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Step 1 of My Tidyness Project: CLOTHES

Here’s what Marie Kondo says about tidying your clothes:

1. Start with your clothes and gain momentum. Clothes are much easier to sort than mementos. You will gain momentum and confidence, as well as hone in on your decision making ability before moving on to more challenging areas.

2. In this order: Tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, clothes for specific events, and shoes.

3.Gather all your clothes onto the floor and touch each individual pieces. Check your laundry, other closets, and your car. If you miss any item of clothing, it automatically goes into the discard pile. Cut throat, right!? She reasons that if you have already forgotten about it than it must not bring you too much joy.

Rule of thumb: While going through your clothes, items you can’t part with (old t shirts for example) shouldn’t automatically be delegated as loungewear.

“Precisely because no one is there to see you, it makes far more sense to reinforce a positive self image by wearing clothes you love.”

Great advice. Self confidence comes from inside when no one is watching.

I got started on this one right away! Many times in the past I have gone through my closet and discarded quite a few items, but not at this level. It was so exhilarating.

Standing Closet Before

Closet #1 before I discarded.


Since I am all about being true to myself and my mission of self-discovery, I must admit that I didn’t pile everything on the floor in front of me. Nor did I start with off-season clothes. Nor did I follow her order. I did gather all my clothes from every corner of the house. I started in one of my three closets, pulled every item out and put them on the bed and sorted them into either a discard or keep pile. Then I re-hung all the items back up. Then I moved on to the next closet and then my drawers. So I hit every clothing storage area, just not in the order she suggested. Sorry Marie Kondo.

Tall Closet After

After: breathing room for the items that bring me joy.

After I finished my tall closet (my other 2 closets belong in a hobbit home) I was feeling good and ready to conquer the other two closets.

Short Closet Before

Closet #2 Before

Short Closet 3 Before

Closet #2 and #3 Before


This is when I started to utilize the floor. I was so confident tossing items into the discard pile. I think I had always wanted to get rid of them but somehow felt responsible for them. Somewhere along the line I paid money for these clothes so discarding them felt like throwing money away. Those items that I received as gifts were even harder to push aside. Marie Kondo says they have already served the purpose of being a gift and the act of receiving that gift had given you joy. It’s ok to pass them along. The giver wouldn’t want you to be burdened by holding onto something that doesn’t bring you joy. Most items I effortlessly tossed away. I began to feel confident, empowered, lighter and even happy!


That’s a lot of clothes to be carrying around on your back. Since I was feeling confident and tossing clothes left and right I felt that I could deviate from Marie Kondo’s order a bit. After I was done with the hanging clothes in the closets, I moved onto my drawers, starting with the top drawer and visiting every drawer on the way down.


Closet #2 After the purge!

Once I had finished my drawers, I moved onto shoes and everything else left in my closets: accessories, scarves, bags, swimsuits, belts, hats. Wow, I had a lot of stuff!

When you’re done discarding it’s time to put it all away. Marie Kondo has a few pointers:

1. Either fold or hang your clothes.

2. Fold items into rectangles and stand them upright so you are able to see every item of clothing.

3. “Arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right.”

3. Lay socks folded and roll tights.

Everything that was hung before, I re-hung and then arranged my closet so that my clothes were able to rise to the right. Imagine drawing an arrow from left to right. On the left is your dark, long and heavy clothes and on the right your lighter and shorter clothes. I’m not sure if they are supposed to be color coded or not, but mine ended that way. Within each color section I had all my cardigans and long tunics/tanks and heavier sweatshirts and moving to the right I would put the lighter materials and shorter blouses. Voila. Closets are done.

Folding my clothes was more of a hassle because of the time it takes. But in Marie Kondo’s defense this gives you an opportunity to touch each piece, pouring energy into each item. So I folded all my socks into little rectangles, rolled my tights, and moved through the rest of my drawers quite quickly.  After I had folded every item into a rectangle, I was able to stand them on edge and see each shirt. I was surprised to see I hadn’t used up my entire drawer!

Folded Socks

Folded Drawer


I felt liberated after finishing with my clothes. I surprised myself with my ability to pick and choose with such confidence. Once I started rolling, I didn’t want to stop until I looked over at the giant pile of clothes I had to physically discard. As I looked at that pile, all I could see was money. Layers and layers of cash that was about to be stuffed into garbage bags to be hauled off to a new destination. Ugh.

