Before & After: Clothes Drawer and Closet

Most of us don’t realize the volume of how much clothes we own. One of the key step when tidying using the KonMari Method is to take everything out of the drawers and closet and create a mountain. And very often my clients will find many items they’ve forgotten they had, many still with the labels on. Or they are surprised by how many items they’ve purchased without really knowing why they bought them in the first place.

In this Before & After, my client didn’t have messy drawers. However by laying her tee shirts one on top of the other, she couldn’t see the ones on the bottom. Also, they took up a few different drawers without clearly defining what belongs where.

We started out by removing everything from the drawers and made a big pile. It was daunting to see 6 drawers of clothes altogether from a client who declutters periodically but hasn’t used the “Spark Joy” KonMari Method. Usually, this first step is when clients start to feel anxious and freeze up. One trick to ease into decluttering is by asking them to pick up 3 items that they really love and definitely want to keep. We set those aside in the keep pile in subcategories (ex: long or short sleeves, tank tops or sweaters). Repeat the step and find more and more items to keep.


Not a messy drawer, but the clothes took up space and difficult to see everything.


Sorting the keep pile by subcategory

During your tidying, think out loud and talk about the item as you contemplate whether or not to keep it. Pay close attention to what you are feeling as you touch the fabric. Sometimes you’ll sigh, or say to yourself “why did I buy this?” or just simply “I don’t know”. These are the times when we naturally start to come up with reasons why you should keep it. Maybe it’s never been worn or still in great condition. However, is that reason enough to keep it if you never wear it? If you start to say, I can just wear it around the house, but do you already have clothes for that purpose that you love?

Your closet should hold all the clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Focus on the vision of your ideal life, then ask yourself if the item in question fits into that vision. (Always start with a vision before tidying, read about it here.) Do you feel guilty for not wanting to keep it? Where does the guilt come from? Every item deserves the time and thoughts to determine whether it stays or goes. By meticulously going through each piece, your decision will affect your behavior the next time you make a purchase. And you will not bring in any more items that have any negative feelings attached to them.

Take a look at the finished drawer. I showed my client how to fold the KonMari way. We went from 6 drawers down to 3, separated by the subcategories.  “It’s so pretty!” my client reacted. And not only that, the newly organized drawers will also make getting ready and finding what she wants to wear easier and faster.


Tops are in the top drawer, pants, and shorts in the bottom drawer


Pajamas, loungewear, and bedding

Next, we moved on to her closet. We repeated the step by taking everything out, removing the clothes from their hangers. Why? Because you want to touch the fabric and check to see how you feel and not just look at it on the hanger. This also gives you the opportunity to sort your hangers and group them by color or type. A simple change by having uniformity in the hangers can make the closet look more organized.


Again, my client was surprised by the number of clothes she had or have forgotten. However this time with more confidence in her decision making, she was able to conquer the mountain of clothes much faster. Then we hung them back in the closet, putting the longest dresses on the left and shorter shirts and skirts on the right. This KonMari tip creates a visual baseline that leads your eyes up. Like in a line chart, going up brings positive feelings. From a practical standpoint, this also opens up space under the shorter items for more storage.


Once you have tidied your clothes, you may find new combinations for outfits you never thought of before. You may realize one style or color you love that you will look for when shopping for clothes next time. You will definitely save money by avoiding what doesn’t feel or look good on you. Tidying your clothes isn’t just about organization, it allows you to walk out the door with confidence in the clothes you love. And the comfy clothes that wait for you to come home and relax in at the end of the day.

Do you have any clothes you know you don’t want to keep but have trouble getting rid of? Share your story and I’ll be happy to give you some advice.

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