Nature’s Gate Aloe Vera Body Wash Review

Happy Monday! Today I have a review for the Nature’s Gate Body Wash in the Aloe Vera scent. I purchased this product from the online store Vitacost, which I love for finding a wide variety of vegan products. I had never tried any products from Nature’s Gate before, but I liked that I got a big, 18oz bottle of body wash for around $5.00. Let me share with you more about this product, and my experience using it.

The Nature’s Gate Body Wash comes in a large pump bottle. In addition to being vegan, the product is also made with wholistic beauty in mind. I decided to purchase the Aloe Vera scent, as I figured it wouldn’t be a heavy fragrance. I really like that Nature’s Gate does not add any synthetic fragrances to its products. I also hoped that the Aloe Vera variety would be on the moisturizing side, since the plant is naturally hydrating.

Overall, this is a nice body wash. I use about 2-3 pumps on a loofa and it produces a lot of lather. The scent of this product reminds me of the Flintstones vitamins I used to take as a child! While that is a bit odd, it definitely does not bother me. The scent also does not linger on the skin once you get out of the shower.

My biggest surprise with this body wash is that it is quite drying. I expected it to be more hydrating than other body washes I’ve tried since it is made with aloe vera, but my skin is quite dried out when I get out of the shower. I make sure to apply a body lotion after washing to combat the dryness. Thus, while I will use this whole bottle of body wash, I do not see myself repurchasing it. I love that it is affordable and convenient to use with the pump dispenser, but I will be trying something more hydrating in the future.

What is your favorite body wash? Let me know in the comments!

Save $10 on your first Vitacost purchase when you use my referral link HERE.

 

Vegan Recipes I’ve Tried and Loved | Fall Dinner Ideas

Happy Food Friday! Today I am excited to continue on with my series where I share with you vegan recipes I’ve tried and loved. It can be really time consuming to search for the perfect recipe online. In fact, I comb through dozens of recipes before I find one that I hope will work for me! Today I’m saving you some time and sharing four fall dinner recipes I highly recommend. Each of these recipes is simple to make, but absolutely delicious. I still consider myself to be a beginner cook, so if I find these recipes manageable, there is a very good change you will, too. Let me share these vegan recipes that are perfect for fall with you!

Easy, Healthy Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe [LINK]

I haven’t always been a big fan on lentils, but I definitely want to find new ways to enjoy them since they are an amazing source of plant-based protein and other vitamins and minerals. I began with this super easy soup from The Spruce. If you are new to making soup, this is a great place to start. There are less than ten ingredients, and the recipe is easy to customize as well. I found this lentil soup to be very tasty!

 

Curried Potato & Lentil Soup (1-Pot!) Recipe [LINK]

I then kicked my lentil game up a notch by trying this amazing soup from Minimalist Baker. This curry-flavored soup is still quite simple to make, but it is so flavorful and packed with amazing fall foods. I left out the ginger and coconut sugar, and used sweet potatoes and green kale. I cannot stress how delicious this soup is! I highly recommend trying this if you are looking for a unique soup that is a bit on the spicier side.

Easy Chickpea Curry Recipe [LINK]

Another curry dish that I’m loving lately is from the website Say Yes. My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me, and it is an easy dinner to whip together in a short amount of time. As per my sister-in-law’s suggestion, I add about one cup of coconut milk to the curry recipe. I did use dried ginger the first time I made this, but I’m going to skip that step in the future. I’m not a huge fan of ginger, and this dish can easily go without it and still be very flavorful. I served the curry over Indian style rice (my favorite is Kasmati from RiceSelect). I really love this dinner, and it also heats up really well for leftovers. Throw in some different veggies each night to keep it interesting!

Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce Recipe [LINK]

Last but not least is this amazing spaghetti squash dish from the blog Lean Green Nutrition Fiend. I love anything pumpkin based in the fall, and this was a fun new way to eat it! I would describe this dish as a plant-based macaroni and cheese. I, of course, made the recipe using Nutritional Yeast instead of cow’s cheese, and I left out the red pepper flakes. This isn’t a recipe I would make all the time since it has a very distinctive flavor, but I will definitely be making it again at some point. If you’re looking for a festive autumn dish, this is perfect!