I decided to look through it and sell what I thought might go quickly on Ebay. That ended up being 3 items. Not a huge dent but a start. I went through again and gathered all my “trendy” items in an attempt to sell them at Plato’s Closet. That ended in a deduction of 20 items and my wallet gaining $60. Progress!

I posted an ad on our local chapter of “Buy Nothing”, a community Facebook page where you can get and give for free. Turns out a lot of ladies were interested and someone picked up the bags the next afternoon. The recipient took what she wanted and passed it on, even adding from her own closet. The bag quickly became the “sisterhood of the traveling bag”. I felt amazing! I had done it. All of my extra clothes were gone. Liberated, confident, excited.

The first time I chose an outfit post-declutter, it took me very little time because I loved everything in my closet. By choosing to keep only the things that bring me joy, I was left with items that all worked together or if you will, my style! It is actually fun to get dressed, now.

Now that I have completed the first phase of decluttering, I am ready and motivated to move onto the next phase: books.


See Part 1 of my Tidyness Project.


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My Experience With The Sleep Easy Solution

The 4th trimester has officially ended at the G house. During G3s four month check-up, we voiced concern about her sleeping habits. When she was tired, we would make sure she had a clean diaper, a full belly, and then bounce her to sleep using a yoga ball. Every single nap and every single night. She loved it! Falling asleep wasn’t the problem. She would sleep for maybe 40 minutes and wake up screaming or wake up ready to be done napping. We accepted her as the 40 minute napper.

Scarlet wearing Bandana Bib

At night, I would nurse her down and stay in bed with her until she fell asleep when I would sneak away to spend some time with G1. This was getting hard. She has the nose of a hound and could tell when I left. We knew we had to make a change.


Our doctor recommended that we read a book titled “The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Sleep from Birth to Age 5“. I had already read (most of) “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” and was enlightened with the science and reasoning behind the importance of sleep, but I was looking for more of a tutorial. I needed someone to tell me how to get my girl to sleep, not why she needed to sleep.

We wanted to eliminate these habits: 1. Co-sleeping 2. Nursing down (feeding her until she’s asleep) 3. Bouncing her to sleep

And hoped to replace them with these habits: 1. The ability to sleep in her crib 2. The ability to fall asleep on her own 3. The ability to stay asleep longer than 40 minutes 4. The ability to fall back asleep after she had woken up.

We dug into “The Sleepeasy Solution” on a Tuesday  night. We followed the guidelines of the book (prepared her environment, enforced a routine, and grabbed a few beers to make it through the crying). That night, before I layed her down to sleep, I gave her a really emotional hug and kissed her goodnight. I layed her down and walked out of the room and quickly fell into G1’s arms crying. The baby wasn’t even crying yet, but I was emotional as I would no longer have her under my wing all night long. I was emotional because our 4th trimester had drawn to a close and G3 was beginning to gain independence. (I know I’m sooo dramatic.)

So the first night began with tears and a few beers but this is what it looked like:

6:40 Bedtime

6:51 First Check (fell asleep after and slept for 45 minutes)

7:59 Second Check

8:09 Third Check

8:26 Fourth Check

8:50 Fifth Check (We waited 20 minutes because we noticed her crying was worse after we checked in. Since then we always wait 10  minutes before fist check)

9:00 Asleep

In total, the babe cried for 1 hour and 45 minutes on the first night. It was hard. Every piece of me wanted to run in and soothe her. Thankfully, G1 and I were able to hold strong and we are so happy we did. The rest of the night was beautiful. I would go in for her scheduled feedings (every 3 hours), pick her up and put her down without any crying. We were in disbelief! Was this really working? We tried not to get too excited on the first night.

sleeping Scarlet

The book recommends beginning sleep training at night and then swinging right into your naps the next day. Based on our experience with the check ups the night before, we decided to always wait 10 minutes for the first check up.  Here’s what our naps looked like the next day.

