5 tips for tidying your clothes with the KonMari Method.

KonMari, KonWhat?!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you’ve probably heard about Marie Kondo and her method of tidying known as KonMari. Or at the very least you’ve probably heard people talking about sparking joy in the space around them.

 

The KonMari Method of tidying focuses simply on one key rule; keep only those possessions that bring you joy. Marie Kondo says that by doing this and discarding all that doesn’t bring you joy you’ll live a more fulfilled and happy life day to day. And I can certainly vouch for this. I haven’t completed my KonMari journey but the effect on my life so far has been quite profound. KonMari isn’t just about tidying your possessions, it’s about tidying your mind and your life and doing this allows you to spend less time worry about chores & paperwork and more time enjoying the possessions and activities that bring you joy.

 

There’s a lot more to the method than I could go through in this post so I’d highly recommend buying Kondo’s books ‘The life changing magic of tidying‘ and ‘Spark Joy‘ – the first is an in depth look at the method, why we surround ourselves with clutter and hold onto things that don’t bring us joy and the latter is an illustrated guide to the method itself. The first is for those of you who aren’t yet convinced by Kondo and her method and the second is for those of you who are entirely committed to tidying up once and for all!

 

So, now I’ve introduced the method, I’ll move on to the tips! I really enjoyed tidying my clothes but I definitely came up against a few hurdles. Below are my five tips for organising your clothes using the KonMari Method – I hope they help!

 

 

1) Order your piles of clothes.

The KonMari method requires you to start by organising your clothes – this is because clothes are often worn close to your heart and will bring you joy without being overly sentimental.This makes them the ideal category to hone your joy senses with. Kondo begins by telling you to pile up all of your clothes (everything, shoes, clothes, underwear, coats, you name it). I did this literally, which made finding all of my tops, all of my skirts, all of my dresses etc… a nightmare. Order your piles. Start as you mean to go on.

 

2) Plan what you’ll do with everything you discard.

I decided to KonMari on a whim. Piles and piles of discarded clothes everywhere. Not wanting to chuck everything in a black bin bag for landfill (hello the planet), I eventually found some old charity bags (y’know the ones that get posted through your door?) and filled those. I’m warning you now, even if you think you love everything you own, you will end up with enough discarded clothes to dress an african village so why not try and send them there?

 

3) Buy some storage/draw dividers to help but not loads.

Because I decided t KonMari on a whim and read the book as I went along, I wasn’t prepared for the moment Kondo asks you to separate all of your draws. I quick trip to Ikea the next weekend soon sorted that out but I’d certainly recommend getting a few draw dividers in advance to help. You’re not supposed to finally decide where everything lives permanently until you’ve finished the whole process so don’t go crazy because chances are you won’t need as much storage as before because you’ll discard so much.

 

4) Don’t worry about what other people think.

KonMari says, if something brings you joy but others don’t like it, even if it’s full of holes and unwearable, you can keep it. I have this pyjama top. It’s white, or at least it used to be, the years of washing has tinged it grey and my clumsiness has splattered it with various stains. It has holes, the hem is falling down and my mother tries to discard of it everytime she visits. But I love wearing it to bed. To me, it’s the most comfy pjyama top ever created and I love the way it hangs on my body. It stays. Sorry mum.

 

5) Keep practical items – if you need them.

So one of the retorts I hear the most when preaching the magic of the KonMari Method to my friends is ‘this black vest doesn’t bring me joy, but I need it’ – then it does bring you joy doesn’t it?! KonMari says that if something is entirely practical but allows you to wear or do things that bring you joy then focus on that and keep them. For instance, my gym trainers don’t being me joy (one day I’ll handover my bank balance to Nike) but they allow me to do something that does bring me joy – workout – so they do bring joy to my life. They stay.

 

So there we have it! I hope you’ll find my tips useful. Are you currently KonMari-ing? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on! 

