Small Space + Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Now into the second week of having moved in, we're still unpacking.  Well, we took a break after we've unpacked the essentials, and continued to unpack once the crown moldings were installed.  It was a nice break from all the boxes; afterall, there's no point to decorate just to have them be in the way for the crown installers, right?

We couldn't wait to decorate the entryway once the crown moldings were installed!

We couldn't wait to decorate the entryway once the crown moldings were installed!

Unpacking may be an endless task, and I'm embarrassed to admit that, for a family of 3, we just have so much stuff!  I didn't realize we were such hoarders - it took our 4 movers 7 hours to move out of the rental and into our new house.  It's true that we don't have much furniture, as one of the movers said, but we have a lot of STUFF.  As a result, I'm always looking for more storage space.

Then, as I was browsing for organizing methods, I learned about Marie Kondo, a celebrity organizer in Japan and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  It sounded magical for sure, so I delved into it further and read the e-book in one go.  

This isn't a book about cleaning, but more of decluttering by ridding of things that don't "spark joy" in us.  It has a spiritual undertone to it, and in essence, it's more about a lifestyle change.  That by knowing what you love, you become more grateful to your possessions, gain the ability to be a more decisive person (through the decluttering process), and make positive changes in life.

It's definitely an eye-opener and timing just couldn't be better!  We're in a smaller house now, and it's ridiculous to still have so much after rounds of purging.  We're at the best time to start with a clean slate as we unpack the boxes!  This is the easiest way to declutter all in one go, as Marie Kondo stresses.  Purge the unwanted, then store the remaining in its own place, to minimize rebounding back to clutter.  Afterall, "tidying is not the purpose of life."

Little did I know, I was actually already following the Konmari method's order of decluttering - starting from your least emotionally attached items:  clothing, books, papers/ documents, miscellany, and lastly, momentos.  

I first learned about the capsule wardrobe after we moved into our rental last year, and have subsequently purged bags after bags of clothes.  The essence of a capsule wardrobe indeed goes hand in hand with the KonMari method - keep and wear what you love, or "spark joy".

Gosh, this was embarrassing...  I've nothing to wear...

Gosh, this was embarrassing...  I've nothing to wear...

For the next category, books, I've finally gotten rid of my textbooks from university...  seriously, why did I even keep them?!  As for novels, I only kept the ones that are classics - and I consider my Harry Potter collection a classic :-)  I got rid of several boxes of books from this purge.

I'm currently tackling the miscellany category, and our biggest collection is undoubtedly home decor.  We love all the home decor and accessories, and I was all for a layered look in our previous larger house.  Though it's true a layered look is a feast for the eyes, too many home accessories would just make our current smaller home look cluttered.  Not to mention, having too much stuff out also makes it a pain to clean, and encourages procrastinating on cleaning (speaking from experience here). 

Our front hall table at the old house.  Layered look is "out" at our new house.

Our front hall table at the old house.  Layered look is "out" at our new house.

More and more, I find myself loving the clean home decor look of the instagrammers I follow.  They've shown me that I don't need a lot to make a space look comfortably lived in and welcoming.  Having some blank space lets the eyes rest easily on single objects and devour their beauty.   If I only display things that I love, I would opt to take better care of them with proper cleaning.  I can totally relate to Marie Kondo here:

"Human beings can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time  As I am both lazy and forgetful, I can't take proper care of too many things.  That is why I want to cherish properly the things I love, ..."

So, I'll be purging some home decor items that don't "spark joy" this week.  Does a bowl with ratten balls on my coffee table spark joy?  I think I'm over that phase.

And onto momentos...  I'm a sentimental person, and naturally a hoarder of birthday cards and any occasional cards.  When we moved from our old house, I've purged all Christmas cards from previous years.  Sorry good friends.  And now, I'm more than ready to rid of the birthday cards I've collected over the years.  Though I still have a special box for all the cards the Mr. has given me since we started dating =)  Yes, that sparks joy in me, forever.

"Souvenirs" from our recent Europe vacation - "sparks joy" - KEEP pile.