That wraps up my four vegan dinner recommendations for the fall season. I hope you discovered a new yummy meal to make! I will have another blog post very soon featuring all of the sweet treats I’ve tried lately, so make sure to follow my blog to see when that goes live. As always, if you try one of these recipes, please tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so I can see your creation!

What is your favorite fall food? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover Review

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m excited to share a review of The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover with you. I purchased this product a few months ago when I was having a difficult time removing my mascara (see my full haul HERE). Since I’ve decided not to purchase makeup remover wipes for a while, a dedicated eye makeup remover was definitely needed. The Body Shop offers many vegan products, so it is one of my favorite places to buy skincare products at an affordable price. Let me share a bit more about this product with you, and let you know my experience with it.

The Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover is formulated to remove all traces of makeup quickly and gently. This product is fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin, which I really love. To use, shake the product thoroughly and apply to a cotton round. I use this regularly for removing eye makeup, but haven’t tested it much for removing lip products. Thus, my experience is based on eye makeup only.

Overall, I think this is a good eye makeup remover. I really appreciate that it is gentle and fragrance free. However, I do find that it doesn’t take off all of my mascara. Whenever I use this product, I can still see traces of mascara on my lashes. I do try to get it all off by gently massaging the cotton round on my lashes, but I avoid rubbing the eye area too vigorously. Nonetheless, I’m able to get off the majority of mascara with this product, and I also sweep the cotton round through my eyebrows quickly to dissolve my brow gel.

In the end, I do recommend The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover if you have sensitive skin. It does a good job at removing the majority of my eye makeup, but it does not remove all traces of mascara. I would consider repurchasing this in the future, but I hope to try at least one other eye makeup remover to see how it compares. This product retails for $18.00 at The Body Shop, but make sure to shop during one of the store’s many coupon events for big savings. You can also buy this product at Ulta HERE for $15.00.

What is your favorite eye makeup remover? Let me know in the comments!

This post includes an Ulta affiliate link. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel Review

Happy Monday! Today I have a review of the Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel. The brand sent me this product to try, and I was so excited to receive it! I love the idea of a product that lets you shave without using any water. Not only does it make shaving more convenient, but it is better for the environment as well. Let me tell you more about the Showerless Shave Gel, and share my experience using this product with all of you.

The Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel is a shave gel and moisturizer in one. To use, simply spread the gel over the area you would live to shave, and shave as usual. Once you are done shaving, smooth the excess gel into the skin as you would any other lotion. I love that the shave gel is vegan, and it is great that the packaging is designed with travel in mind. The full size is 3.4 oz, and is thus TSA approved for your 3-1-1 bag! Busy Beauty also states that this product is safe for sensitive skin.

The Showerless Shave Gel is a clear gel that applies easily. I love that I cannot detect any added fragrance in this product. As for the shaving experience, the razor glided smoothly over the gel, and I didn’t have any issues with bumps, nicks, or burn. I was also pleasantly surprised with how nicely the gel dries down as a moisturizer – it isn’t at all sticky!

I am, however, extremely disappointed that water is needed even when shaving with this Showerless Shave Gel. As you can see on the product’s packaging, “No Water Needed,” is a big claim made by Busy Beauty. Unfortunately, my razor got clogged with shave gel and hair quite quickly, and in order to get it out I needed to rinse it in water. Depending on how much you are shaving, you will need to rinse your razor a few times during the shaving process. Thus, while no water is needed for the shaving, it is needed in the overall process.

Overall, I am happy with the Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel even though I am disappointed that some water is needed. I think this is the ideal product for touch-ups, or those moments when you really want to shave, but don’t have time to shower. I still shave in the shower on a regular basis, but will definitely use this product on occasion, especially when traveling. You can learn more about Busy Beauty on the brand’s website HERE. The Showerless Shave Gel retails for $14.99, but is on sale for $11.24 on Amazon HERE as I write this post.

I want to hear from you in the comments – do you shave in the shower or outside of it?!

