Tag Archives: Organizing

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #14 – Books Part 2

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #14 – Books Part 2

Well, I must say, if books are taking me this long, I can’t wait to get to paperwork! I thought I could recap with just two blog posts, but alas, I was wrong.

I’m continuing with my KonMari journey per Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, working my way through all the books. Determining which to keep and which to donate is not the problem; figuring out how and where to display what I have left is.

I like to keep my books together by subject or category. Meandering my way through my bookshelves, I discovered some categories have just two or three books. Others easily transcend two to three shelves!

As I said in my previous books post, I want to focus on the display as well as the collection, so I had to think outside my box when it came to properly addressing these smaller categories. In addition to display, I want to make sure I can see each title. I’d previously had so many books piled onto shelves I couldn’t find what I needed or purchased the same one a second time because I didn’t realize I already owned it. My goal is books I love displayed in a way that reflects my personality and is a joy to view, along with ease of finding them when I need to.

Several years ago, I spoke with a professional organizer who said to move things out of the way so that you can set things up how you want. Then, deal with the excess. I took that to heart with a console table next to my desk. I’d had several display items on it, none of which I intended to keep. I also wanted to have room for family photos. I’d previously put some on bookshelves behind me where I couldn’t see them while I worked. What fun is that?

So, in one fell swoop, I cleared the table, set up some photos and placed my MSU Sparty figure atop three Michigan State books – a category that seemed wasted on the bookshelf. I can now appreciate everything on the table, enjoy Sparty who is energized and focused, and easily glance through the beautiful campus photos whenever I’m in the mood to reminisce. Yay!

I’m also blessed to have a sister with a good eye for design and who understands my quirkiness. Occasionally, I’ve needed her help and she’s offered great advice! I tend to like things less crowded so at times I’m not good at displaying multiple items on a shelf, but she can see right through that and meet me in the middle.

She’s also the one who says, if you love something, buy it. You’ll find a place for it. Maybe not right away…A few years ago, I purchased two glass mosaic heart-shaped vases by Debi Lilly, the smaller one in purple and the larger in red. I didn’t know where I would use them, but I loved them. They’ve sat on one of my nightstands ever since. However, while I was working on my bookshelves, I needed something interesting to fill a void. I grabbed the purple one and filled it with a strand of fairy lights. OMG! It looks so cool on my shelf when it’s lit! However, my sister suggested moving it up a shelf, and bringing my gold IKEA crown up to replace it. I balked at first, thinking it was too crowded, but she was completely right. The crown deserved to be seen and the purple vase fits perfectly on the higher shelf. Now I need a place for the red one.

I had originally put the crown on the shelf it’s on now, but I moved it to the bottom one because all my Princess Diana and other Royal books were there. I used it to separate the Princess Diana books from the others, which I’m sure she would appreciate and seemed appropriate for the category. But the crown really was too pretty to be hidden and I’m glad I changed its location. I ordered simple lighted mercury glass spheres by Valerie Parr Hill and I think the largest one will work perfectly there.

In the photo above, you see two of my completed shelves. The top one is all of my Richard Branson books. I’m a big fan. So much so I had no idea how many books I had! I also owned the shaking hands piece, and I felt that the two of them belonged together, since Branson has built his fortunes on partnership.

The second shelf contains classics like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Millionaire Next Door. I added the Believe sign and candles as inspiration. 

Here are some tips for displaying your books:

  1. Treasure hunt. Bring together items in your house or perhaps in storage that reflect the mood you want for your bookshelf. You can have more than just books on the shelves! 
  2. Leave some breathing room. It’s important to not over stuff the shelves. You want to be able to enjoy and use them, not just have them serve a utilitarian purpose.
  3. Grid it. I spoke about this in my last blog post. Identify what goes where, including accessories. Put it on the grid but see how it looks and feels once you have it in place. I moved a few shelves to different locations. On paper they made sense, but I didn’t like the way they looked or felt.
  4. Light it up! If your shelves don’t have built-in lighting, purchase some! It makes such a difference, particularly if they’re on timers. I used a variety of things from microlights to flameless candles. Put them in and around things. I’m normally a very balanced person when it comes to display, but I loved mixing it up, putting light in different locations. 
  5. Stack them and line them up. Books don’t have to only lie down or stand. Mix it up! Just be sure you can see all the titles and they are organized in a manner that makes it easy for you to find them. If you really want a cohesive look, wrap them all in kraft paper and use a label maker to put titles on the spines. I don’t have the patience for this, but it does look very pretty!
  6. Categorize. Decide how best for your to locate your books when the time comes. Do you prefer category, topic, author, title or some other way? Mine is done by category, then display. As long as the book is on the right category shelf, I’ll find it. I’ve really limited my books (for me, anyway!) so it’s easy-peasy!

I haven’t completed the book step in the KonMari method yet, but I’ve noticed that I’m really happy when I walk into my office and see how organized my bookshelf is becoming, particularly at night when all the lights come on. I have six more shelves plus the top of the bookcase to organize, plus books in other areas of the house. I’m taking my time. I have lots of other projects I’m working on!

