Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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KonFessions

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After reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and learning more about the KonMari method, I have dedicated the next few months to decluttering like I’ve never decluttered before.  Dr. Oz and Marie Kondo are both right – you feel less stress when you have fewer items clogging up your life (and surroundings).

As you can see from the above tower of clothing – this weekend, in between outings, I continued to work on my clothes.  I’m no longer a smugly mcsmuglord like I was last year.  I’ve had to stop saying look how much I’ve gotten rid of you peons and take a really hard took at what I was hanging onto – which Kondo forces you to do.  I had t-shirts from university – granted that was only a couple of years ago, because I’m so young, ok maybe more than a couple of years, but I never wanted to get did of them because they represented some of the best times of my life.  As I read the book, I became aware that even if the sweatshirt and t-shirts go, I’ll still remember everything.  That was also true for some t-shirts that I got on trips when I first started travelling.  I never wore the shirts, even when I was younger I knew that they were Glamour Fashion Don’ts, but I held onto them like a dutiful pack rat.  I’m happy to say they are all gone, along with a whole bunch of other clothes that fit into 4 garbage bags for donation and 1 for actual trash.  For those of you that are curious, and no judgment if you are, here is a tally of my dearly departed clothes:

  • 5 coats
  • 1 scarf
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 4 purses
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 1 blouse
  • 1 dress
  • 1 shawl
  • 2 bodysuits
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 13 camis and tank tops
  • 9 pairs of socks
  • 26 sweaters
  • 22 tops
  • 21 t-shirts
  • 6 sweat shirts
  • 1 belly dancing belt

I didn’t talk to my clothes like Kondo suggests in her book, thanking them for their service.  I also played music which she doesn’t recommend.  I did enjoy the process and it’s nice being able to see my colour coded clothes (something that I’ve always done) – don’t laugh, it makes life easier.  I feel like my clothes can breathe, and that because they aren’t jammed together so tightly, maybe I won’t have pilling on my favourite sweaters.  A girl can dream right?  I probably didn’t get rid of enough to pare my wardrobe down to KonMari standards, but I’m very happy with what I kept and don’t miss a single item that I threw out or donated.

The next item on Kondo’s list, and I am going in order, is books.  I got rid of 29 books in total.  Konfession – I still had books from my PR days, a few other text books and a number of books that there was no hope that I’d ever read.  All text books are now disposed of – I realized that I thought, perhaps, that I may refer to them, and guess what?  They’ve never been opened – they sat on my shelf like sad orphans wishing that I’d sold them to another student.

BIG KONFESSION (spelling intended-it’s a play on KonMari)!  I finally realized that I wasn’t going to ever read “The English Patient”.  Bigger KONFESSION – I hated the movie.  I can admit it now, but way back when it came out, it was frowned upon to not rave about the snore-fest, I mean film.  So as a dutiful snob, I went out and bought the book thinking of how sophisticated I’d look reading the book as the weirdo next to me on the subway clips his nails (yes, it happens).  More books than I can write about are being donated to my condo’s library and Value Village.  I thank them for taking space up on my shelf, but now it’s time to set them free.  I feel very KonMari saying that.  See below for what is affectionately known as “the pile”.

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Until next time, happy decluttering!


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A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

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Yes, those are roaring Lion King slippers…

This week was a little busy so I didn’t have a lot of time to plan or put some thought into this entry, so you are going to get a little of everything…starting with more decluttering!  Today’s clean sweep included:

Items for Donation

  • 2 camisoles
  • 1 pair of roaring Lion King slippers – fabulous, yes, but never worn
  • 1 cape
  • 1 top
  • 1 pair of glow in the dark Disney boxer shorts (never worn with the tag to prove it)
  • 1 pair of pjs
  • TOTAL OF 7 ITEMS

Items Tossed

  • 53 orphan socks.  I finally realized, that they are never going to be found and it was time to give up the dream of reuniting them with their lonely mates and stop the clutter that this huge pile of singles was creating
  • 7 pairs of socks – even though they were happily paired off, they were old and ugly and it was time to put them (and me) out of their misery
  • 1 pair of slippers – remember Isotoner slippers?  Well, neither do most people – it was time to say good bye
  • 2 camisoles – as loved as they were, they were faded and pilling which means saying adios!
  • 1 pair of pjs
  • 2 bras and 7 pairs of fine washables – enough said
  • TOTAL OF 73 ITEMS!
  • GRAND TOTAL – 80 ITEMS

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That’s a lot of lonely socks!