Let me know what you think of this Showerless Shave Gel!

The product in this post was provided for my unbiased review. This post includes an Amazon affiliate link. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative Review | Strawberry

Happy Food Friday! Today I have a review of a vegan yogurt from the brand So Delicious. I will be honest with you – I have never liked eating yogurt, but I wanted to give the vegan variety a try to see if it tastes different. I had a coupon for So Delicious, and I decided to grab the Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative in the flavor Strawberry to try. Let me share my thoughts on this product with all of you!

The So Delicious yogurt is coconut milk based. I was quite surprised to find that this container has less than one gram of protein, but 15 grams of sugar. That’s quite disappointing! I know many people enjoy eating traditional yogurt for breakfast because it is high in protein, but this one does not pack the same about of nutrients at all. I am glad to see that the yogurt does have 20% each of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

I picked up the strawberry flavor of yogurt. As soon as I opened the package I smelled that distinctive yogurt smell. Keeping in mind that I did not eat much yogurt as a non-vegan, I find this So Delicious Yogurt Alternative to taste exactly like traditional yogurt. The strawberry flavor is nice, and the consistency is the same as non-vegan yogurt. Unfortunately, that means I personally do not like this product, but I am glad that vegans who do love yogurt will not have to miss out on a favorite food!

Overall, I’m quite impressed that the So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative tastes just like traditional yogurt. I do wish it contained much more protein and a bit less sugar, but if you are a yogurt lover who wants to go vegan, this is a great option for you! You can learn more about this product on the So Delicious website HERE. I’m glad I tried out this product even though I ended up not liking it much. It’s always fun seeing how a vegan alternative compares to the traditional option!

Have you tried a vegan yogurt? Let me know in the comments!

 

My KonMari Journey | Decluttering Paperwork

Happy Wednesday! My KonMari journey continues today with a chat about my experience decluttering paperwork. After dealing with my book collection (see that post HERE), I was ready to tackle some items with which I did not have an emotional connection. While I do own a lot of papers that I consider sentimental, such as letters, cards, and photos, I am saving all of those paper memorabilia items for the end of my KonMari journey when I go through the sentimental category. The paperwork I will be discussing today includes all of the boring stuff – bills and statements, manuals, newspaper and magazine clippings, schoolwork, etc. Let’s talk about decluttering paperwork and how this process went for me!

This blog post will not contain any photographs of my actual paperwork as I wanted to ensure any confidential information was kept private. I do apologize that I cannot share more of this decluttering process with you, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on decluttering papers.

Here’s what my file tote looks like!
Purchase this from Amazon by clicking on the photo (affiliate link).

When I placed all of my paperwork into one large pile through which to sort, I had two piles of old schoolwork, two piles of miscellaneous papers, and one plastic file bin half filled with old papers. I started with all of the papers that were not school related, and found it very easy to weed through them. Marie Kondo recommends keeping only those papers for which there is a clear purpose. She also says it is important to keep a pending box for all of those papers that require your attention, such as bills that need to be paid, recipes you want to try, and cards to bring to the post office. This pending box allows you to keep sorting through your paperwork without attempting to complete any tasks that may interrupt the process. However, it is important to set a date to go through your pending box and complete all of the needed paperwork so it doesn’t sit uncompleted forever.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to declutter my papers! I had tons of paperwork from when I first applied to college. That was ten years ago now! Why did I originally keep all of the informational brochures and various letters from each school? I separated all of the papers I was discarding into a pile that needed to be shredded and a pile to recycle. After going through all of the papers, I could fit all of them into about one-third of the plastic file tote! This leaves me plenty of space for future tax years, and I might even get a storage box that is half the size once my tidying campaign is over.

When it came to my schoolwork, I did break Marie Kondo’s rules a little bit. She recommends getting rid of all your old coursework, but I decided to keep some of it because I only graduated from law school a couple years ago and am still in the early stages of my career. That being said, I did pay careful attention to what I was keeping and what I could easily recycle. This process took a long time, but in the end my two piles were reduced to one. I even ended up with a spare storage crate!

