On Simplifying.

On Simplifying
coat // sweater // jeans // heels

Slightly controversial(?) confession: I’m getting a bit tired of Marie Kondo. Or rather, hearing KonMari this and that everywhere I look. Not her, necessarily, I’m sure she is wonderful. I remember when I read her book several years ago, I thought it was amazing and so smartly done.  But now it is everywhere and if I hear “spark joy” one more time… I don’t know.

I get it, I really do. Honestly, I love the idea of a more simple, streamlined life. My friend Jess has done a really great job with purging her wardrobe and creating a capsule wardrobe in a way that feels authentic and just very true to her and who she is. But I guess what is bothering me is the celebration we are making over throwing stuff out (or rather, I hope: giving it away/donating it/selling it. Never throw clothes away!!!). Great, you’re living with less but if you just fill your closet back up again, then what really is the point?

I think the real thing to celebrate would be: after doing this big clean out, after purging all of these things that aren’t bringing you joy any more… what happens next month or even next year??? Are you doing that same purge again, or are you giving away/selling fewer things because you stuck to your guns over the course of the year and made better decisions?

Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater (old; I bought mine on Poshmark bc I wanted it so badly after seeing it on Katiethis and this and this are similar) // Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses (exact)

I thought about this a lot this week in spending time with my sister and her husband. They live in a small town in Minnesota and live a life that is much more simplified and streamlined (at least when it comes to their possessions – their actual life is crazy, they have two boys and demanding jobs). My sister isn’t into clothes but is inherently pretty stylish. She doesn’t prattle on and on about her capsule wardrobe; she just has fewer clothes which she wears until they are worn out; and then buys “new” ones secondhand. She rolls her eyes at me and my consumerism (but is also never sad when I send her a box of things I know she’ll use and love).

The other thing is that I just hate when something becomes a “thing” and everyone feels like they have to do that thing too. My favorite people are the people who are just unabashedly themselves and don’t try to be someone else. I try to be that person with everything I do.

I’ll be the first to admit that I could never have a capsule wardrobe and be happy. I dress around my mood. I love color and bold accessories and sequins and am a collector when it comes to my clothing: my favorite vintage dresses; my collection of bags and shoes… they’re all special to me. And I’m a dress girl. How do you have a capsule wardrobe when you wear a lot of dresses?! Sure, in my everyday I probably alternate between five sweaters, a handful of blazers, and 3 pairs of jeans but I love collecting beautiful things.

So here we are. I have a lot of stuff. I like my stuff. It’s organized and color coded but there’s a lot of it. And other people prefer a capsule wardrobe. And both of those things are totally fine. But what’s not fine is living this life where you are constantly churning through possessions and incessantly needing to get rid of things.

Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater // Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses (exact)

It’s a tricky thing to balance. I am, or at least have been, a part of the problem. I recognize that. As a blogger a part of the job in many cases is to showcase new arrivals. There is a fine line to walk. How to share style inspiration and outfits without encouraging excessive consumerism? It goes back to that whole need vs. want thing I talked about a couple weeks ago. And again, I reference Jess – I think she does a great job showcasing great style without a lot of excess.

The easiest way around that is to stick to mostly classic pieces that retailers always carry. But even with things like my classic camel coat from Vince (the one in this post // the coat I wear nearly every day) I remember thinking to myself earlier this Fall, “Should I buy a new camel coat this year?” Not because it was falling apart or out of style but because it was several years old and no longer available on the retailer’s website.

That very thought acted as such a big wakeup call for me. What!?!? That’s completely crazy and actually a little bit insane.

Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater // Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses (exact)

I am not perfect but I have been shopping a lot less. More importantly I have been trying to make smarter purchasing decisions to ensure whatever I’m buying won’t end up in the giveaway pile a few months or even years later. An item needs to feel really special and make me happy or fill a hole in my wardrobe.

Whenever I shop now, I think about all of those bags I donated and sold when I did my big closet clean out this Fall. And how downright gross I felt doing that. The thousands of dollars of clothing that I got rid of.

I guess the biggest takeaway is this. Have a capsule wardrobe if that serves you. Have a walk-in closet and a whole room for all of your shoes if that serves you. The more important thing? Take care of your things and let’s all make smarter purchasing decisions  so that that big Marie Kondo purge is a one time thing.

Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater // Re/Done Denim // Vintage Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses (exact) Outfit Details:  Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse Grace Atwood Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater // Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses (exact) Grace Atwood Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Rainbow Sweater // Re/Done Denim Grace Atwood Outfit Details: Topshop Coat // Re/Done Denim // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Vintage Chanel Purse

photography by Carter Fish.

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. I like stuff too, but like you, I’m making a conscious effort to shop less and choose quality over quantity. As for Marie Kondo… I’m lucky she isn’t popular here in Hong Kong, haha! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • Haha, that’s interesting that she’s not big over there! Thanks Charmaine, have a great weekend.

  2. Charlotte says 2.8.19

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I moved every two years for the last six years and have thus always been forced to sort through my things on a regular basis. Any while I absolutely support the idea of making considerate decisions about the things that we own and surround ourselves with, I do think that it is more about not going for the extreme on either end. Extremes – in my experience – are never helpful, may it be excessive purchases or excessive purging. Thank you so much for sharing your view, it was a valued addition to this discussion!

  3. Jess Kirby says 2.8.19

    Yes Yes Yes Grace! I couldn’t agree more, and I hope, what I’ve conveyed through my own process is not that you need to just get rid of everything, but that it’s so important to be mindful of our own habits, and create a wardrobe that brings us joy, whatever that means to the individual. It will look different for everyone, and that’s ok. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in the Marie Kondo spell but to your point, what does that look like 6 months from now? If you’re doing it all over again, that’s missing the point. I read an article recently with quotes from Marie, I think what is getting lost in all of this is that she really encourages people to keep things that make them happy and if you do her method right there is no need to constantly purge, shop, replace. She is not saying everyone should go out and be a minimalist with a capsule wardrobe (I think you can get that sense if you watch her show). Anyhoo, I am rambling but I think you make great points here. Well said. xx Jess

  4. Tayler N Bray says 2.8.19

    My entire life I have been a “purger”. Once or twice a month I would go through my closet and make piles of clothes to take to Plator or bring into our school closet. However, it was only recently when I began using the KonMari method was I able to get rid of things that were once difficult. I was able to let go of tough items and find ways to repurpose super sentimental pieces. Oh, & not every item I kept sparks joy. Those 3-4 work blazers… I need them for meetings, interviews, etc. Moving forward, I plan on being much stricter about what I purchase and do not have any intentions on filling my closet back up.

    Happy Friday!

    • Thanks Tayler! I think that’s the really important part – being stricter about what you purchase going forward.

  5. Rebecca says 2.8.19

    Hi grace, totally hear you! Thanks for this honest post. Just curious, you talk about now wanting to be that person who jumps on the new thing to try…yet you report quite frequently about hearing about a certain new trend, for instance, especially in wellness, and then jumping on the bandwagon right away, e.g.s, celery juice, yoga skin, etc. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on that distinction (is it just the kondo trend that bothers you?)

    • Hi Rebecca, I think there’s a pretty big difference. As a lifestyle blogger I consider myself in a sense, a human guinea pig – it’s my job to try a lot of this stuff and report back. Drinking celery juice, or mixing foundation with face oil are a lot different than donating say, fourteen bags of clothing and deciding to create a capsule wardrobe because that’s trendy. I also think that it’s important to decide which trends are for you and do them because you like them not because everyone else does. For example, (and I think I said this in my video), I was excited about yoga skin because for the first time in years it was a makeup trend that actually resonated with my more no-makeup, makeup look!

      Hope that makes sense.

  6. INGA says 2.8.19

    my thoughts exactly – you are great at putting it all in words. this is a fantastic post. we all need to learn how to balance and be more thoughtful on what makes us happy – with both life and wardrobe decisions.

  7. Rachel says 2.8.19

    I love the essays you write like this, Grace! I totally agree that an effort needs to be made to be more intentional with what we purchase. I’ve found that as I get older, I have a much clearer sense of my style and what I will and won’t wear. It’s a nice feeling!

    Rachel | http://www.rachelstriving.com

  8. Allie says 2.8.19

    That’s my takeaway from the whole Marie Kondo thing too! (That, and be more diligent about all of the junk that accumulates when you stick things in a drawer – it’s amazing how quickly packaging and product samples and pieces of paper accumulate!)
    I don’t want to own less stuff, especially not less books!, but I do want to love everything I have, which I think leads to less consumerism. I guess we’ll find out for sure after my end of summer home clean out
    xAllie
    http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

  9. Catherine says 2.8.19

    So agree with this perspective. I think people are conflating Kondo’s approach with minimalism, and they’re not the same! If someone is a ‘maximalist’ in a certain area of their life and it makes them happy and is intentional, then that fits her approach. Unfortunately that perspective is getting lost in the sound-bite based coverage.