There will be at least one more blog post regarding books, but I’ll also be posting some images on Instagram, so be sure to check it out!

How do you organize your books? Have you started a new routine when it comes to buying/reading/storing books? Leave your comments below.

Next up, Books Part 3. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

As a writer, I tend to read a lot, which means I own a ton of books. However, as I continue in my KonMari journey, I wanted to use my bookshelf in my office to not only house books but display items that bring me joy as well. And, my project binders.

Several years ago, I was all about accumulating as many interesting books as I could, to one day have a dedicated library in my house. I envisioned myself drinking tea beside a huge window, surrounded by floor to ceiling books. However, every time I moved, there were more and more super heavy boxes of books that no one – including the movers – wanted to lift. The more books I had, the more bookshelves I needed. It was an endless cycle.

A couple of moves ago, I decided not to take three bookshelves with me to my new home. I donated over 500 books to the library, followed by another 200 once I settled into my new place. Some books I read. Some I would never read. Almost all of them nonfiction.

Basically, what was left is what I now have, and it’s still too much. In fact, at times I have forgotten I own a particular book and buy a second or third copy. It’s frustrating that there are so many books on the shelves that I can’t get to the ones I want. It’s time to purge!

I also wanted to bring some light and air to my bookshelf, which sits behind my desk in my office. When I walk into my office, I want to be inspired and happy to look at the bookshelf, not be distracted or annoyed by the mess.

Marie Kondo, in her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingsays to put all your books in one pile and purge from there. I couldn’t do that. I had to take it shelf by shelf, which was organized by topic. Even cleaning through my books that way I’ve had stacks on the floor for several days while I decide on the new layout for my bookshelf. It would have been a nightmare with all of them on the floor at the same time!

As I touched each book, I determined if it deserved a place in my home. If so, it went into Pile A. If not, Pile B, whereupon I noted all the pertinent information (title, author, ISBN, price) onto a handy dandy spreadsheet. I always keep track of books I donate or sell. That way, I won’t buy them again – hopefully. Then, I checked Amazon to see if they were worth selling. Most were not. So, they were put into a box and packed into my car to deliver to the library.

However, there were some that didn’t fit into either category. They didn’t deserve to stay, but I really wanted to read them before I sent them on their way. I know, Kondo says to just give them away, but I truly believe I will make it through this pile. Alas, Pile C needed a home.

As I worked through the shelves, I had to decide what I wanted where. So, I did my usual – I drew a quick sketch of the bookshelf on a piece of paper, identified what I knew and listed the book categories that still needed a home. (I use this same method for kitchen cupboards, bedroom closets/furniture and anything else that can be put on a grid. It helps me to think things through.)

I’m about halfway done, and it’s been a challenge. I cannot believe how many books I can squeeze onto a shelf! (These are really deep.) I’ve always been good at organizing things, I guess to the point where I have far more than I need of some items.  

So far, I’ve donated about another 100 books, added about as many into Pile C, with many more books to go. However, what I’ve done I’m thrilled with! I just love walking into my office and seeing the clean shelves, lights and words of inspiration.

Here are some tips for cleaning through your books:

  1. Bit by bit. If you have a lot of books, take it a bit at a time. It gets too confusing when you have books all over the place. When you want to put them back on a shelf, you won’t be able to find it. If your books bring you joy, there’s no reason to toss them, but be realistic.
  2. Decide on the use. Do you just want to pile your books on your bookshelves, or do you want to use the shelves for other things as well, such as display items, awards, photos, or office items. You have to make that decision before you start to put things back.
  3. Make a grid. I find it’s best for me to make a list of all the categories I need to put into a particular space, make a grid, then decide where they go. Sometimes it’s decided on the grid. Other times I put the item away then note it on the grid and cross it off the list. It just helps to keep you organized so you don’t forget anything crucial.
  4. Clean it! Once the shelves are empty, do a good beeswax dusting and let it sit overnight before you put anything back. Let the beeswax do its job. It’s not often the shelves are completely empty, so take advantage while you can.
  5. Feel the energy. I’ve changed the layout of some of the shelves several times, until I felt it was right. I even changed the location of two or three categories because, while they looked good on my grid, I didn’t like the way it felt on the shelf. 
  6. Light it up! I’ve had so much fun using the inexpensive LED fairy lights on timers to light up my bookshelves. I’ve even used flameless pillar candles and lighted candle bases. It’s so exciting to walk into my office and see everything lit up. It increases my energy immediately.

I’ll do a final blog post once I’ve finished, and post photos on Instagram, but I thought I’d share what I’ve done so far. This is such a tough category for me, particularly if you’re an avid reader like I am. And, I keep my cookbooks and art books in other rooms. So, more mess to make!

I’d love to hear your comments on how you’re using KonMari to sort through your books. Leave your comments below!

