The Konmari process was worth the effort! We are delighted that we started this decluttering project and the results are beautiful. We have already shared the almost magical positive changes we have experienced in our lives so now it’s a good time to show the changes in our home. I think most people agree that with Konmari method you can get rid of tons of stuff.
You see the effect immediately.
You also get used to the space quite soon and may wonder short after if you even did anything. Comparing pictures is always a great way to remind yourself of the great achievements so that’s why we put together before and after photographs paired with some analysis. We strongly recommend doing the same and hey, it actually is part of the process!
So, here are five points about our post-Konmari life.
We finished our Konmari journey in the beginning of the year 2016. It took us about six months to complete the project and now we have been living in our much more minimalist home for few months.
In her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up organizing expert Marie Kondo opens her method of decluttering one’s home and life to change how one thinks and achieve good things in life. She tells examples of her clients who have lost weight, gained new job career or ended a long time relationship to pursue their own interests.
Our good friend Laura asked us to help with her wardrobe. Laura is also a clothing designer but as it’s always easier to sort and organize other people’s stuff, she felt we could offer her some new ideas. I have worked with Laura before and I was exited to start the task as her style is almost complete opposite to mine.
Figuring out the needs and wants
Laura and her family are moving soon so it’s a perfect time to go trough the closets and figure out what to take and what to toss. I asked Laura to gather some inspiration pictures about her dream look and to think what kind of lifestyle she has and what her needs are. As Laura is a mother of one (wonderful) child and an owner of two dogs her days fill out with runs to work, grocery store and the daycare and taking the dogs out. There’s lot of walking and riding bike as she doesn’t always have the family car to her use. Her own thought that in her wardrobe there’s lots of clothes that don’t have their ‘pair’ in the closet: for example several pairs of trousers without a suitable top and vice versa.
Laura emphasized usability and hoped to have something with bohemian feel and I know she’s extremely visual and sensible person with a soft feminine side. Her dream style included soft layered looks with dark colours, paisley and flower prints with a touch of Jessica Alba. This combination is topped with red hues and some statement necklaces.
Moving to the colours
For us the colours are really important and we found out that there is a mismatch with Laura’s wardrobe colours and her warm and friendly personality. From deep inside Laura is a bubbly and spicy latina but her colours were really cool and winter-like. We figured out a colour palette to compliment her spirit and life style.
The chosen colour scheme has the base with neutral and mixable colours like grey, black, light denim and off-white. The accent colours bring the warmth and spirit and could be vibrant red and more sun bleached coral, maybe sunny yellow in small bits in prints. I would encourage to use warm browns and powdered pastels in printed garments and accessories to bring some earthy bohemian feel to otherwise cool, scandinavian pieces.
What about the actual clothes?
As usual, everyone should have a handful of very basic t-shirts and tops in black, white and grey with few coloured ones. This time I started to sketch the wardrobe from two pairs of jeans and moved from there to college shirt, textured jumper and long knit. Next came an informal shirt (maybe soft brushed denim), casual jersey dress and a long striped jersey sweater. The idea was to offer easy to wear and combine clothes for everyday use. Also these very basic pieces are easy to accessorize with a scarf or a bold necklace.
For tad more clean and chic look I offered one tailored blazer jacket, dress shirts in white and coral and maybe ,if needed, dark pencil skirt or pressed trousers. Laura is very feminine and shuns off from the idea of suited business look. Her dress shirts should have much softer feel and look than your average starched business shirt. Usually thinner cuffs and collar do the trick with draping fabrics and small, delicate buttons. For feminine look I would advise to go without pockets and visible stitching. All of the pieces above can be used to upgrade jeans and t-shirts.
For party wear, I submitted a black cocktail dress, light coloured and airy dress in tea length for daytime parties and a maxi length skirt in flower or paisley pattern and a white (or a patterned) chiffon top to go with it. I would use pearl decorated belt (similar to often seen with wedding gowns) to make the dresses look more decorated and formal. As black tie events are very rare in this case, it’s not a good idea to waste energy and closet space on a full length gown.
For a capsule wardrobe it is useful to think what kind of clothes you can dress up for special occasions. The chiffon top is a perfect example of a multipurpose piece as it can be used with trousers or jeans for stylish everyday look and combining it with a maxi skirt makes a perfect hot weather outfit. But if you dress it with a maxi skirt of same colour and material you get a dress-like outfit. Accessorize it with your better jeweleries, heels and a clutch and you are ready to attend a summer wedding. See, a good top can work for every occasion!
Laura likes to use belts and scarfs so those are her main accessories among shoes and bags. For her sometimes it is the scarf that makes the whole look! The accessories could be made of gold coloured metals, light natural coloured leather and semi precious stones. Accessories work as accents to move the look between the voluminous, ornamental bohemian and the graphic, more minimalistic city chic design. Laura loves big, sparkly necklaces so assortment of those, one nice, clean looking watch and few bracelets would work well as everyday jewellery and to update party dresses.
As talking about bohemian chic there is room for few not so functional but style wise perfect elements. One could be for example a crocheted vest which is perfect for adding layers to everyday casual looks. Always when adding extra pieces one should be careful not to over do it. Bohemian style may be rich but it doesn’t mean that your wardrobe should look like a second hand store. Remember, minimum items for maximum impact.
Where to start and what to get first?
