I tend to consider myself a fairly type A person. I love to-do lists, I love calendars, I love having my dresser drawers and closet perfectly tidy and arranged by color. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than a freshly tidied and scrubbed home.
Since Mat and I moved to India, however, our lives have been somewhat frenetic. We have both been very busy with our jobs, and when not at work we've been out exploring India, cycling or traveling on weekends. The apartment has habitually been a dumping ground for yesterday's clothes, and often looks like a tornado has ripped through it when we come home and leave again almost immediately. I've been guilty of leaving dirty dishes in the sink, and dumping my clean (or dirty) laundry in a growing pile on a chair next to the bed.
My newfound determination to simplify, minimize, and cut down on waste has given me renewed incentive to start keeping my life in better order. When I was living in New York, I read Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and was addicted to it. I spent a weekend paring down my possessions and re-organizing my life. I felt like a new human afterwards. Though I managed to let the number of things I own creep back up since that initial purge, I still hold fast to a lot of Marie's principles.
My favorite thing about the book was learning how to fold my clothes in my drawers so that they never get messy, and so that I can always see every item that I own. I also like the way the Marie personifies her possessions as if they have feelings. They want to be cared for properly. It makes them happy and gives them a longer life.
While I don't know if I subscribe to that sentiment exactly, I do feel that there's something to respecting your clothes - that you've spent your money on - enough to keep them clean, fold them properly, and put them in their rightful home when not in use, rather than dumping them in a crumpled wad on your chair to be forgotten.
Of course the fewer pieces we own, the easier it is to keep them organized, which is added incentive to quit buying stuff on impulse that won't last more than a year. And when everything is laundered, freshly pressed, and put away neatly, I realize that I already own all the clothing I could possibly need, and more. Clothing that is properly hung in the closet is also less likely to be walked on, soiled, torn, or fall victim to moths, than the clothes crumpled and piled on my chair.
Switching from dry-cleaning to hand-washing and steaming has also helped this cause, as I no longer have bags of clothes sitting around waiting until I'm done procrastinating to be sent to the cleaner's. They are all washed, dried, pressed, and hung within 24 hours (for free!) and go back into my wardrobe rotation, which, when cared for properly, is adequately versatile for any day or occasion.
In short, I have a renewed determination to take care of my clothes, and give myself the dose of joy that comes with opening my dresser drawer and seeing all my jeans and t-shirts perfectly lined up in color order. Now if only I could do something about the plastic hangers in my closet...