DEPACK – Starting with Clothes

24 Days until the move!!

Packing and decluttering at the same time. DEcluttering + PACKing = DEPACK. Let the boxes overflow!!

Omg what have I gotten myself into *facepalm*

Packing and moving is hard enough. Why add decluttering? Well, here are some good reasons:

 

  1. You are paying movers to move your things – those things must be valuable enough to be worth spending on in this way
  2. You are starting a new chapter in a fresh, new space. Do you really want to take along dusty items that haven’t seen the light of day for several years at your old place? 
  3. You are spending the time picking up each belonging to put in a box. As long as you are going through everything, use the time to decide what you want to keep and what you want to discard.

 

Obviously this is easier said than done. If you are doing a rush moving job, by all means pack it all up and go. However if you have the luxury of packing at a slower pace and not rushing to move, take a little extra time and declutter as you go. You will thank yourself later.

How do you declutter as you pack, or DEPACK??

I recommend following the same steps as Konmari method of organizing in general. She starts with clothes. So I started with clothes.

I’m touching each item, folding it according to the Konmari method, and putting it in the box. As I take each item and handle it, I am pondering – does this spark joy? When’s the last time I wore this? Do I look forward to wearing it again in the near future? If the answer is no to the above questions, I put it aside into a donate bag or sell bag depending on its condition.

After clothes, I am straying a bit from Kondo’s order and moving onto the categories that logically work in my space, according to what we are not using the weeks prior to moving (and hence can already pack), and also in order from difficult to easy – I’m getting the harder stuff done first.

See pics below of the beginnings of packing – clothes first. The plastic bags are to keep the clothes dust-mite free. I like clear bags as the contents are easily visible inside.

24 days left until the big move – think I’ll be ready??

 ~Shirit

 

 

 

Look how much I already cleared from the closet!! And the box is above right..fill ‘er up!!

Depack

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The big move? Let me explain. This apartment has been our lovely home for 2.5 years, the previous apartment for 3 years. Those two apartments were literally a block away from each other, so essentially we were in the same neighborhood for 5.5 years.  

 

Before you panic, we are moving to another area of Brooklyn G-d willing, like 20 minutes away driving. 

 

So the lifestyle elements that originally inspired this blog: the struggles of stuff, lack of storage space, need for affordable organization solutions while renting, and overall aim towards a more streamlined and minimalist lifestyle, still stand. The new apartment is still super urban, crowded, rented apartment-living with no storage space and no car. Our budget for home decor and organizing still stands at an all-time low. Or nonexistent lol. But I am super super super hopeful for excellent closet space, a spacious kitchen, excellent sunlight, and an easy entryway (no stairs!) A girl can dream.

 

So now comes the big task: packing.

 

There are hundreds of articles on packing and organizing online. Only one urgent, pressing element comes to mind though: can I use this as an opportunity to declutter and truly go through everything??!!! What an organizer’s dream come true!! This isn’t organizing and decluttering all in an existing space, this is packing, sorting, donating and really deciding what is worth paying a mover to lug across town and what simply is not needed in our home and is taking up valuable space. 

So join me on my declutter packing adventure!! Let’s call it…DEPACK. Decluttering and packing all in one. 

Let’s do this!!

~Shirit

 

Decorating with Photos

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Photos make the best home decor. To put up images of the ones you love, those close to you, and meaningful sites and artwork beats any famous artwork in my book. How can you display photos without breaking the bank?? 

By far the cheapest photo printing service I have found is Amazon prints. With only 9 cents per 4x6 image, it beats Walgreens.com and Shutterfly.com in my experience. The downfall is that it can take a week+ to receive your images unless you pay for expedited shipping. If you need them asap then in my experience Walgreens is the way to go – they have same day prints available for in-store pickup, and delivery by mail is quicker than Amazon prints. For less than a dollar per image we are still talking pretty budget-friendly.

Canvas images are in vogue and look gorgeous displayed on the wall. The issue is, they have always been too pricey for me to justify. If you get one on sale, or use a coupon code that would be your best bet.

Below was a large canvas received as a gift (L), to the right is simply a picture frame with photo prints arranged & taped inside. Pretty economic and I think asthetically pleasing way to bring honor to relatives and decorate the walls at the same time!