Next up, Books Part 2. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

My Four Favorite Cleaning and Decluttering Books

4 Favorite Cleaning and Decluttering Books

It doesn’t matter the time of year. It seems everyone is always cleaning, decluttering and organizing their homes, and looking for new and better ways to do so.

I admit, I’m guilty. Right now, I’m doing a major cleanout and it’s refreshing to see open space where once there was something that collected dust.

It seems each season brings a host of new books advising how best to clean through your stuff. Over the years, I’ve read a lot of them, but it seems I still go back to these four books. Here are my favorites:

  1. Move your stuff, change your life by Karen Rauch Carter

I discovered this book in 2007, and it sits within easy reach of my desk. Carter approaches cleaning and organizing from a feng shui perspective, but she’s so much more than that. She takes a very holistic approach to life and is continually educating herself on how our homes can best and most healthily support us. She even wrote a sequel called, Make a Shift, Change Your Life.

Since we’re talking about cleaning and organizing here, I love her approach to working through the process. She suggests defining your perfect life in great detail, then checking to see that you have items in the house that support it. If it doesn’t, out it goes! She’s even conducted annual decluttering workshops to kick start the year.

Whenever I need something positive to keep me going as I declutter, I check out her YouTube channel or Facebook posts, and I’m motivated once again.

  1. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

I know, this is another feng shui book, but Kingston does an amazing job of getting down to the psychological and emotional reasons you keep things, and how to move past them. I was fascinated when I read this and still feel this is one of the best books of its kind. Decluttering somehow makes sense with this book.

I read the original, but there’s now an updated version, which I will also purchase. Kingston’s ideas are simple and effective, and you will refer back to it time and again. Like a good novel, once you get to the end you want to start reading from the beginning.

  1. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley – The Fly Lady

Although there are many good people out there who can help us to declutter, The Fly Lady teaches you how to clean! Not just deep cleaning, but how to maintain a clean and healthy home without spending your Saturdays washing floors and scrubbing toilets. It all comes down to routines.

For as long as I can remember, most people I know have spent their Saturday mornings cleaning for hours. What a lousy way to start the weekend! The Fly Lady agrees and aims to help you keep your weekends free for the important people in your life. Setting up a control journal is crucial to becoming successful here, but it’s super easy. I’ll try to do a blog post in the future about this.

There are references to people whose homes are in complete disarray, but even if you’re already a neat person, you’ll still pick up a few pointers.

I also highly suggest signing up for her newsletter. You’ll be flooded with messages, but there is good information and it keeps you on track.

  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

As I’ve stated in previous blog posts, I had already begun doing many things in this book before it was written. I used to move a lot when I was young – a lot! – and everything just got thrown in boxes and oftentimes never got unpacked at the next location. Finally, when I had some time, I started to gather like items together, so I could determine how many of a particular item I had. It was mind blowing! Plus, items that would go into one room in one house might be used completely differently in the new one, so it was important to gather, then decorate.

I was quite open to Kondo’s approach, but I was also deep in the throes of caring for my Mom when I discovered this book, so I wasn’t able to finish going through my entire house the way she suggested. I do have an appreciation for many of her suggestions, but after living with it for a time, not everything works for me. For example, she suggests folding clothing like tops, sweaters, pants – depending on your closet and storage space. So, I folded my tanks, camis and t-shirts. It created much more closet space, but since those items now sit in drawers, I completely forget I have them! I only look in those drawers when I absolutely need those items. I would rather they hang in my closet so I can be more creative in putting together outfits. For me, out of sight, out of mind. I just need a bigger closet…

There you have it! My four favorite cleaning and decluttering books. I’d love to hear about yours! Add your comments below.

Be sure to join my mailing list and follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Cindi’s Thoughts – KonMari – Does your house have a set point?

Does your house have a set point?We often hear how our bodies have a set point for weight, that no matter how hard we try to lose, it will always work harder and harder to get back to a weight that it feels comfortable maintaining. Much the same, we try to keep our home organizing in check with the one in – one out rule: For every new item we bring into the house, something has to leave.

So, as I’ve been going through my house with the KonMari method, I noticed that as I was getting rid of things, others somehow were making their way into newly found spaces. I got rid of clothes and shoes, but I had to replace some and I added others. Not as much as I had before, definitely, but I felt a little on the skimpy side when I opened my closet doors after the initial cleanse.

It wasn’t only the closet that was affected. I now have a collection of photo props, things I might have considered tossing, or things I needed to buy, just to improve my business photography, plus other small tech items for my business.

Then, there are new sheets (I went all white) and a quilt because I’d been trying to replace one I received as a gift several years ago. When I found it, I felt joy. Isn’t that the whole point of this KonMari exercise – surround yourself with things that bring you joy? Now, it’s possible the things that bring you joy were buried under those that didn’t, but if that’s not the case, you will find a way to bring in the joy.

