EXCLUSIVE: The One Question Marie Kondo Asks of Her Clothes Has Nothing to Do with Sparking Joy

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

As anyone who’s ever tried to purge a closet can attest, one of the biggest barriers to getting rid of clothing is the guilt associated with the task. (“But it was so expensive!, “But it was a gift!” But, nostalgia!) But according to decluttering sensation Marie Kondo, you can move past this guilt by reflecting on each piece...and asking one question of it: What purpose did the item fulfill? 

That’s right, girlfriend wants you to literally pause and take stock of what the garment did for you: “Before letting go of an item, think about what role or purpose it played in your life,” says Kondo.”Even if you never wore the outfit, it has taught you a valuable lesson about what suits you.” For example, say you’ve held onto your signature bellbottoms from 1975—even though they’re looking worse for the wear and no longer reflect your style. Your mission? Remember the pride you felt in wearing them and the happy memories associated—before moving them to the donation bag.

“Thanking the item not only diminishes the guilt of parting with it,” says Kondo, “but it also clarifies what items best support your ideal lifestyle in the future!”

RELATED: The 4 Simple Questions Marie Kondo Asks Of Every Item In Her Closet