As well if you keep your eyes peeled occasionally Walgreens or Shutterfly will have free 8x10 photo print deals! Below are simply 2 8x10 photo prints displayed on the wall. It would look one step up if they were canvases, however for a more budget-friendly option this does the job as well. I also can’t help but think flat images on the wall are slightly safer above beds when it comes to earthquakes? Would love to hear your perspective on that one 😉 Best, Shirit

Inspiration – When bad moods strike..

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Why have I felt so irritated lately? What is going on that I feel so edgy, and just want to get rid of everything we own?

Remember I mentioned there was a fire in our apartment building about a month ago? Thank G-d everyone was fine, including the family in who’s apartment the actual fire occurred.

Well life has it that after that fire, the Fire Department has been hounding us. Like every apartment in the building, to make sure we are up to fire code. Which of course we were not. So..basically for us it comes down to the fire escape/porch. Each apartment has a small fire escape, which is sort of like a small porch, which for us held all our storage. Not anymore….

How could you have storage if you are an organizer?? Wouldn’t you have decluttered everything and only had what you use regularly on hand??

Well unfortunately, that is just not reality. Perhaps the experts, like Marie Kondo, are so organized that they don’t own things in “storage,” but we for one kept big things out there (my bicycle) and stuff we use once per year (boxes of seasonal & holiday items).

Time to bring it all in….EEEKK!!! MAJOR EEEK!!!

Because basically, if we were on our own timeline, I would leisurely take things in when I had the designated place for them, one at a time, over months.

This is more like a prod in the back – the Fire Department will fine us if the things are not moved ASAP.

Basically my apartment looks like a storage facility right now 🙁 🙁 🙁

In order to avoid the fine, we moved most of the things in already, without a place for them. Thus started the big rearranging, decluttering, getting rid of/selling, project.

That I will go into later. What I wanted to touch on here, was how all this made me feel.

At the time that we were bringing stuff in, going through things, I was excited to be in the midst of a project, and going through things that would otherwise sit for more years to come I’m sure. However, after the original dust settled, now walking around in a crowded cluttered apartment has really begun to wear on me.

In fact, it’s a conscious and subconscious thing. Partially I didn’t even realize it was the clutter – I just couldn’t figure out why I was so down and anxious. After some introspection, realizing thank G-d I was feeling good, was not in an argument with a friend, work was ok – it dawned on me that my space is overtaking my physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. That stepping over things, lifting and moving things, and cleaning things has all stressed me out, most of all the things that are still sitting here with no place to be. I placed some ads for sale for the large items that I realized I would like someone else to enjoy at this time, and while I wait for someone to purchase they are simply stressing me out and taking up valuable space and breathing space in my tiny apt!!! Ugh!!!

So what do we do in this situation? For your health – this is worth addressing.

  1. Get it out

Obviously what you can dispose of/donate, do so as quickly as possible. Your space is worth it. These items are not paying rent to you are they? And if you are through enjoying the items, don’t build a negative memory of them now that they are taking up valuable space in your apartment. List everything you can on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Apps like Letgo and Varagesale, etc. Do shifts to the local donation bins in your community.

2. Relax & acknowledge “this moment will pass.”

Sometimes #1 is not possible, or at least not as fast as you want it to be. So what do you do??? That folks, is the question of the day. Well you could stress-eat chocolate…NO lol just kidding. What I’ve concluded is, to take a deep breath, and say “this moment will pass.” To relax with the what-if’s (what if my neighbor is furious that my bike is now blocking the hallway), do your best efforts (updating craigslist postings, posting realistic prices for the things YOU think are worth millions but most would pay $50 for), and honestly if it’s really taking a toll, post that it is free for the taking – your sanity is worth it.

For example – one of the things taking up space for me was a piece of furniture, that I not only bought new from Amazon AND paid someone to build, but even in a couple short years had enough wear and tear that I couldn’t mark it at such a high price – forget about even coming close to getting my money’s worth. After less than 2 weeks of posting ads, getting zero bites, I finally listed it for free in a local community chat and have someone scheduled to come pick it up (think good thoughts they will come!) Basically it came down to the realization that for this piece of furniture someone will need a truck/large car, and will need to disassemble it themselves and in my apt – so all those things already cost the person in their time and effort and perhaps even financially if they rent a car to pick it up. I realized I wasn’t going to get paid on top of that – and especially when it came down to it, I decided I was not posting this on the worldwide craigslist since it involves someone coming into my home to disassemble it and I couldn’t bring it safely to a public place to sell – I preferred someone I know in my community to pick it up. So the payment to me, not cash in this example, will be the newfound space in my apt and the endless possibilities to use in this space!!

