The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Okay I know I’m late to the party on reading this book because I’d heard lots about it for months. It wasn’t until I saw my lovely client Lisa in New York this past Spring that my life started getting magical. The book came up in one of our conversations and Lisa said, “I’ve read it so you are welcome to have it”.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Amazon

The premise of this book is basically when you are organizing and purging your stuff, you hold each item in your hand and ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’, if not, OUT it goes.

She has since written a follow up to the first one called ‘Spark Joy’, and I’m thinking I should read it as well because it answers frequently asked questions about what to do with necessary items that don’t spark joy. When I posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago, some of my followers said they liked it better than the first one.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Our master bedroom

One of the first chapters I read was about socks. I laughed when I read the except about storing socks because what she described was exactly what our sock drawers looks like:

“. . . When I opened her sock drawer, I could not suppress a gasp. it was full of potato-like lumps that rolled about. . . “.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Marie says your socks work hard for you and need to rest in between wearings. If they are balled up they are always in a state of tension and sometimes if they get forgotten in the back of a drawer the elastic stretches beyond recovery.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

I got to work on the sock drawer right away. There are no visuals in the book but there’s lots of videos on youtube that show how to fold socks, here’s a good one:

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW_9iwzhAjk” rel=”0″]

And one more thing, I bet you always wondered what the heck you’re going to do with all those shoes boxes you save (I do). Well, here’s where you can use them, just like I did when I organized my two sock drawers here:

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

I admit, I have opened and closed my drawers a few times afterwards, just to admire them.

Next, my scarves!

I’ve had them hanging on this IKEA scarf organizer stuffed hanging in between my dresses, for years! And they wrinkle when they simply get pulled through the loops and hang there (below):

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Before

I realized that out of the three drawers in my night stand, one was completely empty! So, I got to work folding all my scarves.

mariascarves

After

Do you not hear angels singing right about now?

I certainly did ; ) ; ) and I have room to spare as you can see. It also felt very satisfying to have a use for all the empty shoe boxes I had lying around on the top shelf of my closet. And I can see all my scarves at the same time, so they will get worn!

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Next, I moved on to the closet! The three drawers that you can see is where my bras, panties and PJ’s live.

Here’s what they looked like:

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

As you can see my panties shockingly look kind of folded because every time Terreeia (pronounced Maria with a T) does the laundry she folds my underwear. So then I always fold hers too. But when I pull mine out of the laundry I have ALWAYS just thrown them in the drawer so they are half folded and half a disaster!

 The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria KillamWell not anymore my lovelies! I have turned over a new leaf. Marie says once you organize your house once using her system, it stays that way, and I can see that. Who would want to go back to the way it was once you learn how to fold everything properly? Not me!

I even had room for my tights on the left side once all my underwear was folded up in tiny little rectangles!

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Here’s my wall of shelves behind mirrored doors in my closet. I really love the hooks that my necklaces hang on, I only wish I had the foresight to hang them slightly lower (above).

Marie advocates folding as much as possible and everything should be folded in a rectangle so that it stands up in the drawer instead of piling everything on top of each other. This way you can see everything all at once when you open the drawer:

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpc5_1896ro” rel=”0″]

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

This is what my closet looked like even before the organizer by Designer Closet Guys was installed.

I painted my closet orange because it was going to be the accent colour in the bedroom. That didn’t end up happening but I still love this colour in here, it’s happy and energizing!

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

After

Terreeia got totally into it along with me and folded all her clothes too! She has the four lower shelves and I have the three on the top.

It’s crazy how much room you suddenly have when you fold everything the right way.

Marie says “Every piece of clothing has it’s own ‘sweet spot’ where it feels just right”.

In fact she talks a lot about how satisfying it is to fold everything just so. I was skeptical until I got the hang of it. Then I kept looking around for what I could fold next.

Once you learn how to fold the KonMari way, you feel like you’ve suddenly mastered a very useful and practical skill you can use the rest of your life.

Next it was time to tackle my pants. I have most of my jeans and pants piled on two shelves at the front of my closet:

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

You can see two of my scarves that I’ve stuffed on the bottom right of this shelf because I was tired of pulling them wrinkled out of the loops where I was storing them.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

When I folded my pants I thought for sure they wouldn’t fit with the new rectangular system but they did with room to spare. And I did discard a few pairs, especially a $400 pair of True Religions (they’re coming to you Leah) that I’ve been hanging on to, waiting to fit into them again. Sigh, but they will be dated before that happens at this rate!

