Being honest about what ‘sparks joy’ … the ultimate closet purge.

My closet, sometime last week.  Burgeoning.

You should know, I’ve combed through this wardrobe at least 4 times in the past 12 months, determining which pieces should stay, and which pieces should go.  A wonderful resale boutique with a solid mission opened last year in Fayetteville (Beautiful Lives Boutique) and that prompted me to donate a lot of clothes that I was holding onto for whatever reason.

But I still found myself left with a closet full of pretty things that I either once loved, or I loved in theory, but didn’t wear for one reason or another.  These are the hardest to part with.  But they sit in my closet, day after day, passed over for choices that feel more me.

Lots of research has been done regarding our emotional connection to our -stuff- and the symbols that our -stuff- represent to us.

This post isn’t about that.

This is a post about a girl who knows it is irrational to keep the things she doesn’t use, and that giving them away could allow them to be used and loved by somebody else.


When it comes to managing the clothes my closet, I think I’ve made progress over the years.  (Much of this progress comes from being more discerning at the time of purchase.)  But if I’m being honest with myself, I’ve still held back.

This is a post about pulling out the last stop, the konmari method, which is outlined in Marie Kondo’s books ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘ and ‘Spark Joy‘.

The essence is: keep the things that ‘spark joy’, move on from the things that do not.  The magic in this method is that decisions are made quickly; sparked joy happens on command when you consider how you feel about an item.  If you don’t immediately feel joy, and you have to negotiate your way towards joy, you shouldn’t keep it.  This principle can’t be applied universally (like to relationships with people) but it can be applied to the stuff that we own.

In the process, I let go of three pairs of jeans from college that I once loved but now fit a little funky, a black Jostens graduation gown (you know, from 5 years ago), and some highlighter-colored pieces that I bought from and of which I vastly mis-interpreted the colors on the screen.

I had 6 shopping bags to drop off at the resale boutique.  These were the last 6 bags of things that were emotionally holding me back from being more free and more content with the things that I own and love.  (And I will admit, I still own and love a lot!)

There’s something good about just being real with yourself… About admitting that the thrifted skirt wasn’t a good fit, or that you don’t like the way that brand name splurge makes your shoulders look.  It’s fine to count it a sunk cost and move on, without those things dragging you back.  I encourage you to try it!


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