Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

April 26, 2015 Book Review 1

Becoming Clutter-Free While Creating a Capsule WardrobeThe Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Published by Ten Speed Press
On October 14th, 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 207
Format: Hardcover
Source: purchased
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Since purchasing The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’ve been digesting bite-sized pieces in preparation for a giant overhaul.  Part of my hesitancy in diving into the KonMari concept was that we were moving and renovating our little cabin in the woods.  We are still renovating, so I’ve been mindful of everything I’ve put into the cabin.  My sweetheart; however, has not bought completely into the Kondo method – he’s pretty much the king of pack rats!

Recently, my oldest, Erica, turned me onto the capsule wardrobe, which goes hand-in-hand with the Kondo method.  If you’re thinking {like I did} that a capsule wardrobe is similar to a time capsule you’d only be marginally correct.  Caroline at developed a whole blog around her capsule wardrobe and included handy dandy worksheets for those of us new to the concept.

If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo’s method of clearing out and cleaning up and if you’re in the market for changing your life, then you need to pick up this tiny book that packs a powerful punch!

From Japan, Marie Kondo’s claim to fame is helping individuals organize their homes, clear out clutter and ultimately become more productive.

I’ve culled, de-cluttered and donated virtually my whole life it seems, and still, I have allowed the clutter to build up time and time again.  Thinking back to when my kids were much younger and all at home, we would go through cycles of de-cluttering and donating their toys and my books and having just about a day of a blissfully clean and clutter-free home.

In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Kondo has developed a specific method to organization and de-clutter that has worked so well for herself and her clients that she can boast to NO client ever falling off the proverbial wagon.  Wow! That is what I call an incredible success.

In her book, Kondo goes into a bit of history of how she came up with her clutter-free method.  It’s interesting to read how alike yet also how different the Japanese culture is from American.  One of the similarities is how we all find ourselves bogged down with clutter and “stuff”  I daresay this has become a universal problem the world over.

With all that said, in my circular Southern manner I promise I’m getting to the point!

My daughters and I have challenged each other to develop our own capsule wardrobes and create a bit of breathing room into our lives.

Using the worksheet and the following questions from Kondo’s book, I have started creating my Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe! I’m saying Spring/Summer because if you’re  at all familiar with Georgia you’ll recall that come about May the temperature is hot and by July it is suffocatingly hot and muggy and stays that way through October.  So rather than creating a 3-month wardrobe, it made more sense for mine to cover about 6 months or May – October.

In the chapter ‘Tidying by Category Works Like Magic’ we learn to begin with our clothes in the KonMari method; starting with shirts.  Laying out all of our shirts on the floor and then picking each one up individually and asking the question “does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

How does this actually translate into the idea of a capsule wardrobe?

I’ve planned out 46 items that I need in my closet.  Now, once I’ve selected those 46 items out of my current clothes and purchased any items that I’m missing, then I’m on a clothes-spending freeze for the next 6 months.  I won’t need to shop for clothes because I will have a good number of outfits already planned out.  It’s a bit of work on the outset, but I really think having these outfits figured out will save me time in the long run and be so incredibly liberating.

Below is the list of items I decided I would need for the next 6 months.  I’m going ‘shopping’ in my closet this week and packing up what I want to go through for my Fall/Winter wardrobe and donating the rest.  This way, I will only have 46 items on display in my closet.  I also plan to take some photos of outfits I’ve got on hand and tape to the inside of my closet; thus the effortless/easy part of my wardrobe!

My Go To Pieces:

  • 1 boot leg jean
  • 3 capris {jean, khaki, white}
  • 3 shorts {jean, khaki, white}
  • 2 sundresses
  • 2 shift dresses
  • 10 shoes
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 2 cover ups
  • 10 shirts
  • 2 lightweight jackets {jean & ?}
  • 2 purses {red small one + tote}
  • 3 workout pants/shorts
  • 4 workout tops

46 total pieces!

I’ve always been a shirt and jeans and, even more recently, a yoga pants and tank top kind-of-gal, but in this year of living deliberately and adjusting to being an empty nester + young grandmother + I can’t raid my daughters’ closets anymore, it’s probably time I get deliberate in an effortless, comfortable style that is ‘me’ instead of always wearing the latest thrift store find. {whew! what a long run-on sentence! forgive my lack of grammar!}  Also, according to Marie Kondo “If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.”

