Clothing Purge | KonMari Method

I’ve got the spring cleaning bug! I just completed a major clothing purge where I paired down my wardrobe by about 70%.  I am super excited to share this first installment of my 2015 Home Purge series with you!

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I was inspired by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I reviewed last week) to attack my entire wardrobe in one fell swoop.  I followed the KonMari Method, which suggests beginning the clothing purge process by placing piles of all clothing on the floor.  This first step was quite powerful for me as it revealed just how much I really had.  I was blown away by the sheer size of my pile!  Keep in mind it includes everything from everyday wear to special occasion clothes, sleepwear, workout gear, undergarments, and everything in between.

Kondo recommends a particular order to go through your clothing, which I basically followed, starting with tops, then moving onto bottoms, hung items, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events, and finally shoes.  I veered slightly from this order saving my bags, accessories, and shoes for after all of the clothing, mainly because I couldn’t fit any more piles on my floor.  Even though it looks like one jumbled heap, I actually placed the clothing on the floor in piles in this order for ease of sorting.  While it did feel overwhelming at first, I found that once I sat down and started sorting I felt really calm and focused.  It took me about an hour and a half to go through and pick up each garment before deciding what to keep and what to give away.  In the end I broke the rules just a bit and tried on seven things I had put aside because I couldn’t get a clear read from just holding them.  I only kept one of those items and donated the rest.

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The “after” pile surprised me as well, but in a much different way from the “before” pile.  I had a feeling going into the purge process that I’d be getting rid of about 50% of my wardrobe, but I hadn’t expected to get rid of more than that and with such ease.  Using the KonMari Method, I was able to make instant decisions about each article of clothing and accessory.  Instead of hemming and hawing and getting stuck over rationalizations, which is what normally happens to me even when deciding whether to purchase or keep a new item, I instead relied on my feelings and intuition about each piece.  Right away after picking something up I knew if I had a good feeling about it or not for the most part and was able to make an immediate decision based on that feeling.  How liberating!  Taking the brainwork out of the equation freed me to really let go of what I truly no longer needed or wanted in my life.   I am a KonMari convert!

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I was left with five extra large garbage bags of clothes to donate, one regular size garbage bag of clothing and winter accessories and one regular size bag of trash (I only tossed things that couldn’t possibly be recycled like underwear and worn out socks and slippers).  I also filled 8 large shopping bags of nicer quality items to donate to specific charities, and two rectangular bins with enough handbags and accessories for my own charity auction next year (this year’s charity auction will be announced soon!).

Here is a list of the charities/donation drives I picked:

1. Goodwill – Items donated are sold and the revenue generated funds employment training and job placement services for people in the community.

2. One Warm Coat – Provides a list of local coat drives (most are held in the fall so I plan on keeping this bag in storage until then).

3. Dreams Delivered – Provides free prom wear including dresses, shoes, and accessories to local underprivileged high school students.

4. Dress for Success – Provides business appropriate clothing, shoes, and accessories to women in need going on interviews.

5. Shelter, Inc. Thrift Shop – Proceeds from sold items fund this organization which provides support to abused and neglected children and teens.

6. Northshore Exchange – High-end resale boutique whose proceeds support local charities serving children and families with the greatest need.

7. Personal Charity Auction – I sell my previously loved bags and accessories to support a charity of my choosing through eBay Giving Works.  This year’s charity auction will be announced soon!  Click here to see the results of my first charity auction.

I understand that not everyone will agree with my charity choices, but I ask that you please respect my right to choose where I donate my belongings.

I documented my entire clothing purge process in this video, if you’re interested in a more in-depth look:

I’m feeling energized after completing this major wardrobe purge and I can’t wait to tackle the remaining parts of my bedroom and then move onto the rest of my home.  I’ve decided I’m not in a particular hurry to complete my entire home purge process and will be breaking it down mainly by room from here on out.  I plan to space out my process so that I can focus on sharing other things with you as well in the coming months.  I’d love to know if you decide to give the KonMari Method a go and what you think of the process.
Happy spring cleaning!

