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My Decluttering Journey: How it All Started

July 28, 2019
The Simple Chapters Blog Post

I believe all of us have had our fair share of decluttering of our belongings every now and then. From house moving, moving to another city for study or for work. Simply put, all of us have the ability to declutter. However I’ve not decluttered my belongings using the famous Kon Mari method by the queen of declutter Marie Kondo.

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo (in which you should go check out about her), she is from Japan who became a world wide best seller of her books on the art of decluttering. She have written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies. In 2019, she released her own series on Netflix Tidying up with Marie Kondo where she visits houses in the U.S. to help people declutter their house.

I to be honest was one of the people who only came to know Marie Kondo through the recommendation while I was browsing Netflix. Most importantly it caught my attention. When something on Netflix caught my attention (I tend to do this a lot), I would google about it to understand if it is something I should spend my time on as my time is so precious and I value how I spend it (I’m sure you will agree!). So I did just that after seeing her name on Netflix.

With incredible achievement throughout her life and still ongoing, I was intrigued to learn about what the Kon Mari method is all about. The show makes me reflect on the things I have and that lead me to want to redesign my life. I’ve had the experience of moving countries a few times and I know the pain of having so many things. So Marie really inspired me to live with less things.

The easiest way to start is my wardrobe. I spend one day going through my entire wardrobe.

Starting the magic of tidying

As the day started, I find myself among piles of clothes that got me asking myself why did I buy all these clothes? There were even clothes still in their packaging which I suspect purchased just before I got pregnant that I forgot all about. I pondered and realize it was a form of reward. Growing up, my parents would buy us only what’s needed, I never had the money to buy beautiful dress until I started working after graduation.

In school and University my style had always been the simple t-shirt and trousers/jeans, so that’s what was in my wardrobe until I am suddenly a grown up in a corporate world and needing to look the part. So with my hard earn salary, I sometimes find myself wanting to pamper myself and be kind to myself, I just tend to do it too much with clothings. But I have a changed mindset now, this decluterring bug I’ve caught is going to stay for good.

In the middle of my pile, I started to use Marie’s method, to take each piece of clothes and feel if it sparks joy. The problem is just by looking around, I felt that the clothes that spark joy isn’t too many – will I then end up with almost nothing?

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The truth is some clothes are bought because it was needed for practical reasons like winter wears so it didn’t really have the same spark as it did with my dress that I wore on my first date with my husband. I decided to take a step back, brew myself a cuppa tea and swing by the back garden where my 2 daughters were running around chasing bubbles with my husband. My husband asked me if I was done, I laughed and said not yet.

My Simple Process

I thought to myself then went back to go at it again. This time, this was my process:

 1.  If it sparks joy, keep it. (What I find with this is that, you would immediately feel the spark just by looking at it)
2. If I’m feeling 50-50, I then ask myself these questions:
a) Are they practical that I will be using them immediately this year?
b) Are they clothing which are expensive and I can’t afford to buy them again? (my winter coats are)
If yes to the questions above then keep. At all times, I keep in mind that I will be wearing the clothes this year through-out the changing seasons.
3. If it does not spark joy – I donate or put it out for recycling depending on the condition.

There are lots of charity that you can donate your clothes away, so don’t feel bad when you place them in that pile. Because, if you are no longer wearing, someone else may find it useful and it might spark joy for them.

I successfully bagged 6 liners to be donated, 1 for recycling (yes I really care for my clothes, so they are all in very good conditions that the donate pile has the most). One word – relief! I felt a pressure lifted of my shoulders and this is just my wardrobe, I can only imagine how it would feel when I declutter the whole house and I can’t wait! Hence why I like the simple life, I want to be able to feel no stress getting dress and no stress cleaning my house.

Imagine getting up daily and not having to stress about what to wear. Knowing where everything are, being visible in the wardrobe. Feeling happy from the beginning of my day truly matters as it impacts how I feel the rest of the day. If something as simple as wardrobe can do that for me, it is definitely something you should try too.

Since then, I’ve went through my shoes, and bags and have downsize eveything significantly. Everytime I see a pretty dress at the mall, I know immediately that I don’t need it. The decluttering process not only help reduced my clothings by numbers but also helped me have a better mindset about buying things that I want versus I need. It did not only apply to clothings but also the entire mindset on buying things. This is what I find – “I want” is usually things that I already have or similar things that I already have and is not necessary to add to my things. “I need” is things that I do require to immediately have and that I will use immediately for example my headphone broke last week, so I set out to buy a new one because I need to use it to listen to my favourite music and podcasts.

I now dream of a home with less things that I will find dusting off and cleaning my house to be smooth sailing. So decluttering my kitchen wares is my next goal! I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I hope you would find some motivation here to kick start your wardrobe decluttering process. Below you will find my simple 5 tips to help you declutter.

Or if you already do so, let me know in the comments how it made you feel after you have finished decluttering your wardrobe or any other decluttering.

5 Simple tips to help you declutter
1. Do it when you are motivated. Read or watch Marie Kondo to be inspired.
2. A day without disturbance, no phone and no tv.
3. Ensure you have 4 piles – to keep, to donate, to recycle and a not sure pile.
4. Try your clothes, especially from the not sure pile.
5. Use my questions steps above to help you.

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Hello!

I am Hse Huey (pronounced “Sir Hway”), it is so nice to meet you :) I am a simple and slow living lifestyle blogger based in sunny Perth, Australia. I’m part writer, part photographer and part creative. This blog is my heartfelt hub of thoughts and experiences on living a slow, simple and joyful life. And continuing my quest for the perfect mug chocolate cake. Read More

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