Posted in Minimalism

Letting Go : Clothing (Before & After)

Hiya!

I thought I’d do a “before & after” post of my clothing to document my progress (to check out the actual process, click here)

Most of my things were concentrated in three (no wait, four actually) spots in my room: my side of the closet, a dresser, a night stand (or whatever those things are called) and boxes under my bed.

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Now, I’ve never considered myself as someone who had a lot of clothing.  For the most part, I hate shopping for clothes.  This is why when I find a shirt or pair of pants that I like, I typically buy 2 or 3 in different colours (or not) and move on to other, more interesting things in my life.  And had you asked me how many tops and bottoms I had, I probably would have said about 20 tops and 5 bottoms.  It turns out, I was wrong.

Excluding hoodies, pajama tops (because only toddlers wear those to go out of the house) and maternity tops, I had 47 of them.  Forty-seven shirts.  I don’t need 47 shirts.  Case in point, when I’m lazy and skip a week washing my clothes, I would flip through 3-5 shirts before finding one that I liked (or liked more than the other things that my closet offered me).  Once I was done sorting, I ended up with 30 tops (and here’s the kicker) including maternity tops – most of which I can wear as everyday tops.

I cut the number of dresses I had in half and did similarly with my pants and sho

es.  I realized that I’d been hanging on to so many pieces of clothing because I felt guilty of letting go.

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Yikes!  As it turns out, this ended up filling two ginormous trash bags.  One went to the trash, the other to a donation center.

As of right now, all of my clothing is together.  I managed to store my maternity wear alongside my regular clothes without a problem.  Though I can’t wear my maternity pants (I can still wear all of my other maternity stuff), it doesn’t bother me that it’s in my drawers instead of being stashed under my bed.  I enjoy the ease of this.  I also enjoy opening my drawers and closet (notice the space between the hangers now!) and seeing quickly what I have.  Now that I’m done with my clothing, I know I’ll be able to let go more easily in the future whenever I find something that doesn’t spark joy anymore.

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I’ve also decided that I wanted to change the type of clothing I bought.  Purging the things in my home to only be surrounded by things that I love has gotten me thinking of the imprint I’m leaving in this world.  I would like to work towards living in a better world and leaving a smaller imprint.  This is why I’ve decided that from now on, I want to purchase sustainable, eco-responsible clothing for myself.  It’s odd, I’ve never been one to love buying clothing.  But this change in vision on my part has gotten me excited about it!

Next, I tackle the kids’ clothes.  Afterwards, I’m moving on to books.

Thanks for reading! 

Posted in Minimalism

Letting Go – Part 3: Clothing

This is part 3 of my journey to tidying and minimalism.  For part 1, click here.

According to Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the first step in decluttering should start with clothing.  And by clothing, she doesn’t just mean tops and bottoms, she also means shoes, bags, scarves, hats, belts and jewellery.

So, how exactly should one go about cleaning out one’s clothing according to her?  Take everything out.  She is adamant about this.  Go around your house and pick up every last bit of clothing that is hiding in a closet or box and put it all out on the bed (or the floor, or…wherever).  This is important because it allows you to actually see everything that you have.  If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised by what you own.

Then, you pick up every item in your hands and ask yourself one simple question:

Does this spark joy?

That’s it.  No “if you haven’t worn it in over a year, toss it” rule, no “keep only x amounts of this and x amounts of that”.  Nope!  Does.  It.  Spark.  Joy?

Sounds simplistic and a little bit hazy right?  But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense!  I mean, why would you want to keep something that you don’t like?  Why would you want to keep something if it doesn’t suit you well?  Because it was expensive?  Because you received it as a gift?  Because you only need to lose 10 more pounds before you’ll fit into it again?  Because you thought you’d like it (and really, really want to like it) but it just doesn’t “click” for some reason?  Because, because, because?

Personally, if I’m going to live with less (and even if I chose to live with what I had in the first place), I would much rather live with things that bring joy into my life.  Things that I love.  Not things that I keep out of guilt or any other reason.

Now, given that I have kids and not a lot of uninterrupted alone hours, I decided that instead of pulling out every single piece of clothing and putting it on the bed, I would go sub-category by sub-category.

Once I finished going through everything, all that was left to do was to put my clothing away.  Now, Kondo, suggests folding pretty much everything (except stuff like dresses, skirts and stuff that just don’t belong in a drawer) and her method seems weird (at first, at least).

She explains that she believes the best way to fold clothes is to do so in a manner that they stand up (a great tutorial for visuals like me can be found here).  The point being that when you open your drawer, you can see very quickly exactly what you have.