"Souvenirs" from our recent Europe vacation - "sparks joy" - KEEP pile.

This is our third house, and third time must be the charm.  I hope I've finally found a way to put our house in order!  It's been liberating to purge and I haven't been browsing online stores aimlessly.  My goal in following the KonMari Method is to have less, and buy less; spend less time in perfecting a layered look and more time enjoying our uncluttered house.   I'm sure the Mr. will also breath a sigh of relief for not having to build racks after racks for storage after all this decluttering!

Have you taken on the KonMari challenge?  Have you stay decluttered without rebounding back?

My Current Obsession - Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule via shopbop.com

Capsule via shopbop.com

Brr...  There's still a bit more than a week until fall officially arrives, but we're already getting a sneak peek of the golden season these couple of days.  I've finally, albeit unwillingly, put summer behind and started digging into the storage for my thicker layers.  This kind of in-between weather had me standing in the closet in the mornings, unsure of what to wear, and then I would declare "I've nothing to wear!"  Yes, unbelievable right?  That's what the Mr. thinks too, as he would look at my closet full of clothes and shake his head.

As I started gathering outfit and style ideas for fall and winter, I stumbled across the idea of capsule wardrobe.  It's essentially building a wardrobe out of a few pieces of basic essentials and then branch out with accent colours and textures.  Hey, isn't that what interior design is all about?  I think I can do this!  

image via  shopbop.com

image via shopbop.com

I've always been mesmerized by how people come up with numerous different outfits with just a few pieces of clothing, dressed-up or down.  Little did I know that's the essence of a capsule wardrobe!

The key here is a FEW.  Did I refuse to learn about the capsule wardrobe concept when I've been shopping online all these years?  How I just discovered it is beyond me, but it couldn't come more timely.  I can't ignore the fact that I've NOTHING to wear despite a closet full of clothes.  The problem is with a changing body, I still hang onto clothes that don't fit, or no longer fit my style.  I would grab my few beloved pieces out of the many.  I still shopped, and the Mr. can attest to that with the occasional comment of "you've got a parcel at the door".  I can't help but ask myself, have I been buying clothes that I loved or just felt that it looked ok and was on sale?

image via  shopbop.com

image via shopbop.com

I'm a bargain hunter at heart, but I still look for quality pieces (just like I do for our home decor pieces).  My aging process has made me impatient with inferior pieces with poor cutting, and opted for better material and fit.  The capsule wardrobe idea fits my maturing sense of style, and forces me to look at need vs. want in a whole new light.  It gives me further incentive to shop!  As in investing in fewer, better quality pieces that represent who I am and my lifestyle - pieces that will last several seasons. 

I think the Mr. will be glad to know that I'm planning to purge more pieces from my closet, perhaps not down to the bare minimum.  The dressing area at our new house isn't the size of our previous dressing room, and he's obviously concerned that I won't have enough storage for my clothing. Or that this would happen again at the new house:

With a capsule wardrobe, I'll be able to make his life easier and relieve his disturbed mind.  ;-)

If you're interested in reading more on capsule wardrobe, here are two inspiring blogs to check out: 

Are you ready to tackle your closet for the changing season?  Would you give the capsule wardrobe a try?

My Current Obsession - Notebooks

Notebooks! | Classy Glam Living

Ever since receiving my first diary with a lock, jotting down bits and pieces of my everyday life has been a part of me.  It probably started with the urge to write down something secretive, to justify having a lock on my diary.  Maybe I rode my bike on the road when my mom specifically urged me not to, or bought bags of chips and hid them under the bed...  I got busier at school, so the entries were less frequent but more dramatic, or so I thought at the time. Then I got busy dating, getting married, having a kid...  yup, blame it all on the hubs.  Eventually my full-blown storylined journal turned into a pregnancy log, consisting of a sentence or 2 of how I felt that day.  Through my pregnancy and the first year of little man's life, I had the ugliest business looking agenda to keep a log - how much he ate, how long he napped for, poopy diaper or not. Then I got some nicer agendas to jot down some notable events through his daycare years.  