3. Hunker down and declutter/reshuffle.

The other thing I do is focus my efforts on other areas of home organizing and decluttering that I can make a dent in, even if the big items from the porch/fire escape can’t be dealt with right away. Perhaps it’s almost to feel a little sense of control amidst the chaos (though control in general in our lives is a fallacy when it truly comes down to it). I’m purging other things that haven’t been touched in months, throwing out old and read magazines, etc., and overall beautifying the home in other, smaller ways that I can right now. I’m also reshuffling things from the porch/fire escape into more manageable storage methods in our home, such as taking items out of big bulky containers and putting them into under the bed storage, like: https://amzn.to/2RWotWy, or shifting the couch and putting the vacuum cleaner to the side instead of storing it on the fire escape (more about this later, and how cleaning utensils are much more usable when close at hand).

Space affects our wellbeing – it’s a fact. That is why people pay premiums to live by the ocean, and why people will bring cheerful decor to decorate someone’s hospital room. The colors, objects, and atmosphere around us affects us, let’s have it affect us all for the better!

Until next time, I’m deep breathing in my *temporarily* cluttered space and acknowledging that this is how it is, right now. 

Successful centering!

~Shirit

Houseplants! – Freshen The Air

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Hey all! I’m a definite newbie when it comes to plants and greenery. I have big dreams to have an herb garden, more house plants, and really beautify my interior with natural things!

My incentives for increasing the plants and natural life in my space are threefold:

1. Visually – plants are calming and reminders of the outdoors (much needed in urban living)

2. Cleansing – plants purify and clean the air! Fantastic also for urban, smoggy living. Some are better air purifiers than others, I strive for the ones on the top 10 list (featured below) as well as those that are not toxic if digested for animals or children

3. Olfactory – I love pleasant-scented things. Some plants have a stronger scent than others, but it seems having fresh plant life makes it smell better in here.

Also, plants can be pretty affordable when shopping smart.

So far this is what I’ve got:

1. I had a Bonsai tree from Home Depot in the Kids room, no pics because the leaves fell off and it started to become moldy and got thrown out. Perhaps it was a cheap Bonsai. A similar one on amazon (did you know Amazon sells and delivers live plants??): https://amzn.to/2TeKu3Z

2. Have a house plant in the master bedroom – from a local nursery. This one is fantastic – low light plant, type is Spider plant it’s good for interiors. Similar on amazon: https://amzn.to/2DFx1Os

3. Recent addition – a fake plant from Family Dollar that is also an essential oil diffuser (does this even count as a plant??) Similar decor diffuser on amazon: https://amzn.to/2DG1fk2

4. Some fake flowers. Fake flowers can add a pop of color, as the easiest indoor and low-light plants are green and not usually colorful flowers, advised the nice gentleman at the local nursery.

Below fake plant on the left, real spider plant on the right:

The real test of modern living in 2018 for me was buying a set of live succulent plants on Amazon. Amazon sells and delivers plants to your door!!! What world are we living in??!! That’s amazing!! Though there is a nursery not far, commuting there and shlepping plants back in an uber can’t beat having live healthy plants delivered to your doorstep.

I just ordered these: https://amzn.to/2ThKkt1

I’ll let you know how they are when they arrive. They are supposed to be compatible with low-light, and easy to care for (I’m a major newbie – did I mention that? I can’t take care of anything complicated). The price was right at $13.95, and many reviews said people received bonus free plants!! Let’s hope 🙂

Another neat aspect of adding plants to your home is how they are displayed. Originally our spider plant was hanging in this:

https://amzn.to/2DEgg5Z 

It was fantastic. Except that every time I watered it, water leaked on the furniture!! Being real with you guys, lol.

Now I haven’t given up on this, because it is so aesthetically calming to look at and a smart use of indoor real estate to hang something on the ceiling. It turns out that it leaked all over because I put the spider plant into the Macrame hanger without a way to catch the water. This can easily be resolved by putting your spider plant into a bigger pot, that way the bigger pot (without holes on the bottom) can be a reservoir and hold the water so it doesn’t spill all over your place.

Word of advice – err on the smaller side when filling up this Macrame holder. The spider plant I have barely fit and was a major headache putting in and out. I plan to try the smaller succulents inside it when they arrive – stay tuned!

