#SparkingJoy copy

Good morning!

Ready to get organized this week?

You might remember from last Sunday that I have started an organizing journey along with some of my blogging friends.

We are following the Marie Kondo Method as outlined in her book “the life-changing magic of tidying up”.

Sparking Joy My Journey in Tidying Up at thehappyhousie

I’ve been reading through this book and following along with Marie’s suggested methods for getting organized: once and for all.

I’m already really glad that I decided to take this challenge issued by my friend Kristi from Making it in the Mountains.  I’m thrilled to be in cahoots with these bloggers on this #SparkingJoy journey:

Anderson & Grant
Making it in the Mountains
DIY Passion
Dwelling in Happiness
Zevy Joy
Cupcakes & Crinoline
Lost in the Found
The Happy Housie

After a ridiculously busy year of renovating our kitchen and two investment houses, things around our house are not as organized as I would like them.

You know how when you get busy, things like staying organized fall a little by the wayside?

Things start to accumulate, taking up space… making it more difficult to stay organized and tidy?

Well, that’s pretty much what happened around here. This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.

Well, this week’s first task was to tackle our clothing.

School started back this past week so it was my first week back teaching.  Perhaps I was a overly optimistic about how much I could accomplish during that busy first week back?!?

But I did make some great progress and plan on finishing up my clothing purge today.  In fact, I’m planning to post my BEFORE and AFTER closet pictures on Instagram, if you are following along!

If you are ready to get started on tackling your own clothing purge, here is the process I followed:

Start by laying all your clothes of a specific type out together (I laid mine on the bed for ease).  Focus on ONE category of clothing at a time: for example – shirts.  I even focused within each category on a specific type of shirt: for example all long-sleeved shirts then t-shirts then tank tops etc.  Make sure you collect your clothing from everywhere that it might be in the house (don’t forget about the laundry!).

How to Host a Clothing Exchange and Purge your closet at thehappyhousie.com

Once you have all the clothing of a specific category laid out, go through each item picking them up one at a time and (here is the key): listen to your intuition and ask yourself if this item gives you joy.  If not: it’s out.

Sparking Joy Purging Your Clothing and How to Host a Clothing Exchange

I highly recommend reading Marie’s book for more explanation about this – but there is a great deal of truth in her suggestion.  Ignore the guilt and obligation that often surrounds items and fuels our need to hold onto them.  If the piece doesn’t give you joy, you simply thank it for what it has meant to you in your life and you hand it off.

Purging Your Clothing and How to Host a Clothing Exchange

Now, go through the process with the rest of your categories of clothing.  The whole family can get involved!  Though I may have lightened up on the #sparkingjoy aspect when it came to our boy’s clothing:)

Now that you have gathered what may be bags and bags of surplus clothing, you will have so much LESS in your closet and drawers to contend with!  Dressing in the morning will be so much easier because you LOVE what you have.  And putting away clothes in your closet and drawers will be so much easier because they aren’t over-stuffed.

Now – I think the trick is to ask yourself whenever you go out shopping “does this give me joy” before you actually purchase a piece.  Don’t bring in a bunch of mediocre things – just buy what you love!

But as I mentioned, after following this process you will likely have a lot of clothing to give away.  Rather then immediately donating it; consider hosting a clothing exchange!

I was first introduced to this concept by my thrifty-creative teacher friends when I started working at the current school where I work.  They do these clothing exchanges a few times a year, and it helps everyone make sure they are regularly purging their closet as well as gives them the opportunity to get some beautiful new (possibly hardly-worn) clothing items to refresh their wardrobe with.

Here’s how it works:

  1.  Invite friends and family to go through the same process as you: purging your clothing and setting aside their nice pieces to offer up for the exchange.
  2. Set a date and time and invite these friends/family over for the clothing exchange.  Tell them to wear under-clothing that they are comfortable wearing to change in front of others  (eg. a tank top and tight shorts or bathing suit etc.)
  3. Create different zones in your house for different categories of clothing: eg. pants and skirts in one room; tops in another room; dresses in another etc. etc.  Label each room accordingly.  Try to provide a full length mirror for each room.
  4. Once everyone has arrived, give everyone (or have them bring their own) wooden clothes pegs with their name or initials written on them in felt pen.  Each person should have, perhaps, around 15-20 clothes pegs.
  5. Divide up into small groups depending on the number of people in attendance and the number of clothing category rooms.
  6. Each group is given a room to start in and given a set amount of time before a switch is done.  While in that room, the group members go through each item and tries on those that interest them (remember: does it bring joy?!?).  If so- you put your clothes peg on that item to indicate your interest in it.  It doesn’t matter if an item has several clothes pegs at the end – I will explain that part soon.
  7. Once the groups have had time to circulate through all the rooms, gather all the clothing that is marked with at least one clothes peg.  Have everyone sit together and hand out those items that have only ONE peg to the person who tagged that item.
  8. For clothing items that have more then one clothes peg- put the two or more pegs into a hat and draw for the winner.
  9. It’s fun to make a social event of it and have people bring snacks and drinks to share as well.
  10. Don’t forget there are lots of organizations that love to accept clean and well cared for clothing donations – have someone or a few people from the group volunteer to take all the “non-joy” clothing and donate it to one of these organization.

Think you might want to try it?

This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

All those unwanted clothes can be put to great use and you can find some new treasures by to wear by hosting a Clothing Exchange - learn how at thehappyhousie.com

Now check out what my fellow #Sparking Joy bloggers have been up to this week with their first assignment on the #Sparking Joy Challenge: tackling our clothing!

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This is an excerpt from the article #Sparking Joy: Tips for Purging Your Closet & How to Host a Clothing Exchange which originally appeared on http://thehappyhousie.com/.