 

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3 reasons why cruising is the best in winter

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Raise your hand if you’ve just been day dreaming about sailing away somewhere (if you weren’t you are now right?) Unending stretches of blue sea, gentle tropical breezes, and the oh so sweet scent of sun tan lotion. Cocktails, bikinis, and deliciously hot temperatures all feature in the equation too.

 

What most of us don’t envisage is sailing away in winter. My family is big on cruising, mum & dad love their mini winter cruises – perfect for washing away the winter blues. Here’s just three reasons why wintertime cruising is, in my opinion, the best.

 

#1: You’ll Gain a More Authentic Experience of Other Cultures

 The British summertime is peak holiday season, and it’s when most tourists choose to travel abroad. A lot of countries have an economy that relies heavily on tourism, and locals tend to seize on this trend by creating exactly the experience that foreigners usually want. This means that overseas destinations can vary dramatically between summer and winter, with a far more authentic experience available for those who decide to travel later in the year. If you want to see a country or area as the locals do, then the winter months are the best time to visit.

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#2: You Can See How Other Countries Celebrate Christmas

Although eastern countries tend to celebrate different religious holidays, a large portion of Europe and the western world is predominantly Christian, and other locales know how to celebrate the Christmas season in style. Much of Europe has its own unique traditions, which vary from destination to destination. Why not experience a sprinkling of snow in Sweden, the famed Chriskindlemarkt of Nuremberg, and the traditional winter cuisine of Norway? The world away from home still turns in November and December, and a cruise will help you to see the best of it.

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#3: You Can Escape the Worst of the Winter Weather

 If travelling abroad when it’s cold doesn’t appeal to you, then cruises could still be the perfect choice for you. Most companies are not limited to offering European packages; they travel all over the world, with lots of exotic destinations as part of their itinerary. Spend a month or more escaping from the winter weather, enjoying the heat of South America or South Africa. When your own country is cold, what could be better than fleeing grey skies and rain, and sailing away on an unforgettable journey overseas?

 

It can be a bit trickier to track down off season deals but companies like Cruise Deals make it a little easier – with a fantastic selection of packages available to choose from.

 

 

Have you ever seriously thought about getting away for some winter sun? 

 

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Feeling Autumnal

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nationaltrust-4Autumn and the run up to Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love summer but nothing makes me happier than the leaves changing, chilly mornings and the blinding sun Autumn can bring. It means Halloween, Bon Fire Night and Christmas are all just around the corner and we get festive lattes, big socks and hot water bottles back in our lives!

 

For me, Autumn the best time of year for exploring. You still get the occasional beautiful day but without the blistering heat of summer, meaning you’re free to wander without breaking too much of a sweat.

 

Last weekend we went to Tyntesfield – a big old Victorian gothic revival house just on the outskirts of Bristol. Once belonging to the Gibbs family – new money & politics – the National Trust bought it in 2001. I love National Trust properties and obviously being a History Grad I’m a little biased but there’s just something so magical about stepping back in time and viewing the world through the eyes of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. Tyntesfield is certainly no exception – a little smaller than some National Trust properties I’ve been too but full of beauty and character – and probably the most impressive ensuite I’ve ever seen.

 

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Naturally I stopped off during our hike around the grounds to take some outfit photos in the oh so beautiful surroundings. I’m quite proud of his outfit, the dress and white top were bought for £2 each in a local charity shop! The dress is Next and the top M&S.

 

I’ve recently been rediscovering the joys of second hand, I feel like we throw far too much away when there are far too many people who go without. A few months ago Tara & I went to a fashion salvage event at a local warehouse run by Bristol Textile Recyclers – a company that sorts through peoples unwanted clothes and either sells them, sends them off the developing countries or recycles them. The fashion industry is responsible for so much of our waste and I think as fashion lovers we have a responsibility to ethically dispose of our unwanted items.

 

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This day was also finally the day I got to use my much loved picnic basket (another charity shop find)! I was so excited about using it that I forgot to take pictures with it open in all it;s glory – packed full with sandwiches, iced tea and cupcakes. Never the less, the day was made entirely more perfect because of this most favourite British pastime. My only regret? That we didn’t stay for the game of croquet!
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