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ARZONICO: There is beauty in organizing closets as KonMari Method provides clarity to life

Opinion Column: College, But Make it Fashion

We have all been there. A closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. No matter how many tops, bottoms, jackets and shoes you have, it can often be difficult to see past the clutter in your closet. Enter Marie Kondo, the Japanese super-organizer and creator of the KonMari Method of organizing your life. 

The goal of this method of organizing is to not only declutter your space, but also to make you appreciate what you have more. The KonMari Method can be used for anything, but I personally found it most beneficial in my closet.

It is pretty simple. You go through every item of clothing you have, and the ones that spark joy you keep, and the ones that do not you toss. How to know if a piece of clothing sparks joy? 

Kondo says you feel it in your body and your heart goes “ching!” (I know, but bear with me). When you get a piece that does not spark joy, you thank it for its time in your closet and you donate it to someone in need. What you are left with is a group of pieces that truly mean something to you and have a place in your heart. 

I started using this method when my roommate got fed up with the shelving in my closet constantly breaking because of the amount of college sweatshirts and white T-shirts I had that I literally never wore. Every weekend I was faced with the same problem: looking at my closet full of black going-out tops, but none of them seeming to fit the bill. On a lazy Sunday, I spent the day KonMari-ing away. 

I quickly realized just how much stuff I had. It seemed like my closet was stuffed with all of these filler pieces I never wore and were there just for the sake of being there. By going through every item in my closet, I got a good view of what I actually had and I appreciated everything I had so much more. The items I was left with all made me genuinely happy when I put them on. They sparked joy. 

Whether it was a shirt I had a great memory in that reminded me of the day, or a sweatshirt that had been passed down from all of my friends, the items left in my closet made me happy. I feel confident in everything I wear when all of the pieces in my closet are ones that bring me joy. I feel like my best self.

The KonMari Method has also changed the way I shop. Less often I find myself buying things just for the sake of buying them, and I am more conscious about how and where I shop. Cleaning out my closet made me realize what brands I gravitate toward most, and that is where I find myself shopping more often than not. Of course, I still love to buy the trendy, fast-fashion pieces, but I am more thoughtful about how I am spending my money and what causes my purchases are supporting. 

Young or old, male or female, into clothes or not, everyone can learn something from Kondo. It is important to appreciate what you have, and even what you are giving away. Purchases of anything are so much more meaningful when you put just a bit more thought into what it is you are buying. It does not have to be your entire closet to be effective. Maybe you have a few too many band shirts and it is time to purge them, or you are really into shoes and there are too many for you to effectively wear all of them. 

KonMari-ing brings the joy back into dressing, you will know it when you look in the mirror and your heart goes "ching!" 

Marley Arzonico is a Rutgers Business School first-year planning to major in marketing. Her column, "College but Make it Fashion," runs on alternate Tuesdays.


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