Kon Mari – Clothes

I was going to write a review about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I read ages ago, and then I realised there was no point writing about it if I didn’t actually try it out.

So this afternoon, I rounded up all of the clothes in the house belonging to me and my husband and dumped them on our bed. The only clothes I didn’t get were the white load in the washing machine (mainly the baby’s clothes), the small wool load in the washing basket and my wellies, which live in the garage.

I’m still not sure what ‘joy’ feels like in this context. I basically just evaluated by whether it fits, if it’s damaged, if I regularly pass over it for something else. I have no idea what my husband’s thought process was, but he very politely sat while I read the sections on joy, tidy order and clothes out loud so he may well have tried to find joy.

I didn’t think I would toss very much and I thought my husband might ditch a bag full. We got rid of quite a bit more…

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They’re all going to the clothes donation bins tomorrow but we need to replace some items. My husband for example, realised that he didn’t have a complete suit where he fitted both the jacket and trousers so he needs to buy 2 new suits next month, he’s already bought a few shirts and I think he needs a new tweed blazer but he’s reluctant to part with his current one (even though the back lining is shredded and he can’t use the pockets because they’re ripped through). I might need a pair of shoes, definitely jeans and underwear and some hot weather clothes in the next month or so.

I haven’t folded my socks, I haven’t done the kon mari folding much at all because we only have a wardrobe in our room, no space for drawers. I’ve folded some things but it’s just not practical to fold everything.

We have managed to clear the drawers in our 2nd bedroom so I’m going to list them on gumtree this weekend and then get started on the next section, books!

Project 333 – Week 1

Well, I barely wore any clothes this week! Wednesday/Thursday I didn’t leave the house so stayed in my PJs (they’re really more loungewear as too warm to sleep in) which are excluded. Sunday I’d come down with a cold (which is still making its presence felt) so I stayed in PJ’s then too!

Outfits worn this week:

Items worn this week:

Total:  10 items worn

Most worn: The yellow duffel coat

Other items: Underwear, socks, pj’s, the changing bag (my usual handbag!) and my swimsuit for Tabi’s swimming class.

Post Partum Identity Crisis

If this goes off on a tangent, I apologise.

Since having my daughter last January, I feel like I’ve lost myself a bit. I didn’t notice as much on maternity leave because mat leave is a bit of a bubble. I wasn’t living my ‘real’ life so I wasn’t aware of how much I was floundering. I went back to work this January and I’m really struggling trying to mesh this new home life with my old work life.

I could go round and round with all the different ways I’m currently in a fog but for brevity, I’ll just discuss the impact on my appearance.

I’ve never been particularly high maintenance. I would go to work or the shops without makeup (because I’m lazy and have decent skin anyway) but I’d always have my hair done. By the way, when I say ‘done’ I mean clean, dried and down. Usually I’ve run the straighteners over it, thats the extent of my hair skills, I can’t even do plaits! The last few months I’ve been getting more and more… rough looking is the only way I can put it. 3 day old dirty hair, shoved up in a bun with the tufty regrowth sticking out all over so I look vaguely mad scientist-esque. I’ve had the same PJ’s on for 3 days now because I didn’t want to bother getting dressed. I wore them to a KFC drive through yesterday because I couldn’t face seeing anyone but needed to eat. I feel overweight, unfit, lethargic and frumpy.

My wardrobe is having a bit of a moment too. I keep buying these (nice, but still) mum clothes. Boden, stripes, skinny jeans, flat shoes, blazers. A sea of red, white and navy. And then something that ‘old’ me would have liked catches my eye and just for a second I realign and I remember how I used to dress. I’m a black leather jacket & studded ankle boots kinda girl. I had my lip pierced for 10 years. I have 9 tattoos. I like clothes that wouldn’t look out of place in a post apocalyptic disaster movie. I don’t like ‘pretty’.

I think the easiest way to demonstrate this is the 2 wardrobe boards I have on pinterest. One for my current wardrobe/look

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and another for when I get glimpses of my ‘real’ clothing preferences.

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They don’t look like they’ve been created by the same person. I feel like they’re for 2 different characters, the middle class Mummy who shops at Boden, holidays in Cornwall and who’s home looks like the Next catalogue, and the second is someone who holidays in Stockholm at an Air B&B, uses Pinterest for home inspiration and doesn’t dress like a Mum.

It would be so easy to brush this whole wardrobe schizophrenia off as superficial but whether you like it or not, appearance has a huge impact on your own mental health and the way others perceive and react to you (I don’t think I need to repeat the old unqualified suit vs qualified hoodie job interview example) and the simple everyday act of putting on a costume that feels like it’s meant for someone else is doing funny things to my head.

I used to say to my mum that mums get stuck in the decade they have their kids in (my Mum was in high top reeboks and a perm well after the 80’s had passed) and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to let little bits of myself go so that I’m defined entirely by the ‘mum’ label. I think it does a disservice to kids only knowing you as a parent, not as a person. I had 31 years with my Mum and I’m not sure I ever knew her at all. She became who my sister and I needed her to be and that’s as much of her as I’ll ever know because it took becoming a mother myself to realise how profound the change is and that was too late.

I think thats the big draw with minimalism. Not having less stuff, but knowing yourself well enough to not hide behind excess stuff.

Wardrobe Malfunction

I don’t have much wardrobe space in my house. There’s 2.5m of built in hanging space in the master bedroom and thats it, so our stuff has spilled into the second bedroom… and the 4th bedroom… and the only storage cupboard we have downstairs.

I’ve filtered out the obvious wastes of space in my wardrobe and my husband has started talking about doing the same in his so later this year I think we’ll finally have a full on wardrobe clear out.

In the meantime I’ve made a tiny adjustment to my own wardrobe which makes it much neater.

I’ve moved the hanging storage from the left to right so that I can actually get into it. Simple, no?

Since I can now get to it I’ve started folding my jumpers and tops instead of hanging everything and the least accessible corner of the wardrobe holds the least used items (dresses). It still looks a little cluttered so it’s not finished yet. I don’t even own that many clothes!

I own 30 items of clothing, 6 pieces of gym kit, 3 bags, 11 pairs of shoes (including trainers, wellies and hiking boots and a suitcase.

I could basically do project 333 without ditching any clothes, just by sticking ‘seasonal’ stuff in a box for 6 months.

I think I need to take a shot at clearing out the top shelf before I do anything else so thats next on my list!