Once you clean through your house, you open up the space to allow new, wonderful things to happen. Want to learn to play guitar or keyboards? There’s room. How about learning to paint? An easel will fit. Need a home gym? There’s lots of space.

I’m sure when this whole house is KonMari-ed and I’ve finally sold everything I want to on eBay or Amazon or wherever, my house will have significantly less contents. And, I hope to be able to find and use everything I keep. After all, I quite enjoy the fresh air and free space I get when I clean an area and I have no intention of putting something new in its place.

Still, I wondered: How many of you have cleaned through your house and felt great, only to have to return to doing it again a year or two down the road? Kondo says that if you use her method, you won’t experience that again, but I don’t believe that. People change. Circumstances change. People move. Things break.

However, I think that once everything has a home and we’ve all developed new Kondo habits, we’ll be more aware when things are starting to get out of hand and address the issue quickly. List something on eBay immediately when we determine we no longer want it. Have a donation box in our closet. Throw something in the trash when it’s broken and not just relocate it to the garage. Sounds simple but will that initial KonMari elation fade over time?

To me, deep cleaning is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You remove the first layer or two of items you no longer want, only to realize you can go deeper and deeper still. Items you thought brought you joy actually don’t. Over time, you get better and better at realizing what makes you happy.

As the unjoyful leave us, there is room for the joyful to enter. I suspect there are people who feel the need to be surrounded by material possessions, but the point of KonMari is to connect with what you have. Items are not created to sit on a shelf or in a box. They are made to be used. Without the utility, the circle is not complete. Using might mean something as simple as enjoying a piece of artwork; if it’s hanging on the wall, it’s being used but if it’s sitting behind a dresser, not so much.

Not only should we surround ourselves with things that spark joy, we should be grateful for the joy that these items bring us. And, of course, remembering that the joy in life comes from many different places: relationships, experiences, even challenges.

But that brings us back to the opening question: does your house have a set point? In my heart, i believe homes can get along just fine with less filling. They just need to feel loved and experience love within their walls. What do you think?

Enoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #8 – Clothes that Should Be Hung

Magic of Tidying Up

Honestly, it seems as if these clothing categories can go on forever!

I’m now up to clothes that should be hung, the next category in my tidying journey based on Marie Kondo’s book.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, There are still six more clothing categories alone, in addition to like, the whole rest of my house 🙂

I suspect my time constraints are no different than for anyone else with a normal, busy life. So, I’m here to say you can do it in spurts. Just keep moving forward!

Bottoms, for me, are quite an easy category as I don’t have near as many as I do tops and I clean through them on a regular basis. Some folks I know have over 75 pairs of just jeans. I don’t own 75 bottoms in total!

I started with skirts. Now, very few people have ever seen me in a skirt or a dress, but I do like them. I wear them on occasion and buy only what I really, really like. I have 11 and I kept them all.

I don't have too many but I do like them!

I don’t have too many but I do like them!

As for shorts, I don’t have many of those either. In spite of the fact that I live in the desert, I tend to only wear shorts around the house, and will switch to pants when I go out. I used to buy certain brands that I liked but they are no longer available and I haven’t replenished them. However, I did an honest purge here and got rid of over half.

Just a few shorts here, too!

Just a few shorts here, too!

Pants, as I said, I constantly update. I have specific brands and styles I like so when they go on sale or I see that one is wearing out, I toss and replace. However, I realized I was keeping a few pair that I hadn’t worn since the last century. Amazing they were still in my closet! Out they went! I kept 75 percent of my pants.

There are more in the drawer but these are a few in the current rotation.

There are more in the drawer but these are a few in the current rotation.

I do have some special occasion pants which are not included in this bunch. That’s a future category. These are my everyday and work pants and jeans.

I did demote  downgrade – one or two pair of pants to loungewear, which is verboten in Kondo’s world, but I think they were originally loungewear and I upgraded them. So, now they got put back in their place.

I know Kondo is very specific about not downgrading any clothing.  With the KonMari Method, you should just get rid of it. In many cases, I agree but I’m not completely sold on the idea. I spoke with some friends about this and they all said they downgraded clothing and that allowed them to get additional life out of items they loved. In the book, Kondo’s experience has been that downgraded clothing simply becomes a pile that takes up space and is never worn again. If that’s the case, then yes, discard.

I don’t believe loungewear is the only category to downgrade to. After all, you don’t want to purchase brand new clothing to clean the garage, paint, garden and so on. One usually wears clothes that have seen better days but still have life in them. I realized this after I cleaned through all my t-shirts and discovered I only had good ones left, ones I would never wear for really dirty projects around the house. Luckily, there was one in the hamper that fit the cleaning category.

