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HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up


I was at a bookstore this weekend and was browsing through the best-sellers, and came upon this book by Marie Kondo.  I was intrigued and am still thinking about the book on this Monday morning, so I decided to buy the Kindle version.  I’m excited to get to reading it and hope that it will give me the bit of inspiration I need to get my spring organization into action!

Here are some things I have learned about the book from around the web:


The Konmari Method was created by Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo and is described in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Kondo’s theory is that we are happiest when we are surrounded by things we love.  The Konmari method consists of gathering together everything you own and then keeping only those things which ‘spark joy’.  You hold every item before you decide what you want to do with it, and items that are not kept are thanked for their service, which, believe it or not, makes it easier to let things go.  Key points in the Konmari method include decluttering by category and using efficient storage methods.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up espouses a specific order of decluttering by category.  You begin with clothes, then books, then papers and finally Komono, or miscellaneous items such as CDs, skincare products and electrical items.  You finish up with photos and other sentimental items because they are the most difficult to part with.


Marie Kondo advocates carefully storing items so that they are well cared for and easy to find.  For example, she suggests folding clothes so that sit upright in your drawers and allowing socks to rest by not rolling them up into balls.


{a short video of Marie folding an underwear drawer}



1. Discard first, store later.

You cannot organize clutter.  The first step is to get rid of everything you don’t need.


2. Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever.

“Tidying is a special event.  Don’t do it every day.” If you do the job right, once and completely, you won’t have to do it again.


3. Storage experts are hoarders.

“Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” But organized clutter is still clutter.


4. Sort by category, not location.

“Tidying up by location his a fatal mistake.” Sort by category instead, in the following order: Clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and then things with sentimental value.


5. “Does this spark joy?”

If it does, keep it.  If it doesn’t, get rid of it. (Important documents not included, but there are fewer of these than you’d think)


6. Never pile things.

Vertical storage is the key.  Stacking has two problems: you can stack much more that you can store vertically (not a plus if you’re aiming for clutter-free:, and stacking is hard on the things at the bottom.


7. Learn how to fold.

Kondo is adamant about proper folding technique, which enables you to store things standing up rater than laid flat.  This method is amazing for visual types, because you can see everything at a glance, much more effectively than you can if your clothes are hanging or vertically stacked.


I’m eager to read the book & will let you know if I use the techniques.

Does this appeal to you? Have you read the book?

For more KonMari inspiration, check out these Kon Mari Pinterest Boards.

HOME/ Organizing

Before and After Home Office Organization


“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #EverydaySharpie

I have been ignoring our home office closet for way too long. Now that fall is here I have been motivated make our home office uncluttered, minimalized & esthetically pleasing.  I loved the simplicity of our home office since removing things from the walls and giving it a paint treatment–that is– until I would try to open a desk drawer or look for something in the closet. We we’re to the point where drawers were not closing, closet shelves were falling down, and closet doors were not closing!  It was time to focus in and tackle it, and I did just that on a cool fall-like Sunday afternoon.


I started on Saturday, tentatively opening drawers and closet doors, taking in what was causing the clutter, and taking note of the things I knew we would be keeping in the office.  This step was important in order to visualize what the best use of the space in the closet would be.  I ventured out on Saturday, visiting Walgreens and my favorite dollars store for supplies.  I looked for a variety of bins of different sizes and textures.  I wanted to keep the color scheme simple, so I chose white, orange, black & a touch of natural brown wicker color.  I thought this color combination would go great with the new deconstructed chevron wall I just painted in our home office.

I also bought supplies to create labels.  I knew in order to keep this closet looking great, the first step would be getting rid of everything that is not used or necessary, and then label containers for all that is left, giving each item a clearly marked home.

I bought some fun yellow washi tape.  I couldn’t find an orange to match the containers I purchased, and I knew this yellow would be a fun pop of color, just as my special yellow chair is that is in the study.