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 * This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

65 comments

65 thoughts on “Clothing Purge | KonMari Method”

  1. Way to go! I read once that we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. I totally believe that! I just may do the same with my clothes this spring as well!

  2. Hi Jenn:

    Thanks for the clothes sorting method. I have never taken all of my clothes and put them into a pile – this sounds interesting. I read once that we only use 20% of the clothes in our closets.

    With respect to the other rooms in our house I used kind of the same method but I went room by room to declutter. I had an organizing lady come in and help me a bit. We have lived in the same home for over 30 years and our kids are moved out and we have so much stuff. One suggestion that she made to me was to just do 1-2 hours at a time. Do the room in little bits and this is what I did. I actually wrote on my calendar 2 hours like on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday and I would give myself a gold star! It is a lot of work to go through all of your stuff especially the sentimental stuff! I even got rid of some pictures that I had hanging on the walls as they didn’t relate to me anymore!

    I am really enjoying your website. Happy decluttering!

    Wendy Campbell

  3. Way to go! I downloaded the book after you reviewed it and cannot wait to start. I have done little mini-purges in the past when the whim has hit me but I can’t wait to do it in one fell swoop. I love the idea of donating to multiple places that can make the best use of certain items and plan to do that in my purge as well. Thanks for the idea.

  4. I so need to read this book and go through this process…I’d say about 50% of the clothes in my closet don’t fit and of the 50% that do I only like about 25%.

    1. Yes, it will be held publicly on my eBay account (ilove2share). I’ll put up a video and blog post showing each item once it is live and it will likely run for 2 weeks.

  5. Hello Jen.. Hope you are doing great 🙂 This post of yours is very inspiring. Love your style of organizing thats so interesting and so colourful. I have watched most of your videos and there is always a positive feeling in every video. Would really love to watch the way your organize your garden or backyard.. Tc.. 🙂

  6. That’s great that the KonMari method teaches about following your intuition. I recently finished reading a book by Louise Hay & colleagues called Loving Yourself to Great Health, which heavily focuses on cultivating a sense of personal intuition when making decisions, particularly as related to personal well-being. I too hem & haw at the store to an embarrassing degree when making purchase decisions! It is freeing to trust & know ourselves enough to be able to choose what we want in our lives.

  7. Jen – as soon as you showed the ‘after’ pic of your closet on your YT channel, I immediately thought “So much more space to BREATHE” .!!!! Good for you. I am intimidated by the process – I have a lot of sentimental clothing, a lot of different sized clothing, etc., etc. Thanks for this – your process helps mine. I love that you are a person, striving to stay true to yourself and working out what works for you. Keep us posted on all of it – especially the paperwork purging process – that is something I can defenitley take on without sentimentality.

  8. Wow! That is truly inspiring. Congratulations. I really want to try this. You must feel so much lighter now. Thank you for your posts.

  9. I’m quite impressed with how much you’re giving away. I know many charities will be thrilled to be getting such generous donations. The “less is more” wardrobe (for lack of a better term at the moment) is something I’ve been seeing all over the place lately, and I can’t wait to go through my wardrobe and get rid of things too. It makes so many things easier.
    http://www.divaandthedivine.com

  10. Jen, this was very inspiring. I have the book and really need to read it. After seeing your purge, honestly, I am scared to death to pull apart my closets and dressers. I have clothing in 2 sizes, because I am going to loose weight someday. ;o) I hate the thoughts of getting rid of all my smaller things that I don’t fit into yet that are brand new. I may just do the purge of the things in my current size and go from there. Plus I don’t have that great floor space like you do to spread it all out! Thanks again for sharing. I would enjoy seeing how you purge other areas of your home as well.

    1. I’ve heard many organization gurus suggest only keeping clothes that fit you right now and replacing them only once your size truly changes. I like this advice because for me it can be discouraging to hold onto things that don’t fit anymore. I’d rather walk into my closet and be able to pop on anything I grab and feel great in it. Just my two cents 🙂

      1. I agree, get rid of the smaller sized things, when you DO get back to the smaller size it will bring more joy to go out and get some well deserved new things!