We in the United States are very blessed with lots of space and need appropriate clothing to do certain chores. Downgrading clothing is normal to me for specific circumstances. Maybe this is simply how I was raised and you have different experiences. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s a perfect example of how easily something new and beautiful can get ruined so you need to have specific clothing for chores. I was running out the door the other day when I noticed the top lock of the screen door wasn’t closing properly. It does this about once a year when it gets cold here in the desert. I ran to the garage and grabbed my handy can of WD-40, sprayed it into the lock until it worked properly, put the can back and went on my merry way. When I returned home, I took off my brand new puffer vest, only to notice the stains from the WD-40 spray! I didn’t spray much or for long. It didn’t appear that the spray had extended far beyond the lock. However, I now have stains on my puffer vest that I doubt will ever come out.

As for storing my bottoms: Skirts, obviously, need to be hung. So, they remain in the closet. Shorts have always been folded, so no change there. However, where they are located after this journey remains to be seen. Pants – well, the jury is still out on how I want to handle my pants. I have lots of friends who fold their pants and many others who hang them. I’ve generally hung the ones in current rotation and folded extras in a drawer. I really can’t decide what I want to do here. As I clean and rearrange my closet, chest and nightstand, I certainly hope that the answer becomes evident.

My closet continues to show a shift to one which I feel reflects my personality. thus bringing me joy. There are still several clothing categories left (shoes, accessories, etc.) so the sorting and discarding continues.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. There’s much more to come. Next up: Socks, underwear and handbags.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post includes affiliate or referral links. However, all opinions are my own.

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #7 – Bottoms, Pants and Skirts

Magic of Tidying Up

Now that I finished sorting through my tops — which I think is one of the toughest clothing categories for me because there are just so many sub-categories — it was time to find joy in my bottoms.

As I said before, I have to take the time to do this tidying exercise in fits and starts as I take care of my Mom and I’m never quite sure when I’ll have the presence of mind to make joyful decisions about the items that surround me. So, I’m slowly going through the categories as defined by Marie Kondo in her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I suspect my time constraints are no different than for anyone else with a normal, busy life. So, I’m here to say you can do it in spurts. Just keep moving forward!

Bottoms, for me, are quite an easy category as I don’t have near as many as I do tops and I clean through them on a regular basis. Some folks I know have over 75 pairs of just jeans. I don’t own 75 bottoms in total!

I started with skirts. Now, very few people have ever seen me in a skirt or a dress, but I do like them. I wear them on occasion and buy only what I really, really like. I have 11 and I kept them all.

I don't have too many but I do like them!

I don’t have too many but I do like them!

As for shorts, I don’t have many of those either. In spite of the fact that I live in the desert, I tend to only wear shorts around the house, and will switch to pants when I go out. I used to buy certain brands that I liked but they are no longer available and I haven’t replenished them. However, I did an honest purge here and got rid of over half.

Just a few shorts here, too!

Just a few shorts here, too!

Pants, as I said, I constantly update. I have specific brands and styles I like so when they go on sale or I see that one is wearing out, I toss and replace. However, I realized I was keeping a few pair that I hadn’t worn since the last century. Amazing they were still in my closet! Out they went! I kept 75 percent of my pants.

There are more in the drawer but these are a few in the current rotation.

There are more in the drawer but these are a few in the current rotation.

I do have some special occasion pants which are not included in this bunch. That’s a future category. These are my everyday and work pants and jeans.

I did demote  downgrade – one or two pair of pants to loungewear, which is verboten in Kondo’s world, but I think they were originally loungewear and I upgraded them. So, now they got put back in their place.

I know Kondo is very specific about not downgrading any clothing.  With the KonMari Method, you should just get rid of it. In many cases, I agree but I’m not completely sold on the idea. I spoke with some friends about this and they all said they downgraded clothing and that allowed them to get additional life out of items they loved. In the book, Kondo’s experience has been that downgraded clothing simply becomes a pile that takes up space and is never worn again. If that’s the case, then yes, discard.

I don’t believe loungewear is the only category to downgrade to. After all, you don’t want to purchase brand new clothing to clean the garage, paint, garden and so on. One usually wears clothes that have seen better days but still have life in them. I realized this after I cleaned through all my t-shirts and discovered I only had good ones left, ones I would never wear for really dirty projects around the house. Luckily, there was one in the hamper that fit the cleaning category.

We in the United States are very blessed with lots of space and need appropriate clothing to do certain chores. Downgrading clothing is normal to me for specific circumstances. Maybe this is simply how I was raised and you have different experiences. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As for storing my bottoms: Skirts, obviously, need to be hung. So, they remain in the closet. Shorts have always been folded, so no change there. However, where they are located after this journey remains to be seen. Pants – well, the jury is still out on how I want to handle my pants. I have lots of friends who fold their pants and many others who hang them. I’ve generally hung the ones in current rotation and folded extras in a drawer. I really can’t decide what I want to do here. As I clean and rearrange my closet, chest and nightstand, I certainly hope that the answer becomes evident.

My closet continues to show a shift to one which I feel reflects my personality. thus bringing me joy. There are still several clothing categories left (shoes, accessories, etc.) so the sorting and discarding continues.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. There’s much more to come. Next up: Clothes that should be hung.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post includes affiliate or referral links. However, all opinions are my own.

