2019-03-15 / Society

The Tidying Tide—hold it, thank it, and take it to Goodwill

By Tammy Davis


Tammy Davis Tammy Davis Don’t tell Marie Kondo, but I had 57 sweaters in my closet.

If you have read Kondo’s book or seen her new Netflix series, Tidying Up, you know she believes we should only keep items that give us joy. That seems a little extreme, but we all have too much stuff. Nobody needs 57 sweaters.

The Kondo craze has inspired lots of closet clean outs. Thrift stores and consignment shops are bursting at the seams.

According to the Kondo method, you put every piece of clothing you own in a pile. You hold it and thank it. If it doesn’t spark joy, you toss it.

I decided to lean into this reduction revolution, starting with sweaters. I don’t think there’s a sweater in the world that would bring me joy. No, that’s not a sweater’s job.

I think most women just want a comfy, warm top in a color that doesn’t wash us out. If we can hand wash it and not have to pay for dry cleaning, even better. It’s a keeper.

I decided to keep my favorites in each category (cardigans, crew necks, dusters, turtlenecks, and special occasion sweaters). Everything else went to consignment or Goodwill. It wasn’t hard to whittle 57 down to 17.

I kept all my special occasion sweaters. Some of them, in the right situation, might be able to bring some joy my way.

When I held my pink cashmere sweater close to thank it, I said a little prayer. I hope Kondo is right about this whole joy thing. If any sweater can bring joy, it’s that one.

I’m still skeptical of the whole Marie Kondo extreme clean out, but you can never go wrong with a good purge. My closet looks better than ever. I don’t miss anything I tossed.

I think it’s a little far-fetched to think sweat pants need to spark joy, but you probably don’t need 13 pairs. Keep the faves. Toss the rest.

That little Marie might be on to something. Simple might be better. Less is probably more. I haven’t knelt down in my closest to thank the space the way Marie does, but I do feel a little less stressed when I get dressed each day.

Maybe there’s something to the Marie madness. It’s a good feeling to have a closet filled with things you love. No need to dig through the mediocre to get to the good stuff.

If it doesn’t make you happy, why keep it? In your closet and in your life, it’s probably best to focus on the things that spark joy and let the rest go.

In your closet and in your life, grabbing the best of something is much better than just grabbing something.

Surrounding yourself with your best, maybe that does spark joy after all.

Tammy Davis has a new book available, Chin Up, Buttercup—A Collection of Essays and Devotions on the Power of Faith, Perseverance and a Positive Attitude. Visit her website at www.tammydavissstories.com.

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