This time next weekend I’ll have some images for you.  If you’d like to follow my process of cleaning, clearing, and organizing follow me on Instagram or Facebook.  I’d love to know if you’ve ever considered a capsule wardrobe or if you’ve got one currently {my daughters and I can use all the tips we can get!}.

and if you haven’t picked up Marie Kondo’s book, it’s an education in Japanese culture, organization and a darn good resource to have on hand if you’re tidying up your home, closets or life.


It’s Monday, 4/20, What Are YOU Reading?; Family Reunions; and Social Media Blackouts

April 20, 2015 Book Talk 6

What a whirlwind weekend with absolutely NO reading, blogging, social media, emailing, etc.  What did I do instead?  My children, mom, baby brother & his family all went to visit my little brother in Kentucky to celebrate birthdays and hang out at Keeneland.  Eight hours of sitting in the back seat entertaining my grandson was a treat {and a bit exhausting}.  We were only missing less than a handful of family at this small reunion/celebration – my sweetheart; second daughter; oldest nephew; and oldest step-grandson. Yup, less than a handful!  We even had my sister-in-law’s ex-husband in on the celebration – it was wonderful to see how well my brother & his wife get along with my nieces’ father, especially as this same brother and his ex do not get along.  Isn’t it weird and ironic how times change and how even our words and sentence structures change with an evolving culture? Any other families out there that have step-nieces and nephews and ex’s-in-laws and such?

the little monkey

Anxiously awaiting the action to begin!



Although we didn’t arrive until after midnight on Friday we were up early preparing for the big day at Keeneland.  I’ve been to a couple of horse races before but nothing like what happens in Kentucky!  They make tailgating at a UGA/FL game look like child’s play!  The best part was seeing all of the exotic hats, bowties and suspenders!  Nah, really, the best part was being able to spend some time with the family all together.  It’s funny how we all resort back to our childhood roles ~ as the oldest {and wisest}, not to mention, shortest, it’s always fun kidding around with my two younger brothers – the ‘little’ brother is epitome of the middle child while my ‘baby’ brother wrote the book on the baby sibling stereotype!


Defer Heaven with Jockey JarethLoveberry


It was strange going the entire weekend without my computer and social media.  Even the times I’ve neglected to post on my blog I’ve lurked around keeping up with the blogosphere at least in spirit. It is something I would strongly encourage even the most prolific of bloggers to do at least once a year ~ having that break to totally disconnect electronically and REconnect in real time in real life.  Makes me miss those growing up years. . .but not too too much 😉

After a long day of tailgating & horse racing!

Me & The Little Monkey after a long day of tailgating & horse racing!

Which all leads up to what am I reading this week?

Well, hopefully, I will finish my experimenting with Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin.  I’m thoroughly enjoying learning the psychology behind the habits we make and fail to make/keep.  I’m also finishing up blogger, Melissa Michaels’ Love the Home You Have, an encouragement and inspiration for women and their homes.  A memoir {I know, I know, not my typical reading fare!} that has made its way into my hands is Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes.  If her name sounds familiar she’s the author of the famed Under the Tuscan Sun.  With all these non-fiction titles I’ve got to have a bit of spice in my reading repertoire so I’m also finishing up Lincoln Child’s latest, The Forgotten Room and Nora Roberts just released The Liar.  All in all that’s only five books that I’m attempting to complete this week ~ easy peasy, right?!? Ha! If only!


So what’s on your agenda for the week? A new release or an oldie but a goody?  Have you ever done a social media blackout, whether by choice or accident? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Mini-Views: Plane Crashes and Shipping Containers

April 13, 2015 Book Review 3


While both of these gems are written by female authors, that is about all these two books have in common.  If I really wanted to stretch, I could say both have significant transportation issues as part of the main storyline.  I can say that without giving away spoilers and without too much of a cheeky grin 😉

Girl Underwater Debut novel about a 19-year-old survivor of a plane crash in the Colorado Rockies. I started crying about page 87 and did not stop until the final page. It wasn’t without fault, but the emotional punch it packed certainly made up for the very few shortcomings.  Written by a medical doctor with PTSD as a major plot point ~ if even half of the symptoms of PTSD were accurate then this book not only entertains, it also offers much-needed education on a terrible disorder suffered by many.   Recommended for fans of Lauren Oliver – the emotional meltdown I had reminded me of when I read Before I Fall and Vanishing Girls.