All in all, tidying papers was much easier than I expected. It took me a total of three hours and forty-three minutes to declutter my paperwork, but the time went by quickly and it was very easy to feel what sparked joy. I recognize that my starting pile of papers was probably smaller than the average person’s, but that is because I only have my papers to deal with and I’m still quite young. Nonetheless, I think tidying your papers will be much easier than you think if you follow the KonMari method! As always, feel free to divide the paperwork category into smaller categories that work for you so you do not get overwhelmed.

How do you store paperwork? Let me know in the comments!

Dollar Tree DIY | Easy Halloween Wreath

Happy Friday! Halloween is just around the corner, and today I am excited to share with you a fabulous and affordable DIY project that will help you celebrate the holiday in style. I recently stopped by my local Dollar Tree store and found everything I needed to put together a cute Halloween wreath. This DIY is easy and quick, but the finished product looks stunning. Plus, since all the supplies you need are at the Dollar Tree, this wreath only costs $6.00 to complete. Let me share with you how to create this spooktacular wreath!

I am not sponsored by or affiliated with Dollar Tree. I simply love shopping at the store and want to share this DIY with you!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Floral Garden Metal Wreath Ring (14″ inch wreath form)
  • 4 Rolls Crafter’s Square Decorative Mesh (20 yards of mesh total)
  • Decorative Spiders
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks (not pictured)

I found the wreath form in the floral aisle of Dollar Tree, and the decorative mesh in the front of the store with the Halloween items. The mesh comes in black, orange, and purple. I went with two rolls of black and two rolls of orange. I decided to purchase a pack of purple spiders to add to my wreath, but you can grab any decoration of your choice. I went with purple so the spiders would stand out against the black and orange wreath. The one supply I did not purchase at Dollar Tree is a hot glue gun that I used to attach the spiders to the wreath. If you do not have a hot glue gun at home, you can purchase super glue from Dollar Tree to complete the project.

Now it’s time to begin the wreath! I followed THIS YouTube tutorial created by Paige Nicole. She demonstrates how to weave the decorative mesh through the wreath form to create the wreath. This process is very simple, but it does take some time. Set aside 20-30 minutes to complete the wreath. The decorative mesh can be a bit tricky to work with since it sticks to itself, but be patient and take your time during this weaving process. You can always unravel the wreath and start over if you make a mistake! As a guide, I made 5-6 loops in each section of the wreath form to achieve the fullness I liked.

The second and final step is attaching your decorative items to the wreath. I used a hot glue gun to glue my spiders onto the mesh. I planned out where I wanted the spiders to go, and simply glued them onto the wreath. I recommend getting lightweight decorations so they do not weigh down the mesh. As mentioned above, you can also purchase super glue at Dollar Tree if you don’t have a hot glue gun. Once the glue is dry, your wreath is complete! The wreath hangs very easily as well – simply place the top rung of the metal wreath form over a hook.

I am amazed at how easy this Halloween wreath is to make, yet it looks so expensive! In fact, similar wreaths sell on Etsy for $30.00-$50.00, and ours only cost $6.00 to make! This is a great gift to give during the Halloween season, and you can adapt this tutorial for any holiday by using different colored mesh and decorations. I’m so excited to hang this on the front door once October hits!

If you make this wreath, please tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook so I can see it!

Want more Dollar Tree DIY projects? Let me know in the comments!

 

My KonMari Journey | Things Get Tough When Decluttering Books

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m excited to share with you the next step in my KonMari tidying journey. If you missed the first two installments in this blog series, make sure to read them HERE and HERE to learn more about why I’m decluttering my life using the KonMari method. I’m following Marie Kondo’s advice very carefully, and she recommends tackling your books after tidying your clothing and clothing komono. I have to admit I was nervous to begin decluttering my books, and wasn’t sure how this process would go for someone like me who is a huge reader. Spoiler alert: decluttering my books was very tough for me to do!

