Tidying My NYC Apartment (KonMari Method): Clothes
After binge-watching the first season of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix with my partner, we decided it was time to do it with our own home.
We were lucky in our new place that we had a walk-in closet, so the traditional movies and TV shows of storing clothes in the oven did not apply. But even though we had the space, I didn't necessarily wanted to fill it up with more clothes. Over the past year and a half living in New York City, there were some unexpected things I learned about clothing style. Part of it is owning my preferences, for sure. Another large part is how much the urban lifestyle dictates it.
Comfort & Multi-functionality
These two qualities were the main sparkers of joy when it came to clothes. Comfort is important because when you live and work in New York City with no car, you're walking at least a couple of miles per day even if you use the metro. If I held an item and I didn't think it was comfortable, it was thanked and placed in the donate pile.
Multi-functionality is important because of a very pragmatic reason: we pay per pound to have our laundry done. This sounds so much like a #firstworldproblem, but there is no laundry in my building so this is part of the cost of living here.
The folding process was interesting trying to figure out how to do this when I don't really have drawers but rather cubes on hanging shelves. I did some adaptation but the principle of being able to see outright what you own is still there.
Overall, it was a great mindfulness activity and the results are really motivating. My partner got into it, too!
Dress for now
The saying "dress for the job you want" came into play when deciding to keep a clothing item. I have a few items that I invested in when I needed to wear a work blazer daily during my administration residency. Today, I don't necessarily need to but I hope to eventually grow in my role.
I decided to only keep one suit and the blazers I use now, and donate the rest. If someday I get a huge promotion that needs daily business professional attire, I will re-invest with what fits me best at the time.
Quantity vs. Quantity
No, that's not a typo. When I went through my clothes I thought, "I'm not getting rid of that many clothes," and felt like I wasn't doing the process correctly. Combined with my partner, we reduced our wardobes by one filled trash bag. I rationalized that I got rid of so much already before we moved, but that was still beside the point. It's not about minimalism as much as ensuring each item you have is aligned with the greater vision of your life. The quantity that remained vs. the quantity to go doesn't matter.
There were some moments where I felt bad about myself when I got to clothes I really liked but didn't fit anymore. With these instances I let them go and thought that someone else should enjoy these sooner than I could lose weight to fit in them. I don't want my fitness journey to be motivated by wanting to fit into an old clothing item. I'd rather it be intrinsic for overall health, which is still very much in progress.
*Note: I did run 1.5 miles in Central Park the next day. *
In the end, I was really excited that I was able to fit all seasons of clothes in the closet, so I won't have to change out wardrobes between hot and cold months. I'll simply re-arrange in the shelves for easy grab-ability (official term). In the future, if I need something for a particular occassion I want to invest in sustainable, well-made choices. I also have access to great thrift stores where I can shop.
On a deeper level, I was happy that I could let go of some items with the mentality of being present in the moment. This was a great first step in the process of tidying up our home.