The Singer’s Gun  My first introduction to Emily St. John Mandel.  Yes, it is true, I have not read Station Eleven yet, but don’t hold it against me!  Believe me, after reading this one, I will pick up anything Mandel writes.  It wasn’t so much that I connected with any of the characters, but more that Mandel is a darned good storyteller.  International intrigue, family drama, conflicts with inner values and a State Department Investigator that just will not give up  – yes! more, please!  While I have fallen head over heels in love with Mandel’s writing I’m still not sure I should start Station Eleven until I have a solid weekend to do nothing but read. . .advice from anyone who has read it already? wait for time to read non-stop or go ahead in sporadic spurts?

What’s the last book you read that had you sobbing through a box of Kleenex? Or rolls of toilet tissue. . .



March in Review

April 2, 2015 Book Talk 7

So March has left us and would you believe this past weekend it was back down to the 30’s and yet by Monday we were up to 75?!? This weather is crazy!  I’m not telling you anything new am I? No matter where in the world you may be ~ seems like the weather is a bit crazy for all of us.

March was an insanely busy month so not a whole lot of reading nor blogging got done.  I’m glad April is here, the sun is shining and a new day has dawned.  Kind of out with the old, in with the new, right?

What I’ve Been Reading

Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Scheibe

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

Dead Wake by Erik Larsen

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Thrive (re-read) by Arianna Huffington

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott

What I’ve Been Reviewing

A Fireproof Home for the Bride {review here}

The No More Excuses Diet {review here}

Some Luck {review here}

I’ve got to get busy and finish writing some of these reviews! Please tell me there are others with that problem!

What I’ve Been Giving Away

Rachel won a copy of One Plus One 

Of Particular Note

If you haven’t discovered Bryn’s blog yet at Gleaningful then you are in for the most wonderful treat!  Her posts are thoughtful, eloquent and will have you thinking and/or writing a book of a comment in response to her posts!  Let me know what you think! I know I’ve been inspired by her What a Thousand Splendid Suns Teaches Us About Friendship and Little Women: The Moral of the Story.

Also, a few blogging friends have started a much-needed space to discuss ALL aspects of a book and not just the ‘surface-y’ review stuff.  The design is clean-cut yet welcoming and the conversation is lively and inclusive.  They’ve only just begun but already they’ve had quite the discussion happening around their place!  Have you joined in at The Socratic Salon yet?

Dear Lovelies how was your March?  


The Night I Learned the Meaning of Miscegenation

April 1, 2015 Book Talk 1


It was 2012 when I sat on a bleacher in the back of a crowded coffee shop with my daughter and a hundred others to listen to the Poetry Slam as part of the annual Decatur Book Festival.  We were all sweaty, stinky and yet glued to our seats as United States Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway and her father, poet & professor Eric Tretheway, shared with us their history, their hearts and their poetry.

My favorite poem of the evening, and the one that takes me back to that bench on a hot, muggy, Georgia September night is Miscegenation.  It is no wonder she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for Native Guard, of which this poem is from.  Natasha Tretheway writes poems filled with depth and light and humanity.  If you ever have an opportunity to attend a Poetry Slam ~ especially one where Ms. Tretheway may be speaking, then make sure you snag the best seat and know you are in for the treat of a lifetime.


In 1965 my parents broke two laws of Mississippi;
they went to Ohio to marry, returned to Mississippi.

They crossed the river into Cincinnati, a city whose name
begins with a sound like sin, the sound of wrong—mis in Mississippi.

A year later they moved to Canada, followed a route the same
as slaves, the train slicing the white glaze of winter, leaving Mississippi.

Faulkner’s Joe Christmas was born in winter, like Jesus, given his name
for the day he was left at the orphanage, his race unknown in Mississippi.

My father was reading War and Peace when he gave me my name.
I was born near Easter, 1966, in Mississippi.

When I turned 33 my father said, It’s your Jesus year—you’re the same
age he was when he died. It was spring, the hills green in Mississippi.

I know more than Joe Christmas did. Natasha is a Russian name—
though I’m not; it means Christmas child, even in Mississippi.

~ Natasha Tretheway

What is your favorite poem? Join me in celebrating ALL poetry this month, from the works of Shel Silverstein to Pablo Neruda to Poet Laureate’s like Natasha Tretheway 😉