Curious to see how my decluttering and sorting went?  Wait ’till you see my before and after post next week!  I’ll give you a sneak peek though.  Here’s a look inside one of my drawers (it’ll also help you visualize Kondo’s method of folding):

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Welcome to my shirt drawer!

 

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: March 28th

TTT

  1. Do you take a look at the posts people read via your stats sometimes?  Last Sunday I noticed that someone had read my post from 2 years ago on Biaxin.  Some poor soul out there is desperately trying to find a way to get their toddler to down the darned medication.  If you’re reading this, best of luck!
  2. After practicing getting into baby bear mode for the past week, Elliot managed to pull up on his own yesterday.  He was so proud!
  3. I realized yesterday that my contact me page sends people to an email that I don’t use anymore.  I found four email that had been sent over the past year to me via the contact form.  I’m bummed because I missed out on four guest post requests that would have been really interesting.  Now, I only have to figure out how to change the address.  Does anyone have an idea how?  At worst, I’ll just contact someone at live chat.  I hear they’re life-savers.
  4. Yesterday, I finished going through all of my clothing.  I’m planning on writing a separate post on the process, but I will say this: I never thought of myself as having a lot of clothing, but oh boy, the process put things into perspective!
  5. Saturday was our weekly movie night.  We watched Moana together (am I the only one who loves this movie and who can’t seem to get the music out of her head?).  I’d seen it once before when I went to the movies with Charles and still enjoyed it thoroughly, as did everyone else!

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    Everyone is enjoying the movie.
  6. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the human body adapts.  After suffering from really sore calves for three days after doing my first transition run I haven’t had any soreness since – this despite doubling my run time to 2 min run/ 1 min walk.  I also had significantly less trouble with my breathing.
  7. The weather seems to be on a warming trend (finally!).  For the next week, the highs are forcasted to be on the plus side even dipping into the double digits near the start of next week.  P.s.: I’m doing a happy dance right now.
  8. Tonight we’re eating some chili.  Yummy!  I’m planning on trying to cook the beans in my slow-cooker, because each time I make red kidney beans, they always seem to turn out crunchy.
  9. I saw that Star Trek Beyond has come out on Netflix.  I’m eager to find some time to watch it.
  10. I received the steam mop I ordered last week.  I felt like a kid who’d just received a much coveted gift and I couldn’t wait to try it.  I am super happy with it.  I love how easy it it to clean my floors now!

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?  Feel free to comment of link up to a random thought post of your own!

Posted in Parenting

Apparently, Beggars CAN be Choosers

An excerpt from this morning’s routine:

Charles: Mom, can you pick my clothes for me today?

Me: Sure thing!

I walk into his room and pull open his pants drawer.

Charles: Mom, can you pick my red pants please?

Me [chuckling]: OK sweetie, here you go.

I then make my way to his shirt drawer.

Charles: Can you pick a t-shirt?  I want to wear a hoodie today.

I look through his shirts and find his Pokémon t-shirt.

Charles: No, mom, not that one.  I want my blue t-shirt.

Me: I thought you wanted me to pick your clothing for today.

Charles: I do, but I want my blue t-shirt.

Posted in Parenting, Product Reviews

I ♥ BabyLegs (Baby Product Review #4)

I like to dress up my son.  It’s one of my guilty pleasures.  I mean, I can stay in my old pyjamas all day, but for some reason, I feel the need to get my son into a cute attire during the day even if I know it would be loads easier (whilst allowing me to do less laundry) to just keep him in his footed pjs all day.  But I can’t, so I dress him up.

When he was younger (hehe, kinda funny to say that when he is only 5 months old), we received a whole lot of gently used clothing from a friend.  And they were all pretty easy to put on him.  But then, he started growing and putting on weight and he outgrew the clothes.  All that I was left with were some pairs of jeans.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to put on a pair of jeans on a squiggly cloth-diapered little boy who found his feet?  It’s next to impossible.  I was always dreading diaper changes because I knew I would have to fight to get the pants off and then fight to get them back on.

*Sigh* There just had to be a better way.

And then I remembered hearing (well, reading, actually) about something called Baby Legs.  Quite a few parents had commented on how awesome they were.  Each time, I was curious, but didn’t actually go and check out what they were like.  I figured “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.

Oh, how wrong I was!

BabyLegs are, essentially, legwarmers that cover the leg from the hip down.

Why do I love them?

