The great nail polish post

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I did a little nail polish experiment last year.

It was very interesting so I’d like to share the results with you today.

I tracked each time I changed my nail polish colour.

I already have a spreadsheet for all my photos so I just added another sheet for the nail polish. Number, brand, name, date and days across the top. I put a formula in the days column to calculate how long I left a specific colour on. No, it didn’t take long at all. Probably 5 seconds each time I changed my nail polish and two minutes to set up.

This was all in the name of Konmari.

In the book, she often does this thing to show people their hoarding tendencies. Like if you had 300 ziploc bags and you said you need them all because you use one every week to take your Friday doughnut to the office, even if you took one every single week, it would take you nearly 6 years to use up that stash, which is kind-of crazy.

So me with the nail polish.

I put on nail polish 85 different times, once every 4.29 days.

That sounds about right because most time I feel like a change every 4 – 5 days.

I used 16 brands and my top 3 were Essence (40 times), Rimmel (12 times) and Yardley (6 times).

The top right purple-grey is Serendipity

I used 48 colours, only 24 colours were used two or more times, and my top 3 colours were You and me (Essence), Serendipity (Essence) and Mint Tropics (Sinful). I feel like the navy blues need a special mention because I have two colours, very close in colour, both used 3 times (Yardley’s Urban navy and Anchor blue). Technically they take second place together.

These were the ones that made the cut. And already, I’ve decluttered 3.

So how has this information been useful to me?

  • First of all, I know which brands I like so if I’m ever torn between two colours and one of them is Essence, I’d go with Essence.
  • I probably only need about 20 bottles, knowing that I will buy a few throughout the year, but also that I toss out some and have my seasonal favourites. There’s also a bright red I wear only twice a year, both times for my Spanish exams.
  • If I don’t love a colour, I should probably just get rid of it, because it’s going to happen anyway next time I take stock πŸ™‚ #sparkjoy

What is the craziest thing you track?

What, if anything, did you find most interesting?

PS The nail polish situation this time last year, and how to make your nail polish last and not chip

What I learned in May

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  1. 1 year on Instagram has been super fun

2. 4 years since my book was published (go get your $4 copy!) and it still feels unreal

health

3. 2 years of Fitbitting πŸ™‚ Here’s 1 year with my Fitbit.

Let’s talk some more about this:

I’m not sure what happened but while I still wear my Fitbit diligently, I almost don’t really care about reaching step goals anymore. I think it started with our long, hot summer (8 months is a super long time to be too hot) but it could have been before that. I still wear the bracelet because I am mildly interested in seeing what I get to… but mostly I wear it because I love the sleep stats. Super love them.

You may remember that I had a serious goal at the beginning of last year to increase my sleep. That worked beautifully and so I continue to track my time this year because I’ve found that what I measure, I manage better. And I’m constantly at my 7 hours 30 mins of daily sleep which is great. I sleep way more than this some days which balances out the occasional 6.5 hour nights.

4. I can read 3 non-fiction books in a month. Yes, that’s what happened this month. I’m surprised too because I thought my absolute top limit was two books in a really, really good month.

5. When you don’t rest properly if you’re a bit ill, your body takes longer to heal. I know, all you clever clogs learned this long ago. It’s just a really bad time for me to be a bit ill, what with Spanish exams looming, 2 big business things happening at my real work and the not-so-small matter of selling and buying houses.

6. Konmari really works. We have move dates so I went through a few rooms thinking, ” I need to declutter so I can pack” and…. I threw out 3 knives, a pair of pants and a top. That’s awesome πŸ™‚ If you’re thinking of moving, do Konmari πŸ™‚

IMG_86257. I actually can mess up my Bullet Journal. I’ve started to consciously write nonsense in there too because it’s not a shrine to plannerly goodness; it’s a notebook, for goodness sake.

Bonus – it is really fun to washi up some pencils. Try it and see. I grabbed everyone’s pencils at work and in one client phone call, washi’d them all πŸ™‚

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Go on then, tell me. What did you learn in May?

Children’s capsule wardrobes

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A few things I want to quickly mention:

  • my kids are 6.5 (nearly 7 if you listen to them!) and I’ve long stopped buying clothes for future years
  • they do have some things, mainly gifts from people that are too big for the current year so these get put away til the next warm/ cold season

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I had an aha moment when I started Konmari-ing my own clothes last August.

