I have a rule in life not to judge something until I investigate it myself. Even if my gut reaction is telling me I’m probably going to hate it.

This is how I came to learn:

• I hate octopus. (Tastes too weird)

• I prefer nice hotels over AirBnBs. (Way better service)

• I prefer listening to R&B slow jams instead of hardcore screaming metal when I’m working out (No shame here)

That’s why when Marie Kondo – the Japanese oracle of decluttering and minimalism blew up with her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, I knew I had to check it out.

A system to help people get rid of unnecessary junk and focus on the essentials? That’s right up my alley!

Yet, as I read through her two books, I felt like I just got stopped at the airport by some weird religious solicitor trying to get me to join their movement.

Here are some ACTUAL quotes from her books:

“The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage. It is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle. Therefore, when we fold, we should put our heart into it, thanking our clothes for protecting our bodies.

Open the drawer and run your hands over the contents. Let them know you care and look forward to wearing them when they are next in season. This kind of “communication” helps your clothes stay vibrant and keeps your relationship with them alive longer.”

Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.”

Uhhh…What?

Look, I completely agree with Marie’s message that we own a lot of shit we don’t need, but this is a bit too touchy-feely for me.

This review sums up my feelings perfectly:

I feel you, Diane

THE PROBLEM WITH MARIE’S METHOD

One of the more interesting things about Marie’s method is that tells you to let go of sentimental feelings for certain objects, like photos or your college sweater, while simultaneously creating feelings for items that you want to keep.

You know what really helped me get rid of 6 years worth of stuff during my move? Having clear black and white rules on whether or not I needed something.

Not over thinking it!

A great example — I was recently doing a closet purge for a styling client, Arvind.

I was ruthless.

Because none of the clothes had a story for me and I just saw them as clothes, it was extremely easy to separate his 4+ closets filled with clothes into two piles: “Keep” all the stuff that made him look good, “Toss” everything that didn’t.

Here’s the interesting part: Whenever I threw something in the “Toss” pile, he’d turn to me and say “I knew I needed to get rid of that. I guess I just needed to hear someone else tell me what I knew”

Arvind was overthinking it.

If you want to trim down your closet today, what you need to do is stop thinking too much about it.

I know, it’s hard! But today I have something special to help you do just that.

PURGE YOUR CLOSET IN LESS THAN AN HOUR USING MY CLOSET EDIT CHEATSHEET

The bad news: Unless you live in NYC, you can’t hire me to do the dirty work for you.

The good news: I have the next best thing. I created a cheatsheet that guides you through my exact thought process when I’m going through a client’s closet.

It’s like you’ve entered the Matrix and you downloaded my mind. Too bad it’s for decluttering your closet, and not something really awesome like learning Kung Fu.

Using this cheatsheet, you’ll sort out your closet to the pure essentials in no time. Even for the biggest closets, it should take you less than a day. In most cases, less than an hour.

 

 

HERE’S WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO:

  1. Download this cheatsheet above.
  2. Use this cheatsheet and purge your closet, TONIGHT!
  3. Take a picture of your discard pile and send it to me at peter@theessentialman.com
peter@theessentialman.com'
Author

Hi, I'm Peter. I spent 11 years as a menswear designer here in NYC. Now, I help some of the most successful men look really good as a Private Personal Stylist and writer of The Essential Man. You can learn more about what I do by clicking here