    I think that thoughtful consumption is a trickier approach to sell en masse because it’s inherently personal. I’m working on minimizing my wardrobe because I prefer a minimalist uniform, but I own more than 400 books that are organized by genre on four floor to ceiling bookcases. I’ve read them all and love them, and seeing that wall of books makes me incredibly happy. It’s all personal, which means there’s no one right way for everyone.

    • Yes yes yes!!! I think you’re right. I haven’t even watched the show and it’s less her that I’m tired of, it’s more about every person on the internet and in my life talking about Marie Kondo’ing this and that and “sparking joy.”

      Your book collection sounds incredible, by the way. 🙂

  10. Marta says 2.8.19

    I’ve never read the book or watched the Netflix show because I feel like I have everything figured out. I am a bit of a hoarder but at the same time I’m pretty good at getting rid of stuff and the only reason why I hoard is that I hate wasting money and if I buy something, it’s staying with me until it dies haha luckily I rarely buy anything new so I never feel the need to have massive declutters. This year one of my goals is to invest in good things that last longer so with that I’ll feel even less the need to declutter but as you mentioned, I’m kind of not sure how it’ll be for my blog if the pieces I have will no longer be available. I guess I’m gonna have to figure it out as I go because I do not want to go back to buying recklessly just so that I have something “linkable”.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely a struggle. I know generally people here prefer when I link to the exact item vs. similar but it also makes me think maybe I need to challenge myself to find better similar options!

  11. Katie says 2.8.19

    I posted this on the FB group but thought I’d share here for readers since it’s on topic: HEAD TO YOUR LOCAL THRIFT STORE THIS WEEKEND. All the Marie Kondo-ing has people donating tons of quality items. I went two weeks ago and walked away with over fifteen pieces for $50! It felt like all the stuff I scored care from the same wardrobe…same size and style, some similar item. That’s how I arrived at the hypothesis that this purging trend is great for thrifting!

  12. Paige says 2.8.19

    I love this post so much!!! I am a self proclaimed maximalist- minimalism is pointless to me. It just seems boring. I love to collect fun shoes and bags….and other accessories and jackets and whatnot. To each their own. But I also loved the Marie Kondo Netflix show- never read the book, but it was inspiring me to throw out things I hold onto for no reason. I got rid of clothes I wore once with no intention to ever wear again, or shoes that I literally can’t walk in for the life of me that I was holding onto because they looked “cool” on my shelf. It helped me the most with sentimental items- I’m a bit of a hoarder and was finding movie stubs from 2003 in desk drawers and saved train tickets from European vacations- I finally felt like after all this time, I’m remember things better through pictures and all of the junk was making my head feel cluttered! I also get feeling like everyone has to have the “it” item- I always felt like I needed to buy fancy candles to use the jars after they burned through (typing that now makes it sound crazy lol) but I was finally able to throw all of that crap out and keep little tchotchkes that actually have some importance to me. I still have all sorts of frivolous items, but going forward I am trying to really only buy (and hold onto) things that I can see myself keeping and using for years to come. Not buying/keeping less, but doing so more thoughtfully instead of buying just to buy.

  13. Nicole says 2.8.19

    Amen, Grace. I have a bit of confession. I tried to start her book, but then about two chapters in it didn’t “spark joy” so I stopped. You described it best in being a collector – I like being surrounded by beautiful things. Happy Friday!

    • HAHA I don’t know why this made me laugh but it made me cackle out loud.

      Thanks for chiming in Nicole – have a great weekend! XO

  14. H says 2.8.19

    I feel you on the KonMari fatigue! I also just wanted to add that as a reader I’m never put off if someone links to an “old but similar” because a coat is old and out of stock, it happens!

  15. Celia says 2.8.19

    Your post really resonated, firstly because it was coming from a lifestyle/fashion blogger. I used to read a bunch of blogs in the morning along with catching up with the news before my crazy day starts. The problem I began to have with, and I am going to generalize here, most of the blogs is the incredible consumerism being shoved down readers throats. Blogs that once had interesting content were now just sponsored posts and advertisements. I understand many bloggers make their money this way but to me a blog was stories or articles with sponsored content or gift guides ocassionally. Its fun to find that cute dress or great pair of shoes but not gluttonous consumption. I love your blog because you truly balance everything. Thank you Grace !

