Organize. Reorganize. Spring cleaning. Sunday donations.
It seems like organizing never ends.
A few years ago, I was in the same boat. I felt like I gave so much away, but still found t-shirts crumpled in the corners of my closet, loose bras shoved in the backs of my t-shirt drawers, and piles of “stuff” loaded into closets that I hadn’t touched in years but didn’t think I could get rid of.
It wasn’t until I happened upon her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, (a must-watch for sure!) that I realized there was another way to organize my things more efficiently.
A way that didn’t require rules like giving away 1 item every time you purchase 1.
Or getting rid of anything if you haven’t worn it in 6 months.
It was a way to be more sustainable with the clothes I had so that letting go of things wouldn’t be a puzzle piece to solve, and so a big organization day would actually be worth the effort (and not something I’d need to do when spring cleaning season rolls around).
For the first time, I’d found a way that worked. And if you’ve noticed on the blog, it’s something I talk about all. ? The. ? Time. ?
But wait… who is Marie Kondo?
A Japanese organizing consultant, Marie Kondo created her KonMari method after years of trialing and erroring organization herself.
As a young girl, while others were playing outside or getting lost in video games, little Marie looked for hundreds of ways to organize her room. As she grew, she kept experimenting over and over again, trying to find the best ways to keep her room functional and her clothes comfortable.
Honing in on her method might seem crazy simple: everything in your home should spark joy.
But what does this mean?!
Well, if you pick up an item and it doesn’t make your heart flutter or bring a tiny smile to your lips, then simple: it no longer serves you, and you can thank it for being in your life and let it go with love.
I know it sounds like a fluffy fairy tale, but it’s actually quite deeply rooted in practicality.
When our surroundings are filled only with things that bring us joy, we inevitably feel more joyous and less cluttered, both physically and mentally. I went from stomping around my house to gracefully gliding around it after I turned to my left and right and subconsciously felt perfectly at peace. It’s real.
When you think about it, her method makes sense on so many levels. It’s not just about decluttering; it’s about appreciating the items in your world that truly matter. ?
So, let’s learn how to fold clothes with the KonMari method!
What is the KonMari folding method?: the basic principles of folding clothes the KonMari way
1. You should be able to see every clothing item when you open a drawer or closet.
Okay, confession time: I used to be a notorious stacker and roller. Yep, guilty as charged. My drawers had balls of clothing in the corners of them from being thrown around after trying to find an item under the stack. In a store, it makes sense. In our homes, it doesn’t.
Here’s the issue: when you’re stacking clothes instead of folding them, you can’t see everything you have! And if you’re anything like me, out of sight means out of mind. Which essentially means wearing the same three shirts on rotation, while the others just sit there, sad and unworn.
With the KonMari method of folding, your clothes are folded in a way that allows you to see every item at a glance. That means no more forgotten tees, crumpled jeans, and bralettes stuck between the back of the drawers.
2. Clothing should be able to stand upright on their own.
I know it sounds like some sort of clothing sorcery, but it’s true! When folded the KonMari way, your clothes will stand tall and proud, just like a line of cute little fabric soldiers. This not only saves space but makes it a breeze to select your outfit for the day. No more digging through messy drawers!
3. You shouldn’t need any fancy organizers, bins, or tools in order to work it!
Here’s where the true beauty of the KonMari method shines. There’s no need to run to the store and splurge on all those fancy-schmancy organizing gadgets (that is, not until you’ve lived without them for a few years and know you don’t need them to be organized.)
All you need is a little patience, some practice, and your two hands. The method emphasizes using what you already have in your home— shoe boxes, small containers— to help keep things neat and tidy. After all, the goal here is to declutter and simplify, not add more to the mix!
Folding techniques + guide, by Marie Kondo ✨
Before we jump into the beautiful world of KonMari folding, there’s a vital step we shouldn’t skip: the decluttering process.
If you’re attempting to fold clothes that don’t make your heart do a little dance, you’re not on the true KonMari train. So, before you know how to fold using Marie’s delightful techniques, embark on a joy-sparking journey before you begin, so you can organize your clothes in a way that fully adheres to her process.
Hold each item, ask if it brings you joy, and if it doesn’t? Thank it for its service and part ways. Only then can you truly embrace the magic of the KonMari method.
Once your wardrobe consists solely of joy-bringers, it’s time to learn the art of folding.
The rectangle is the magic shape!
Marie Kondo loves her rectangles, and you’ll see why. Every item, when folded right, will become a neat little rectangle that can stand on its own. That’s the magic we’re aiming for!