Wednesday Day

8:10 #1 Nap (asleep by 8:20)

9:00 Awake (left in her room for one hour to encourage her to take one hour naps)

9:15 Up

10:32 #2 Nap (fell asleep at 10:43 and slept until 11:10)

11:15 Check #1

11:25 Check #2 (cried off and on with longer intervals)

11:43 Check #3 (fell asleep at 12:52)

12:45 Awake/Up

1:30 #3 Nap

2:30 Awake/Up

4:05 #4 Nap (no crying so we didn’t check on her. She fell asleep at 4:25)

4:53 Check #1

5:06 Awake/Up

Wednesday Night

7:00 Bedtime

7:05 Check #1 (asleep at 7:15 – 7:38 )

8:00 Asleep (she had a lot of crying between 7:38 and 8:00. The cries were all spaced out far enough we knew she didn’t need checked on as it only made the crying worse)

9:15 Awake (began crying from 9:30-9:40)

9:40 Asleep (began scheduled feedings at 10)
There was no crying the rest of the night.


Thursday Morning

7:15 Wake/Feed


9:30 Awake and Up (I noticed that she woke up and didn’t cry. She was just happy as a clam in her crib)

10:30 #2 Nap*During this nap, she kept waking and crying. I believe she was frustrated and was trying to get back to sleep. If I was to go in during this crying, her eyes would be closed. This is also when I learned about sleep cries (read #5) which happens while the baby is asleep, are often very piercing, and can last up to 10 minutes. I know when I heard these, that she wasn’t ready to get up because when she was ready to get up, she didn’t cry at all.

12:25 Awake and Up

2:03 #3 Nap (no crying to report here)

2:45 Awake (and happy as opposed to nap #2)

3:00 Up (I left her in there an hour for her to try and learn to nap for at least an hour)

4:22 #4 Nap

5:15 Up

I considered this a successful day! I couldn’t believe she was already able to sleep in her crib by herself as well as fall asleep by herself with only two nights of sleep training. Nap #2 was the hardest as I had to let her work through her frustration and learn to fall asleep on her own. That night we had a very successful night looking like this:

Thursday Night

6:45 Crib (We are slowly moving her bedtime later night by night )

Yup, that’s it. I went in for our scheduled feedings but we didn’t have to do any checks on her.

So if you took the time to read this and look over our schedules you’ll see that we had great success with this book and could report progress in as little as two nights.

1.Sleep in her crib? CHECK

2. Fall asleep on her own? CHECK

3. Stay asleep longer than 40 minutes? (We are definitely counting 45 minute naps as victories!) CHECK

4. Fall back asleep after she had woken up? CHECK

Now that we are a week into it, I am happy to report her night sleeping is amazing! Our babe is learning to self soothe herself and fall asleep on her own without any seep associations.  Her naps are improving. She has taken a few one and 1/2 hour naps but still struggles with frustrated crying. The book warns that naps are harder than nights as it takes the babe a while to calm down from being in an alert state. So we will continue with the Sleepeasy Solution.

We went from having a baby that would cry and wake the second you put her down to having a baby who falls asleep and stays asleep on her own in a matter of a week.


Keeping it cool since 2014


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My Tidyness Project {The Konmarie Method}

Tidying up

“Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order. “

Why am I embarking on a tidyness project?  Marie Kondo recommends that I have a goal in mind. I can’t just tidy to tidy (HA- been doing that forever!). I need to tidy with a purpose. For me, I am choosing to tidy so that I might find what my true personal style is. Last October I became a mother and just last month, I decided to stay home full time. Leaving a great job as a visual merchandiser left me without  my creative outlet. When I chose to stay home, I knew I was going to pursue interior styling. I immediately  thought about my portfolio and what I can offer to people who might want to use my services, and it wasn’t that defined. By tidying I hope to define my own style so that I might be able to share my interior style with other likeminded folks and help them create the home they desire.

Now that I have visualized a destination or a goal, I can start. Let’s go over her key principles:

1. Discard First, Store Later

She means business here. Here is the order in which she recommends you approach your home: 1. Clothes 2. Books 3. Papers 4. Miscellany (komono) 5. Sentimental Value. For instance, during one time frame you would gather all of your clothes and put them all on the floor in front of you. This means gathering all of your clothes from the spare closet, and the coat closet, and the laundry, and anywhere else you might store your clothes, so you can grasp your overall volume of items. If we leave out the prom dresses you’re storing in the guest room, it’s out of site and out of mind. It will be most effective to do all of one category at one time. The sudden change can lead to a change of heart!


