Cleanin’ out my closet

I think I gave the impression in my previous post that applying the principle of “does it spark joy?” when deciding what to keep in my closet was really easy. It was easy, for 90% of it. I started running into trouble with the remaining 10% and started to think and question too much. So although the KonMari Method recommends cleaning in one fell swoop, I had to put that pile aside, clear my head (which meant ignoring it for a few days), and coming back later.

What I learned from that:

- If I answer “I don’t know” to the question “Does it spark joy”, then the answer is really “No.”

- It’s ok to say goodbye to something I loved before but no longer love now. I used to worry sometimes that my tastes are too fickle, but now I’m just going to go with it. Things change, that’s always ok.

Kit & Ace sleeveless top // Mexx cardigan // J.Crew necklace // Gap ponte leggings // eric michael booties

Some other important things I learned when going through the exercise of going through my closet:

- Neutrals rule. As much as I like colour, I prefer to keep it as an accent and stick (mostly) to a palette of black and grey. I know, it’s not very adventurous, it’s not out of my comfort zone, but it works for me, and my life needs my closet to be safe and easy right now. I love this, but not right now. Maybe later.


- Things that spark joy don’t have to be fancy, or really unique, or really different. I love a simple pair of black leggings or black ballet flats. A basic black pencil skirt makes me happy. Just because they’re simple pieces doesn’t mean they can’t spark joy. I used to think that basics were mere necessities, but maybe I used to have the wrong ones.

- I’m never ever paying attention to those lists of "Wardrobe Essentials" or "10 Things Every Woman Must Own" again. Every woman is different, and while these guides might be helpful for some people, they don’t work for me. I don’t have a blazer (never found one I liked), I don’t have any button-down shirts (shocker for someone who works in an office), and I won’t get any unless I find ones I love.


Anthropologie on Queen St West

My tastes have been moving away from Anthro recently so I haven’t been in a store (or on the website for that matter) in ages. I’m so out of the loop I didn’t even know that a new store opened in a converted church on Queen St West (a hipster area of Toronto) in December until I stumbled upon it while looking for the Kit & Ace store. Not a bad coincidence, since I had a Christmas gift card from Will in my pocket.

I didn’t buy anything (nothing caught my eye, so the gift card will keep), but the store is gorgeous and so Anthro it hurts.

It’s perfect, right?

On the inside, exposed brick with a view of the TD Canada Trust across the street.

This did catch my eye, but a tulle skirt is completely impractical for me.

Can I live here?


does it spark joy?

It’s a simple concept: only surround yourself with things you love.

Club Monaco silk top // J.Crew cardigan // J.Crew necklace // J.Crew fluted skirt // Wolford tights // Tory Burch Reva flats

For instance, I love this outfit.

One of the major principles of the KonMari Method is to go through everything you own and ask “Does it spark joy?” and if it doesn’t, get rid of it. Go with your gut and don’t rationalize. It really did make going through my clothes easy; I didn’t have to ask if I could make three outfits with an item or if I’d worn it within the past six months, I could ignore the rationalization that sometimes goes on in my head (people at work really like this skirt!), and just ask it I love it or not now. Not if I loved it before. So a few dresses I haven’t worn in ages stay. Anything I wore just because I felt I should or pieces I used to love but don’t anymore went.

But it’s much harder with other areas of the house. In the kitchen, do these oven mitts spark joy? Well, not really, but I need to have oven mitts. I don’t think it means I should throw them out and buy oven mitts I love (or should I?). In the bathroom, do I love this bottle of glasses lens cleaner? Does this nail file spark joy? Do I have strong feelings for this Revlon Pedi-Expert? (Actually I do, it’s essentially a cheese grater for your heels and it’s the best thing I’ve tried to deal with my terrible feet.)

So there’s stuff I love, and stuff I need. I don’t know if it’s possible to have 100% stuff I love. But 85-90% is probably ok, right?


2015: mindfulness, gratitude, simplicity, reading, and lots of tidying

I agree with Oh Joy, I don’t believe in making promises I can’t keep, so the first 10 days of 2015 have been all about stuffing my face. And now I feel like this:


It could be worse, it could be like this:


Seriously, I’ve been eating everything that isn’t nailed down in the last week (carbs rule!). I think it’s been a combination of the cold weather (I’m packing on another layer of fat to keep warm), starting to exercise a bit more again, PMS, and anxiety about starting my new job on Monday. I have a lot of anxiety. I want change, but then change freaks me out. Everyone is telling me it’s good to feel nervous and it’s not enough of a change if I’m not feeling nervous, but is it normal to feel as panicked as I do?

I’m dealing with the panic with tacos from La Carnita on College St, in Toronto (amazing tacos):

So I’ve already failed on the “eat better” New Year’s resolution and I’m effed until next year (kidding, I’ll get back to it eventually), but here is my short (and somewhat vague) resolutions for 2015: practice mindfulness (live in the moment), be grateful every day (I’m very lucky to have what I have), keep things simple (everything), read two books a month (up from last year’s quota of one a month), and tidy a lot.

The overwhelming urge to tidy comes from the first book I read this month, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It’s adorable and completely bonkers (she’s cuckoo but I love her), but it’s also the first “self-help” book I’ve read in a long time that actually made complete sense to me. I’ve already started on the KonMari method (or a variation of) and attacked my kitchen, and so far, no relapse. I’ll post more about this as I attack the rest of my condo.

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