I began the tidying process by putting all of my books in one huge pile on my bed. To be fair, this pile only included the books currently on my bookshelves. I also have some books in storage from my childhood that I decluttered earlier this year, and that were not a part of my KonMari tidying campaign. Nonetheless, my pile was quite large and didn’t even fit in the photograph you see here. I’ve been a reader my entire life, and books are very important to me. They are treasured items, but I was also ready to declutter my collection. After using the KonMari method to declutter my clothing and accessories, I thought I had a good idea of what sparked joy. Well, I struggled big time with my books!

Marie Kondo recommends only keeping books that truly spark joy and that you know you will read again. I definitely agree with this, and when I read a book I only keep it if I plan on rereading it. However, she also says to get rid of any and all books you have not read. While I think this is a good idea for people who are not readers, it simply does not work for me. I am reading constantly, and I love having a section of unread books on my shelves from which to choose. Thus, I knew I would be keeping unread books, but it was challenging to decide which of those sparked joy since I haven’t yet read them.

In fact, tidying my books was emotionally draining, and I often lost sight of what that joy felt like. To help me find the joy again, I would hold a favorite book, or even go to my closet and look at the clothing I kept that sparks joy. I ended up taking a lot of breaks during this process, and felt quite overwhelmed at points. I was upset with myself that I wasn’t getting rid of a lot of books!

In the end, I reminded myself that the KonMari method is about quality and not quantity. In Spark Joy Marie often stresses that if your items are truly sparking joy, it is okay to keep them all. She also mentions in the chapter on books that you can always revisit your book collection in the future and declutter more. The photo above contains all of the books I ended up decluttering. The top row includes the books I hope to sell on eBay, and the bottom row includes the books I will be selling on Decluttr and Amazon, as well as the books I’m donating. This may be a small portion compared to the books I’m keeping, but I made progress and am happy with the work I put into this tidying project.

All in all, decluttering my books using the KonMari method was difficult, but I’m glad I powered through and allowed myself to get rid of some books in my collection that no longer sparked joy. This process took me a total of three hours and thirteen minutes, but it felt like much longer since I took breaks throughout the day. If you are not a big reader, you will most likely fly through the book portion of your tidying campaign. If you are more like me and treasure your book collection, make sure to take your time and try not to get frustrated. Struggling with my books just helped me to realize how emotionally attached I am to some material possessions, and I knew the rest of my tidying campaign would be easier after this.

Do you have a large book collection you love? Let me know in the comments!

My KonMari Journey | Clothing Accessories + Komono Declutter

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m continuing to share my journey implementing the KonMari method with all of you. If you want to learn more about what the method is and why I decided to declutter my home in this way, please read the first blog post in this series HERE. I decided to follow Marie Kondo’s advice as closely as I can, so after decluttering my clothing, I moved right on to the clothing accessories, or what she calls clothing komono. This includes bags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, hats, and so on. Today I will be showing you some photos from this step in my tidying campaign, and sharing the experience I had with each category.

The clothing komono category may be tackled all at once, or in smaller sections. I decided to break down all of my clothing accessories so it would be easier to see how much I had in each category. I used a spare sheet as a drop cloth over my bed again (and you will see this in every blog post!). I find that helps to make sure no dirt or dust ends up on my bed, as that is the best surface in my bedroom on which to work.

 

BAGS

I began decluttering my bags first. This included all of my handbags, backpacks and duffle bags, travel pouches, and tote bags. I used to own a lot of handbags, but I only have a couple right now, so that was easy to narrow down right away. I ended up donating a ton of reusable tote bags, mainly the ones that weren’t very strong or were for brands I didn’t love. I also donated a lot of makeup bags and other pouches. I didn’t love most of the pouches I owned, so it wasn’t difficult to let go of them. While I use pouches a lot, I still only need a few. As for storing my bags, I put the ones dedicated to travel inside my luggage set, and then I stored the rest in a giant canvas tote that lives in my closet.

SCARVES, HATS, + GLOVES

Next up I tackled all of my scarves, hats, and gloves. I used to own a ton of scarves, but was fine with that in the past because I wore them regularly. You can even see what my giant scarf collection looked like a few years ago in THIS blog post! I now wear one scarf regularly, and it is rare I use another one. When using the KonMari method, I found that I was able to declutter many scarves I crocheted myself in the past. While I appreciate the memories associated with each item, they no longer spark joy because they were made with colors I don’t like any longer, or because they have been worn so much they were quite ratty. I donated the ones in good condition. I also donated some hats I no longer like and a spare pair of earmuffs.