Take every piece of clothing you have into your hands and find out if it sparks joy. Does this piece of clothing bring you happiness? Yes? Keep it. No? Pass it on.

If things are out of date and no longer functioning (thing broken radios or old make-up), toss them.

2. Tidy A Little A Day And You’ll Be Tidying Forever

That is a threat, people! I don’t want to tidy on this level more than once. I am hoping to have a home full of the things that I love and truly represent me so I am going to do it all at once, not multiple times. She says “Aim for Perfection”.

*Disclaimer: Remember how I mentioned I have a small child born in October, making her 4 months old? Yup, I’ll be stretching this over a few days. We have to be flexible here people!

3. Organized Clutter Is Still Clutter

We all love Ikea and their storage solutions, but that doesn’t mean we should be storing things that we don’t need and that don’t bring us joy. Sometimes these storage solutions are a beautiful way to conceal clutter. I don’t want that. I do, however, plan on utilizing her storage solutions. She recommends never piling things but, instead, store items vertically. Learn to fold and don’t pass your unwanted items onto family just because you can’t quite justify keeping it nor tossing it. Especially parents! Why would you want your parents to carry your burden. Looks like I need to get my wedding dress out from underneath my husband’s bed at my In-Laws.

Here’s my plan.

Day 1. Clothes

Day 2. Books

Day 3. Papers

Day 4. Miscellany

Day 5. Sentimental Value

*Again, these days may  or may not be consecutive.

I plan to focus on what I want to keep and not think of if as choosing what to get rid of. By keeping the items that spark joy and make me happy I will be able to “reset my life and embark on a new lifestyle”. Or in my case, after discarding everything that has been cluttering my life, I am going to to discover and pinpoint my personal style.





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Re-Arranging and Re-freshing an Apartment {Dylan and Kim}

Two of my favorite people in the world bought a house and it’s the cutest house on the block! In March, G1 and I traveled to San Diego to visit our old friends, Kim and Dylan, and their new house. Since moving in, they have been making  a lot of changes but since they knew I was coming, they left a few projects for me. Talk about good friends!

Let’s take a tour. If it’s not apparent to you, then NO, these are not Iphone photos… and if it is apparent, I’m guilty.

A view from the living room looking back at the entrance. Neither Kim or Dylan were smitten with the plastic vertical blinds that came with the house, so they had ordered new shades that had just been delivered and were waiting to be installed.



This is an odd nook in the dining area. To the left is the table and to the right is the living room. This space is difficult to work with as furniture didn’t quite make sense; who needs a table next to the dining room table? So we had some brainstorming to do.

Now you are looking at the kitchen bar window. I don’t think it was intended for bar-stool seating, but more of a means for opening the kitchen into the living room. To the left of this picture is the front door, behind the window is the kitchen, and left of the kitchen is the office area.

This lonely lamp is in the corner next to the chair in the above picture.
BeforeGalleryWallYou can see the front door in the left of this photo. Kim and Dylan turned this room which used to be the dining room into an informal office/entryway. Behind the shelf in the corner is a drop through mail box. They were clever and placed the shelf there so the mail would have a landing spot.


BeforeOfficerWe got busy and changed out all the vertical blinds for horizontal wicker blinds. The blinds were an essential improvement! They transformed the room from immediately, making it feeling cozy and comfortable.


AfterLivingRoomRemember the odd nook next to the window in the dining area?



Kim and I decided to hang her beautiful hand-made wedding quilt. For their wedding, they asked every guest to send a square of fabric with their RSVP and each piece was quilted into this beautiful heirloom. They used the quilt at their wedding during the ceremony.

We took a standard curtain rod and hung it on the wall and draped the quilt over it turning the quilt into a piece of art. It softened the dining room up and added color to the white wall.




I spy my square: two rows down and 7 squares from the left.



Remember the lonely lamp?



We decided to dress up it’s equally lonely wall with a gallery arrangement.

All of the items featured on the wall were shopped from their home. This was a great project as all of her pieces were cohesive and she had a variety of items to chose from, including photos, canvases, coordinates to their wedding location (!), and the bow-tie their adorable pup Gus wore at their wedding. Swoon.



We shifted the chair that was previously under the kitchen window into the corner, creating a cozy nook.




