Learn the KonMari way to choose, fold, and store your tops. Your life will never be the same!
Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?
It’s the new organization book that is sweeping the country! I have read it at least three times and was inspired to create a whole program using the principles in the book!
This book is different from others in that it tells you not to go from room to room, but from category to category when you are decluttering and organzing. On my blog, I take you through each category and teach you exactly how to deal with everything you own. But for today, let’s just talk about our tops!
First, let’s define “tops.” Here we are talking about t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and blouses. We are not talking about jackets, blazers, coats, pajamas or intimates. Those we will save for the future.
If you have read the first two chapters of the book, you know that the gold standard by which to judge our possessions is, “Does it spark joy?” I love that in the KonMari system, we are not focused on what to get rid of, but on what to keep. When evaluating our clothing, Mari says, “What things will bring you joy if you keep them as part of your life? Pick them as if you were identifying items you loved from a showcase in your favorite store.” I know that when I go shopping for clothes, I can easily identify those that are right for me. If I see them and gasp, that is a big clue. If I try them on and my mouth gapes open in delight, that is the kicker. There are some clothes I have had to pass up, even though they were super cute, because they just didn’t fit exactly right, or there was one thing about them that I didn’t really like.
The way you evaluate your clothes is the same way you will evaluate all your possessions using the KonMari system. First, you will gather everything of the same category together (in this case, your tops). Then you will take each one in your hands and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If the answer is yes, then keep it. If the answer is no, then get rid of it. Pay attention to your feelings more than your thoughts. Don’t think about how few times you have worn something or how much money you paid for it or who gave it to you. If you don’t love it, you don’t need it. Just let it go, knowing that it can find better use elsewhere. I personally have a dress that I love and looks fantastic on me, but I have never worn it because of some modesty issues. It has hung in my closet for years, but I am going to let it go. (Actually, I’m going to take it to a consignment store where I will hopefully get some money for it!)
As I sort my clothes in the coming weeks, I am going to have two boxes nearby. One is for clothes to donate, and the other is for clothes I am hoping to sell at consignment stores.
Once you decide which items of clothing to keep, you need to either hang them, or fold and store them properly. For your blouses and button-up tops that need to be hung, hang them in your closet from left to right with the longest ones being on the left.
For cotton and knit tops that need to be folded, Mari suggests a specific way to fold and store them. Instead of stacking them on top of each other, she says we should stand them on their sides, like books.
The way I fold tops is a little different than explained in the book or other online videos, especially for long-sleeved shirts. This is my basic method:
1. Lay your top on a flat surface (your bed, the floor, or a table) face-down.
2. Fold one side in toward the center (about a quarter of the-way to the center). Then fold the other side in toward the center. If the top has short sleeves, they may overlap a little, but that is o.k.
3. Fold the bottom of the shirt up to the top. Then continue to fold it as many times as you need to—in half or thirds—until it is the right height to fit in your drawer, standing up.
4. If the shirt has long sleeves, fold one side of the shirt in about a quarter-way to the center. The long sleeve will be stretched straight out over the back of the shirt.
5. Grab the bottom and the top of the long sleeve. Holding the top of the sleeve at the edge of the shirt, take the bottom and and fold it back so that the length of the sleeve lines up along the length of the shirt. At the top, there should be a diagonal line where you have folded the sleeve back.
6. Do the same to the other side. Then fold the shirt in half, then in half or in thirds again.
I gathered all my tops and spread them on my bed. I was shocked by how many I had! Almost 80!
When I was done sorting, hanging and folding, this is what my shirt drawer looked like. It is a thing of beauty for a Type 4 like myself. I got rid of half of my tops, and I feel like I accomplished something worthwhile!