I bought some chevron grey, white and black note cards, some white 3×5 cards, and my favorite Stainless Sharpie Pen 1S.  I’m a bit of a pen snob, and I wanted a pen that would work well, look & feel sleek, & make my handwriting look somewhat decent.  Isn’t it funny how a good pen can actually do that?  I also wanted a pen that would be permanent like a marker but write like a pen; without smearing.  Walgreens has the Stainless Sharpie Pen 1S for $5.29.  I also grabbed the Sharpie Pen Grip RT Black, this is my second favorite.  I love that it has a comfortable grip & is retraceable and does not have a lid. My girls tend to lose lids quickly, which is why the Stainless Sharpie Pen is MINE. For older kids and teenagers, retractable Sharpie pens rock!


I bought the wooden clothes pins from the dollar store, and some binder clips.  I decided I am done with sticky type labels–washi tape does not count as it is super easy to remove.  I like the idea of being able to quickly change out a label depending on the need at the time.  This is why I went with very inexpensive 3×5 cards–they were .50 cents for 400!  Can’t beat that price!  The chevron cards I picked up would be the perfect backing to these 3×5 cards to make them pretty! I used the chevron notecards to back my 3×5 cards, then clipped them right to the container with a clothes pin. When I need to change the label, it will just take a matter of seconds to write on a new card and clip it back onto the container.  Easy!

Armed with my supplies, I started clearing out the closet.  Oh my. It is amazing how much stuff gets thrown in there!  Our home office is a very central location of our home and it just seems to be a magnet for clutter.

While I cleared things out, I made a pile for donating, had a trash bag handy for trash, and made another pile for items that belong elsewhere.  There was also a nice big basket full of papers that need sorted, but I didn’t allow that to distract me from the mission.  I set them aside and will go through them slowly throughout the week, maybe while watching Dr. Oz!


I spread all my containers out on my kitchen table, and as I cleared out the closet, it became apparent what items needed grouped together and a home.  I brought those items out and put them in the appropriate container, labeled it, then carried it back into the closet and put it together in the most practical,efficient, and beautiful way I could think of– kind of like a puzzle.  I wanted the closet to be appealing to the eye, but also as functional as possible, as this would be key for keeping it organized.

Before I carried all the labeled containers back into the closet, I made sure to sweep, dust and clean the shelves.  I also had to fix the base of the shelves, as it had come apart from the wall and was leaning heavily to one side.  That alone kept my procrastination in full gear when I thought of organizing this closet.  I’m pretty good with power tools but I don’t like the process of using them.   I can’t tell you how happy I was once the base was screwed back into place and the shelves were straight and usable again.  That gave us almost a 1/3 more closet space then we had before when it was broken. Thank you drill and electric screwdriver!  I am woman…hear me roar.


I put my power tools (and my roaring) away and got out the tools I am more comfortable with:

washi tape


note cards

letter stickers

binder clips

wooden clips


Sharpie pens

I had great fun making the labels. Like I said above, I kept it simple enough to be able to do a quick change of label if needed, just by grabbing a 3×5 card, a clip and my Sharpie pen.  I stored the 3×5 cards, cut in half, in an envelope and taped it to the inside of the closet door with washi tape.  I utilized the inside of the closet doors by hanging a few bulletin boards.  The board marked ‘Truth’ will hold a weekly scripture verse to keep front and center in our minds throughout the week.



I’m super excited about how the closet turned out.  I can’t believe the difference.  Because the closet is in such a central location in our home, and because we do not have a coat closet, I decided to make this closet an office/coat closet.  This is why you see coats hanging & bins marked for mittens, gloves, scarves & hats.  I even kept an open square of the wire shelving open for storing my snow boots.


I’m trying to keep our office free from paper piles, so I made each family member a magazine file holder with their name clearly marked on the front.  I like that these are big enough to not only hold paper, but also any projects or items I find lying around in the office.  I also made one for my receipts & for papers that need filed.



I did give in and use some stickers on a few larger bins that hold items that I know we will always need for storage & whose labels will not need changed out.  I just couldn’t pass up how cute they were.


One of my favorite areas of the closet is the wire shelving that holds bigger bins.  We have had this for a while, and have been utilizing it in this way, but the closet got so full you could not see it, and the bins were not clearly labeled.  I now have 4 clearly labeled bins.



They are marked:





Are you wondering about the sock bin?  Our laundry room is downstairs which is just to far to go whenever someone cannot find socks.  This bin holds those dreaded missing socks that everyone is always asking for.  Now I just send them to the sock basket.