    2. I feel the same way! I have boxes of clothes in my basement that I want to get back into, but I know that is NOT what organized people recommend.

  11. Great Job! I did this and was astounded by the amount of clothes I was so easily able to move out of my home with little effort. I now actually have some dresser drawers empty and the spaciousness feels luxurious. :0)

  12. I get so energized and inspired watching your posts! I’m definitely going to watch for your auction! I’m sure you are going to get some negative feedback regarding the amount of clothing you have,compared to Don. But, please take it with a grain of salt.

  13. Loved your video. Thanks for doing it! What is the brand/model of your canister vacuum? I think it was in the mudroom…we have a cheap one, but would like a better one. Do you recommend the one you have? Thanks!!

    1. It’s by Miele. I don’t believe they sell the exact model anymore. It was pricey but so worth it because 8 years later it still works just as well as it did brand new.

  14. Hi Jen! I loved this purge video! I did the same thing last fall with my summer clothes and now I am going to do it with the winter stuff…whenever this Minnesota weather decides to become warm! I love the Dress for Success charity so it warmed my heart to hear that you were hoping to donate items to them! I would love to see more videos on the purging…it doesn’t matter what room..I know I can use all the inspiration I can. Thanks for sharing! I hope you, Don and Winnie are well….

  15. I loved this! I moved into my home a couple of years ago, but I work full time, so I still don’t have everything how I want it! I would LOVE to go through this process with you! Please share! It is SO motivating! I clean and organized mine and my husband’s closets this week, but really didn’t purge, just got it to where you can see everything, which is a major accomplishment alone. I would love to see you post a schedule, at least a list in order of the next few things you plan to do- as you mentioned some in your video, because I would like to know where we are going next, so I can fit it in as well. I may not be able to keep up with you, but as long as I make progress, I’ll be very pleased! Thanks for the motivation. Btw, I live in kenosha, wi, so not too far away from you and the spring cleaning fever in the north is SO bad!! I want to open up my windows and take vacation to reorganize!

  16. Thank you for the great video. I love Marie Kondo’s books, and I have tried it a little. I am still working on it, but it feels nice, isn’t it? I would love to see athletic clothing haul, too. I am wondering if you have suggestions or comparisons on yoga outfits, especially pants or leggings. I am looking forward to seeing more series to come.

  17. Love this video…. super motivating for me!! I need to do my master closet and may just dive in this weekend!!! Yes, would love to see more purge videos! 🙂

  18. Jen, I absolutely loved this video. I hope you realize how much of an inspiration you are to others. You make me feel like I can tackle organization and in this case decluttering in an outstanding way because you show your experience in a way that is so relatable. I would love more videos like this as I am decluttering and spring cleaning along with you. I feel like I am going through this process with a friend, and doesn’t it feel great?! I sure think so. Thanks so much for sharing. Keep up the fantastic work and videos! 🙂

  19. Thank you for the inspiring video! Good Will will take items that are not useable…if you mark the bag FOR TEXTILES ONLY. The pieces will get used as rags or shredded to create other items by an outside company. I keep a bag (pre-labeled) in our laundry room and it usually gets loaded with my husband’s dingy t-shirts, well loved jeans and socks with holes or socks without mates.

  20. Thank you for doing this. I’m hesitant to do it myself because I constantly donate things throughout the year, and I only have one coat, one bag, one pair of gloves, etc. Thank you for doing this though. So many women will benefit from your purge and it’s wonderful. 🙂

  21. Jen that is awesome I just moved and am quit overwhelmed with the amount of clothes I didn’t realize I have a bad habit of hanging on to close in different sizes as I fluctuate in size throughout winter and summer however after watching your video I am tempted to do this as well as donate some of lilly’s toys she never played with or just didn’t care fore to the human society. Happy spring cleaning:)