    • I am so happy it resonated!

      As a blogger it’s definitely a fine line to walk – I love to shop, I always will… I just don’t want it to be excessive, or to be shoving shopping/consumerism/possessions down my readers’ throats!

      Have a great weekend, Celia!

  16. mary says 2.8.19

    I have a super small closet and a problematic figure to dress (very top heavy) so shopping for clothes doesn’t “spark” the same joy for me as it does for others. I keep my wardrobe minimalist–neutral, solids, but indulge in more accessories since they take up less space and always fit. I also wear my everyday clothes until they have holes and then I mend them until it’s beyond help. Watching the documentary “The True Cost” really made me think hard about my consumerism and now it just feels better to say no to new things I don’t need. I pass along my books after I read them, but keep one or two a year. Marie Kondo is fine for people who need a jump start, but I think I’m already a step ahead of her.

    One way to shop smarter is to write down every item of clothes you buy in a year with the price. Keep reviewing to see what you actually used, what you didn’t and then use that as a blueprint for future purchases. I realized I was buying too many dresses I rarely wore and vowed to be more selective in the future.

  17. Kaye says 2.8.19

    I think my general issue with all this KonMari-ing in the blogger/influencer sphere is that it feels so performative, which you touched on. I think most bloggers can post about KonMari and their big purges all they want, but from a reader perspective, unless they actually adopt the whole “buy only what will serve you in the long term/what truly brings you joy” mindset that Marie Kondo endorses, they’re just going to purge again. I get that it is a fine line to walk as a high-profile influencer/blogger, especially when you have sponsor- and partnerships that you are beholden to.

    I think part of it is that everyone loves the purging/tidying aspect of KonMari because let’s be honest, it’s good content. People love a good closet makeover. People eat up platitudes about living simply and mindfully, even if it’s espoused by people who make their coin on excess. It’s fun to read about. But then – do influencers and bloggers (and people in general) actually follow through with the mindset of only purchasing and acquiring things that are either necessary or that they intend to cherish long term? Usually no, and that’s probably the most eye-rolly part of it all.

    This is one of the reasons why I love reading your blog and why I’ve followed along for nearly a decade (Stripes and Sequins!! I also met you briefly yeaaaars ago at a BaubleBar pop-up and you were lovely). I like that you’re open and honest about your consumption and your preference for a wilder and fuller wardrobes while most people are touting capsules, minimalism, and living simply when in reality…they aren’t. It’s au courant and while I know a lot of people take it to heart, just as many or more are going for the clicks. Thank you for speaking candidly about this (as always) and having the self-awareness to be true to yourself and sharing it with us.

    • I couldn’t agree more with you – that’s why I had to highlight Jess and her blog because it feels so authentic and her!

      Thank you so much for the comment and the kind words (and WOW for reading since the S&S days!!!) Have a great weekend.

  18. Janet says 2.8.19

    One of my New Years resolutions was to try to buy fewer, better things. Too much retail therapy at the outlet mall leaves me with a closet stuffed with things that are ok, but not great. I have a real hard time spending a lot of money on one item but I also know I’m better off spending $200 on one really great thing than $200 on half a dozen things that aren’t really that great.

  19. Kara says 2.8.19

    I completely agree. I’m sure Marie Kondo is great but she’s not ‘sparking joy’ anymore in my day-to-day conversations. LOL.

    Love your red classic flap, by the way! *Swoon* you have the most beautiful bag collection.

    Kara
    https://politicsofpretty.com

  20. Kara says 2.8.19

    As a long time reader, this may be my favorite post you’ve ever done! I feel the same way. I hate people making me feel guilty that I don’t have a minimalist wardrobe. I love pretty things and I use them and cherish them. I try to be really conscious of what I buy and to make good decisions. So what I buy is forever and not just for the short term. This has allowed me to buy nicer items because I’m buying less so I can spend more on each item.

    • Aw thank you Kara!