What’s really exciting is that my entire collection of scarves, hats, and gloves now fits in a small plastic tote I keep on a shelf in my closet. As shown in the photos above, I used the KonMari folding method for my scarves, and layered other items on top. This allowed me to donate the scarf hanger I’ve used for years and freed up a bunch of space in my closet!

JEWELRY + HAIR ACCESSORIES

I recently did a big clear-out of my jewelry and hair accessories, so I didn’t think I’d have much to get rid of in these categories. I was wrong! I love that the KonMari method forces you to gather items from every area of the home at once. I knew I had some jewelry pieces in my nightstand, but I found a bunch more I totally forgot about in there, too! Same with hair accessories – I forgot I had a stash of headbands in a drawer. I rarely wear jewelry or hair accessories, so it was quite easy to declutter the items that no longer spark joy. In the photo above you can see all of the jewelry I’m donating. The pile I kept is much smaller, and mainly includes family heirlooms and other higher end pieces I’ve been given over the years. As for my hair accessories, I’ve only kept what I really need and a few pieces from my childhood that still spark joy, such as a Mickey Mouse bow.

SHOES

The last category in clothing komono is shoes. Despite thinking I had already narrowed down my shoe collection, I found six pairs that no longer sparked joy for me, including three that were so worn they needed to be thrown away. They might not look too bad in this photo, but in real life they were quite gross!

The shoes I’m keeping include my winter boots, a few pairs of heels, and some casual shoes that I wear regularly. The Converse and Sperry shoes you see in the front row are shoes that I want to declutter because they no longer spark joy, but that I need to keep for practicality’s sake. I no longer want to wear real leather, so once the Sperry shoes are worn out, I will get something new. However, I cannot afford to replace them at the moment. Similarly, I no longer enjoy wearing bright pink Converse, but they are the most comfortable shoes I own, so I am keeping them until I can afford to purchase another pair of comfortable sneakers. I’ve made a note of this in my planner to I can prepare for these purchases.

THOUGHTS ON CLOTHING KOMONO

This category can seem a bit overwhelming to tackle at first because there are so many sub-categories that fall within it. Thankfully, the entire process of tidying my clothing komono only took me one hour and 55 minutes. I know this is due, in part, to me already decluttering many of the items in these categories over the past two years. However, I also think this went quickly because I’m starting to really understand what sparks joy and what doesn’t. Storing these items was also quite easy, as I already had storage in mind. If your clothing komono categories contain many more items than mine, feel free to break up this process over multiple days. Perhaps you need an entire day for just handbags – that’s totally fine! Make the KonMari method work for your own personal needs. I know I look forward to continuing my tidying campaign using this method!

Do you find it easy or difficult to declutter clothing accessories? Let me know in the comments!

My KonMari Journey | Clothing Declutter + Reorganization

Happy Wednesday! Today I am excited to begin a new series here on my blog all about my journey implementing the KonMari method in my life. You may have heard of the famous book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I recently read its companion book, Spark Joy, in which Marie breaks down her KonMari method and explains step-by-step how to tidy your home. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and I knew I had to begin implementing her method right away. In today’s first post about my KonMari journey, I will quickly share about my decluttering history, and then my process trying the KonMari method for the first time with my clothing.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been simplifying my life for the past two-three years. I’ve spent a lot of time decluttering my belongings, and I’ve shared the process with you when it came to makeup and nail polish. I cannot tell you how many bags of clothing, household goods, books, and more I’ve donated over the past couple years, but I somehow still have more stuff than I need or want. I think this is mainly due to merging all of my college and law school things with everything that I left at my parents house when I moved to school. I will admit that I’ve been a pack rat all my life, finding a lot of meaning in what I deem to be sentimental items. After getting rid of so many belongings on my own, I was ready to read Spark Joy by Marie Kondo and adopt her tidying process. I knew it would give me that final push I needed for all of those items to which I have emotional attachment.

