Closet Makeover

Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has created quite the buzz after her new show hit Netflix in January. I purchased and read the book about a year ago at a friend’s recommendation. While I don’t fully agree with everything Kondo says (more on that later), I do think some of her methods have value and was inspired after reading her book to downsize my collection of clothes.


Like many people I know living in North Carolina, I had the “off season box” of clothes stored under my bed...and then another box of clothes I wore less often in the office closet. Point being, I had a lot of clothes, many of which I never or rarely wore anymore. So my clothes and I had a big heart-to-heart to determine what was actually serving me, and what it was time to say goodbye to. I was then left with only items that would fit in my drawers and my side of the closet.

For this project, I also reevaluated what I needed to store in my closet, and what was the best method for storing them. Most of my items were dress clothes, sweatshirts, and jackets. With several items, like cotton maxi dresses, leggings, and sweatshirts being better stored folded, I invested in a hanging shelving unit for those items. This made for less awkward storage. It’s kind of annoying to hang a pullover sweatshirt! My jackets and dress pants I put on multi-tiered hangers- that is hangers designer to hang multiple items at once. This is great for items I wear a little less often. I also utilize hangers that can hang on each other for thinner items, such as sun dresses.


If you’ve read my past blogs, you probably already know how much I love fabric storage bins! I keep three of these on my closet shelf: one for undergarments, one for socks and stockings, and one for scarves. I have a few command hooks higher up in my closet to hang my hats (I don’t wear hats very often). Since I also don’t switch handbags often, I hang my less used bags on command hooks behind my clothes, storing smaller bags inside of larger ones to maximize the space.


For shoes, I have a hanging shoe sorter for smaller shoes, while I keep some of the larger ones, such as wedges and boots, on the floor of my closet. For easy access, keep more often used shoes in the front or at eye level.


I hope these tips help someone! If you want more help downsizing and reorganizing your closet, drop me a line!


Peace and love,

Jessie

The Lenten Journey

This past Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the Christian calendar. Growing up, I was taught that Lent was a time for self sacrifice as we contemplate what it meant for Christ to give everything for us on that cross. Many people see this as an opportunity for self improvement-cut out the sugar and few pounds along with it.


While there is nothing wrong with this (God does call us to take care of our bodies, His temple), I would like to challenge you to a new approach I have recently taken to Lent. How about for 40 days, concentrate on something that will bring you closer in your walk with Christ. This can be adding something to your day, such as a devotion time, or prayer journaling. It can also be the traditional act of surrendering something to God, such as giving up swearing or gossiping.


I was recently visiting with someone as they were sorting through a storage box, tossing most of the items in the trash or the donate pile. The woman proclaimed to me that she was giving up clutter for Lent. I later reflected on this, alongside my husband’s Ash Wednesday message, which posed the reminder that all we have returns to ash and dust. What a great reminder during this season to reflect on what really matters! What are you clinging to that distracts you from God? Maybe it’s emotional, like a grudge you have held for too long. Or maybe the physical junk in your life is keeping you bogged down trying to tame it that you don’t have time to focus on your spiritual walk.


I would like to encourage you this Lenten season to take stock of what you have, and what you really need. If you need help, or just someone to walk you through the decluttering, please reach out!


Peace and Love,

Jessie

Washed Clean

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

I love Easter. In this holiday, we celebrate God’s great love for us. Though we were lost and separated from our Heavenly Father by our sinful nature, God loved us so much that He sent His only son to earth to die on a cross so that we may be reunited with Him for eternity. Now, I am not a parent, but I am a big sister. I cannot imagine the pain that must have caused the Father to watch His son innocently suffer. But that is how much He loves us! God loves us- loves you- so much that He is unwilling to let us sit in the mess we have created in our own lives.

God never intended for us to stay stuck in the mess of sin. That’s why Jesus was sent to earth. Neither were we intended to stay stuck in the mess of our homes. Messes happen, but we don’t have to live with them. There is freedom in the cleansing. As Paul wrote “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!” When we let Jesus wash us clean, we get a fresh start. In the same way, when we declutter and organize our homes, we are giving ourselves and our family a fresh start for a new season. The best part is, in both the cleansing of your heart and your home, you never have to make the journey alone. Happy Easter! Christ is risen and we are washed clean!

And Two Shall Become One: Creating One Home After Marriage

When my now-husband and I were preparing to get married and move in together, we were hit with a pretty startling reality: we had a ridiculous amount of stuff. I had just moved back from living in Brooklyn for two year and was suddenly faced with the task of moving my belongings, including what I had left in my family's house, into our future home. I thought this would be no big deal, since I had been living in a single bedroom in New York. I forgot to allow for everything I had left behind, as well as all the stuff my husband owned! After all, we were going to have three bedrooms! Wrong.

 

As I gradually carried things over to his house, and we started putting clothes away, it was apparent we would need to do some major purging. We got to work and soon there was a mountain of clothing in the unfurnished bedroom to haul off to donate. Much of the clothes had not been worn in years! We were astonished.

 

We have quickly learned in a year and a half of marriage that there are a few keys to creating a home where both partners can feel like they belong: reducing the clutter, finding things you both love, and compromising.

 

  1. Reduce the Clutter: When you move in with your spouse, you now have double the belongings. Odds are, you have multiples of the same kitchen gadgets, your own towels and linens, maybe even your own furniture. Do you really need two coffee makers? And that's before all the wedding gifts your registered for (and some you didn't) come in! It can be completely overwhelming to look at. It is important to assess which items you actually need and will use. As much as I love Pyrex dishes, I did not need 10!

  2. Find Things You Both Love: It is crucial for both partners to take ownership in their home. Talk to each other about what “home” feels like and looks like to each if you. What colors do you imagine? Are you more rustic, antique, or modern? It is also important to have your personal space in the home, somewhere you might share, but you might get a little more say in the decorating and upkeep of this area. For my husband, his space is the music room. For me, it is the dining room.  The space doesn't not have to be a space where you have a hobby or work. It just needs to be somewhere you enjoy spending time.

  3. Compromise: There will be times you have to pick your battles and agree to disagree. One of you will have a favorite knick-knack you cannot persuade the other to part with. In our house this is the life-sized ceramic Persian cat. My husband loves it (despite his dislike of cats) because it reminds him of a relative. I personally find it creepy and dislike that it clashes with everything in our house. We finally came to a compromise: he could keep it, provided it stays in the office, out of sight.

Marriage can be a big transition, especially when it comes to moving in with someone and sharing your life together. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. If you are feeling overwhelmed with combing belongings and with the influx of wedding gifts, contact me! I would love to help. I have been there.

 

Peace and Love,

Jessie