Links to things I’ve used or similar:

Bonsai: https://amzn.to/2TeKu3Z

Spider plant: https://amzn.to/2DFx1Os

Decor diffuser: https://amzn.to/2DG1fk2

Hanging macrame plant holder: https://amzn.to/2DEgg5Z

Succulent set: https://amzn.to/2ThKkt1

What would you purchase next? Definitely want something easy to care for, something good for low-light as well!! Post below your suggestions 🙂

~Best centering, Shirit 🙂

Trauma-Beginning to Understand

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I spent some time googling “trauma expert” and “science behind trauma” the other day. It is really quite complex, I didn’t find much concrete information.

I am not going to bore you with these details, as you can also google in your free time.

What spurred this google sesh was there was a fire in our apartment building. Thank G-d everyone was safe, including the family who’s apartment it was in. Everyone evacuated and stood on the sidewalk in the dark surrounded by at least 5 fire engines with lights flashing, lots of emergency personnel, and everyone in some state of clothes and/or pajamas. We were outside for a good half hour, perhaps longer.

Why do I write this? Because I realized that I underwent some level of trauma that night, though thank G-d it was not my personal apartment in which the fire happened. I went through an initial disbelief internally that it was a true emergency or fire before running out of the apartment, followed by slow-motion putting my shoes on, knocking on a neighbor’s door, and then running downstairs still not fully believing that this was real. I’m not sure what this was about – perhaps some sort of defense mechanism or survival technique, but that’s what I felt.

Outside I felt the shock of what was happening, realizing that the family lost all their possessions in an instant. That they had no place to sleep that night. That was terrifying, upsetting, shocking, all at once. Tears came to my eyes when I realized how fortunate and blessed we all were on the sidewalk, how thankful I was that someone called the Fire Department, that they put out the fire, and that the family had run out in record time.

I’m writing this because I’m curious how you all (readers) process and go through trauma. We all endure some levels of trauma in our lives, just from living on this planet, some unfortunately to greater degrees than others.

I’m also writing this because perhaps my method of dealing with/processing the trauma can help someone else.

What I did:

I’m a kinesthetic learner, followed greatly by audio, lastly visual. I’m mentioning this because I’m very much a doer, and learn by doing. I’m not a trauma expert. However, I was so shaken up, I knew I had to DO something to help myself process this trauma without having nightmares and becoming OCD with every siren I hear outside (call me sensitive but this is how I felt after the event).

So I did some steps to help myself process the fire.

1. I spoke about it with other families in my building who had all experienced more or less the same thing that night

2. I asked around, found out where the family was staying who had experienced the fire in their apartment, and I went to ask how they were faring and offer my support in any way. She is a friend of mine and I genuinely cared about her emotional and physical wellbeing. 

3. I bought 2 boxes of Duncan Hines brownie (link: https://amzn.to/2DEAnRA) and white cake mix (though at my local store the kosher symbol was different than this: https://amzn.to/2qKRMzs), baked brownies and white cake (used a hack to make the white cakes honey cakes for the Jewish Holiday season), and took an uber to the fire station, also armed with some pamphlets about the Jewish holidays in case any of the firefighters were Jewish. I thanked the firemen, they were some of the people who had been on call and responded that night to our building, and gave them brownies and honey cakes. I asked them questions about how to make my apartment more fire safe, and how to light candles in a safer way. It was fascinating to be there, I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t visited. I learned a lot about how they work just from being there and observing, and seeing the firemen and engines up close took some of the trauma and fear factor away as well as the practical information to quell the worrying.

That’s pretty much all that I did. All in all, I feel very much like a part of me was healed and can move on. The reminders are always there – the burnt and black apartment I pass in my building, and neighbors still speaking about it, as well as my friend who moved into a new apartment. I feel that I have helped myself to move past the fear and into a healing place, and I can do that without feeling guilty instead feeling grateful and blessed, as well as inspired to help more in my community as much as I can.

I’d love to hear how you’ve helped yourself process and heal from trauma- Drop me a line, leave your comments below -let’s all share the wealth. You never know when your tip can help another! ~Shirit

Basics of the Demartini Method – Effective technique to address relationships

In Judaism, there is a phenomenon called “if you know alef, teach alef”. Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The saying is basically emphasizing that you can teach a little even if all you know is a little. YOu don’t have to be an expert yet to help someone else out.