The library bin keeps the books we get from the library in one place.  I love that I can quickly make another label and jot down when they are due and clip it right to the bin.

The donate & deliver bins are pretty self-explanatory.  I am always collecting items that people left at our home, especially my kids’ friends.  I love having a place to put this stuff and will tell said friends to go check the deliver basket when they come.  I will also use it to keep track of what I need to return to people and deliver myself.  The donate bin is a great place to keep items I want to get rid of.  Minimalizing is an ongoing process in this house, so I always try to have something in that bin!



I can now get to my vacuum quickly, and the attachments are all in one place stored above the vacuum.  I hung them in a bucket on a tension rod that I found in the back of the closet.  I also found a hook that is perfect for hanging my camera bag.  I take photos constantly for New Nostalgia and now my Colsie has an interest in photography, so I like having a specific place for the camera where everyone knows where it is and where to put it away.




On to the desk.  Cords were an issue…but not anymore!  I used my Sharpie pen and marked plastic zip bags with what specific cord wasis inside.  Make sure to use a Sharpie, other markers will smear.  Earbuds also got a home.  No more tangled mess!


I bought a bunch of little round containers from the dollar store & used them to corral all those small items that make a mess in drawers.  I also moved printer paper & lined paper from the closet shelf to a drawer.  I found when my girls would grab a piece, more than one would come and my closet would be littered with paper.  A drawer should solve this problem.  This is an example of how important it is to always look for the most efficient way to store items.  Put items that are used regularly front and center.  Keep ‘like’ with ‘like’ and when one item is always creating clutter, figure out another way to store it or give it a specific home.


I am so very happy with how our home office is shaping up.  I have a couple more fun project planned for it–an artistic wall piece that doubles as a way to display photos, a fun project with clipboards, and a homemade light fixture.  Look for those posts coming to New Nostalgia this fall.

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing

A Revolutionary Dish Rack

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RMDishRack


I’ve never wanted a dish rack sitting out on my counter top, which is why I would call the Rubbermaid dish rack ‘revolutionary’ because my mind is now changed.  I know, it sounds dramatic, but seriously, this rack is pretty & looks great in my kitchen.  No more nasty stained, flimsy plastic dish racks that are not even close to sturdy enough for expensive cookware, flatware and pots that need hand washed.  No more eyesores sitting out on the counter top, and no more risking your most loved dishes being ruined by piling them in the sink or sticking them in the dishwasher.

This rack is sleek and made with much thought.  There are no sides on the rack so it can hold large platters and cookie sheets.  It is perfect for bar ware and good enough to be a holding spot for your precious china as  it air dries or as you hand dry each piece yourself.  The silverware container is removable, so if not needed, removing  it provides even more space for plates, pan & platters.  It also makes it very easy to clean.  I especially love the wide rows, they are all the perfectly spaced with the back two rows giving even more room for pans.  It resists mold and mildew with Microban, which is an antimicrobial protection product.


The Rubbermaid Dish Rack was so pretty that while I was at Target I had to buy 2 of them.  I was able to get one for 15% because I am a Target Cartwheel card holder & they were having a special offer. Are you familiar with Cartwheel?  I simply downloaded the app to my phone and whip it out during check out for them to scan.  I’ve been amazed by the savings through Cartwheel.

So what did I do with my second Rubbermaid Dish Rack?  

I used it to organize my daughters art supplies!  The minute I saw that it did not have sides, I knew it would be the perfect thing to organize supplies & hold canvases, frames, mats and finished projects.  The removable plastic container for utensils is perfect for her paintbrushes, pencils and markers.  She loved it and it is modern & cool enough for my 13-year-old to be ok with having it in her room.

One more idea I had for the Rubbermaid Dish Rack was to use it when we eat buffet style.  It would look great sitting on a buffet table holding plates in between the rows, and flatware in the utensil section.  The little foot up front is a perfect place to lay a pile of napkins.  I would even take it outside to set up for a buffet style picnic!  

As for storing the rack when not in use, I plan on adding a hook in my pantry to hang it.  Again, it is pretty enough that I don’t mind looking at it and don’t feel like I need to hide it away.  I want it out in the open, easy to grab.

So how would you use the rack?  Has poorly made dish racks kept you from using one?  What do you think of this Rubbermaid dish rack?