A Therapeutic Approach to Closet Cleaning That Actually Works

Every year when spring rolls around, we pledge to tackle our overflowing closets once and for all. We envision ourselves finally getting rid of every last item that we know, deep down, we’ll never actually wear. But these fantasies rarely match up to reality, which usually finds us second-guessing our “goodbye” piles until we’ve racked up artful justifications for keeping most pieces. The imagination is not our friend here, as it convinces us that costume parties and elaborate are about to become a regular part of our lives. Memories don’t help either, as they can make letting go of the simplest things feel downright heavy. In the words of relationship therapists everywhere, we are too attached.

But a new method of closet cleaning, developed by the Japanese professional organiser Marie Kondo, might be the first solution worth it’s hype. Kondo, the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is everywhere these days, and with good reason. Her book seems to have a magical effect on even the least tidy people out there, causing near-hoarders to suddenly purge their entire homes. The fashion world was immediately intrigued, and one of our very own founders, Hillary Kerr, attested to spending one full weekend Kondo’ing her closet.

So what differentiates this self-help tome from the rest? Well, as Kondo sees it, cleaning house is a lot like therapy. She believes that the things we hold onto are a reflection of our inner lives, and that the items themselves contribute to our happiness or lack thereof. Sound kooky? Well, stay with us and you’ll be a Kon-vert in no time.

Scroll down to read our 6 essential guidelines for closet cleaning from Marie Kondo.