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Here I want you to notice the hanging clothes on the left. Marie says that you have to start with the long sleeves and then go shorter and shorter until you get to the tank tops. It’s like drawing a line with an arrow going up!

It’s amazing how it transformed the look and feel of the closet immediately! See the after below:

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

The bag of clothes you can see on the bottom left is my permanent ‘Sally Ann’ bag. If I wear something and that day decide I never want to see it again, in the bag it goes.

With this purge I obviously had more that was going out the door but not that much. Terreeia and I are pretty good at clothes purging so besides the clothes we disposed of that were simply worn out and too ratty to be recycled, we only had two big bags left to donate.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Have you noticed a theme with the colours in my wardrobe? Orange, it’s like I knew my closet should be orange because that’s a big colour in my clothes. Why? Because yellow is rarely available, apparently not everyone likes that colour or looks good in it. Every time I want a colour I often end up with orange because it’s the only one available.

There was one more chest of drawers located in the guest room (below), with my work-out gear with miscellaneous resort wear in the bottom drawer.

Related posts: 8 Lessons our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible 

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

Guest room

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

The top drawer has all my fitness tops and the second drawer all my bottoms.

The Magical Art of Closet Organization: Before & After | Maria Killam

It’s truly amazing how folding everything into a rectangle suddenly gives you so much more space!

Marie says you start with what you know will be easy to get rid of like clothes and then books. Leave the items you might be attached to until the end.

I’m going to keep going, books next, I wonder what Marie says about books that are purely decorative! I have a lot of those!

Happy 4th to my American friends!! xoxo Maria

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

Related posts:

Maria’s New Closet Installation

Maria’s Master Bedroom: Before & After (in my last house in the city)

5 Ways to Transform your Bedroom Right Now

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  1. Hi Maria! I have both of Marie Kondo’s books. I organized all my clothes about 2 months ago and have kept them that way since. I LOVE opening my drawers and seeing everything looking beautiful and “getting a little thrill” every time 🙂 I began to help my 15 year old daughter and we got through most of her things doing our joy check (she humored me) and then life got crazy and we suspended for a while. But I am in the middle of my personal papers right now. I too would like to see more on shelf storage. For my personal stuff I put swim suits and cover ups in clear shoe boxes on shelves and stacked the few sweaters that wouldn’t hang on shelves and I can see them. I have a few lighter weight sweaters on velvet hangers that I wear more often. I would like to get my college age sons on board before they return to school in the fall. Alas, I deem my husband hopeless for the moment… He can’t find his glasses, keys, wallet or phone on a daily basis although there is a key hanger and shelf right by the back door…
    FYI – I sought your color advice for a second home we own and last weekend took my colors with me which you recommended and I hope to move forward with my project soon. I hope I will be sending you some photos of completion before the winter sets in!! As I said earlier, life got crazy and I have a lot of irons in the fire!! Be well and I really enjoyed this post!!

  2. Clothing organization is one of my great gifts! I give you an A+! I listened to Marie Kondo’s book on my iphone while I cleaned for a few hours one afternoon, it was entertaining and kept my mind off of what feels like one of the most mundane things in the world to do. Maybe that is the difference between someone who would rather create than someone who would rather tidy… A tidy fanatic LOVES to tidy. I just love to be surrounded by tidy, I don’t love to DO it!

  3. I am laughing because my drawers and shelves all look like the before pics. This is going to revolutionize my closet! Thanks so much.

  4. This is the system I use in my closets/drawers and I use this to pack my luggage. So much easier on the eyes to look at and I can lay my hands on something in a flash.
    My husband teases me that I alphabetize everything – ha, and then he gets me to pack his luggage for our trips.

  5. I was surprised to learn this week that there is a growing ANTI-Marie Kondo movement happening. Personally, I was inspired by the notion of keeping only what brings joy but her philosophy goes too far with some apparently, probably with those who live in more spacious surroundings. I really appreciate what you have shown here, Maria, and that is folding your pants and standing on end, rather than rolling them which creates too many wrinkles BUT, you must have drawers that are tall enough. After seeing this, I’ve begun writing furniture manufacturers and requesting that the bottom drawer in any dresser or chest of drawers needs to be really deep, graduating in depth as you go up. I also like displaying shoes because I do forget what I have, BUT find that dust gets on them so I will be sticking with shoe boxes and photographs on the front each.