  1. They’ve got TONS of really cute patterns EVEN for boys (remember my rant on baby clothing where I complained that there wasn’t a lot of  cute clothing for boys?)
  2. They are super easy to put on.
  3. They don’t require to be taken off before changing a diaper.
  4. They stay on.
  5. They pretty much have one size (8cm x 33cm long) but they have one category that is smaller (newborn – 7cm x 21cm long) and one category that is larger (sports teams – 9cm x 40cm long).
  6. Because of their sizing (one size fits most) they last quite a bit longer than a pair of pants.
  7. They’ve got a category that offers a 50+ spf protection, and a category that protects against bugs (though the patterns from the latter are available in Canada, the actual bug protection isn’t).
  8. They are versatile (I’ve used them over his arms on day when he was strapped into his car seat and I noticed I’d forgotten to pull his jacket first).
  9. Oh, and did I mention they were cute? 😛 (Plus you can mix and match)

You can match (notice the camouflaged diaper)
You can match (notice the camouflaged diaper)
You can mix and match.
You can mix and match.
And when your baby model is tired of being dressed up for his photo shoot, you can get growled at by his shirt!
And when your baby model is tired of being dressed up for his photo shoot, you can get growled at by his shirt!

Related post:

Posted in Infant

Lets Clear Things Up: Baby Clothing

Dear baby clothing designers,

I’m writing to you to give you some tips on designing the next line of baby clothes, because obviously, you have no idea what it is like to be the parent to a small child.

First and foremost, you really need to understand that babies are a rather persnickety bunch.  They aren’t extremely patient when it comes to getting dressed.  As such, it is imperative that the clothing be quick to put on.

For instance, the best kind of pyjamas, are the kind that zip up.  Seriously, you need only unzip, put the baby in and then zip back up.  Voilà!  It only takes about 30 seconds.  This is a perfect time frame for a middle of the night (MOTN) changing.  Pyjamas with snap buttons are a pain to put back on, especially with a tired parent and an impatient squirmy baby.  I must admit, however, that snap buttons *are* loads better than actual buttons on babywear.  As for two-piece pyjamas, well, they are also a pain.  Though the pants get easier to put on as the babies get older and control their legs better, pulling a top over their head and then getting their tiny flailing little arms through the arm holes is almost always a recipe for a crying baby.  Plus, I find that two-piece pyjamas require that the parent put a bodysuit on his/her baby, because,  well at least in my household, said baby always seems to end up his/her tummy and/or back uncovered.

Speaking of bodysuits, the best ones are the ones that have buttons all the way; they are the easiest to put on because they do not require pulling anything over the top of the baby’s head.  Because, in case you haven’t noticed, though they may be little, babies have huge heads in proportion to the rest of their body.  That reminds me…It is imperative that if you are going to create a piece of clothing that will be pulled over the head, it be large enough (either by adding snap buttons or actual buttons) or the fabric be stretchy enough to indeed do so.  Oh, and if you’re going to add buttons to create a larger opening for the head, please do NOT place them at the back of the shirt especially whilst designing clothing for babies that still cannot sit up with support.

File:Neoteny body proportion heterochrony human.png
See what I mean about the head?
(Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny, originally published in: Journal of Heredity (1921) Volume 12, pg 421)

Whilst we are on the subject of size, another thing you must take into account is that baby bums are big.  Or, rather, diapers make baby bottoms bulky and cloth diapers make them even bulkier.  I’ve encountered waaaaaay too many bodysuits that I cannot use anymore because they are impossible to close over my son’s diapered tush to count.  I know that they sell extenders, but seriously, babies grow up so fast and go out of their clothing so quickly, would it really be *that* difficult to just make the bodysuits longer?

Now, with regards to pants, though jeans are really cute, they can be a pain to put on.  Remember how I explained that diapers create big bums?  Well, when you make a pair of jeans that has a really tight waistband and it takes 15 minutes just to slip on the pants, it’s a big no-no!  Sure they won’t fall off, but it makes changing diapers a pain in the proverbial a**, especially when there are no snaps around the legs and the parent is compelled to pull off the pants and then fight to pull them back on.

Finally, what is it with all of the girl clothing?  Every store I walk into holds at least twice as many girl ensemble than boy ensembles.  I mean, I know that little girls are cute in their skirts and dresses and bows and tights and everything, but would it really be that hard to think up some really cute ensembles for boys too?  They can be cute as well!

Sincerely,

First-time mom of an awsomely-cute-wiggly persnickety 3.5 month old little boy.

You see?  I told you he was cute!
You see? I told you he was cute!