I reached my goal of going through all of the clothes in my bedroom by the end of September.  Now comes the fun part – going though all of the other knick knacks, jewellery, papers, music, memories and who knows what else that is cluttering my apartment and my life.  That’s what’s going to take the remainder of the year.  Thanks Dr. Oz, for this project – it’s time consuming, but rewarding at the same time.  If it’s something that you have been putting off, I highly recommend it – it really has helped with stress.  It’s a mindless task, so in it’s own way, it’s meditative and it makes me feel, every week, like I’ve reached some self-imposed, yet attainable goal.

This week, my niece also celebrated her birthday.  It was so nice to get to celebrate with her on the actual day.  Watching her become an opinionated, ethical and hilarious adult has been one of my greatest joys.  She is really something else.  I’ve gushed about her before (the blog about her graduation), but I can’t say enough about her.  She’s talented (a great writer), has great beauty tips, is my IT support, my own private stand up comic – no one makes me laugh more and a great person to have around when I need a life check.  Telling me to stop humiliating myself over my fear and disgust of fruit flies is just one of her nuggets of wisdom.  Happy Birthday to you Jess, you are fabulous and I’m very proud to be your aunt.  I would have written an entire post about you, but I didn’t want you to think I was a total marshmallow.

Decluttering and time with family are two very healthy things that are Oz approved that you can do for yourself to make your life better and healthier.  I’ve had a little of both this week and I’m very grateful for that!


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Never Can Say Goodbye – Except to These Things

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Bye Bye shoes and other assorted goodies…

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved friend or family member, but letting go of things is surprisingly easy for me.  I’ve kept a promise to myself to get rid of clothing every weekend with the goal of being finished by the end of this month and I’m almost there.

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Time to toss these items…

Here is my tally from the last two weeks:

Donating

  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 bathing suit cover up
  • 1 skort (not a typo – a fabulous combination of the best of both worlds for skirt loving short wearers)
  • 3 tops
  • 3 coats
  • 1 scarf
  • 6 purses (not a typo either)
  • TOTAL = 18 items!!!

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Part 1 of the donation pile – I should have donated the Tigger purse a long time ago. I’ll miss it, of course, but maybe it’s time to make a toddler happy.

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I hope that these coats help keep someone warm this fall!

Tossing

  • 1 top
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 2 sports bras (I know – TMI)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 baseball hat
  • 1 watch box
  • 1 egg cup
  • 1 camera case
  • 1 dreidel
  • TOTAL – 10 items
  • GRAND TOTAL – 28 more items out of my place

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Time to toss…

You may have noticed some knick knacks creeping their way in…as I come across these items, I take a look and see if they make the cut.  Some of the items including the baseball cap are associated with fond memories.  I’ll always have the memory, but I no longer need tangible proof of it.  I never look at these items, so why keep them?  Yes, the Easter dinner that I was invited to many years ago was a lovely memory, but an egg cup isn’t needed to remind me of it.  Dr. Oz and his colleagues are right – decluttering your physical space is emotionally healthy.  There are, for sure, sentimental items that I will keep, but that’s because they are associated with a particular person or milestone, not just a distant memory.

If you have coats, particularly winter coats, now is a great time to donate them.  Many people can’t afford cold weather protection and would greatly appreciate your cast offs.  This brings me back to my usual moment of gratitude.  Today, I am grateful that I have the means to buy a winter coat when many other can’t afford one.