KonMari Cleaning Playlist #1

Magic of Tidying Up

I know, I know. Marie Kondo, in her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, clearly states that you should commune with your belongings in private and in complete silence so that it’s easier to decide what to keep and what to discard. However, I think many of us use music as a motivator, a calming presence, good company or for many other reasons. Music is pretty much playing non-stop.  So, now that my tops are done, I’ve created a playlist that I hope you’ll enjoy.

I chose these songs for my first KonMari playlist because their titles offer a tongue-in-cheek view of our attachment to things and the decisions we need to make as we’re tidying things up.

  • Heartbeat – because our hearts are racing to get started – and to finish!
  • True Love – because many of us have a strong connection to our belongings
  • A Little Less Conversation – because we’re supposed to be doing this in silence
  • I Need You – because it’s so hard to part with things sometimes
  • Help! – because we all could use a little help going through this tidying process even through we’re supposed to do it alone
  • Heartless – because sometimes we just have to be heartless and put an item in the discard pile
  • Vampire – because all this extra stuff is sucking the life out of us!
  • La Vie en Rose – because sometimes we just want to deny we have too much and view things through rose colored glasses
  • Thank You – because we must show gratitude to those items we discard and thank them for spending time with us
  • The Clean Up Song — because at the end of the day, we need to put everything back in order

I listen to quite a wide range of music, and in the last few years I’ve been particularly introduced to new and independent artists in a variety of genre from pop to folk to kindie rock and oh, so much more, from the radio hosts at WHFR.FM. I listen to Phil Maq and his show Theme Attic weekly, and catch other programs as time permits. Jillian Rae (Heartbeat)
and The Whiskey Charmers (Whiskey Charmers) are two that I’ve come to love because of Theme Attic.

I hope you enjoy this little respite from all the hard work involved in tidying the KonMari way. Let me know your suggestions for good cleaning music!

Come back again to see how I do with my next few categories. Thanks for stopping by!

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains referral and affiliate links. However, all opinions are my own.

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #6 – Tops

 

Magic of Tidying Up

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey and I do apologize for the lapse between posts, but once you get started on this journey, it seems to take on a life of its own. I’m further along than my posts indicate, and I’m putting a lot of thought and analysis into what I post, so it’s taking me a bit longer to get my info out than some others might. However, I do hope that we both learn along the way!

When we last visited, I had just begun working my way through the categories as recommended in the book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Clothing is first up, and I did my energy test of my t-shirts, to see if I could feel the joy with my eyes closed. You can read the post here.

Next it was time to tackle tops. I hate to admit it, but even though I seemed to have quite a few in my closet, i gravitated to the same dozen or so and wore them over and over again. I’m sure everyone was sick of seeing me in the same ones, but I really liked the way I looked in them and they were quite comfortable. It’s hard to argue with comfort.

However, as the book title states, this process is supposed to be life changing, so it was time for me to take a hard look at exactly what was on those hangers!

I began with my winter season tops as it was the heat of the summer when I was doing this, so long-sleeved sweaters were the last thing on my mind and probably the easiest to form an objective opinion about. In fact, Kondo suggests working on your off-season clothing first. Makes total sense.

I got a little cocky after my t-shirt experiment and decided just to hold the hangers, not the actual clothing, as I made my decision. I quickly went through my winter tops as I don’t have that many living here in the desert, sorting by what to keep versus what to discard. This time, I took a more objective stance and made the choice simply by whether or not it had been worn enough times to make it in the record books. Yes, even if something brings you joy, at some point you must thank it for its wonderful service and pass it on.

I initially discarded about 20 percent of my winter tops, then hung the remainder back in my closet. My clothes are always organized by color within each category in my closet, and as I was hanging them, i realized I could part with a few more. Once they were all hung, I pulled out even more. It seemed as if my closet was creating a certain look – hopefully, my look – and those items that no longer fit really stood out. I ultimately went through my winter tops about four times. Probably would have been easier to do it the KonMari way in the first place.

In the end, 45 percent of my winter tops found their way into the discards. Unfortunately, I was so busy playing the hanger game I neglected to take photos at the start of this category. Here are the keepers.

Here are my joyous winter tops, no ugly Christmas sweaters in the bunch!

Here are my joyous winter tops, no ugly Christmas sweaters in the bunch!

Once winter tops were out of the way, it was time to address all my three-season tops. Here, again, I found that I was wearing the same few over and over again..

I decided this time to take them off the hangers to sort them properly. As I was deciding which brought joy and which should hit the discard pile, i realized i had several i didn’t even know I owned! In fact, price tags were still dangling from the seams. So, I actually had to make a third pile – try-ons – to determine which could stay and which could go.

As it turned out, i kept over half of the tops with tags. As for the rest, even if they fit and were in good condition, if they didn’t bring a smile to my face, i bid them adieu.

Overall, i released 41 percent of my three-season tops into the universe.

