Organizing Your Closet to Organize Your Mind
Everyone knows the terrifying, exhausting, time-consuming task that is cleaning out your closet. Organizing, categorizing, and reordering objects and clothing is so tiring because it also takes a lot of mental effort. You’re not just organizing your closet; you’re organizing your mind.
When you organize a room or a closet, you’re not just sorting through objects and clothing and throwing away or getting rid of your old, unused things. You’re also organizing your ideas.
Because your subconscious processes the memories associated with those objects and items of clothing. It relives situations, and decides whether they’re useful or not.
According to Marie Kondo, an expert on the subject and author of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, organizing starts with eliminating excess objects from your life. She says people accumulate so much stuff in their homes and offices because we habitually store and save everything.
That’s why it’s important to know how to get rid of things. It’s a challenge that provokes quite a bit of anxiety in many people, but the KonMari method can make it a bit easier.
“You may think this is a waste of money, but reducing your stock and relieving yourself of the burden of excess is the quickest and most effective way to put your things in order.”
When you decide to hold onto an object, it’s because you associate it with certain feelings. They may be happy or sad or bittersweet.
But if you let go of it, you’re leaving space for something new. Organization is much more important than most people think.
Keeping your space organized, whether at home or at work, will bring you peace and happiness. Having order in your daily life facilitates order in your mind and sets more efficient, practical relationships between your thoughts and ideas.
Clearing physical space in your closet is like clearing space in your life.
We’re not saying that you have to get rid of everything. We just mean that it isn’t good to be attached to a material object to infinity and beyond, even if there are positive memories associated with it.
You have to move on and leave space for something new, even if it scares you. It seems paradoxical, but all most people fear is an unknown future a present they can’t appreciate.
Lucky objects and items of clothing
We’ve all had that item of clothing that we wore so much it got holes in it and we couldn’t wear it anymore, and yet we refused to get rid of it.
Maybe it was with you in certain special moments, like going to your favorite concert, meeting a special person, or spending an unforgettable night with friends.
Most of us have also had lucky objects that helped us in an exam or an interview, like a rabbit’s foot, a lucky clover, or even a key chain gifted from a loved one.
We attach emotions to these memories, objects, and items of clothing. Over time, they get old and worn and it comes time to say goodbye to them. It isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to leave room for new objects, clothing, memories, and experiences.
If we don’t leave space for new things, we run the risk of permanently anchoring ourselves to the past.
Leaving the past behind
Certain memories might be stronger than others, and you might have to take a step back in order to get energy to move forward.
On the other hand, and with just a few rare exceptions, you’ll only have enough room for new experiences if you have the courage to say goodbye to the past with gratitude. This will allow you to clarify and organize your thoughts, live the present more fully, and build a more hopeful future.
According to Marie Kondo, when you hold onto things like cd’s, electronics, and worn clothing, you’re really clinging to the past. The space you live in should be set up for the person you’re becoming. Not the person you were in the past.
Cleaning out your closet, as well as your emotions and memories, is even more necessary when you’re grieving. When you lose a loved one, through a death or a breakup or anything else, letting go of their belongings will help you.
Of course, everyone needs time and that must be respected. You don’t have to get rid of everything all at once. In fact, doing it too abruptly without being prepared won’t help at all. On the contrary, it can aggravate the pain and infect the wound.
You’re the only one who will know when you’re ready to let go of their belongings. You just have to listen to your heart.
Organize your closet to organize your mind.
The KonMari method
Marie Kondo provides tips on how to maintain order, especially in your closet, with her KonMari method. Here are a few of the most important ones, which can also help you organize your ideas:
- Storing your clothes in an upright position will make it easier to see and identify them.
- Learn how to get rid of things you don’t use anymore. Marie suggests going through each object one by one. To figure out whether you want to keep it or not, think about whether it makes you happy when you use it, how often you use it, etc. If you decide to let it go, say goodbye with gratitude for all the times you’ve shared with it.
- There’s no need to separate clothing by season. It’s better to have it all in front of you and get rid of the ones you know you won’t use next year. According to Kondo, when you clean out your clothing, you should be left with no more than a third of what you had before.
- It’s much easier to see and choose what you want to wear when you fold rather than hang up your clothing. It also takes up less space. She advises folding everything you can and only hanging up what you need to, like blouses and jackets.
- When you stack items on top of one another, you’re not aware of what you have. You forget about the ones in the back or at the bottom.
- There’s no need for storage containers or lockers. They actually tend to make organization more complicated.
“With the KonMari method, you learn to truly organize and throw things away. Yes, I said throw away (or give away or donate or recycle). Because in order to put your house in order, you have to get rid of things first, even though it hurts.”
Organizing and your happiness
In short, cleaning is necessary if you want to be healthier and happier. Cleaning your living space means creating space in your life, opening yourself up to new experiences, and getting out of your comfort zone.
This involves getting rid of emotions, memories, and ideas that are familiar and manageable. But leaving room to enjoy the present and build a new future.