A Closet Re-Post

If you follow my Instagram stories, then you know I’ve been doing another closet overhaul. According to the blog it’s been 2.5 years since my last one. And so much of my thinking from that post remains true. So I leave you this post again, and the promise of just a few additional thoughts to come soon.

Dear readers, I’ve recently completed a closet overhaul of sorts, and have inadvertently created a capsule wardrobe.  All the grey sweaters!

Here are my thoughts on cleaning out my closet (can anyone say that without thinking of this?)

Best Walk-in Closets - 13 Enviable Closets From Pinterest - Elle

(and here is a closet that is amazing, and for some reason, blurry)

You will have clothes to give away:

My husband marvels at the amount of items I can scrounge up for donation EVERY TIME I clean out my closet.  This has always been my number one red flag that I have way too many clothes.  There are always pieces I can part with easily.  Lately, I’ve been picking up each piece with my own two hands and asking, “Does it spark joy?”  No doubt you think I’m crazy, unless you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book.  Regardless, the answer, more often than not, is no, and so into the giveaway pile go the things you only wear when everything else is in the wash.

You will give away clothes you have never worn:

These can hurt the most when you’re paring down.  The tags are a physical reminder of not just the energy, but the MONEY you invested in your closet.  But guess what?  You haven’t worn them in three months/six months/one year.  So, goodbye, random things from Stitch Fix I thought I would love.  Guess what?  I don’t love you at all.

You will give away clothes that don’t fit anymore:

Ugh, and this can be a heartbreaker.  Those corduroys you bought while you were at your skinniest right before you got married are a symbol that it can be done.  You can be that thin.  But you are not right now, and so, alas, those too must go.  Cleaning out your closet is not about sentimentality.  It’s about ruthlessness.

You will have (lots of) clothes to try on again:

Bring your patience.

You will have clothes that you know you should get ride of, and yet you can’t get rid of:

Hello, Maryland Basketball Hoodie circa 2001.  When I was in high school, as soon as you decided where you were going to college, you bought an aptly designed hoodie and wore it to school what felt like every day, and I hope wasn’t actually every day.  Maryland had just won the national title after I decided to go there, so my hoodie said more than “Maryland,” it said “Maryland Basketball.”  I love it with all of my heart and all of my soul.  It saw me through my senior year, 4 years of college, and the next 8 after.  It has a questionable stain.  I love it anyway.  It is worn thin, and I don’t care.  I will keep it forever.

And in the end, when everything is cleaned out, and you’re left with less than you ever thought you could function on…

You will spend two or three weeks wearing your “new” things, and be shocked and amazed that everything everyone ever told you about cleaning out your closet is true.  You will wear things you haven’t worn in a long time.  You won’t stare at your closet and wonder what to wear, because it’s easier to make choices when you don’t have as many options.  And perhaps, most important of all, if you wear something more often than usual, no one besides you will care at all.

 

Home Improvements

As of today, we have lived in La Moneda for a year!  A year!  Though it will have been “finished” for a year in July.  But is a home ever really finished?  The warm weather has me re-energized when it comes to getting this place to look like I want.  Here are some of my more recent finds.

wetherly duvet.:

When the Pottery Barn catalog arrived with this on the cover, bam, click, purchased.  Not just that day, that minute.  It didn’t hurt that it was on sale.  We have a patterned carpet in our room, and a big, splashy, floral print, but we’re going big or going home with florals, because I love this duvet.  (Wooden Nickels, allow me to spare you the comment about how you don’t do duvets.  I know you don’t do duvets.)

eating outside.:

(source)

Oh my gosh, the porch.  All I want is an inviting outdoor space where I can hang out with friends for hours.  The (Not So) New Girl and I made it happen on a recent Thursday afternoon.  But things aren’t exactly the way we want them just yet.  On the list of things to improve are a patio, grill, seating area, and twinkle lights.  We made that last one happen this long weekend, and have big plans for the others by the end of summer.*

Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show "Fixer Upper" have launched a new line of furniture, Magnolia Home, manufactured by Standard Furniture in Alabama. Their hit TV show is based in Waco and surrounding Central Texas towns. Photo: Magnolia Home Furnishings

(source)

Ah, the dining room.  We have my husband’s dining set from his bachelor days, and dear readers, the only things that table held were some unopened boxes from IKEA.  And yet, here we still are, 10 years later, eating off that table and using the chairs.  They represent a fateful trip to Crate and Barrel in which we learned that I choose furniture differently from others.  Joanna Gaines has some gorgeous looking pieces I’m coveting when the time and budget are right.

my dream.:

(source–and really, are you kidding me???)