  22. Hi Jen
    Great job!! I’ve been following you for a year or so now – after seeing your Disney packing videos on YouTube thought I’d say hello after I watched this one. I recently did a clothes purge myself trying to keep only the clothes I really loved and wore often or at least in the last 6 months and it was great. I know all the clothes I have now fit and I don’t have to think too much about what I’m going to wear everyday or when I go out. I love watching your vlogs ect and would enjoy it if you filmed your other purges too. I find getting rid of my books and makeup harder than my clothes! I love long videos but maybe your intro and conclusion could be just a lil shorter, but of course is just my opinion – you did warn us it was a long one though haha!
    Take care

  23. Thank you for this fantastic post&video,I really enjoyed to read and watch, thank you for the lovely tips!
    I m going straight to do the same method!
    And I really think it s very nice and interesting to donate the clothes,the things which can be useful to others.
    Have a fab weekend:

  24. Thank you so much for sharing this process Jen. I have found it really inspiring. I have been slowly (so slowly!) decluttering my home for the better part of a year, and it gets a bit overwhelming sometimes. I come from a long line of hoarders, (my gram, my Mum, my Aunty and my cousins all have serious problems) and while I am very organised about my hoarding, I am still a bit of a pack rat. I recently went through the tub that holds all my candles, and I had 58 glass tea light holders – and I can not actually remember the last time I lit a candle. And I do not have any tea light sized candles. It was a bit of an eye opener. I really hope that you keep sharing your purging process, I for one find it helpful to see how other people go about it. It gives me new idea, and also helps to motivate me to keep going. I love your blog, and your You Tube content, especially since you decided to rebrand. You seem so much happier and far more confident now, it reminds me of your early videos when you first started your channel (which i just finished watching this week!) Keep up the excellent work my lovely!

  25. Hi Jen, I will be interested to see if you apply this philosophy to all areas of your life. When I first began watching your videos I was struck by how many physical things there are in your life to keep organized. Your sweet video opening disclaimer statement is exactly why so many of us have come to adore you. You always think of other people’s interest first. A most valuable 41 minutes! Thank you for sharing.

  26. I have gotten rid of a lot of clothes lately but I like the idea of having all of it out at once. I’m sure I could get rid of a lot more if I tried this. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Thank you for this idea! I will be putting it into action… you inspired me & I actually cleaned off my cluttery desk top while watching! You made it much more enjoyable!

  28. Thank you so much for sharing how you used this method. I had looked at the book synopsis but decided it wasn’t for me. However, after watching your video I got inspired and decided to try this very different way of making decisions. Did all my clothes yesterday and it was very surprising to me how easy it was to make decisions when focusing on “feeling” instead of logic. For me, there is an added bonus when I look at my completed closet. I realized that there were basically variations of two colors that I’d kept – lime green and periwinkle – along with neutrals. So, when I open my closet doors my initial impression is happiness because of the colors. Now when I go shopping I’ll remember that the colors that really make me happy are in these two color families – should simplify the process of buying new clothes even more. Your videos are always wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Thanks know you for posting this and the video. As a leader in my little community seeing this fills many hearts. We work along side Safe nest and Goodwill to help those who are in need. There are times when people fall hard and need a helping hand. It takes courage to ask for that help. You just made it easier for someone to receive so thank you.

  30. Thank you sooooo much for this video Jen! You have inspired me to do a purge with my clothes too! It’s been too overwhelming in the past but I will try your adapted KonMari method and hopefully it works for me as well as it did for you 🙂

    I look forward to your upcoming charity auction! You should include some lululemon clothing in the auction!

    I can’t wait to see your new clothing hauls then 🙂 Of course you need to purchase clothes to replace the ones you’ve purged!

    Yes, please do a workout clothes haul!!! I always find those very useful in helping me choose what new workout clothes I’d like to purchase too!

    Thanks again Jen for this awesome video! Pleeeeeease do a video for your purging of the rest of your items! I prefer videos over blogposts because I can watch and tidy alongside with you which is way more fun than just reading a blogpost and then going to do it myself…
    I’d love to see a series of your continued spring tidying! It would be so helpful to me (and others too I’m sure)!

