Overcome the Laundry: Step #2 Konmari Style Purge

Overcome the Laundry: Step #2 Konmari Style Purge

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Welcome back!  Today we are going to discuss the second step in overcoming that laundry situation at your house. The Konmari approach we use in Step #2 will be effective and long-lasting if done to completion.

A quick review:

First, the goal here is to work towards a new and more organized laundry situation that sticks. No more piles and stress.  Not just right now, but long-term! Check out the original intro post here.

Secondly, Step #1 was The Marathon and should be the last time you need to do 2+ loads in a day again! If you missed that step, check it out and come on back!

Ok, now before we get to our next step, are you wondering what konmari is?

If you aren’t familiar, it is a nickname given to the organization and simplification technique developed by a woman in Tokyo names Marie Kondo.  She has become an icon all over the world and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, is all the rage. I didn’t strictly use her style when going through our entire home but I did use it for clothing. I took many of her principles and put them to work successfully in our house. If you haven’t read the book I highly suggest it… it is a great book for audio also. It’s a quick read and will leave you with new levels of motivation. It’s a serious game changer. I was not compensated to say that, I just really believe this book can help a LOT of people.

Now, on to our step #2! Konmari Style Purge

At this point you’ve washed everything for a particular person (or everyone in your house if you are a superstar) and have it all sitting in baskets. Feel like you have too many clothes there?  See some you should have thrown away or donated years ago? That’s ok! Go get some trash bags or empty cardboard boxes. Its time to konmari those baskets.

Marie Kondo would have you hold up each item and ask if it brings you joy or fulfill a need currently in your life. This sounds very silly to most people but think about it this way… do you want to wear it when its hanging there in your closet? If the answer is no, then ask yourself one more question, do you need to have it?  For example, you may hate your white and navy faux suit that you wear when you waitress every week but you need that.  Keep it.  That white shirt with stains in the arm pits that you can hide if you just don’t lift your arms too much? You know, the one you only wear if the other three white tee shirts are in the laundry piles? Time to say goodbye.

Go through your items and make three different piles:

  1. Donate(or consign/sell if its a nice piece): this will likely be one of the biggest piles, have bags ready.
  2. Trash: items with large holes, permanent stains or rips etc.
  3. Keep: comfortable to wear, have the lifestyle to wear and something you love to put on when its clean.

This will take as long as you let it but I do suggest not rushing the process though you need to do this in one sitting. The beginning will be harder, by the end you’ll be a machine.

Potential Pitfalls

A few tips to ensure you are successful here.

  1. Once you go through the entire pile, go through the keep pile one more time.  I found that with the first 25% of the clothes I went through, I had a harder time being objective and honest. When you go back through, you might find you have a few more things that are just not as wonderful as the rest in your eyes.
  2. There is so much waste with clothing in today’s society.  I am in no way suggesting you need to toss it all and go get a new wardrobe, even if financially that is possible. My point is, there are items you don’t love nor need and you can mix and match what you have and love.  Someone else can likely really use those items. If you want a new wardrobe and can afford one, by all means, go ahead.  Please just consider donating the old ones vs tossing them in the trash. Which brings me to #3…
  3. Donation centers often won’t utilize badly stained, ripped, broken items.  If they are in very bad shape, they need to be tossed or used as rags or something. Don’t send trashed items to Goodwill or whatever donation center you use.
  4. BIGGEST PITFALL OF ALL: Do this on a day you can get to a donation center that same day or at least the following day.  The longer those bags sit there, the more the likelihood that you will fall into bad habits etc.

When you are done, bag up the donate and trash piles. Then admire your “joy sparking” keep items. When you closet has items you actually want to wear, you will have a much easier time picking out what to wear and you will feel better in your clothes.

What’s Next?

Now that you have eliminated items you don’t love or need, konmari style, it is time to organize. This brings us to Step #3: Organize Your Closet. This step is fun for me and I hope you’ll love it too. Stay tuned!



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