How I KonMari’d My Makeup Routine

I’m obsessed with the magic of tidying up. If you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know that I’m slowly but surely Kondo’ing my life and I am LOVING it. Yes I know that Kondo says that you have to tidy up in one go, but I have two kids and I just cannot work like a Trojan every moment of the day cleaning things up. However, I am following her mantra of sparking joy very closely and tidying by category and I am finding the whole process oddly soothing and therapeutic. My closet has taken the brunt of my KonMari craziness with a whole host of random clothes bought in a postpartum induced haze finding their way to the donation box. The biggest plus side is that I have noticed that getting dressed in the morning has become a lot easier as I can easily see everything I have and I have gotten rid of all the junk that just didn’t fit in with who I am now.

Where am I with the KonMari method now?

So I’ve moved on to Komono which is basically everything else in the house that isn’t paperwork, books or sentimental items. I will say that I kind of skipped over books as I don’t really hoard them. I always lend books out to friends if I really enjoyed them, I leave them on vacation for someone else to enjoy or I read on my Kindle. For someone who loves to read, I actually have very few books lying around the house. I did tackle paperwork but I didn’t want to bore you with my filing system. So here we are at the vaguely more sexy komono. This was the category I was most afraid of because herein is where the majority of my hoarding lies. I don’t know why but I have a plethora of old decor, craft items and most shamefully of all, outdated beauty products. Despite my fear I tackled komono head on and made most progress with my bathroom and product stash.

Tackling the tidying of my beauty products

Honestly I don’t know what I have been saving all my products for. My bathroom vanity is a graveyard of half empty bottles and an inexpiable amount of samples of various cosmetics that I would never in a million years wear. I am a bit of a product junkie and I will try anything out if  it promises perfect hair, nails, skin or eyelashes. I’ve tried it all. Forget Makeup Alley if you want a review, come to me and I’ll tell you the honest truth. I am also a little fickle with my products and rarely commit to anything long enough to finish the entire bottle. I mean come on, who can wear the same mascara until the end or stick to the same shampoo once the conditioner is finished (really though, why can I NEVER finish a shampoo and conditioner at the same time? It must be some conspiracy from the shampoo company to keep you repurchasing) I am a bit of a commitmentphobe when it comes to products and my bathroom vanity tells the story of past relationships and breakups. So I tackled my vanity head on in typical KonMari fashion. I threw away anything out of date, I got rid of any products that I haven’t used since Christmas and I separated everything into little boxes so they were easily accessible and didn’t roll around the drawers. To say it is now a thing of beauty isn’t hyperbole. I can easily find my everyday skin products and I can even find my hair ties (girls you KNOW how hard it is to lay your hands on those suckers). However, nothing has made my routine simpler than my makeup organization.

One Makeup Organizer To Rule Them All

This post contains affiliate links

I LOVE makeup. I wear it almost every day and I have a lot of the stuff. I am constantly changing how I store it. I have had it in boxes, in cases and bags but every thing I used didn’t help keep in organized. I spent ages rifling through my overflowing make up bag to find my little pencils or my sharpener would leave shavings everywhere causing a kohly mess. So when I started doing the Marie Kondo method on my products, I knew my make up would require the most attention. I wanted one of those perspex organizers that would sit on my vanity to hold all my essentials but didn’t want something huge as I don’t have a dressing table and my vanity needs to be clutter free. I headed to Amazon and found this beauty for a steal and it has changed my morning routine completely.

I couldn’t find the exact one I got but I found one that is EVEN BETTER WITH AN EXTRA DRAWER!! I might need this one too… Click on the picture to check it out!

Sure it isn’t the biggest organizer but that isn’t what I was going for. I wanted something that could hold all my daily makeup essentials and keep them organized and easy to access. I’m busy and don’t get much time to do my make up what with being my kids’ snack bitch and all so I needed something functional and user friendly. I am not Sephora, I am a mum who likes to look nice. Overall, I wanted to simplify my morning make up routine. This organizers does that perfectly. The drawers are pretty small but I can put my tube of foundation, bronzer, highlighter pallet, eyeshadow pallet, blush and lipsticks in them which I think is just perfect. The organizer on the top is perfect for displaying your most used products and numerous pencils can fit into each compartment. I added a little mason jar to keep my brushes in and voila, everything I need is in one place. I do have my other make up in little boxes but for my everyday things this is PERFECTION. I cannot recommend it enough. Look at this organization nirvana!