  31. I watched your video Sunday morning and boy did it inspire me! I immediately ran into my closet and pulled EVERYTHING out…on my side. I was tempted to go through my husband’s stuff but that wouldn’t be right! Anyway, I ended up with quite a few trash bags full of clothes to donate. It was so refreshing and I’ve made a list of things I want to replace in my closet like jeans! This was a great video and I’m hoping to do this with other closets in our house and purging our home of some things that we don’t even use anymore. Thank you!! You rock, Jen!

  32. Jen firstly thank you so much for this. It makes total sense to me that this is the ideal time for you to see your wardrobe with fresh eyes. Times change and so do we and things that we loved to wear are no longer a fit for is emotionally rather than physically. I personally found it valuable to see you going through the process because you have the room for it all so didn’t physically need to purge, yet you found the thinning down to loved items freeing. It makes room for us to enjoy our most liked clothes as well as finding new loves that are a better fit for our current self. As you know I have been sick with M.E. For 3 years and thankfully am feeling better, I find the things I wore before my illness are not what I now am. And I look at it now with new eyes not recognising myself in the items I posess. So I will follow your good example and free myself to enjoy being the current me…. Many thanks for your generosity in sharing this personal journey.
    Lots of hugs from Spain

  33. Hi Jen!
    I picked up the book after seeing it on your Book Nook and I am so glad I did! It’s been so refreshing. I loved your video and seeing the way you implemented the KonMari Method with your clothing purge. I would love to see a workout clothing haul or further “purging” videos that you mentioned if that’s something you’re still considering :). Thank you for sharing with us!!

  34. Wow, you have a TON of clothes, boots, shoes, etc…. I own 1 pair of flip flops, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of boots. Etc…
    Good for you paring down.

  35. Thanks so much for taking the 41 minutes required to get your point across. You did a great job and don’t apologize for anything. When people don’t like the videos there is a stop button to move on to something of their interest.

  36. Thanks for a great video! I started doing the KonMari method on my clothes two days ago. I got to the end and realized I had only gotten rid of about 1/4 of my stuff, not the 3/4 or so that she talks about in the book. So I went looking for help and examples to see how other people made decisions, or how they got down to so little (and that’s how I found your video). I used to hang a majority of my clothes but instead put a lot more in drawers which definitely makes my closet look more empty, but now my drawers are quite full. (Oh, and we bought the same McKenna bedroom dresser line of storage last summer and absolutely love it. it’s so beautiful and definitely sparks joy in me.) So anyway, my purge is what it is at this point. I will continue to think about things as I go to grab something to wear. Also, I need to make a point of not just buying things because they’re on sale, but instead, buy because I really like them. My clothing is pretty boring, mostly jeans and t-shirts in this stage of my life. I would love to slowly find items that make me feel good. Thanks again!

    1. Sounds like you’re forging your own path, which is the point. Don’t worry about what others purge. Do what feels right to you.

  37. I’m a little late to the party but this was very helpful to me. I started reading the book and it was great to see what she is saying put into action and what it looks like in real life. I have a lot to purge and it was motivating to see you getting rid of stuff. I’m actually looking a bit forward to going through my own clothes. Thanks!

  38. I really need to organize and de-clutter my entire life. I feel overwhelmed with everything and am in a low point in my life. I love your site so much! I ordered my first Erin Condren because of you and I am ready to to feel better about my life as a whole!

  39. Thanks! I have a question though. I just finished the book and the truth is, I have really low confidence and basically thinks whatever I wear looks like crap. I won’t physically have anything to wear. What should I do?

    1. I’m certainly no expert on this, but if it were me in your position I would work on my self confidence and try to find the root problems. It’s a tough journey, but so worthwhile to get to know yourself and find out who you truly are. There’s no better source of confidence than this kind of knowledge. It took me all of my twenties to get to a point where I felt confident in my own skin enough to know what my personal style is and feel confident picking & choosing what to keep and what to purge. And it’s an ongoing process – I know I’ll never stop learning about myself and growing as a person. Wishing you all the best on your own journey. It can be scary to start, but it is so worth it, I promise!

  40. I was looking online for others’ experience with cleaning their closet using the Konmari method and I am so happy I found your post! You have totally inspired me and I am looking forward to cleaning out my closet. Thanks for the great video and eloquent narrative.

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