And last, but definitely not least come built-ins.  I have dreams of built-ins everywhere in our house to hold my ever-expanding book collection.  Anyone know of a cheap builder?

*Side note, I am obsessed with this porch-themed stuff from Swoozies.

 

A Funny Question

Dear readers, if you don’t mind my asking, do you have art in your bathrooms?  I have two with significant wall space in need of filling.

the someday.:

(source)

When I searched Pinterest, most bathrooms didn’t have anything on the walls, which leaves me devoid of inspiration.

penny tile.:

(a beautiful mess)

Then, when I searched bathroom artwork, I came up with lots of tongue-in-cheek art prints about the proper ways to hang or replace the toilet paper roll.

No thanks.

light.:

(source)

Having photographs in the bathroom seems odd.  I don’t want “people” staring at me as I take a shower, thankyouverymuch, but those walls need something.  And yet, my favorite pieces (like these two new prints I just ordered) feel like they belong in more of a place of honor.

I’ll take all the suggestions I can get here, dear readers.  How are your bathroom walls adorned?

On Rhythms

What I didn’t anticipate at all about moving to a new house was that with the move would come all these new rhythms in our new house.

IMG_9011

In my post on habits, I talked a little bit about how I’m still not in a laundry groove here.  I realized that’s because in Casa Glass of Milk, the laundry process all happened on one floor.  I could do it, switch it to the dryer, fold it, and put it away all on the same level of our house.  Talk about a dream situation.  Now that we’re settled at La Moneda, I need to streamline things, because doing the laundry in the basement (plus constantly adding time to our dying dryer), folding it on the first floor, and putting it away on the second is just too choppy a process.  I get interrupted at random times, and pulled in other directions more easily, thus I find myself needing a boost to keep it all moving forward.

Isn’t it fascinating to talk about my household chores?

Apologies if you have never cared about the ways in which I do my laundry.  I doubt I care too much about how you do yours, but it surprised me that the difference between doing my laundry all on one floor, and doing it spread across is three floors has made a chore I have never minded seem, at times, insurmountable.  Makes me think what other processes in my life could use streamlining.

Another big change has been in my meal prep.  I’ve been planning meals out in the same ways as always, but something is different.  I can’t put my finger on what it is.  It might have to do with my increasing desire to just get something in the oven, and not have to deal with it again until it’s ready to eat.  Those meals are (eek, I’m sorry) maybe more boring than other, more labor-intensive things I’ve cooked, and so this blog also finds itself in a funk.  There’s not much to report when dinner is chicken thighs topped with a jar of sauce from Williams Sonoma, dumped in the slow cooker for four hours.

Bear with me, dear readers.  I still love coming to chat here, and showing you glimpses of life, it just might not always be about food right now.  What do YOU want to see?

This is Not a Craft Blog

crafternoon pumpkins.

But La Moneda did play host to some craftivities the other night.  Two work friends came over to help decorate the house for CV(D)’s baby shower.  I made the favors.  That took absolutely no craftiness at all. These pumpkins, on the other hand, are a different story entirely.  I tried to amass the supplies one needs to make glitter pumpkins, but failed to recognize the difference between Martha Stewart glitter, and Martha Stewart glitter paint.  Oops.  Luckily, my friend Kim made lemonade out of lemons with the purple paint, and our other friend Christine had some orange glitter up her sleeve.  The results of Kim’s work are these beauties you see here.  I feel guilty that they’re all gracing my mantel, but they’re gorgeous and festive, and I’m not giving them back.