As summer is coming clothes for hot weather are an essential right now. As most of us, Laura also works during the summer so she needs smart clothes to go to “the office”. I would add one pair of light summer trousers made from linen or viscose and then make sure that the top section is under control. Basic t-shirts are the first thing to go after and when you have them you can make numerous outfits with just few bottoms. After that accessorizing is the key to upgrade outfits to the next level. It is always much more useful to have just few multipurpose clothes than a whole section of clothes you can only wear to certain occasions.
We spent busy afternoon going through Laura’s closet. There was plenty of clothing to throw away but also several pieces that were in line with her dream style. It’s always wonderful to see how one’s wardrobe and style starts to get more streamlined and often there’s this happy and light feeling to toss away clothes that are no longer used. It can get sentimental, yes, but the feeling of being free from excessive clutter is unique. We hope Laura got a good feeling and that we can hear how her wardrobe organizing proceeds from now on.
Maybe we could ask her to review her closet again after few months or so to see if she has gotten the style and clothes she wanted?
We have been dog owners for three weeks. I’m still extremely happy for our decision to get a new family member but living with an exited toddler takes its toll. Even tough both me and Janina have been living with dogs and have gone trough puppy phase, memory can fade and things tend to happen quicker and more often than we anticipated . Here’s 10 things almost all puppy owners go through listed by us.
Well, hello you midnight bakers! If you are like me then you know how sometimes the baking urge just hits you. Time or circumstances don’t matter. Neither does it that every one else is sleeping. I used to bake all the time few years ago but now it’s so rare for me that every time I want to bake I just go for it. So last night was one of those times. I really wanted to make cookies and to use peanut butter. We had half of a salted chunky peanut butter jar left and as we really don’t like to use that one on snacking (Natural peanut butter and apples is a heaven in your mouth!) I thought I could get rid of that.
At the beginning of the year I promised to share our broken down wedding budget. As our wedding was almost totally DIY we kept the total budget in 3,500.00 € almost same in U.S$. This task included sewing, baking, crafting, graphic design, borrowing and calling some favours. Our families paid about one third of total budget (drinks and food, part of the flowers, some ceremony expenses) and helped with organizing and crafting. Big thing was that we didn’t need to pay reception site as we had the party at Iida’s family home. You can find more money saving tips for weddings from this post.
So another week has passed and we have made ourselves busy with cleaning and organizing. Few unexpected things happened, like an incidence with our refrigerator, but mostly we have just spent time at home doing house chores and working on projects. We are counting days (and dimes) until the day we can take our new family member to its new home.
So we saw the new Avengers Age of Ultron movie in 22nd of April. I loved the movie and I love the Avengers and I actually love the whole Marvel cinematic universe too, but as a feminist I get really mixed feelings for loving this kind of boys’ club movies.
The Avengers still is a boys club whether you want it or not. We have great women’s moments there but great action is very men centered and there barely is any moments when women have a connection and share a conversation. The Bechdel Test laughs at this.
I want to believe that this boys’ club is cracking but it feels like that we are given something nice just so we wouldn’t complain about the big things. Let’s see what I thought about the female representation in The Avengers Age of Ultron.
Times have been bit hard lately and there has been lot of negative energy going around in my mind. As positive things are one of the best ways for me to recover from stressful situations, Janina advised me to write about nice, positive and inspiring things in my life this week. Positive thoughts feed positivity so here goes nothing!
This week has been exiting. We have been spending the week on the road while driving around the region first to visit University and at the end of the week visiting Dinacon kennel to see whippet puppies.
Votes for women!
Finnish parliament election is happening this week. At first we were supposed to vote earlier during the week but we ended up voting during the official election day, Sunday.
Both of us got our degrees as clothing designers during the year 2014. With the glorious feeling of getting out of the school also came something we should have been expecting. Questions. Especially the question: “What now?”.
It has been asked by many people and not least by ourselves. We were both putting so much effort on getting our asses out of the academy that we hadn’t had time nor energy to start thinking about the future and make plans. Not to even mention working on getting things settled. I graduated right before summer and I just slipped to what I had been doing before: I went to work at a summer time theater. No big questions about that.
My sister Linda approached us about her wardrobe this spring. She has been struggling with her own style and needs for a while now. Her dream style is classy, bit preppy and quite feminine. Yet her lifestyle is physically demanding and she spends several hours per day outside. We found ways to combine her needs to her wants.
Linda feels her wardrobe is horrible and chaotic. She actually found a shirt one morning she didn’t know she owned. Linda’s closet is full of old clothes, odds and ends from high school and still nothing to wear. Sounds familiar? I think most of us has been there at one point of our lives.
As Janina told in the last post, we are not very religious family. Big chunk of Finnish people attend to Evangelical Lutheran church, we did too but nowadays we are not part of church nor attend to services. For us Easter is more just about family traditions and a holiday when we celebrate spring and nature awakening.
It’s a perfect time to take a break from our home organizing projects as well as from job hunting and sewing. Time to relax with great people and eat all the delicious food and give a middle finger for mental illnesses.
Well, I just got my morning tea in front of me. It’s good. Breakfast blend from Fortnum & Mason. As said, we are quite precise on what kind of tea we like and I just have to say that there is nothing that can beat a good cuppa. Our blog wouldn’t exist without tea and I’m afraid that we wouldn’t even get up in the morning if we didn’t know that in the kitchen there is beautiful and aromatic black tea leaves just waiting for the steaming hot water.
I turned 26 last Thursday. I’m actually quite exited to get closer and closer to the magical thirties which is said to cause several crisis. I don’t believe in the crisis. Maybe because I haven’t hit that mark yet but also maybe because the last years have been more or less a crisis to me. I’m looking forward to get rid of my confusing years.