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.
Sometimes there’s rooms or corners in the home that don’t seem to come together. They look off, cheap, disturbing, cluttered, ugly or just wrong. You might try several different furniture layouts, changing decoration pieces, work year after year and it-just-doesn’t-work!
Our most frustrating room has been the living room. For starters, the room is a long one with doors on both ends to make it feel even more like a hallway rather than a room on it’s own. Also it works double duty as our work space and living room.
Decluttering and konmari helped a lot to make the room more airy, clean and harmonious, but it still felt bit busy and not in line with rest of the apartment. We knew the reason was not in furniture, as we love most of them and felt they played nicely together. This decorating project started with a photograph we took of the sofa wall in our living room with the intention to figure out what exactly was wrong with it.
Summer has gone and we end our hiatus with the blog. During the last few months we have been doing some serious decluttering and organizing as we discovered the Konmari method. Earlier posts about reorganizing the bathroom (1, 2) and spring cleaning (maybe also wardrobe case studies one and two) have been like a prelude for our declutter challenge. I kid you not when I say we have been reading countless articles about decluttering and organizing and the biggest tip we have gathered is to think what you really need and want to live with and toss away the rest. That’s the main idea behind Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizer. At first it seemed quite rash and severe, but if we are searching for big impact and change, then we need to do something very differently than before.
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?
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.
Our bathroom is tiny and it is supposed to serve double, no, triple duty as a toilet, bath room and laundry room. The renovation upstairs is over and now we too have our bathroom back. In the end we had to paint things again by ourselves, employees left the ceiling looking blotchy and didn’t come to fix the smaller scratches left behind by taping. We were not delighted by that, but thank goodness we still had some paint left over from the renovation we did when we moved in.
Underwear is often overlooked when it comes to discussions about clothing. Still, they are used everyday so let’s take a look to our ‘nearest and dearest’. We are talking about quality, quantity and what kind of underclothes one may need. Undergarments are a very personal thing but here is a handful of basic knowledge you can use to get the most out of the least.
Imagine a day when you have a great feeling about yourself. You slept well, had a lovely cup of tea with a satisfying breakfast. Things are really going your way. Next thing coming is to pick the outfit for the day and in my mind this is the critical moment of many days. It can boost you to even better day or it can set your back at least few steps. What is the key on winning this moment? Wisely created capsule wardrobe of course.
Lately we got to know the term Capsule Wardrobe. It was first used by Susie Faux during the 1970’s. You can read more about Mrs. Faux from her homepage.
In a nutshell capsule wardrobe is meant to be well-organized wardrobe with clothes that play well together without the overwhelming amount of clothes. Important aspects are good materials, right fit, classic pieces and a neutral colour scheme. There’s countless tutorials and tips for creating working capsule, just search with the term.
So, spring cleaning, eh? Cleaning is not easy task for us partly because of the depression symptoms, when body or mind is sick, it’s tired. But how many of us loves cleaning anyway? For us the best way to tackle the task is to keep mind on the prize: serene, clean and uncluttered home.
Spring cleaning does include decluttering and organizing maybe even more than actual scrubbing and hoovering. We have made a habit of annually clean the closets and declutter our apartment. We seldom clean our cupboards very thoroughly for winter holidays but when there’s more light and days start to grow longer it’s nice to try and figure out cluttered spaces again. Our small home is just 58 square meters with a small attic closet. That space fills up pretty easily and I think at the moment we aren’t even keeping up with the filling speed.
Small rooms are always bit tricky in decoration and organization wise. Our project at the moment is the small bathroom in our home. First post is about the space we start with and how we ended up with the need of organization update.
Our neighbours from upstairs had a nasty surprise last autumn when a water pipe broke down. That meant big renovation was ahead for them but it also meant some uncomfortable things for us as our bathroom is right under theirs.
Last months have been endless roller coaster from ear breaking drilling to anxiety of not knowing when the workers are going to pop by. The whole progress has been terrible: no-one knows anything or at least isn’t telling, unexpected projects come by and now the renovation is going one and a half month over time.