  1. First, the kids have way too many things if we have to rotate clothes (newly washed clothes go to the back of the pile)
  2. There’s so much that I don’t plan to buy anything until they outgrow clothes
  3. Capsule wardrobes are the in thing. When you have to think of mixing and matching, it becomes a whole new set of work.

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I put my new capsule wardrobe theory to work in the summer…. the hot, 8-month long summer.

Kendra needed some strappy tops so I got her two tops that would match with everything else in her wardrobe.

Connor needed two sleeveless tops too and I did the same, less picky, because he wears denim shorts a lot.

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The benefits during our holiday in Cape Town were huge:

  • everything “went” with everything else – surprisingly navy goes with neon orange, green and hot pink πŸ™‚
  • I didn’t need to make sets (as I’ve always done) – I just tossed 5 tops and 5 pairs of shorts/ skirts in the suitcase and that was that – happy, happy days for me!
  • they dressed so quickly every day because it was easy

While Konmari-ing their clothes, I also decided to not waste my time “forcing” the kids to wear some clothes, e.g. gifts. If they told me they hated something, I donated the item even if they hadn’t worn it at all or enough. I really don’t have the energy to insist they wear things. And to be fair, I won’t wear things I hate either.

Once those items were out of the house, I felt happier so it worked.

I’ve told my mom (who loves buying clothes for gifts) to also rather not buy clothes anymore unless pyjamas – both my kids LOVE pyjamas. I think they get that from me πŸ™‚ So that’s what she did for Christmas – pjs and money!

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This winter we’ve done the same – everything goes with everything. I had to replace one or two pairs of pants and I’m being very strict – it either matches with everything or doesn’t come home with me πŸ™‚

The kids are happy and so am I.

Have you thought of doing capsule wardrobes for your kids?

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{Konmari} the memories edition

According to Marie Kondo, the category you should work through last is the memories category.

I think this is a very good idea because it can definitely slow you down.

Mine fits onto one shelf – it’s my own memory box, the binder ring books for Christmas cards, the kids’ birthday cards and some of my own.

This is it after I pulled it all out onto the floor.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Basically the only things I had no trouble tossing were all my old business cards πŸ™‚

Here are the kids’ birthday cards – year 1 is missing and as I mentioned on Instagram, it was quite representative of our lives because we didn’t know if we were coming or going!

(I eventually found them in my memories box with the cards we received when they were born)

There is a whole year or thereabouts of photos I just didn’t document (from when I went back to work after maternity leave) and I’m not remotely interested in going back and catching up because… that was life.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

My stuff – some birthday cards, “just because” cards and so on…

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let’s talk about memories of my kids’ things. I mentioned to a mom at a party recently that I had big ideas when my kids first went to pre-school. Every week I’d take a pic of the items from that week.

That process got old very quickly and after about 6 months, I stopped. They then put their things in a plastic box and they sort through it themselves when it gets full.

This is about the stuff they give to me or that I particularly want.

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Some of their very first drawings

Konmari - the memories | www.OrganisingQueen.com

When I did this particular Konmari sort, I found a concertina file for each kid, and I’m using one sleeve for each year. Some of you might gasp (that’s so little space) but that’s precisely why I love this idea because boundaries help me with clarity so I can choose my very favourite things to keep.

For the record, I didn’t toss much but I’m very clear on why I’m keeping the stuff I do still have, which is an excellent outcome of the hours spent looking through all this stuff.

If you’re following the Konmari method, have you reached the memories category yet? Was it a very long process for you?

Seeing your space in a new light

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I literally only pulled out my camera one day a week for the whole of Feb (to take the 52 Project photo of the kids on Sundays), and then not quite as bad, but there’s a sense of get this done, instead of play in my March photos so far.

I was even completely up to date on Monday night after the Sunday photos last weekend.

So I decided I needed to leave my camera out more to encourage me to just grab it and snap a few photos as things look good in certain light.

And I went a bit wild today.

It was good for me because I always feel great after I’ve created with my camera, but more than that – this!

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I noticed bits of my home that I’d forgotten, both good and bad, like

  1. the big canvas hanging slightly skew
  2. the beautiful light in Kendra’s bedroom
  3. the hand towel I should swop out to match with the bath mat
  4. the way the light shines on my wooden floors in the lounge
  5. how much I love my yellow desk

I even gave myself a challenge to take photos in the kitchen with unwashed dishes, and make it look good πŸ™‚

See your space with new eyes | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that sometimes we need to literally take a photo of our spaces to really see them – you might have got used to the clutter in your space and this helps you see your space properly again.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation. You buy some clothes, come home, toss the bag in your bedroom and a week later it’s still there. We’ve stopped seeing it because our eyes are now used to that clutter.