      I feel exactly the same way. I don’t have a minimal wardrobe but it’s because I’m 37 and have been collecting for years! Especially with my shoes and bags. I think it’s so important to make conscious purchasing decisions – whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

  21. Rachelle says 2.8.19

    I’m so with you on this, what’s the point of giving away all this stuff if you have to do it every few months. I think people really need to get to know themselves. I did a major closet cleaning but I’m in no way a minimalist. I love variety and cannot go on with just 10 pairs of shoes. I have however learn to be more mindful and contribute less to the overall waste. I felt pretty shitty when I was getting rid of all these clothes I paid for a year ago, that was an eye opener for me.

    xo
    Pinksole

    • Exactly – that was my main point. A purge is great, make changes, but don’t fill your closet back up again!!!! I felt SO shitty this Fall when we did my closet cleanout. It was really eye opening.

  22. Nicole Ogrin says 2.8.19

    Thank you, Thank you for saying this! After all this Marie Kondo talk I was actually feeling guilty about my stuff. Yes, I am sure I could weed some things out but in reality I like the things I have and don’t feel like purging for the sake of purging is really for me.

  23. Diana Pearl says 2.8.19

    Love this! I have no interest in KonMari-ing. I’m much more the type of person who gets rid of a couple things every few months—by donating or selling on Poshmark. Knowing yourself is so important. I definitely want to make more intentional purchases this year—no buying anything I have something somewhat similar to already, which I’ve definitely done a couple of times in the past. I admire people who can make a capsule wardrobe work, and I’m sure I have one within my closet already—but I know that I need more than that, and that’s okay. (Within reason, of course 🙂

    • I completely agree – it’s so much about knowing yourself! You hit the nail on the head.
      Thanks Diana – have a great weekend!

  24. Jordan G says 2.8.19

    You may have already seen this, but reading Man Repeller’s interview with Marie Kondo was an ah-ha moment for me regarding her method. I felt like she gave some important clarifications:

    “There’s no need to force yourself to let go of items! Don’t make downsizing your goal – that’s not the point of tidying. The ultimate goal of tidying is to discover how you’d like to live in your home.” -Marie Kondo

    When the ultimate goal is to thoughtfully consider your stuff in order to discover what makes your home feel joyful, I think it’s a concept that’s much more appealing to a broad range of personalities.

    https://www.manrepeller.com/2019/01/marie-kondo-interview.html?fbclid=IwAR39fk24aJ6gVp6CJNWHDYgCewaVtpUFxNFebw7vrpvDZ6Fh5KrlG2BYoL4

  25. Cy says 2.8.19

    I know what you mean, but if you have ever read any of her interviews, she not telling people to get rid of everything, she saying, if it’s not being loved and used, then get rid of it. It’s not about having, a lot of a little, it’s about honoring what you have. Like everything else, we Americans like to takes things to extremes I think. 🙂 You obviously love and honor your wardrobe and take very good care of it. I’m trying now to be thoughtful about what I purchase and if I don’t enjoy it, use it or wear it., I return it right away. Trying!

    • Oh absolutely – I am tired of the extreme! I don’t think Marie herself has done this, but the way we’re interpreting it!!

  26. Allison says 2.8.19

    yes!! Thank you! I’m trying to keep a list of items I really want/need to fill gaps in my closet and only buying items off that list instead of impulsively buying things on sale (or atleast less..)

    • Yes! I love the idea of making a list and sticking to it. That’s helped me a lot too.

    • Ellie says 2.8.19

      I have had a list for maybe 4 or so years now and it’s LIFE CHANGING! It makes me consider more impulse buys (would I rather put the money toward something on the list) and I give myself “permission” to pull the trigger on a list item if the perfect match comes up at the right price (even if I have to pay it off in the next month ). At 30 I feel like I truly have filled holes in my closet and the list is actually skrinking faster than it’s growing!

  27. Amy says 2.8.19

    I love this post! I also love bright colors and variety in my wardrobe. Now if only I had my dream walk-in closet to keep everything neatly organized! Your message of intentional shopping is such a good one. xoxo

  28. Leah says 2.8.19

    I want/need that rainbow sweater!!

    • That’s how I felt when I saw it on Katie! Hence the poshmark stocking. I bet you could find it on poshmark or ebay!!!

  29. Eliza says 2.8.19

    Feel this so hard! I absolutely love clothing and I regularly sort through my closet and assess items that I want to rehome, but much like you (it sounds like!) my clothing and tastes and moods tend to change! I have a hard time wearing the same things over and over again. I will never understand how people have things in their closets with the tags still on! When I purchase something, I can hardly wait to wear it.