Benefits of KonMari-ing my makeup

  1. I can see everything I have.
  2. My make up is clean as it doesn’t share a home with a pencil sharpener that constantly seems to have kohl and shavings attached to it.
  3. I don’t waste time rifling through my makeup bag every morning. Each product I use daily is at my fingertips.
  4. My makeup stays in better shape as the powders are not banged around in a bag.
  5. My morning routine is simplified and that is ALWAYS a good thing.

I am so glad that I got this little organizer, it sparks joy to see all my products looking so neat and tidy. Only negative is that it has spurred me to buy nice things so they look pretty on my counter (a make up junkie is always in recovery after all). I am also so glad that I got rid of the fake tan that has been sitting in my drawer for 5 years. No one needs to see a green tinged woman walking around the place (did you know tanner goes a khaki green colour after a while???)

So my friends I’ll keep on Kondoing (I like that verb) and keeping you all updated on little tricks and hacks I’ve picked up along the way.

What do you like to hoard randomly?

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Are You Truly Listening? 6 Steps To Become A Great Listener

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” Stephen Covey

Hands up, who loves to give advice? Guillltttttttyyyyy! We all love to be the hero sometimes. OK, another quiz, hands up who loves to be right in an argument? Guilllllttttyyy as charged again. I mean come on, who doesn’t love to throw down an amazing point in an argument that silences your opponent? It’s human nature to fluff our feathers in conflict. It’s also in our nature to take on the role of savior and sage adviser. But did you know that being the agony aunt or the victor actually makes you a less successful communicator? I came across this quote a couple of years ago and it was one of those things that has stuck with me ever since. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. It’s a simple concept isn’t it, listening to someone? We all do it throughout our every day life and many of us give ourselves the title of “great listener” without giving much thought to what is actually means to listen. When I talk about listening I don’t mean merely switching your lugholes on. I mean REALLY listening and not just say “yeah” while you’re painting your nails on the phone or sitting there waiting for a gap in the conversation to offer some groundbreaking advice that will also award you with the title of “wise one”. So few of us genuinely practice active listening yet we believe whole heatedly that we are “great listeners”. It seems to me that we all have our two cents that we want to add to a conversation and part of being human is a desire, no matter how small, to help and if we’re really honest a small part of us that wants to be right. How many times have you had an argument with someone and sat there poised to respond? Mouth slightly open waiting for your chance to butt in. How many times have you thought that you know just what to say to your friend who is in crisis? You’ve got the perfect anecdote of a time you experienced a similar problem and want to tell them how you overcame your challenge and how they can too. Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to give advice. Sometimes our experiences that we share with others help them exponentially and sometimes people genuinely want to hear what to do. However, sometimes people just want to spill their guts and not hear what you would do in their position. Because it’s just that, it’s not you in their position, it’s them.

This concept of actually listening opened my eyes (or should I say ears) to a new way of understanding people and managing conflict. When we’re in a heated debate or argument we naturally think one, two or three steps ahead, eager to get our point across. We aren’t actually listening to the person offering an alternative point of view and therefore our arguments never go anywhere apart from shouting territory as we’re only listening to our own internal monologue. I often tell my students that they need to turn off their own minds and fully listen to the person they are having trouble with. It is only when we stop and truly, honestly listen that we gain a new perspective.

Sympathy V.S Empathy

Many people think that two two words mean the same thing when in actual fact they’re very different. To sympathize with someone means to feel sorry for their situation and feel sad for their sorrow. This is a very superficial response to someone’s problems. Of course you will feel bad when your friend is in a bad place but pitying them doesn’t equal understanding them. Instead of sympathizing we want to aim to EMPATHIZE. When we empathize with someone we truly listen to their perspective and understand their struggle from their point of view. We put ourselves in their shoes.

How can you become a great listener?

  1. Give the speaker your full attention

    This means putting your phone down or sitting in a quiet place if you’re talking on the phone. If you’re face to face, turn your body towards the speaker and look them in the eye. Show that you’re giving them your full attention.

