As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, one of the things that prompted my interest in minimalism was the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
If you haven’t read my previous posts about her method (known as KonMari to fans), the basic premise is that you determine if an item in your house “sparks joy”. If it doesn’t, discard it – but not before you give thanks to it for its service to you thus far. By getting rid of clutter and excess stuff in your house, Kondo has transformed a lot of people’s lives, not just because they’ve gotten rid of a lot of physical stuff, but also a lot of emotional baggage to – baggage that was tied to the ownership of said stuff.
I’ve applied her philosophy in some areas of my life – the wardrobe, as part of my capsule wardrobe challenge; the little storage space we have under our stairs; the pantry. And I would have to agree that letting go of all the unnecessary things that we hold on to has been a very releasing experience and I would be the first to admit my guilt in the amount of money wasted buying things that I felt I needed at the time but was most likely bought because it was cheap and I love a good bargain.
One aspect of my wardrobe that I’ve found a little harder to declutter is my jewellery. I love accessories and jewellery – along with shoes, these can really inject your personality into an otherwise minimal outfit. I love making my own accessories (when I get the time) and I like to stack my bracelets high.
I have a lot of jewellery that has been handed down to me by my mum, and while I don’t necessarily wear these all the time, these are important to me as they are family heirlooms – one necklace my mum gave me had been owned by her mum, my grandmother, whom I’d never met as she died before I was born. It’s not really my style but I like that I have this piece of jewellery that is connected to her.
I have jewellery that my husband bought me when we first started dating, and while I don’t really wear them anymore, I keep it because they’re a reminder of those early days , pre-mortgage, pre-children, pre-sleep deprivation. I have accessories I bought while on holidays with him that again, I don’t wear on a regular basis and I would struggle to say are my style, but again they are lovely reminders of those times we spent together in places that we may not be able to go to again for a long time.
I have a watch that no longer has batteries and I probably won’t wear it again, but it was a watch I bought while I was living in Japan – it was a Fossil one with an LED face displaying the Japanese number for every second from 1 to 10. I keep it because it brings me back to that time when I lived in an utterly foreign country with very little local language skills but having an absolute ball of a time.
I keep them because they spark joy, like Marie Kondo asserted in her method – the memories that are attached to them, the sentiments they elicit when I see them. Yeah, it’s not decluttered, but they make me damn happy.
How I organised my jewellery
I had an add-on unit bought from Ikea that I did initially plan for my workspace, but it was such an awkward size I decided to repurpose it to house my jewellery and accessories. I’m so glad it worked out that way because it’s such a pretty space to store my accessories – before, they were all jammed in a drawer and I couldn’t see everything as they were all stacked on top of each other. In this unit I can clearly see each item (even if some boxes are still stacked, I can eyeball them all at the same time) and I can get to them much more easily, which means potentially wearing other pieces that I may not have been able to before because other boxes and *cough crap cough* were on top of them.
An old ice cube tray became a handy receptacle for my costume rings and earrings (jewellery with valuable stones are kept in their own little boxes for greater protection).
Bracelets are hung from a repurposed cutlery holder.
My beloved watches now have a little space of their own without being crushed by other boxes and accessories.
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