    I too have felt absolutely inundated with this trend as of late and I agree with others that Americans have really taken this to the extreme! I will give it to Marie, she has given me some good inspiration when it comes to the best way to fold my shirts/sheets, but one of the aspects I’ve been really bothered by is how unsustainable this trend feels. I hate the term “throw it away!” and I’ve made it my mission to find ways to recycle some of my old clothing that I deem too gross to keep wearing or to donate (i.e. underwear or those old worn out bras!) and it’s made me feel much better about purging some items that I should get rid of, knowing that I am not contributing to even more waste.

    On that note, I’d love to see a blog post that talks about the trend of recycling clothing and best ways to do it! (if this already exists, just disregard!) It’s something I started thinking more about last year as I’ve tried to live a more sustainable and overall more aware life. I’m sure you have some thoughts on this as well 🙂

    • I love this!

      I don’t really feel qualified to write that post; but if I find someone who has written it I will let you know. My friend Alden is a wonderful resource; she writes a sustainable fashion blog called Eco Cult – ecocult.com!

    • Lauren says 2.8.19

      Hi Eliza,

      Hanky Panky has a recycling program. They will mail you an envelope to send back any brand of bras and underwear to be recycled. You just pay for the postage. H & M collects clothing and some Nike stores accept old sneakers for recycling. If you’re also interested in recycling make up, Origins accepts empty make up containers from all brands. I hope this helps!

  30. Veronica says 2.8.19

    I totally get what you’re saying, but I thought of this quote from the book: “Don’t focus on reducing, or on efficient storage methods, for that matter. Focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy and on enjoying life according to your own standards…For a shoe lover, it might be one hundred pairs of shoes, while a book lover might not need anything but books.”

    For you, you might have a million books (or other maximalist things), but I think you’re actually really embodying her philosophy!

  31. dana mannarino says 2.8.19

    Honestly, I LOVE your outlook. And I agree, it’s a total taboo to be “against” the whole minimal movement that’s happening right now. But I’m kinda with you. Things make me happy. No, they’re not everything. But, buying a nice pair of shoes or a handbag or even a blouse that I know I’ll wear for YEARS definitely makes me happy. Totally thought it was super interesting what you said about people going through the purging a little too often..so then are they even living this minimal lifestyle?

    Have a great weekend, Grace!

    The Champagne Edit

  32. Silvia says 2.8.19

    I am not sure if she ever said to minimize things…. she just says keep the things that spark joy. That can be many things, or one might end up with few things. Not sure who started to interpret it as ‘minimizing stuff’ as if this is some admirable badge of honor. Your closet seems very kon-mari to me since you say you love it all.

    I think both consumerism as well as the opposite, minimalism, are two sides of the same coin: an obsession with ‘stuff’. Stuff that sparks ‘joy’….. and then, it gets out of hand, and there is too much stuff.

    • Agreed; I think the problem is that we (a collective “we”) are confusing her message!

  33. Kristin says 2.8.19

    Love these photos and this outfit! Such a great way to style a transition outfit into Spring. And I agree with you. I was sick of hearing Marie whatsherface by the time Jan 2nd rolled around. I agree with you. Just be smart with your decisions. I’m at the point in my life where investing in quality pieces that will last forever is most important to me. I look at a piece and only if I feel 1. comfortable 2. think i’ll wear it again and again 3. will this last me a while so I don’t have to re-buy something else later on 4. do i have something similar.
    Kristin
    http://www.tweedandlace.com

  34. Hilliary says 2.8.19

    I think the really cool part about keeping things that spark joy doesnt mean living in a minimal life, unless of course being a minimalist is what brings you joy. So if keeping beautiful things is what makes you happy then that is what you should do! I think that there a lot of people that aren’t full grasping the lesson she is teaching and are doing just as you say, getting rid of things and then just buying more. I love your outlook!

  35. Jules says 2.8.19

    I think this is a great message. It’s weird that I feel people have really twisted her message into “get rid of everything” when what I have gleaned from it, it is much more about honoring what you have. Buy what you love, keep it and honor it without shame. I recently had to get rid of a lot of clothing because I lost weight and the pieces didn’t fit and couldn’t be altered. It was disappointing because I had thoughtfully purchased them and really loved them. However, I’m not in any rush to repurchase the same items. I feel like over time I will find other pieces I love and I will also have room for them.