  2. Clear your mind of your own thoughts

    Yes, I know you have a to do list that is huge and your own problems but try and put that to one side and just listen to the speaker. Give them space in your mind and let their words sink in. Don’t think what you would do in the situation or how you would react. Remember this isn’t you, it’s them.

  3. Don’t interrupt

    This is simple etiquette when you’re having a conversation but I still cannot believe how many people jump in before you’re done talking with their own quip. This is classic listening to respond rather than listening to understand. We’re all guilty of this type of listening, especially in an argument. You need to take pause and think about what the person said and how to respond. See my 5 second rule to stop the interrupting habit.

  4. Repeat what they said

    You know when you meet someone and it’s recommended that you repeat their name so you remember it? Well this falls along the same line as that (full disclosure I am awful at names so any tips please leave them below). If you repeat what the other person has said to you then you can fully take it on board and internalize it as if it was your own thought. It also lets the other person know that you’ve listened to what they’ve said as you are able to repeat it back.

  5. Count to 5 before you respond

    This is something I picked up to help me not snap back at people when things get heated. It is also a power play if you’re trying to get more information out of a person as people like to fill silences (but this is not what we’re aiming for here). I sit and count to 5 in my head. This gives the other person’s words time to wash over me and helps stop an automated response. You’ll be amazed at how you see things more clearly when you give yourself time to digest the other person’s thoughts.

  6. Just listen and don’t give advice

    Unless you are asked directly for help, just listen to the other person and tell them that you understand how they feel. Offer support but not advice. There is nothing worse than unsolicited advice (am I right mums?) but support is always welcomed.

These tips for listening can be applied in many contexts from debates, to lending an ear to a friend to conflict. So next time that you’re in a position to listen to someone, try truly and actively listening. Put your own ego aside and actually take on board what they’re saying and I guarantee you’ll be amazed by the results. The world would be a better place if we listened more and talked less. Wow, all this yoga I’ve been doing is really rubbing off on me. I’ll be scrubbing floors at an Ashram and taking a vow of silence before you know it.

So, are you an active listener?

Love,

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Top Questions About Tidying Clothing The KonMari Way Answered

Hey guys!

I’m pleased to announce that I’m three weeks deep into the KonMari method and so far so good. Full disclosure: I did cheat a little and only did it on the top two floors of the house. Now, before you let out a collective gasp and Marie starts turning in her twinset let me say that my basement is a whole other level of tidying that I cannot handle right now. As I’m on maternity leave all my teacher crap necessities are piled in the laundry room (hey, they’re in Rubbermaid containers!) and I can’t tackle that mountain until next year once I’m back in the classroom and my resources can find a new (hopefully permanent) home. Also there are loads of baby things down there that we’re not sure what to do with. The basement has also become the place where any discarded furniture and scatter cushions that I changed my mind about go to die. It is like an Aladdin’s cave of relics of decor past down there. So we agreed that one weekend in the spring we’ll hire a big bin and go to town. Phew now I’ve got that confession of my chest I’m ready to talk to you all about the first phase of tidying: Clothing.

how to tidy clothing marie kondo

How I Began Tidying My Clothes The KonMari Way

Before you start with the method you really do have to get your head in the game. You need to be fully prepared to tidy and have some notion of what brings you joy. This part I found easy to wrap my head around as I don’t attach sentimental value to clothes. I generally see them for what they are; bits of fabric that I bought to serve a purpose at one time or another. The only non-negotiables are my wedding dress and my girls’ going home outfits. Other than that everything is fair game.

Visualize What You Want To Achieve At The End Of The Process.