Folding t-shirts ?
- Lay t-shirt flat. Place it face down on a flat surface.
- Fold one side in vertically. Starting from the right side (or left, whichever you prefer), fold the shirt towards the center. As you do this, fold the sleeve back on itself, so it aligns straight down the side.
- Repeat on the other side. Your shirt should now have a rectangular shape with the sleeves neatly tucked in.
- Fold the bottom up. Depending on the length of your shirt, you might fold it in halves or thirds. The goal? A compact rectangle that can stand on its own.
Folding pants ?
- Lay pants flat. Ensure there are no wrinkles.
- Fold in half lengthwise. If you’re working with trousers, fold them along the crease. For jeans or casual pants, simply fold them so one leg lies atop the other.
- Start from the bottom and fold the legs towards the waistband. Begin folding from the hem upwards. Leave a little gap at the end.
- Fold that in half lengthwise. Depending on the length and your drawer’s depth, you could get along with folding them into halves. For a longer item in general, you might need to fold it into thirds. Again, the goal is a neat rectangle!
Folding socks ?
Forget about turning socks into tiny balls in your sock drawer; it stretches them out, essentially eliminating their full potential. Instead, do the same thing as your other clothes, and see how it magickally creates much more space for your little foot-huggers to breathe!
- Lay the socks flat, one on top of the other.
- Fold from the toes up. Depending on the length, you may fold them in half or even thirds.
- For longer socks, you can fold the top part down before folding them up to ensure they stay compact.
Folding underwear ?
It’s so easy to let our underwear drawers go crazy. Without a folding system, those tiny little creatures love running rampant in and around your dresser drawers! Here’s how to use Marie Kondo’s folding method to get these little buggers organized.
- Fold the crotch of the underwear up.
- Fold each side inwards on top of the crotch.
- Roll it up and you’re finished!
Folding sweaters ?
1. Fold one side towards the center and the sleeve inside its rectangular width.
2. Do the same thing with the other side.
3. Fold that in half or thirds.
Bonus tip ?
For those super bulky, chunky knits and hoodies, consider storing them lying flat in a drawer or on a shelf. Folding them might be challenging and can cause unnecessary stress on the fibers.
In the KonMari world, we want all our items – from tiny socks to bulky sweaters – to feel loved and cared for!
Love where you live: using the KonMari Method in other ways around your house
The core principles of the KonMari Method can be adapted to almost any space in your home, even ones that don’t technically require you to fold and store like you might your clothes.
- Kitchen: Go through your utensils, dishes, and pots. Keep only those items that you use frequently and truly love. Organize your pantry in a way where you can see everything at a glance. Thank the old spices or expired items and discard them appropriately.
- Living room: From books to decorative items, ask yourself if each piece still resonates with your current lifestyle and taste. Create spaces within the room that promote relaxation and joy, including an altar for you to practice spirituality and express gratitude.
- Bathroom: Simplify your toiletries. Discard expired products and keep only those items that make your daily routine a pleasure. C’mon, I bet you have at least 1 thing in there you haven’t used in years (I sure did).
- Home office: Clear away old papers and stationery you no longer use. Organize your workspace so that every time you sit down, you feel inspired and focused. Remember that having user manuals for new products might feel important, but not when you know you can look up the information online anyway.
Handy mindset tips for KonMari newbies: You can do it!
- It’s not about getting rid of things; it’s about cherishing what you keep. Many people misunderstand Marie Kondo’s method as simply a way to declutter. While decluttering is a part of it, the true essence is to appreciate and love the items you choose to keep, surrounding yourself with your uniquely beautiful taste.
- Tidying is a dialogue with yourself. As you go through items, ask yourself if they still fit the narrative of the life you want. Sometimes we hold onto things because of who we were, not who we are or want to become. Throughout the process, with each item, you’re holding it to your heart and asking, “Does this spark joy?”
- Letting go with gratitude is better than keeping it in the corner of your closet. Whether it’s a gift from a loved one or something you bought but never used, it’s okay to part ways with items that no longer serve you. Remember, by letting go, you’re making space for new experiences and memories. And remember, even gifts that you never wear have served a purpose— to show you that someone loves you.
Read these to perfect Marie Kondo’s folding and organizing ?
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: This is where it all began! Dive deep into the philosophy and steps behind the KonMari Method. Marie Kondo takes you on a transformative journey, one item at a time.
- Spark Joy: A more detailed guide with illustrations to help you master the art of folding and organizing, this book also delves into the psychology of why we keep certain items and how to let go with grace.
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