Spring and Summer Tops

These are what I consider my three-season tops as I can wear them nearly year round

Then came the basics: camis, tamis and tanks. This category took up a big section of my closet, but after reading Kondo’s book, I decided i would fold these and place them in a drawer.

When they hung in my closet, i grouped them by color rather than style with the mindset that they all go under some other article of clothing – from a top to a jacket – so I would probably decide on color then select a style. Well, I’ve had a change of heart and decided to separate them by category, then color, when I folded them in my drawer. As it turns out, I didn’t realize I had certain items because of the fact they were colorized not categorized.

As these are basics, I can’t really say they offer any overabundance of joy. I use them as needed. So, i turned on the big overhead light in my bedroom and checked for condition. I had a number of new ones here with tags still on, but several had seen only one or two uses. i kept 69 percent, and spent several minutes folding and categorizing them for the drawer. Don’t they look pretty?

Here's the mess of camis, tamis and tanks before the big folding session.

Here’s the mess of camis, tamis and tanks before the big folding session.

Here they are all nestled in the drawer. Even using Huggable Hangers, I save a lot of closet space by folding them.

Here they are all nestled in the drawer. Even using Huggable Hangers, I save a lot of closet space by folding them.

I highly recommend using the brightest light you can when making these clothing decisions. Harsh lighting exposes a multitude of sins. Besides, if something brings you joy under those circumstances, just think how happy you’ll be in candlelight!

Now that tops are done, what category will I do next? Come back and see!

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #5 – T-shirts

Magic of Tidying Up

I think the book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, is all about challenging yourself to think differently. And, for me, I decided to face things head-on!

Kondo highly recommends sorting and clearing through your stuff in a very specific category by category way. First stop: clothing. For me, that began in my closet.

One reason I was excited to start on the closet was as a personal challenge. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is seemingly adequate for two people. However, I have overtaken every square inch of space in it – in addition to a full nightstand and six-drawer chest. If I were married, I have no clue where my husband’s clothes would go. One nightstand is kept empty for that purpose; however, the closets in the other two bedrooms are unavailable. One is for my office and the other is in my Mom’s bedroom. So, there is only this one closet for two people. The house does not have a linen closet, so all sheets, mattress pads, comforters and other bed linens must be stored in the closet as well.

i took “before” photos of my closet, but i’m not going to include them in my posts just yet. I’ll wait until I complete my clothing purge, catalog everything in Stylebook, sell some discards on eBay and fold and store the keepers as I see fit. Plus, I have many items in my closet that fall into future categories, so I won’t be cleaning through them for a while. I’m as anxious as you are to see if clothing for two people plus the linens can fit in this closet!

One thing Kondo mentions in her book is that you have to successfully live in your own space. She says the space you have is the right amount of storage for you – I’m paraphrasing here. That thought process ties into one I discovered in my Law of Attraction studies. So, it seems to be universal.

Somewhere along the line in my research, I came across the concept of having different forms of “me” in the closet, meaning the reason so many of us have so many clothes is we have the old me, the me I want to be (perhaps through many different trials and errors) and the me that I am. I found this an intriguing way to think about my belongings as I began my KonMari journey.

The question we’re supposed to ask as we hold each item in hand is, “Does this spark joy?” As I was tidying, I added a caveat to that – “Do I love it so much I’m willing to move it?” – meaning, the next time I pack up for a new abode, do I want that to come with me? And, pay the moving charges! Certainly, by that time, many items in my wardrobe will have been replaced with new ones, but I kept the question in mind for future categories.

Once I discovered the Stylebook app, the energy surge I had for this was so strong, it was almost scary. I didn’t know if this was for my benefit or for my readers. Either way, it was an energy I hadn’t felt in a long time and it felt good.

I think most people clean through their clothes somewhat regularly, so I wasn’t sure just how much I would discard, but at the very least, I was interested in reworking the items in the closet and drawers to utilize them more efficiently.

As i go through my wardrobe, I also want to identify and discard those items that I have that don’t bring me joy when I wear them. You certainly must have a few of those items, the ones where you almost dread putting them on but you haven’t found adequate replacements that make you feel good so you just keep wearing them. Well, this time they’re going!

When it was time to get started, I knew I’d have to break every category down into sub-categories, just due to time constraints. I’m sure it’s a very interesting experience to clean through all your clothing at once, but smaller categories are easier for me to digest. I suspect I wouldn’t be able to walk through my bedroom or living room if I put all my clothes into a big pile, but because I take care of my Mom, it just wasn’t practical. I had to do it in chunks.

I decided to start with t-shirts. I knew I had a lot but i hardly ever wear them. I put them all in a pile on my bed – sorry, I refuse to throw my good clothes on the floor. How would you feel if someone did that to you? – and was quite amazed to discover that for someone who rarely wears t-shirts, I had almost 70 of them!

IMG_0384

My big pile of t-shirts! I had to take them all off their hangers.