Before I started this journey I was feeling about low about myself and a little lost with my clothing identity. I have gone through a few years of just buying things for function and not for “joy” as such. I’ve bought cheap things that go tatty and don’t make me feel particularly good. No more. My goal is to only buy things that make me feel fabulous and to take the time to invest. My visualization was of a wardrobe that was calming to look at. Not cluttered with random clothes but a wardrobe that was complimentary, streamlined and classic. I pictured myself in these clothes and I felt good. I pictured myself going into my closet to pick out my clothes and I felt really good. I was now ready to work towards making that visualization a reality. This might sound absolutely nuts but have a think about how you want your closet to look or even how you want yourself to look. The power of thought is quite profound.

marie kondo how to fold

Some Questions I Have Been Asked

Do You Really Have To Pile All Your Clothes

Honestly I was not looking forward to this as it was a huge mess that I did not want to deal with. However, by making a frighteningly huge mountain of clothes I was actually forced to finish my tidying up as I couldn’t just leave it on the bed and I was confronted with a visual of how much I had bought over the past few years. When your clothes are in the drawer or hanging up it doesn’t look as much as when you put it all together. I was absolutely gobsmacked with how much I had accumulated and a little taken back with how much I must have spent.

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Do you really have to hold each piece?

In short, yes. I am not into thanking inanimate objects at all but I really feel that physically holding each piece is an important part of the method. Why you ask? Because in holding each piece you are forced to look at it and truly consider where it fits in your life and whether it sparks joy. In the past when I have been cleaning out my closet I just flipped through the hangers and donated the pieces that immediately made me cringe. When I actually dumped everything out and looked at each piece I could truly recognize what made me happy. I was actually pretty shocked at how much stuff I hated. That might seem like a strong word but I actually hate a lot of my clothes. They don’t represent me and I am not sure why on earth I felt the need to purchase those items. I put it down to my early 30s clothing crisis that I’m trying to work through. Oh and the fact that I am addicted to cheap clothes. I know, I know but I can’t walk away from a bargain.

How do you decide what goes?

By holding each item and truly deciding whether or not it has a place in your new vision for yourself. I had 3 piles on the go: donate/trash, keep and maybe. In the end I donated the maybe pile as I thought that if I didn’t care enough to keep those items in the first place then they probably didn’t truly bring me joy. See, I’m growing into a woman Marie would be proud of.

marie kondo folding

Did I find it difficult?

Now that it is all done and dusted I can’t say that I found the process all that tricky. I was in the right frame of mind to discard any clothes that I no longer need and I truly wanted an organized life. I do find the folding a bit tedious but I worked so hard I want to keep it up.

How I’m keeping it up

Like I said above, when you spend the better part of a week tidying clothes you naturally feel like you want to maintain it. I am also a little addicted to seeing everything so neat and organized so that is spurring me on. I feel so much calmer knowing that everything is in order. Also, putting away my clothes and getting ready in the morning is a lot more simple now a mountain of fabric isn’t falling on my head at any given opportunity. It really does become a way of life and so far, so good.

marie kondo fold

What I learned

You Need To Embrace the art of letting go

I ended up getting rid of 8 bags of clothing between myself and my husband (I think 6 were mine). I realized that I was holding onto items that I hadn’t worn in years because I was holding onto that version of me. Honestly it is not a version of me that I’m happy with. By throwing them away I’ve let go of that person and now I’m ready to fill my closet and my life with only items that spark joy. I promise you that the emotional weight that is lifted from letting go of all that clothing is AMAZING.

I Really Hate Folding

Ah folding. In all honesty I have not completely mastered the KonMari folding method and seeing as I have really deep drawers sometimes organizing in her way isn’t practical. However I tried my best. There are lots of great resources on Pinterest to teach you how to fold and it does take a lot of practice. I have found it really time consuming when I’m folding the laundry. However, I will say that with all the effort I put into folding I am much less inclined to throw my clothes carelessly into the drawer. You sly old fox Marie Kondo, that’s your plan isn’t it. If you are a folding officiando please get in contact with me to show me your ways.

perfect konmari fold

marie kondo perfect shirt fold

Overall, once you get started, tidying up the KonMari way is actually very maintainable and leads to an enormous sense of well being (anyone else singing Parklife now?). I really recommend getting started right now and discovering how awesome it is to live a tidy life. If my teenage self could see me now. I suppose things that bring you joy change as you get older. Whereas once a trip to a sticky floored nightclub brought me happiness now I enjoy folding and organization. Ah life.

the best shoe storage

plastic shoe storage box
I got these amazing clear shoe boxes from Amazon and they are PERFECT for stacking my shoes and keeping me organized. You can get them here and they’re on prime!

Happy purging friends! I’m moving onto Komono next, pray for me.

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