The office/entryway used to look like this:



We organized and decorated until we had a welcoming corner. The 4-square white wall unit is actually a shoe cabinet from Ikea. These are great if you don’t have a closet as they hide the shoes and can be used as an entry table.



Ideally the shoes live in the cabinet. That is unless you are having a wild weekend with your friends from Seattle.


The bench against the other wall was also a piece from their wedding. They placed it at their reception and asked everyone to sign it – what a great idea! Everyone needs somewhere to sit down and put their shoes on, especially if you ask Mindy Kalling, AKA Kelly from The Office:

“There’s a certain meticulousness that I notice with all guys when they put their shoes on. First of all, they sit down. I mean, they need to sit down to do it. Right there, it signals, ‘I’m going to be here for awhile. Let’s get settled in.’ I can put on a pair of hiking boots that have not even been laced yet while talking on my cell phone, without even leaning on a wall.”

Dylan can appreciate the bench placement.

Since we removed their shelf from the corner where it was collecting mail and made room for the bench, we placed a small basket beside the bench to catch the mail. In addition to that, we hung a two-tier metal basket on the wall to further sort the mail.



Welcome Home!


Acting as an entry table, the shoe cabinet hosts a phew photos and dried flowers.Kim found the mirror at a garage sale and it quickly found a home above the cabinet where both Kim and Dylan can quickly check themselves before they leave the house. Next to the mirror, Kim hung a twig that her and Dylan repurposed as a key-holder.


Thanks for letting me play in your home!


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After a trip to Goodwill I ended up with an old frame with a wood backing to it. I really had no idea what to do with it so I gathered a few different blue paints I had from past projects and began painting. It quickly began to look like water and I thought that was OK. It remained that way for many months. Recently I decided I needed a rather large piece to use in the bathroom so I pulled it out (thinking it was calming) and hung it up. It was all wrong and so bland! It was very obvious it needed to have a mermaid swimming in it. DUH!

Mermaid Tail


I used a white chalk marker and drew directly onto the painted surface. It took a few layers.  I then began to draw a pattern in the middle with a pencil. After I was satisfied with my pattern, I used blue chalk markers to trace over the pencil lines.


I used 2 different shades of blue, a gold marker,  and weighted the lines. 20140210-185606.jpg

The finished result:


I love it in our bathroom – just the splash we needed.


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Combing Jars

I wanted to share a quick update of how we store our dog food. How exciting!


Our dog is fed twice a day, so we were looking for a convenient location for his food. We quickly discovered that we didn’t have room for the bag of kibble (Taste of the Wild) and the box of dehydrated dog food (from The Honest Kitchen) on the counter and I definitely dislike reaching my hand to the bottom of the bag of food . So, we decided to put the food in jars and place it in an easily accessible location: the counter.


I’m not entirely sure why I did this in the first place, as I do not like counter clutter, but it was incredibly easy to feed the dog this way. After realizing I would rather have a clean counter, I made room for the jars on the built-in shelf in our kitchen, conveniently under the rest of the jars! We had already placed a jar of treats there and figured adding two additional food jars made sense.



I gathered two more similar jars and filled one with dry kibble and the other with dehydrated dog food and placed them in their new home next to the treats.20140205-182806.jpg

There you have it, a quick clean up of counter clutter and an all-in-one dog feeding station. 20140205-182833.jpg

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Textured Window Film Treatment

Our back door in the kitchen has been giving me a hard time. I fell in love with the sectioned window panes and then the night fell and I felt exposed. After months of living with the abuse, I decided to cover it up with lace, hoping to cherish the sunlight that did make it through. And I did a rush job and ended up with this:20140203-174646.jpg

And when I decided that I wanted it to actually look nice, I decided to start over. I stripped the door of its lace blanket and this is what I saw:


The back yard. Having a view is nice, but like I mentioned before, I need to feel safe!

So I headed to Home Depot and picked up some Artscape Textured Window Film. The  application process was very easy. All I needed was water and clean windows. The package came with a squeegee. I ended up using two of the smaller sizes (24×36) and finished in an evening, even after driving back to the Home Depot to pick up a second roll of film.

The end results:

20140203-174731.jpgI feel safe and better yet, proud that I didn’t leave my shotty curtains up!

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