling your wardrobe pieces?
Tidy Wardrobe, Tidy Mind
It’s safe to say that the tidier our homes, the more relaxed we feel. This is surely one reason why Marie Kondo’s methods have become so popular, so quickly. Another is that it is simply far better for our bodies, minds and lifestyles to live in a pure and tidy space.
At the core of the method lies a commitment to only keeping those things in your life that bring you joy and enjoying the mindful, introspective and calm mindset associated with the practice.
The equivalent in Japanese, ‘tokimeku’ translates to ‘flutter, throb, palpitate’ for that unmistakable feeling you have when you put on a favourite pair of boots, see a much-loved book on the shelf or wrap up in your beloved cashmere jumper.
Another key trope of the method is that it is entrenched in purpose. Instead of taking things slowly and doing it bit by bit, Marie focuses on a categorised system – starting with clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellany) and mementoes.
Each category has sub-categories and a plan for how to reorganise what you choose to keep. This plan is designed to mean everything gets done in one go (or ikki ni in Japanese), instead of leaving it over weeks, months or even years and causing even more clutter in the mind and the home.
Wardrobe Detox using the KonMarie Method
When it comes to selling, Marie Kondo is the queen of wardrobe detox and provides some pretty strong inspiration. The first category – clothes - covers tops and bottoms, underwear, socks, bags, other accessories and shoes.
First you must take everything that falls under this category out the wardrobe, drawers and other storage spaces and put it in a big pile. You must then pick up each piece one by one –the Japanese word for healing is te-ate, which literally means ‘to apply hands.” This sense of touch is an important part of the process. And if the piece doesn’t spark joy when you hold it, then don’t keep it.
It might sound simple, but we are often inclined towards making excuses to keep things when they just take up essential space in our wardrobes, and our minds that should be reserved for those things we truly cherish. The KonMarie method says that some items have simply outlived their purpose and it is up to us to acknowledge this, thank them for their service and let them go.
If we are honest with ourselves and genuinely follow our instinct and our feelings when cleaning out our wardrobes, we will soon be left only with pieces that we associate with positive feelings and those we really love. Instead of then having those ‘go-to’ pieces in your wardrobe that make you feel good whatever your mood, your entire wardrobe will be the go-to.
And in the same way that Shush @ the Wellington is a treasure trove of unique designer pieces, your own wardrobe should become a capsule of those items that best represent you and make you feel your very best.
Buying with Marie Kondo
We can continue in this mindset when it comes to buying our clothes and accessories. We should only invest in those objects that truly spark joy. Sometimes we will see those pieces that we desperately want to fit into our lives, but they just don’t quite work or don’t make us feel confident.
At other times clothes don’t fit quite right, the colour is something we would never realistically wear, or the style just doesn’t suit our personal taste however much we want it to.
Sometimes something will look exquisite off the hanger, but we just don’t quite feel comfortable when we try it on in front of the changing room mirror. At other times, we may try on something far away from our usual style, but it just makes us feel incredible and flatters in all the right ways. It’s about being honest with ourselves and showing ourselves true empathy because what we wear should be a true expression of ourselves in every sense.
Focus on the Joy
There is so much good feeling to be had from creating a wardrobe that only brings you joy. Letting go of those pieces that no longer fit in our lives and don’t make us feel good is freeing. Marie Kondo says that by tidying our wardrobes that we transform our lives, and there is a feeling of being cleansed by choosing joy.
She tells us that by only keeping things that speak to the heart and simply letting go of everything else that we can take a path of self-discovery, mindful living and fulfilment. It all helps us to stay present.
Then we have the fact that any of us who love fashion will know that sometimes it is the most surprising items that spark joy and we just need to go with how it feels. Our team at Shush are frequently delighted by the truly unique nature of the items that are brought in for us to sell.
As we deal with so many high-end, rare, vintage and limited-edition designer pieces, there is so much intrinsic joy within each item as these have been made with love at the hands of some of the world’s most talented designers and creatives. We cannot wait for you to discover your joy with us.