That’s where I am today. I’m not an expert yet (in coaching or organizing!) However, I have benefited from some outstanding mentors and have some guidance to pass on from them and from my experience. So here goes:

Counselors and therapists have their place. Go for it, pursue it, I hope these avenues help you in the ways that you need most.

Despite people’s success stories, these sources of assistance were not profoundly life changing for me.

What WAS life changing, was the coaching programs through Dr. John Demartini and the Dina Friedman Academy.

I can go into some more personal experience and advice later. I want to give a little introduction to some basic principles of this philosophy, and hope that even this little tidbit could help someone truly suffering.

As I understood as explained by Dr. Demartini’s work, a major underlying principle is that everyone and life in general is created in balance. Every person has numerous traits and they are all inside that person in balance, traits like honesty, lying, respectful, disrespectful, responsible, irresponsible, kind, mean, stingy, giving, etc. A person contains all the traits in equal proportions in their makeup and personality.

If I am seeing someone (lets call him Bob for example’s sake) as solely and 100% mean, I am blocked in this trait. I am blocked in seeing my own displays of this trait (I don’t think I’m ever mean and can’t see myself as being mean ever) and I am blocked in seeing that Bob has any of the opposite traits – that of kindness. To me, Bob is 100% mean, no bones about it.

Why is this important? How many interactions in your life follow these labels – this coworker is annoying, this boss is demanding, this spouse is irritating, this friend is jealous, etc. Or also positive traits (though for those most of us don’t seek therapy) this friend is beautiful, this coworker is generous, etc. How often do we not see the rounded picture, that each of us has all the elements and factors of a dynamic personality, even if we don’t want to admit it?

If you are seeing one trait dominantly in a person close to you, and it is impacting or even harming your relationship, Dr. Demartini then prescribes some homework:

1. To write down 25 specific instances in which the person (Bob) displayed kindness, for example – Bob helped Jane’s kitty down from the tree yesterday at 2 pm. They have to be specific instances with specific people involved.

2. Write down 25 ways that you displayed that trait so prevalent in Bob (mean in this example) like: I cut in front of the person before me in the supermarket line at Whole Foods today at 12pm, etc. There are more steps to this process in what he trademarked the Demartini Breakthrough Experience, and you can find out all the information on his website https://drdemartini.com/ or on Dina’s website www.dinafriedmanacademy.com.

What is astounding after doing this work is that you start to see the person in a different light, and even yourself through a different lens. Before, it’s not that my perception was skewed – Bob really is mean! Always! Following this work/the Breakthrough Experience, the self-talk sounds more like “Bob is sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. I’m also sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. Really, I see a lot of things Bob does that are really nice and kind.”

*This method is not suitable for someone dealing with violence/abuse, active addictions, or someone unfaithful in a relationship. For those situations, one must have additional support as well.

This can be a particularly sensitive process and can take time to get started, often once you get a few examples down the rest come rolling out. It is beneficial to do this process under guidance such as at a Demartini or Dina Friedman seminar where facilitators can guide you and help answer questions in the process, especially in painful scenarios or relationships.

I highly suggest anyone who is going through a challenge and feeling stuck with traditional therapists and counselors, to seek out a Demartini or Dina Friedman coach/facilitator/therapist. Even if you feel that there is no hope for you, they are trained to deal with the most extreme situations and can help guide you to be a stronger and more successful you. The choice is always yours in terms of how to continue or even to end a relationship, however even in a situation where one chooses to end a relationship, this work can help you clarify and better solidify your feelings, thoughts, emotions and decisions, enabling you to move forward in any way as a stronger and more balanced version of you.

~Shirit

Open Pantry – Update!

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Pantry Update!

Even when organized, stuff can get out of control! Especially in a small kitchen.

I revamped the pantry, making use of a new bowl and a new shelf unit for additional kitchen and dining items.

Picked up a free bowl being given away by a local flower shop, thank you @Mimulo (SCORE!). Where do you keep your produce?

Yes, my pantry space is valuable. Though my counter space is more valuable, so I decided to put the produce bowl in the open pantry.

Also picked up a free shelf unit someone was giving away in my neighborhood – took it home in an uber (SCORE!). Idea for this was threefold: extra kitchen/pantry storage, toy storage, and a nice aesthetic on top.

I thought the bowl would be EXCELLENT on top of the new shelf. Problem is, it is too big (see pics, it extends over the edge). Sigh.