I decided to do this first batch a little differently than Kondo suggests. Since she says you should feel energy when you touch an article of clothing, i decided to clean through my t-shirts with my eyes closed. To my left, I put a chair where I would place items to keep and to my right, discards.

The keepers!

The keepers 🙂

The discards

The discards 🙁

To my surprise, the final tally was actually pretty close to accurate. I did pull five shirts from the discard pile, but I also discarded five shirts from the keep pile once I started cataloging and folding them.

All folded and snuggled in the drawer!

All folded and snuggled in the drawer!

In the end, I kept only 23 t-shirts, mostly from university, sports teams or concerts. I followed the video on Lavendaire’s YouTube channel and lovingly folded my t-shirts, placing them into their new home. Once hung, these shirts now take up exactly one drawer, Most people place them horizontally in the drawer, but for me, vertically worked better,

My t-shirt discards filled an entire garbage bag! I can only imagine what is yet to come once I get into more clothing categories.

Folding was actually fun, and I’ve since used t-shirts from the drawer and they are wrinkle-free! I used to hang them because I thought that would prevent wrinkles, but in actuality, they were more wrinkled hanging, and I couldn’t tell what I had. All I saw was a sea of green or black or white sleeves. Now I can see everything I own!

What category will I do next? Come back and see!

Enjoy!

Cindi

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #4 Random Thoughts

Magic of Tidying Up

The Sex and the City movie just happened to be on several nights in a row as I began my discarding process, and I felt a bit at odds with KonMari at the time. In her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, Kondo advises that we should commune with our stuff in private and in complete silence.

In the movie, when Carrie cleans through the closet at her old apartment before moving in with Big, she has her three best friends with her – plus adorable little Lily – along with lots of champagne and great music to help guide her in deciding what should stay and what should go. Well, Carrie’s way seems so much more fun! Alas, I stuck to the KonMari way.

The KonMari Method is not that far off from my own personal experience with moving. During previous moves – including moving my Mom – I’d already begun to sort, discard and pack according to category, long before KonMari had made its way into my life. I started to sort  that way because it was too confusing and difficult to gauge how much of any item I had until I gathered like items all in one place, then eliminated as needed. So, in essence, I had begun doing a very similar tidying on my own. Still, this book helped me to take it one step further.

Moving is a great time to purge and if you have the time, do it well in advance. That way, you can pack all the vases, mementos, cookbooks and so on in the same boxes. That will make it so much easier to unpack at your new home. If you pack by room, the items might not go into the same room at your new place. Clothing, of course, is different, but you might decide to create a library and the books that once went into your office or master bedroom are now going into your magnificent new library.

One of the great things about the KonMari method is it takes you out of the mindset of looking for ways to display or store things and into questioning whether or not you need them in the first place. Also, by categorizing your belongings, you not only see the quantity of items you own, you can determine how many near-duplicates you have and just how many your lifestyle requires.

Kondo prompts us to ask ourselves about each item, “Does this spark joy?” I’ve added a caveat to that: “Am I willing to pay to move it?” If I don’t feel the least bit interested in paying to move it next time I move, it goes in the pile. That has taken me off the fence several times.

I  have to also admit that using the Stylebook app in conjunction with the closet cleanse has been a real eye-opener for me. Not only was I required to touch every single item in my wardrobe and choose what brings me joy, I also have an inventory which will help me to make better buying decisions in the future, as well as better utilizing my wardrobe in general. More on that when I discuss my closet in-depth.

Seems I’ve always had an eBay pile which has held up my tidying, but this time I’m going full force. i probably added another 30 items easily to the eBay pile just from my closet. Kondo doesn’t really cover the idea of selling your discards in her book, but in a transcript of a Q&A she gave which I found online, she said if it brings you joy to sell it, then do so, but it will take time and are you willing to put your joy on hold while you do? Good question but at the present time, I’d say it’s a yes for me.

One thought I had along the way is that, God forbid, should I not walk this earth tomorrow, all my belongings would just be stuff, stuff that gets donated or sold at a garage sale or parceled out among my family or trashed. So, while I may have an emotional attachment to an item, no one else probably will, at which point I have to ask myself, why should I? If something truly sparks joy, that’s not an issue. It’s always the things we ruminate about that are the culprits, energy wasters, power takers.

Kondo solves the problem of where to begin. Other books offer alternative methods of cleaning and organizing, and I have found a few that delve into the psychology of why we have what we have. But Kondo uses a very pragmatic approach to discover which belongings truly bring us joy, and provides a gameplan to attack in a specific order. Does she answer all my questions as I’m going through the process? No, but it’s OK to think for ourselves and that’s part of the reason I started to blog about it. You  might have similar questions.

I’m very excited to be on this journey, and I hope that you’ll be inspired to begin your own and to share your thoughts. I can’t wait to see how much I’ve discarded in the end!

So, enough talking, let’s get to work! Next up: Clothing.

Enjoy!

Cindi