Chicago, IL, USA

©2020 by Maria Jejel

"Spark of Joy" or how to declutter your closet when you are a Fashion Designer?

August 16, 2018

Well, who doesn't know about the famous way to get your stuff in order by Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing"? It sounds simple "Take an object and observe how you feel about it. Only if it sparks joy in you, you leave it at your house". I decided to share my experience with you about organizing my walk-in closet in my pretty small Chicago apartment.


Yesterday, I packed three big bags for recycle/demolition/donation of clothes. But it required a big step for me: parting with my own designs. You see, when you create clothes, not just buy them, you invest a lot of time and energy in the piece. And thus, all this decluttering process becomes much more difficult.


Yesterday I cut one of my favorite pieces I created because it had a big flaw: the fabric which it was made of got all the dust/lint/threads/hair in a matter of seconds. Everything else was perfect: the design, construction, fit, details and impeccable sewing. But because of the fabric, it is nearly impossible to wear unless you stay in a sterile environment or has a lint roller as your best friend. That's why it was not for sale, and was hanging in my closet as a piece of art not doing anything. And yesterday, when I was going through my closet, I had a very difficult decision to make and face the reality: it doesn't bring me joy that the piece I created is just hanging in the closet. I started to run in the circles around the room with the question: what should I do?? Only the thought "You cannot let the things master you" saved me from putting the piece back to the closet just out of sentimentality. So... I took the scissors and cut out the small detail I really liked to reuse it later. And the rest went to the recycling bin. After that step, sorting was very easy. My idea is that a piece of clothing should (in addition to the sparks of joy):


1. be of an excellent quality of fabric (doesn't catch lint easy, breathable, comfortable to wear and nice to the skin)

2.  be of an excellent quality of sewing (the inside of the garment should be neat and beautiful to look at)

3. reflect your style at the moment of now (this is how you feel you and how you want to look)



If the garment is not satisfying these criteria, it should go. That's a great lesson not to dwell on the past and create space and energy to grow.


As a designer and creator, I am responsible for the quality of what I make and being tough and not getting attached to things is a great lesson I got from Marie. Thank you, Marie! :)


What are your criteria when you declutter your closet? Is quality of fabric/sewing in that list?







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