Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tidying Up Tuesday: Amelia's Clothes

I have been LOVING the new layout of my drawers. I even showed them to my parents on FaceTime because I was so excited about it. And good news! My husband wants to go through his clothes, too! It's just a matter of finding the time. Maybe when he's finished renovating our bathroom.

This week's project: my four-year-old's clothes.

Her stuff tends to get jumbled up in her drawers as she tears them apart looking for the specific thing she wants. I'm hoping that with our new way of folding, she won't do that as much because she'll be able to see all of her clothes. But, she is only four, so I'm prepared to have to redo these drawers a few times.

Making the big clothes pile was a lot of fun!

We piled her things on my bed. 

Amelia had a lot of fun going through her clothes with me. She said YES to just about everything, even shirts I know she's never worn because they "aren't pink enough." Some of those yeses I honored, and some went into the donate pile when she wasn't looking. We also found several items that were clearly too small for her and for some reason had never been culled out of her clothes.

Her donate pile was much smaller than mine!

In the end, we took clothes to the consignment store, Goodwill, and the Laramie Foster Closet, which provides children's clothes to foster families that have an immediate need for clothing.

Refolding everything took a while. In the end, though, I got everything to fit. One of her drawers had extra blankets in it, so I emptied that out and used it for some summer clothes that I'd saved because they'll probably fit her next summer. That got the summer clothes out of two drawers in one of the plastic containers in her closet. My goal of eradicating the plastic drawers in my house is becoming closer to a reality.

Anyone want to take bets on how long these drawers look like this?

Next week: Sam's clothes

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tidying Up Tuesday: My Clothes

Today was the first day of tidying, so I started with my clothes. I figured it'd be easier than starting with my kids' stuff, because no one else needs to give input on my clothes. I'd be flying solo.

I have clothes in three places: a dresser in my bedroom, a plastic three-drawer cart in my closet, and my daughter's closet. Amelia's closet is the biggest in the house by far, and yet she's the smallest and the only one who doesn't share a room with anyone else. So my husband's clothes hang in our closet, and mine go in Amelia's room.

I did a few things to prepare for tackling my clothes. Yesterday I made sure I washed everything of mine that was in the hamper, so I wouldn't miss anything today. I also made sure the clothes I wore yesterday were things I knew I'd be keeping, so I wouldn't have to retrieve them from the hamper to sort them. Same with the clothes I wore to exercise this morning. I was not into the idea of putting dirty clothes on my bed.

Here's my pile:

Remy is not amused

It might not look too big in the photo, but I think that's because my dresses and skirts were on top and they covered a lot of the smaller items. And yes, those are two wedding dresses piled up on the side. It's a long story.*

*no it isn't; I was engaged before Ryan and I started dating, and I broke things off before the wedding but after buying a dress. And I wasn't going to wear a tainted dress to marry Ryan.

I went through the pile and tried to spark joy with my clothing. Some of it clearly did, like a shirt with owls on it that my sister gave me ten years ago, and a t-shirt that says Reading is For Awesome People. Other items were meh, but I had to keep them for practical reasons (like the undershirts I use to layer). Some thing actively sparked hate, like the nylons I haven't worn in years because they suck. Those went in the trash. I also found a ton of maternity/nursing stuff in the plastic drawers that I finally felt like I could get rid of.

After I went through everything, I had to put it all back. Good news! I no longer need to put anything in the plastic drawers! My hanging things are still in Amelia's closet. Maybe I can convince Ryan to sort through his clothes, and then rearrange our closet so both of our stuff can fit in it. A girl can dream. The hardest work was fitting things in my dresser. I decided to reconceptualize where things in the drawers went, to fit everything in. I'm really please with how it turned out. Completing this project (except for taking the clothes to donate) took about two hours.

Pants drawer: jeans and other ankle-length pants; leggings and exercise pants; shorts. THEY ALL FIT WHEN YOU FOLD THEM KONMARI-STYLE

Pajama drawer: Pajama tops; pajama bottoms; sports bras and swimsuit

Because I don't buy a lot of clothes, and because I'd gone through my clothes two years ago, I anticipated that I wouldn't get rid of very many things. I was wrong.

That's a laundry basket overflowing with clothing I no longer wanted.

Our local consignment shop only lets you give 25 items a week, so I picked out the 25 best ones and took them in to the store. They also took the hangers I no longer needed. The rest of the clothes I gave to Goodwill. I did throw some things away, like the nylons and some undershirts that were pretty ratty. All in all I got rid of around 60 items of clothing. Plus, I am finally going to deal with the extra wedding dress I've been carting around for 11 years. On that note, do you need a wedding dress?

Next week: Amelia's clothes

Monday, January 7, 2019

Tidying Up Tuesday

Have you seen Netflix's new show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo? It is my new favorite thing. I especially love that Netflix chose to air it at the beginning of January. For me, January is a month of hope, where I resolve to take control of my life and change the things that make me unhappy. Do I stick with those changes all year? Not always, but for January, at least, things are magical. It also doesn't hurt that my birthday is at the end of the month!

I read Marie Kondo's bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up almost two years ago. I found a lot of good in the book, including several principles that I have managed to follow consistently since then. This includes the idea that it's easier to clean up if things have a clear place that they belong, a principle that made cleaning my kids' rooms easier. I have also embraced storage totes in my life. And finally, when deciding whether or not to part with an item, I find it easy to tell myself that if I haven't used it in years, I don't need to hang on to it. If I suddenly need it five years from now, chances are I'll be able to replace it.

I did the first step, Clothing, two years ago, and really enjoyed the results. I do fold my clothes differently now. Having the clothing stand up makes it so easy to see what is what, instead of having to dig through clothing stacked on top of each other. However, I only did my clothes. I didn't touch my kids' stuff. Why? I don't know. I lost steam, I guess.

The next step is Books, and I remember thinking two years ago that I would never get rid of my books, and that KonMari lady clearly did not respect books enough. Watching the Netflix show has really brought me around, though. When you deliberately choose what items to keep in your home, you feel better about what surrounds you. Unfortunately, two years ago, I allowed the thought of keeping all my books no matter what to be the thing that stopped me from tidying up the rest of my home.

We bought this house three and a half years ago. It's a fixer-upper; livable, but we've altered literally every room in the house. My husband tore down walls, built new walls, ripped out appliances, and even raised a sunken living room. In sum, our home is in a constant state of flux. Instead of dealing with the clutter and lack of organization, I've told myself for so long that this is the way things are, and I just have to deal with it. But that's not true at all. I can do something about the clutter and disorganization of my home.

It's January, and I'm feeling ready to change. I'm taking that energy and am going to use it to KonMari my entire home. I plan on chronicling it here, even though this is ostensibly a writing blog. Every Tuesday I plan on tackling the clutter, KonMari style. Tomorrow is my own clothing. Wish me luck!