Classy Glam Living

But wait, suddenly he started talking and was saying the funniest things!  We love documenting the progress of our home projects, but we're parents to this cute little monster foremost.  We definitely can't miss taking note of HIS progress!  I figured I needed something nicer than agendas to jot down his sayings and our conversations.  Something that would be worthy as keepsakes.  This was when my obsession with notebooks started...

I wanted to keep the notebooks in my purse to record our funny conversations whenever I have a moment.  My mission was to hunt down notebooks that were small and light.  I found my agendas too heavy to lug around, so I would forget those funny moments when I got home!  I also looked for notebooks with a somewhat durable cover, since I would be carrying the notebooks in my purse.  Of course, I wanted the notebooks to have nice, keepsake-worthy designs.  

Branded journals | Classy Glam Living

Sources:  1. / 2. fuchsia/ gold polka dots / 3. diamond/ green wave/ letters / 4. 

The popular notebook brands that I came across through my search include Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, and Jonathan Adler, just to name a few.  I love Kate Spade home decor accessories, so naturally I've also come to love the gold foil designs on her journals.  The artistic and summery patterns of Lilly Pulitzer and the bold graphics of Jonathan Adler are all apple of my eye...  but the notebooks were too big.  They would look great in an office vignette though!

Click to view source

Click to view source

Click to view source

Click to view source

Some of my lunch hours were spent at Indigo or Papyrus.  Who doesn't feel like they're at a candy store at their stationery sections?  I always get a boost from checking out some beautiful stationery.  And then I saw these...

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Click to view source

How incredibly cute is this notebook?  5 years in one place!  And it would look so cute at my bedside table or on my desk at the home office...  Then again, I realized it looks nicer ON THE TABLE, but too bulky in my purse.  Mission failed... 

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Click to view source

There's of course Moleskine, but I'm looking for something more than just notebooks.  But then I found out they make a set of 12 monthly notebooks.  However, I didn't like how half of the notebook were of conversion charts and whatnots that take up too much space.  So I had to forgo that idea.  Though they would look so cute yet sohpisticated on open bookshelves.

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Click to view source

And through some more searching, I found FIELD NOTES.  They're exactly what I'm looking for. Small sized notebooks with somewhat durable covers.  I liked the fact that they offer different designs and themes for each quarter of the year, totally made for suckers like me.  Their notebooks usually come in a set of 3 in a series of quarterly designs, which work out to be around one per month for my light entries.  Just perfect, and I have about half a year's worth of silliness in these notebooks now!  Check out their latest designs here!

Even though my quest has seemingly ended, I'm still constantly infatuated by cute notebook designs.  I couldn't believe that I didn't know about May Designs sooner!  Their notebook covers are so on trend and sophisticated.  Better yet, they can be personalized with monograms or emblemed titles.

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Click to view source

All of their agendas and notebooks are one size of 5"x8".  They're also quite thin, so it's suitable to be carried in the purse.  Yet, just an agenda a year isn't enough to satisfy my want of their beautiful designs!  I love the Nantucket collection, and I think the whole suite would be nice for journaling through the summer!

I would love to get little man to start on a journaling habit when he gets older.  This would be a perfect choice for him.  

Sources:  1./ 2.

Sources:  1.2.

I got his daddy the Darth Vader and Son hardcover book.  The two Star Wars fans had a blast going through the pages of parenting jokes together.

Kids grow up too fast (though admittedly, sometimes not fast enough), and there are too many things worth noting.  Keeping a notebook handy in my purse has helped me quickly make these minor events a part of our memories.  Mother's Day is coming up, these notebooks would be a perfect idea for those moms who are keen on memory keeping.  In the purse or on the table, they're all beautiful and durable.

I love flipping through these notebooks (and agendas), and I hope little man will learn to treasure them in time.  You never know, I may need these notebooks in the future to remind me of these cute moments...  like The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. 

Do you document your child's progress and funnies?  How is it working out for you?