How I Spark Joy in My House by Getting Rid of All the Crap

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every clothing item you owned brought you joy?

The boys have reached the happy stage where they are busy planning their own social lives and I am the cheerful chauffeur/ casual supervisor. I actually really love hearing the incredibly-loud sounds of tween boys in the house, and I know that sounds sarcastic but I am in earnest. I hope they always want to bring their friends over to Hang Out.

Meanwhile, when they are off gallivanting in the neighbourhood and hanging out drinking slurpees in the back yard, I have been continuing with my quest to Spark Joy In My House By Getting Rid Of All The Crap.

Also: Sparking Joy By Drinking Beer.

I do not think I am exaggerating by saying that my life has truly been changed. By the Magic of Tidying Up. Holy moly, I have always prided myself on having a very clean and organized house, but I have been in this house for 16 years and there are some spots that have become dumping grounds/ cemeteries for odd items. Things that I never really wanted to deal with, I have been Dealing With. At this time I am up to 25 bags and boxes for donation, 5 bags of garbage (eek) and I don’t even know how much recycling.

Here’s the thing, though: my closet was the least of it. Remember several months ago when I reorganized my closet and I got rid of nothing whatsoever? Well, this time around I kept thinking, KonMari-like, wouldn’t it be wonderful if every clothing item you owned brought you joy? Armed with nothing but a grim determination and also a repression of feelings about fleeting time and the end of summer, I emptied all my drawers containing tops and sweaters on the floor.

This pile is ONLY sweaters and tees. It does not include my yoga wear, beach wear, or exercise gear. I went through everything, earnestly and whole-heartedly. Here is the “keep” pile.

And here is the “donate” pile:

NOTE: I am keeping Barkley. He just was incredibly confused and probably thought I was packing for vacation or something, and so needed to block me in my room.

The take-away from this exercise is twofold: a) my clothing really does Spark Joy, and b) I have a lot of clothes. By the time I finished going through pants, dresses, pajamas, scarves, shoes, boots, yoga clothes, and swimwear, I had two small/ medium boxes full of items for donation. So of my 25 bags and boxes, my clothing was less than ten percent of that.

That felt good, because I do love clothes and shopping, and I liked that I mostly have purchased things that I really loved. A few items that I donated didn’t fit properly anymore, or didn’t suit me as well as I’d hoped, but as a general rule, my shopping habits have been decent and not overly wasteful.


I still have a lot of clothes, and so in the spirit of September, Fresh Starts, and New (School) Year Resolutions, I have one big goal, and if I Blog It I Will Have To Stick To It.

Are you ready?

I am not going to buy myself a single item of clothing until my birthday next April.

Eeek! For me, this is a big deal, but I’m going to stick to it. The next time I see something I like I will a) go shopping in my own closet and will probably find something similar, or b) put it on a Christmas wish list, since my husband and kids like to have specific items to look for when it comes to gift shopping for me.

Mental note: keep Christmas wish list small, or the point of this exercise will be lost.

Much, much more to come on my Personal Growth From Kondo-ing (someone is staring at you in Personal Growth*) but for now I have peppermint fudge ice cream to make, kids to feed, and a giant stack of old magazines to purge. xo

*Big kudos to whoever can name that movie. Hint: it is my all-time favourite.

Previously published on Girl in a Boy House.

 RELATED: How to Clean Your Closet With a Minimum Amount of Life Drama