You can learn more about the KonMari method by reading one of her books, but, in essence, it focuses on only keeping items that bring you joy. I absolutely love this tidying method, as there is no room to rationalize about whether or not I need to keep an item. If it doesn’t bring me joy in some way, it needs to go. I’ve decided to follow the KonMari method as closely as I can to see if it can work for me. I know there are many opinions about this method ranging from extremely positive to extremely negative. I see a lot of value in the KonMari method, and am sharing this personal journey with you in hopes that it will inspire you to rethink how you declutter and organize your home as well.

Marie Kondo lays out a specific guide to decluttering, and it begins with clothing. The KonMari method requires you to gather each and every item in a category from everywhere in your home and place it in a giant pile. You then hold every item individually and decide whether or not it sparks joy. I know this might sound a bit ridiculous, but I soon got the hang of it! My first eye-opening experience was looking at my giant clothing pile. I put my clothes on my full size bed, using a spare sheet as a drop cloth. Woah! My pile was HUGE! I did not expect it to be so large, as I think I operate on quite a limited wardrobe. Of course, this pile includes all of my clothing, from socks and underwear, to jeans and tops, to jackets, and so on. Still, I did not anticipate having such a huge pile through which to sift!

Overall, I found the sorting process quite easy. Because I’ve been regularly donating clothes, what was left in my wardrobe were mainly items that sparked joy. I didn’t get rid of too much, but I was able to fill a kitchen sized garbage bag with clothing to donate, create a small pile of clothes I want to sell, and a decent size pile of things to put in the garbage. I like to sell name brand clothing that is in excellent condition on the website ThredUp. While I would ultimately like to donate all the rest, some of my clothing was quite old and damaged. For instance, the t-shirt sitting on the top of the pile is so worn with age there are several holes in the back, and the design is washed out almost completely. Needless to say, those items no longer brought me joy!

Here is a look at everything I kept. While I was, at first, a bit disappointed that I did not get rid of more, I had to remind myself that the quantity of the items does not matter so long as they all bring me joy. I did keep a pair of jeans from Target that I eventually want to replace, so I made a note of that in my planner. I highly recommend keeping a notebook handy so you can record when there is an item you want to repurchase or upgrade in the near future when you have the money.

My next step was to fold and store my clothing using the KonMari folding method. Marie recommends folding as many clothes as you can, and provides detailed instructions on how to achieve the desired result. I admit that it took me quite a while to fold all my clothes, and I often had to refold items before getting the hang of this new-to-me method. That being said, I am beyond thrilled with the result! Not only can I fit a lot more clothes into my drawers, but they are easy to see and access. The above photograph shows my top drawer filled with camisoles, everyday t-shirts, and sweaters. I’m so in love with the look of the drawers, and now that I’ve used this storage method for a little while, I’m happy to say they are also functional and easy to use.

Everything that cannot be easily folded, such as coats, dresses, professional clothing, and fluttery tops, hangs in the closet. Following Marie’s recommendation, I grouped items by category, faced them to the right, and went from long to short. This is completely different from how I used to organize my closet, but I’m really enjoying the result. I got used to this change in just a few days.

The entire process of tidying and storing my clothes took me four hours and ten minutes. I did this on a Sunday and did take breaks! While I was quite tired at the end of the day, I felt very accomplished. Not only did my drawers and closet look amazing, but I already felt more joyful. I definitely think the state of our surroundings impacts our mood, and after completing the first step in my KonMari tidying campaign, I felt awesome.

I hope you enjoyed this first blog post in my new series documenting my KonMari journey with all of you! I will be posting about my tidying campaign every Wednesday on this blog, so make sure to follow so you will see all of my updates! Next week will cover clothing accessories, such as bags, jewelry, scarves, etc. Please let me know in the comments how you liked this blog post, and if there is anything you want me to mention about the KonMari method in my next post.

Buy Spark Joy by Mari Kondo on Amazon HERE to learn more about the KonMari method.

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