Tiny House KonMari: The Morning After

Dropping off those bags of clothes at the Goodwill was not quite as liberating as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, the sheer joy of looking in my closet and seeing only my favorite things (and being able to see them easily all at once) was worth the purge. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a sense of loss, though. I ask myself if I was perhaps a bit too quick to put stuff in the donate pile. I think of a couple of shirts in particular that I loved but that I know will never fit my post-pregnancy body again.

It's hard to let go of things sometimes. At least it is for me. I tend to be a sentimental person, and separating the memory from the item is not something that comes easily to me.

Knowing this, though, and knowing that the temptation for me would be to keep those bags full of clothes for a few weeks just in case I changed my mind was the main reason that I asked Chris to put them in the car right away when I was done sorting (that and the fact that three full, oversized garbage bags sitting in the middle of my tiny house kitchen was wreaking serious havoc on my ability to do dishes and use the sink). Then we dropped them off at Goodwill the very next day.

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo says it's normal to feel regret at least a few times while decluttering. It's a strange kind of regret, though. Not a regret that has me running back to Goodwill to reclaim my discarded items but a regret that the time when those particular things brought me joy...is over and gone. I think this is the value of going through this process, at least for me, and it's the reason "tidying" and "KonMari" is really life changing. It forces me to confront these feelings and this grief at the passage of time and to truly embrace the joy in my life today. I can't get yesterday back, and in fact I wouldn't want to go back to the time when those beloved shirts still fit. It wasn't all rosy like my memory sometimes wants to trick me into believing. But there were good things about some of those dark days of infertility and loss and health challenges, and I can remember them fondly without having to hold the tangible reminders of those times in my hands.

I will say this: I got rid of so many clothes that the fact that I am sad about only two or three specific items being gone forever is a pretty huge win in my book. And as I meticulously folded and put away all of the clothing that I love, I kept asking myself, "Is that it?" It all fits. It's not stuffed in like it was in the past. And I really haven't given most of what I donated a second thought.

Posts in this series:

  1. Tiny House KonMari
  2. Tiny House KonMari: Why Tidy?
  3. Tiny House KonMari: My Clothes
  4. Tiny House KonMari: The Morning After
  5. Tiny House KonMari: Closet Before and After
  6. Tiny House KonMari: My Shoes
  7. Tiny House KonMari: Kids' Clothes
  8. Tiny House KonMari: His Clothes
  9. Tiny House KonMari: Books