I’m back to being…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Some House Keeping – Literally ; Accepting the New And Ice Bucket Challenges

The death of a laptop is never an easy thing to digest.  Like grief, there are 7 steps:

  • Denial – how can it completely die?  If I press the button ten times in a row, surely it will come on…
  • Pain and guilt – Wow, this is going to hurt my wallet – what a pain.  I feel such guilt over the clothes that I bought after just investing in a laptop.
  • Anger and bargaining – Stupid laptop – why did you have to die on me?  I’ll never leave you uncharged again if you come back to life.
  • Depression, reflection and loneliness – I’m so sad I had to pay for a new lap top.  It’s so expensive.  Reflecting on it made me realize that my iPad just isn’t enough.  I feel so lonely for my old computer – knowing how to copy and paste was so nice!
  • The upward turn – but wait – this isn’t so bad – the MacBook Pro has so many great features, and it’s really user friendly and I feel cooler saying that I use a Mac instead of an HP.  Really, how many people do you hear saying “I’m an HP girl…I love my HP…”
  • Reconstruction and working through – wait – oh that’s where my pictures went…the data transfer wasn’t a big fail.  
  • Acceptance and hope – I accept that this lap top is a step up – and so pretty!  I hope that it lasts for at least 5 years1

So – I’m loving the transition and learning a new operating system.  Plus, the meditation that I’ve been doing on Dr. Oz’s advice has helped me accept the inevitability of computer death.  I’m so happy that I only have 3 meditations left and my 21 day experience is over.  Meditation is wrought with pressure for me as much as I love Doprah.  I’ll do the next one when it comes up, but I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of turning my brain off and I’m ok with that.

The next order of business is a report on my decluttering.  Here is the tally from last weekend:

Garbage:

  • 1 set of sheets (is that one item or two?)
  • 1 pair of shoes – beyond repair
  • TOTAL – 2 ITEMS

Donate:

  • 4 pairs of shoes
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 blouse
  • 1 robe
  • 1 dress
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 1 top
  • 4 sweaters
  • 1 faux fur shrug
  • TOTAL 17 ITEMS
  • GRAND TOTAL – 19 items

I still have half of a closet and 7 drawers to go through before I finish my clothing.  Two more weeks and hopefully, I can continue on with other decluttering.

Last, but not least, inspired by Dr. Oz’s fearlessness and the value of a worthy cause, I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Check out the link below.  Before you naysayers say how ridiculous the whole challenge is, please remember that ALS was not on the tip of everyone’s tongue before this social media phenomena.  It gives the spotlight to a really terrible disease that is badly in need of some help.  If it takes dumping a bucket of water on my head to help, I’m game.  Remember, cancer, heart disease and diabetes affect millions more people, but you can survive and live a long life if you, heaven forbid, are diagnosed with one of these diseases.  ALS is another story and I’m happy that this viral campaign made it top of mind for a moment in time.  

Today, like many people, I’m deeply saddened by the death of Joan Rivers.  I grew up watching her and was a fan of “The Fashion Police”.  She had chutzpah – having the guts to say what many of us thought.  I really thought she was going to live forever.  I’m grateful, today, for the laughs that she gave me over the years.  

Gratefully and a bit mistily yours,

Jill


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Revisiting My Cupboard – Part 2

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Another week, another cupboard to clean out.  Today, in between getting ready to go out and coming home, I’ve prepared another donation bag in my quest to declutter my life and transform my health.  If Dr. Oz is wrong about the health benefits of paring down my goods (sounds so retail when I say that)…I’ll be one upset blogger.  I do think he is on to something though.  I think that it’s good for me to do this project for a variety of reasons:

  • It’s therapeutic to do something repetitive and mindless.  
  • It’s giving me a chance to see what I really need to buy for the fall.  I think I got into a rut of buying “basics”.  You can always use an extra black cardigan – right?  Wrong…I have 6 – but that’s not counting the multitude of colours and styles of cardigans that I have.  I have some nice things and more basics than I really need.  It’s time to find a few things that I really love in limited quantities of course
  • The emotional part (or what should be emotional) is that it’s forcing me to get rid of things that I’ve been hanging on to.  The fact is that I’m not going to miss any of these items and once they leave my house, I’ll never think of them again.  I guess that makes me fickle or cold?
  • One person’s trash is somebody else’s treasure.  I purge annually, so this isn’t a new thing for me.  What is new, is how ruthless I am being.  Every item is being considered and things that used to mindlessly make the cut, are now on their way to somebody else’s closet.  I was at a party this weekend, and I bumped into someone that I was thrilled to see.  What made me even happier, was to see her wearing one of my old tops.  I loved that top, but she loved it more, so 6 years ago, I gave it to her along with a few other items.  Usually, I give my clothes to charity, but she asked, to go through my bag, and it’s nice to see something that I used to like wearing make somebody else so happy.

So what’s the tally this week?  Here you go voyeurs:

Garbage

1 sweater (very pill-y)

1 pair of jeans

2 items in total

Donate

1 blouse

1 purse

10 sweaters

12 items in total

Total for the week – 14 items + 1 smelly lipstick that should have made the cut three weeks ago. It STINKS and it was brown.  I was wearing a brown outfit so thought I’d go all matchy-matchy.  It looked like I had dirt on my lips – not a good look for anyone.  It’s now exactly where it belongs – in the trash.  My overall clothing total for the past two weeks is 43 items out of the closet and I still have more to go.  Really, life can’t get any better than this!

Today, I am eternally grateful that I had the ability to let go of a smelly lipstick and the wisdom to know that walking around looking like you just ate a mud-pie is never a good look for anyone.  I’m also grateful that I’ll have the chance to share more wisdom that I learned from the Kardashian’s with you this week so stay tuned!

 


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Trash or Treasure – The Decluttering Continues

I don’t know about you, but following Dr. Oz’s advice can be a make work project.  Yesterday, I wasn’t meeting my friend until 8:30, so that gave me an entire day, and no excuse, to not spend a few hours decluttering.  Again, my goal is to have everything that I own or operate decluttered by December 31st – no ifs, ands or buts.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t finish early and my competitive nature makes me want to finish early. This weekend’s project was to complete 2 sets of clothing cupboards in my pursuit of decluttering my life to transform my health.  I have to admit, it was therapeutic, idle hands being the devil’s playthings and all : )  Truthfully, though, I actually enjoyed going through my things.  One of the rules that the experts on Dr. Oz said that you should get rid of anything that you haven’t used in a year.  I have a different philosophy when it comes to clothes though.  It’s more the “Oh seriously, I love that top – I should really wear it more often.”  I forgot some of what I own, found some old favourites and made a vow to shop my closet more.  That didn’t mean that everything got a pass though.  Au (and oh) contraire!   I did take some advice, and created a keep, toss and donate pile for my clothes.  The cupboards held my workout clothes and all of my summer tops.  It took about 3 hours, but they were emptied, sorted, tossed, packed up (for donation) or folded and arranged by type and colour back in the cupboard (the Type A in me likes my things a certain way).

Here is a tally of what was tossed:

-2 hoodies

-4 tops

-2 exercise pants

-1 pair of dress pants

-1 skirt

-1 pair of track pants

Total – 11 pieces of clothing

The proof is in the picture (not pudding, I don’t eat in my room – it grosses me out).

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 Now for the donation pile – I’m giving away:

-3 casual shirts

-12 tops

-2 sweaters

-and a partridge in a pear tree (just a little joke to see if you were paying attention)

Total – 17 pieces of clothing

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Altogether, 28 pieces of clothing are leaving my closets forever.  Number of items that I’ll truly miss – 1 – a top that I loved with a giant hole in it,  I won’t be tempted to wear it, because there is no need to look like moths have invaded my home.   I’ll keep you posted on my progress every week.  Meanwhile, tomorrow, it’s back to reporting on the sheep that I’m supposed to be counting.  

Just a little note on gratitude.  Today, I’m grateful that I had a productive weekend.  Boring, I know, but there was some fun mixed in.  Sometimes, working on an achievable goal is worth  being grateful for.  I’d love to hear what some of your goals are for the rest of 2014 – just let me know and for that, I’ll be… 

Gratefully yours,

Jill