The Closet, The Drawers And The Wardrobe

Living in England, I am disappointed that I don't actually own one of those old-style wooden wardrobes, just like I imagined when reading that first Chronicles of Narnia book. I remember not even really understanding what a wardrobe was when I first read it! But perhaps someday, I will actually own one of my own (a girl can dream).

In the meantime, I have to make do with clearing out closets and dressers (or "chests of drawers" as they say here). If you happened to read my last post, you will know that I have embarked on an epic de-cluttering, and am adhering to the methods laid out in Marie Kondo's soothing and inspiring book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.

I have already completed clothes and books, which doesn't sound like a lot, but took a shocking amount of time, as well as physical and emotional energy. Asking yourself object by object if something sparks joy is effective -- and quite an interesting process on all sorts of levels -- but man, it's exhausting. Last Sunday after I finished all my books I had to take a 2-hour nap, just like a toddler. 

We'll discuss books at some point, but there were quite a few interesting by-products of the clothes sorting process that really surprised me. The first is that I can now actually see all my clothes, which is incredibly practical and has made getting dressed a much easier, and more fun, thing to do. Part of this is down to the fact that I only have items that spark joy in my collection (but of course), the other due to Marie's vertical folding technique which allows me to see all my tee-shirts, jeans, and socks when I open a drawer. I am not an expert at this folding yet, but you can get the idea with my tee-shirt attempt:

Although the socks are my favorite:

What a clever lady, eh? (Although one of my friends said she figured this out for herself and rolls her clothes so she can see them. Where do these domestic goddesses come from?)

Another surprise is how tidy I have become with my clothes -- it's as if my whole attitude to them has changed. I have always been a throw-clothes-on-a-chair sort of person (just ask my Mom), and then procrastinate about putting them away or in the laundry hamper. But recently I haven't even minded folding my clean clothes, a task I usually leave for our cleaner. She probably thinks I've had a minor stroke.

The last, and perhaps most nice thing that happened with this process is that I was immediately able to see the holes in my wardrobe. There weren't many, mind you, mostly I saw how I already had enough of just about everything: tee-shirts and camisoles, dresses, suits, jeans and dressy tops. And black skirts -- I apparently LOVE black skirts. They may just my most favorite thing in the world. So I am severely lacking of skirts in any other color, and I also realized I haven't bought dressy heels for so long that all of them needed heel repair. I brought them into work to take them to the shoe repair place, and had a sudden realization that maybe it was time to let them go. Ten minutes in Dune at lunchtime and I had two new pairs. And five minutes on the Boden site and I had three beige-y, neutral colored skirts winging their way to me (two of which I ended up keeping -- a very high hit rate for online shopping in my humble opinion). I have never shopped so quickly in my life, perhaps because I knew I actually needed the items.

And I don't feel too bad about spending the money, considering the plethora of items that have gone to the charity shop. 

And now, onto the next set of items to sort through. Maybe when I'm done our flat will have room for an actual wardrobe. But what will I put inside it? 

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