That’s where the idea for a produce bowl came in.

Then I redid the pantry since it was getting out of hand anyways. With small spaces, I think every few months reorganizing is in order, even having done the Konmari method. Everyone eats, the pantry contents change, and we need to adjust. Nothing wrong with that!

These are the before (L) and after (Center and R) images of redone pantry!! No, I am not embarrassed lol of the before – this is real life my friends.

More organized new shelf pictured below. Another reason I wanted something in this location in the living room is due to the cords, they used to be on the ground and were an ugly eye-sore. I can’t move them since this is where they are attached to the wall/internet hookup, and this is at least safer and possibly less ugly than before. Still looking for more ideas regarding storing these cords more aesthetically, however they also generate heat so cannot be closed up in a drawer for example (tried that previously, lol).

Similar items to what I used:

New black shelf: https://amzn.to/2FwGlpE

Gold produce bowl: https://amzn.to/2TfmZbe

Happy centering,
~Shirit

Toy Storage!

Toys! So easy to buy, yet no space for them all!

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In a previous apartment (upper right photo) toys were stored on a bookshelf in the living room in plastic containers/bins. It was an easy-to-access solution, not super aesthetic as the bins didn’t all match. 

Now in this apartment (upper left photo), we no longer have that bookshelf, and what you see is a mess of toys all over the ground! I’ve tried a few different storage methods in the closet, living room, and kids room, which you will see below.

1. Rubbermaid closet system: The system is installed in the kids room closet with one rack for hanging clothing and one shelf. More shelves could be added – this is a possibility I have entertained at some point. This link is similar to what I purchased from Walmart online at the time, though now the price is better on amazon: https://amzn.to/2TcG65L

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2. Fabric cubes: These have been useful in storing toys. I have one in the main living room bookshelf, sometimes one or two grace the floor in the kids bedroom, and I am using two in the new bookshelf in the living room as well. Disadvantages of these are they are not super durable, they don’t last forever, and kids have to dig through them to get to what they want. See some below (turquoise, gray, I also have some black ones). This is a link to some similar, though get some colorful ones to brighten things up: https://amzn.to/2B7LmjS

3. Plastic drawer units in the kids closet and in the kids bedroom: I’ve alternated with set-ups with plastic drawer units around the kids bedroom with toys in the three clear drawers, and in the closet under the mounted shelf. Right now I fit two such storage units in the closet and it makes for a less cluttered feel for the room. I also have one miscellaneous sized drawer still loose in the room, which also serves a purpose slightly elevating the laundry hamper..hmm I can address this at some point. You can see the drawers in some of the pics above. Big drawers: https://amzn.to/2qPugkR Smaller drawers: https://amzn.to/2zaGfy3

4. Laundry hamper: stuffed animal storage. I used to do this, and though cute and aesthetically pleasing, it wasn’t practical as inevitably all the stuffed animals ended up on the floor – it is just too deep. I’ll find a pic somewhere, but you get the idea. Now stuffed animals are stuffed (pun intended) into the clear drawers, and they also live in the doll strollers. Taking advice in this area – please comment below for stuffed animal storage! (I’m not a fan of the nets above because I like the Montessori-theme of kids accessing toys themselves, I don’t want storage up high that I have to get down each time). I got mine at TJ Max as a gift (the tag was on so I knew where it was from lol) a similar one on Amazon if you choose to go this route for stuffed animals: https://amzn.to/2DFxJei

Links to stuff I used or similar:

Rubbermaid closet configuration:  https://amzn.to/2TcG65L

Fabric bins (but I recommend bright and colorful ones for an easy pop): https://amzn.to/2B7LmjS

Plastic 3 drawer unit (large): https://amzn.to/2qPugkR

Plastic 3 drawer unit (small/narrower): https://amzn.to/2zaGfy3

Laundry hamper for stuffed animals: https://amzn.to/2DFxJei

Which methods do you prefer of storing toys and stuffed animals? 

~Shirit

Clothes – Inspired by KonMari

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Marie Kondo’s mission is to “Organize the World.” Let’s start with our own personal spaces.

A. What I’m working with:

Small apartment = not lots of clothes storage. I’ve got one small closet and one tall bureau – 3 drawers for me. It seems we have always struggled with clothes storage and moving into apartments without closets!

