As many of you know, I’m still in the process of tidying. I did fairly well for my last space but moved and now need to find that ‘ah-ha!’ for my smaller space.
I have inquired about tips for plus sized but haven’t heard back officially unless Marie Kondo has touched on this subject in Spark Joy which I’m nearly halfway through.
There are a few hiccups for doing the KonMari method with plus sized clothing…
1. Our clothes tend to be wider and longer
2. Our clothes are more bulky in general
3. Our folding method articles often stand too “tall” to stand in an average dresser drawer
4. Some of us have more cover-up or modesty pieces (personal choice)
5. It can be hard to Spark Joy with certain articles of clothing depending on body type notions
1. Wider Longer Clothes
Our clothes require a few extra steps to fit our drawers better. I like to overlap the sleeves over each other more. This keeps the folded piece from being too long. A size L or XL person may not not have as much difficulty with width, but may need help with length. For length, take your finger and make imaginary lines or actually press into the garment where you would fold it until it’s short enough to fit the depth of your drawer.
File side to side, not front to back. This will help you fit more clothes and see everything in your drawer.
2. Bulky Items
Heavy winter pieces and outerwear DO NOT take up less space for us when folded. They take up whole drawers. Kondo suggests not hiding your clothes or storing them elsewhere lest you neglect the item. Here’s my suggestion:
Put your heavy sweaters, robes, and outerwear all in your coat closet (if you have one). Make sure you don’t keep ANY of them in your bedroom or other closets or you’ll be breaking the KonMari principal of all of one thing in one place. Or, use vacuum bags to suck up the air (individual bags per coat/sweater) and hang them in your closet on pant clips. Marie speaks of considering each piece and treating it with care, but unfortunately, your snow jacket will eat a good portion of closet space if you just hang it. Keep it loved by folding it and only using one garment per vacuum bag. Think of it as a case to display not to confine. It helps keep other clothes from getting lost in its bulk.
Do fold: slinky crochet sweaters, thin knit cardigans, lightweight sweaters, raglans, long sleeves, items that don’t wrinkle easily
Do Hang: jersey knit open sweaters, thicker cardigans, heavy but not bulky sweaters, embellished sweaters, raincoats, trenchcoats, heavy wool items, silky slippery materials
3. Items Stand Too Tall for Your Drawer
This isn’t just a problem for plus size people. Perhaps you are a standard or petite size but own some tunics that you wear with leggings or as short dresses and need to work them into a drawer. Or perhaps your significant other or son aren’t large in the weight sense but are just very tall and buy extra long clothes.
Remember how many folds you used and try adding one to two more folds to get it smaller. Remember to taper the folds a bit to help it “stand.” Draw an imaginary line or gently press down to crease where you would fold until you find that number. Remember how many folds you need for that type and they should fit.
4. More Layering Items
Just to clarify, this isn’t a problem for everyone. This is something I’ve noticed for me, though. Being overweight, I find I personally have more undershirts to smoothe my silhouette or to make low cut or thin tops more modest. I am busty and while I understand some cleavage is bound to happen, I don’t like being self conscious about shirts revealing more than I like if I bend over or slouch or cross my arms. Clingy shirts tend to show my rolls and so I use undershirts to make them less visible or have the shirt hang better. I also like to add cover ups like boleros and cardigans and open jersey knit sweaters to cover my arms and keep perpetually cold me comfortable temperature wise. They don’t all spark joy because of how they look, but they spark joy for the extra comfort they give me. If you feel guilty about keeping a lot of layering pieces, you may feel like I do. That they help you feel more comfortable and help you wear your clothes better. Don’t feel bad.
Don’t keep everything, though. Be honest. Maybe you have some white undershirts or tanks that are em…not truly white anymore. They’re now yellowing from regular wear and are so off white you can’t show them under deep v’s and scoops so you hide them under thin tops. That’s when I’d say it’s time to thank it and let it go. Or maybe you have 10 black undershirts and really only need 4 to rotate through. Find which ones flatter you most and thank the others and donate the rest. Same with the layering pieces. If you find that you are just trying to hide stuff, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to those tops or dresses and find more flattering pieces. If that outerwear isn’t versatile enough to wear with other pieces from your closet, maybe that top/dress and that outerwear piece both need to go into the donate pile.
5. Body Types and Being Uniquely You
Whether you enjoy/are comfortable being plus size or are struggling with it, remember clothing is a way we get to express ourselves. We are all unique. Some people struggle with being super slim, other people struggle with carrying extra weight. Others easily embrace their size. Wherever you are, don’t let your unique shape be a negative. Part of the KonMari process is to learn more about yourself and where you want to be. Do you need to make body peace? Do you need new clothes that express who you are? Do you need to let go of smaller sizes that rob your joy for the pieces that fit you currently?
Perhaps you carry it all in hips. Or all in your belly. Or you feel disproportionate. I guarantee you that you’re not alone in these feelings. Get rid of articles of clothing that bring you down. Allow yourself to only buy clothes that spark joy so you don’t have negative energy in your closet. Or remember that you have that piece of clothing because it’s functional and meets a need. Create a sense of style that helps you shine and displays more than the physical appearance of you. Something that defines you as a whole – body, spirit, and mind.
Maybe you’re placing all that focus into clothes when it’s accessories that will bring that expressive factor. Bright scarves? Dainty earrings? Loud statement necklaces? Soft and sweet hairstyles and hairbands? Nerdy pins on your purse or sweater that proclaim your fandom or smarts? If you can’t communicate who you are to the world with your clothes, go for that wow factor with accessories. Whether you gain more weight or lose weight in the future, these pieces aren’t defined by your size. They exist to help you show who you are, at any size. Let them add joy.
I hope these tidbits help you! Please give me some KonMari tips too, I am all ears!