how to create a wardrobe that sparks joy


Joy and Simplicity | how to create a wardrobe that sparks joy

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Whether we want to or not, we think about clothing on a daily basis. We wake up, brush our teeth, and then decide what to wear. But for many of us, it doesn’t stop there.

If you’re like me, throughout the day you’re thinking about how your pants are digging into you, or how you wish you would have washed that one shirt that you really like to wear, but are now stuck with something that makes you feel frumpy, old, and irrelevant.


And then, if you’re anywhere in the baby season of life, clothing can be even more complicated. Each stage carries its own demands (weight gain; dressing for a bump; nursing-friendly tops; clothes that can weather endless stains, from spit-up to solid food) and each stage passes quickly.

Can you guess which stage I’m in right now?

Joy and Simplicity | how to create a wardrobe that sparks joy

When you consider the amount of mental or emotional energy we spend on clothes, it makes sense to prioritize getting your closet in order.

Discard First

Before you even think about rearranging and organizing your closet, it’s important that you collect ALL of your clothing and lay it out in the middle of the room.  Pick up each item and ask yourself whether it lifts you up, or brings you down.

  • Don’t over-think it.
  • Don’t let your decisions be driven by fear (e.g., “What if I’ll need this for…”) or guilt (e.g., “I spent so much money on this”).
  • Pay attention to how each item makes you FEEL.

From start to finish, this process took me about 3 hours, and I filled about 7 trash bags full of clothing and accessories.

Apart from one special necklace that I accidentally put in the donate bag, I don’t miss any of my discarded items.

Arrange Beautifully

After you’ve winnowed down your collection of clothing to the items you love, place them back in your closet in a way that demonstrates appreciation for each item, and sparks joy for you when you open the door.

Out of about 18 scarves I used to have, I ended up keeping 8.  I love the way they are displayed, neatly folded a la Konmari.

Joy and Simplicity | how to create a wardrobe that sparks joy

And I love seeing all of my clothes hung with these wooden hangers.

Joy and Simplicity | how to create a wardrobe that sparks joy

Now, my closet really greets me when I walk in.  I have a better sense of what kinds of clothes I like to wear and what my style is (…and also that I maybe don’t need to buy any more striped items).

One surprising result of all of this is that I am much pickier when I buy new clothes. I don’t feel like my closet needs anything else, so any new items must earn their place in it.

Does your closet make you happy?  🙂

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