    Also, people got REALLY mad when she suggested donating books. This was one area where I thought since I’m constantly pawning books I’ve read off on my friends since I’m not inclined to reread most of them, I will be donating them to a library. It’s not so much even inspired by a need to clear clutter, but rather something I would personally like to do to share them with the world.

  36. Jenny says 2.8.19

    I am loving Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix right now! Before I learned about her and the KonMari method I was already on a purging journey. Alot of the stuff I was getting rid of were papers that no longer served any purpose in my life. I wanted to document the things that were going, so I either listed what they were or took photos. In addition to papers I also got rid of a lot of childhood things, and I took photos of those as well. The things that can still be used and played with I gave to the children I babysit. For books my job has a book exchange shelf, so I added them there. For clothes I speak the same language as you! As much as I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe it’s not for me. If I cleared it all out I would just spend the money to restock it again. I did however have clothes crowding my closet that I wasn’t wearing, so I either donated them or gave them to my teenage cousin. I decided this year I’m going to shop smarter and only buy investment pieces as much as possible as opposed to a cute blouse that I think I really want but may only wear a few times. Great post Grace!!

  37. Ellie says 2.8.19

    First and foremost, I hear you. I don’t thing anyone should feel pressure to have more or less than they’re comfortable with (which ties into your sentiments about never wanting to make followers feel like they “have to have” something you post about). I also liked that this was super relevant to your blog as a whole but also felt like a fresh topic and a fresh take 🙂

    I took someone’s advice last month and actually read (skimmed) Marie Kondo’s book as opposed to just watching the show and two things stuck out to me that are different from this post. First, she emphasizes with her method that tidying is something you do once and then as you are able to zero in on things that spark joy or are necessary, you can be more ruthless about what comes into your house and what doesn’t so that you never tidy up again. She says outright that the tidying process should take place over a long stretch of time (as in months not days) so it can be done well and only once. Second, her approach is not to get rid of things you don’t want/need, it’s to be more intentional with the things you decide to keep. Which really flipped everything on its head for me! I wasn’t asking myself if I should get rid of something I was asking myself if I wanted to keep it and bring it forward with me.

    It sounds to me that you have a larger wardrobe of items that truly inspire you (spark joy) and thus you choose to have them and enjoy them just like your sister chooses a more streamlined wardrobe that works for her. This concept has really stuck with me because it alleviates the guilt that the “new year, new you”, “rah rah, get rid of everything” mentality can sometimes bring. Instead I feel empowered to be happy with what I choose to keep and at peace with those things I choose not to keep.

    I’m curious if anyone else has read the book and feels there is more nuance than the show and the general conversations we have let on?

    • I completely agree with everything you said! Thanks so much for chiming in, Ellie!!!! I completely agree that there is more nuance to the book and show vs what we’re talking about. It’s not just about purging but so much more individualized based on the person!

  38. Steven B says 2.9.19

    I can’t speak for anyone else but for me, getting rid of stuff lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Sit back for a second and think about everything in your closet: imagine being forced to pack it up and move it, or sorting through it all and selling it…the very idea of managing my stuff increased my stress level and sense of responsibility. I feel more flexible, and better suited to adapt now that I’m not literally carrying so much baggage.

  39. Margo says 2.9.19

    Marie Kondo seems like a nice woman but there’s nothing earth shattering about her method. Ive been doing what she advocates for year. Get rid of excess sh*t which equals less clutter.

  40. Vanessa says 2.9.19

    I don’t think Marie Kondo is saying we have to be a minimalist, just keep things that spark joy and that we want to carry into the future.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.10.19

      Totally agree – I mean more of how society is going crazy over her advice right now!

  41. A Girl, A Style says 2.22.19

    I could not agree more and love how you talk about this! It is hard when our job is partly about shopping, but I really believe in buying less but better – both from an ethical standpoint (how something is produced), but also buying quality pieces we can see ourself wearing and loving for years.

    While I’m *all* for a good organising session and parting with anything that doesn’t actually make us smile, I really wish all these tidying shows / books / posts would also talk about the responsible thing to do with those pieces we’re parting with (i.e. textile recycling, selling, donating) rather than just talking about ‘tossing them’, as well as promoting a shift in mindset to shop more consciously so we’re not always accumulating stuff we don’t actually need or love in the first place.

    Briony xx