In apartment 1 (my first NYC apartment) which came without closets at all, see the Walmart Rubbermaid closet system below (link: https://amzn.to/2DZ4TXq) that I put on an open bedroom wall. I put these up on two open bedroom walls, only one wall pictured here:

In apartment 2 (current space) there are two small closets without doors, on which I installed a rod with a curtain (curtain link: https://amzn.to/2y0qxVU) to serve as a “door” on both closets. This was less permanent than installing doors as a renter, and I actually found this technique more pleasant and aesthetically pleasing than leaving it open and even nicer than a real closet door! I have two of this ocean blue shade installed in one bedroom, one as a “closet door” and the other as a curtain for the porch door. In the other bedroom I have two dark purple similar quality curtains, one covering the window and one serving as a “closet door.” See the blue one pictured below:

In terms of drawers/dressers, in apartment 1 I had at first a six drawer long unit. Sold that for valuable floor space reasons, and opted for a skinny, narrow, almost custom drawer unit going upwards instead of lengthwise. Found it on amazon, was SO happy with the width that was perfect for the old apartment, link: https://amzn.to/2RsdbJV. This tall unit held the grown-ups clothes.

In apartment 2, rearranging a bit, the narrow tall dresser holds kids clothes, and grown-ups clothes are now in the heavy, five drawer unit that in apartment 1 housed miscellaneous items – kitchen towels, electronic equipment, etc.

The sturdy real wood five drawer unit was a family hand-me-down, no links, but it is easily the heaviest piece of furniture I have. Two strong movers heaved and hawed moving this beast.

Pictured below is the mammoth 5-drawer unit used first in the living room, then re-purposed for clothes in the master bedroom:

It’s important to mention the drawer storage because Marie Kondo relies heavily on drawers for storing clothes. More on her organizing philosophy now:

B. The organizing gets real…

Marie Kondo (KonMari), author of “Spark Joy” and “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” is on the forefront of organizing gurus today. She is Japanese by origin, and Japan is known for having small apartments and tiny spaces – no wonder she learned to truly keep only what she needs and what “sparks joy” for her.

KonMari recommends storing most if not all of your clothing items in drawers utilizing her unique clothes folding and storage method. At first this method seems foreign and more time consuming when doing laundry, but over time it gets easier, faster, and becomes second nature. It truly is the most efficient way to store clothes in drawers – more things fit inside along with the advantage that you can see all that you have! No more searching for clothes for hours.

Below see the same drawer, on L it is not organized via the Konmari method, on R it is! (It is the same drawer, I’m not sure why it’s showing up brighter on the R)

I do believe in going through the KonMari method to the T, following all of her steps and recommendations. A primary component of the KonMari method is to keep the items which spark joy and to declutter and purge the items that don’t. She advocates doing this once and for all, to do a big organizing project (she predicts it will be over a six month period) and then thereafter only follow up maintenance will be needed. This level of organizing will not have to be attempted again.

This part is crucial. Most of us accumulate and obtain way more than we need or truly want. It is a huge breath of fresh air to let go of the clothes that no longer serve you at this time in your life, make space for new clothes that will spark joy and maintain a usable closet. I have gotten rid of numerous garbage bags full of clothes using this method, clothes that I hadn’t touched in years and didn’t plan on wearing but held onto ”just in case” (how many of you can relate??)
I also now have a bag in my closet designated to put things in that I find no longer spark joy or that no longer fit for donation.

After going through the whole KonMari method, I believe it is acceptable to adapt her philosophies/strategies for your lifestyle and space. For example, she advocates to keep all seasons in your closets and shoe spaces, doing away with storing the off-season clothes. I have implemented this in our closets in terms of winter coats, but i have found that keeping our snow boots in the entryway with our other shoes year round is not practical for us nor for our space. Snow boots and all-weather shoes I store in the closet during for the summer months.

Links to stuff I used:

Rubbermaid Closet Configuration:  https://amzn.to/2DZ4TXq

Curtains for Closet Doors: https://amzn.to/2y0qxVU

Awesome NARROW dresser from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RsdbJV

Black hangers I use, allow for more things to fit in the closet! https://amzn.to/2OJJVfm

Marie Kondo’s Book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” https://amzn.to/2DFThaS

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll share more Konmari photos of my Kitchen organization Konmari style, other rooms of the house purging and tidying, and my hanging clothes closets sorted in her recommended way as well. For now, goodnight and good luck organizing! ~Shirit