I’m also debating dabbling in decoupage in the name of confetti pumpkins for the front stoop, but I think I gave my circle punches away when we moved, and I don’t know that I’d have the patience to cut this many circles out of tissue.  Stay tuned, dear readers.

On Feeling Settled

Dear Readers, we have been setting up camp in our house, in one form or another, since June 1.  And I haven’t really had anyone over yet.  Some friends have popped by in that, if you’re in the neighborhood, kind of way, but I have yet to pull out all the stops and really truly host people.

first meal.

When we moved into our last house, we had a housewarming party a mere three weeks after we got there.  Three weeks!  I’m coming up on 4 months with nothing to show for it. I felt so guilty about this, not because anyone was banging down my door, saying, “Invite me now,” but because what 30-something year old lady doesn’t throw heaps of guilt on herself for things that would seem trivial to people with rational minds?

chaos.

But yesterday, I achieved clarity.  And thus, I have learned another secret of life.  You can’t compare things, even if those things seem like the same things.  Deep, no?  I moved into a house 5 years ago.  I moved into a house 4 months ago.  As they were not the same house, nor is my life going on under the same circumstances, I cannot expect the same things to happen in the second house that happened in the first.  The first house was move-in ready.  We unpacked our boxes and did not need to do so much as paint.  So of course we had people over right away.  We had nothing else to do!  This house still has a to-do list about a mile long.  There’s a living room rug we’re waiting on the next credit card cycle to buy.  There are three rooms to paint.  There are light fixtures that haven’t even been decided yet.  So it doesn’t feel ready.

construction.

None of those things will be in place in a couple of Fridays, when I open up my doors to some of my favorite people, but I feel ready for them anyway.  For one, the things we already have in the house are almost all in place.  Think pictures on the wall, books on shelves, and sheets on the beds.  And for another, I feel settled.  We moved in in June, moved our stuff in in July, promptly ran off to the beach, then came back as I was gearing up for work to start again.  But now I’m getting into the swing of things.  I had the day off today, and crossed some menial tasks off the list, and I realized I feel settled in our home now.  The house feels like ours, now that I’ve had space and time to myself in it.

closet explosion.

This is a long, rambling way to a) cheer myself on, and b) let you, dear readers, know that you have permission to take the time you need to do whatever you need, whenever you need it.  With love from a thirty-something year old lady.

Does it Bring You Joy?*

crap.

No but really, does it?

While Marie-Kondo-ing the shit out of my life (I’m sorry dear readers, but there’s no other way to say it), this was a question I asked myself again and again and again and again and again, ad infinitum.  This is the question that is supposed to make me a minimalist (well, if I decluttered in a certain order, and stopped folding over my socks when I matched them, and a couple of other things).  I told myself if I hesitated for a split second when I asked myself, “Does this bring you joy?”, then the answer was no and I was better spent throwing that shirt in the giveaway pile/taking that bedskirt to the thrift store/asking my sister-in-law if she wanted that coffee table/just plain throwing it away.

Here’s where it got tricky for me.  Kondo’s question is DOES this bring you joy.  Not DID this bring you joy.  So, yes, that Vineyard Vines beach bag that you scored ten years ago at TJ Maxx for $20 brought you a hella lotta joy when you scored it and toted it around in the summers after college.  But that was ten years ago.  The bag is stained.  It has holes.  It served it’s purpose and now it’s done.  It brought you all the joy in the world when you found it for so much less than all those other sorority girls.  You got to walk around during the summers with an air of superiority, knowing you paid less than half of what most people paid for it.  If that’s not the definition of pure joy, I don’t know what is.  But that was ten years ago.  Today, it’s just taking up space in your closet, unless you pull it out when you go to the beach, in which case, it makes you look schlumpy, and like you don’t have six other cute beach bags you could be taking (you do).

And with that dear readers, the bag got tossed, and I grew one step closer to living a life better described here.

*This question is one Marie Kondo poses in her book, The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up, which every blogger had to read as part of our required coursework.  The more serious of us have already posted about it in great depth.