This is why I like to get my donated things out and into the boot (trunk) of the car before it becomes a new item of “furniture” in my house that I get used to.

*ahem* I have a box of books in my sunroom….

If there’s a space in your home frustrating you, take a photo and see if you can spot what it is you need to do.

When was the last time you took photos of your home?

– Both big canvases (size A0) printed by Mojo Printing who I thoroughly recommend. I used a number of printers until I found them – they are my favourites and will courier anywhere in the country.

– Chevron rug by Airloom, bought via www.Superbalist.com

– Couches and pillows from Mr P Home

{Konmari} Ugly blue takkies

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Ballito

Here’s just one of the reasons I love the Konmari method. I’ve been telling myself I need to get rid of these old takkies (sneakers) for years.

I’ve probably had them for 8-9 years and they’ve been all over the world so they’re not the very prettiest takkies I have at the moment.

I kept taking them out to donate them and I end up putting them right back with my shoes.

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Top of the Rock, NYC

But then I read that book and I realised why I don’t seem able to get rid of these shoes.

They spark JOY!

Once I realised that, I happily wear these not-so-pretty shoes on my photowalks and they bring me much, much joy.

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Charlotte, North Carolina

Is there an item of clothing/ houseware, etc. you think you should get rid of but you really love for no good reason?

Ugly blue takkies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

V & A Waterfront, Cape Town

{Konmari} The Christmas Cards

Gretchen Rubin wrote a post a few months ago about Christmas cards. She mentioned that as they receive cards, they leave it in a common space for about a week for everyone in the family to see, and then they toss the cards.

This is quite the novel idea to me.

I don’t know of anyone who tosses cards even before Christmas is over πŸ™‚ Then again, since I’ve been blogging, I’ve also heard (previously unknown to me) that people take their Christmas trees down on Christmas night.

But that’s a discussion for another day πŸ™‚

Back to the cards.

The comments on that blog post are all over the spectrum and very interesting.

So I took out my stash of cards. People in South Africa don’t really exchange cards much these days so we never have many. We mostly give and get to overseas friends.

I was a bit sidetracked for a while, reading the cards and then I put them back for a few weeks.

Yesterday I took them out again and I decluttered ONE card. Just one.

I then decided I’ll put them out in a bowl at Christmas time and see if they no longer spark joy then.

For now, I have the space and they don’t NOT spark joy.

What’s your take on the Christmas cards?

Keep? Toss? Lovingly scrapbook?

I finally Konmari’d my nail polish

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It surprised me, actually, how difficult it was to tidy my nail polish. Tidy is the word Marie Kondo uses to sort/ declutter/ organise.

Yes, all those bottles spark joy but even I can hear that’s stretching it, just a bit πŸ˜‰

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

This was my process for decluttering them:

Pile 1 – ones that sparked joy but didn’t look good on my skin

They looked good in store (lights!) but in normal light, they look too dark/ garish, whatever. I still liked the colour but not on my nails.

  1. Bottles that were decent – donated (we have a number of girls at work who like nail polish so I just said, “help yourselves”). It helps me (this might not work for you) to declutter if I think, “who can use this today?”

2. Bottles that were not really donate-able – we used these for nail polish cards and I even kept some to make dipped ring bowls. They turned out beautifully.

Pile 2 – ones that sparked serious joy, looked good and I usually receive compliments

I also admitted to myself that some I only use on finger nails and some I only use on toenails. E.g. I would never wear the yellow on my fingers but I love the colour on my toes in summer.

I also realised that some are “winter” colours for me and some are “summer” colours.

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Last but not least, I did a very Konmari thing.

I noticed when listening to her book that she often applies logic when working with her clients. For instance, if you have 1000 ziploc bags, even if you use only 1 new one a day (unlikely), it would take you three YEARS to work through that stash. So why keep them all?

I applied this logic to my nail polish.

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I typically wear a different colour every 4 – 5 days. It’s about how long it takes for me to get bored with looking at a specific colour. That’s 73 different colours in a year. However, I would wear a colour at least twice each, so 30 bottles is really all I should own, at most.

(I had many, many more than 30 – I blame it on the Essence brand. Such gorgeous colours and at such a good price I kept saying, “it’s only R25, I might as well take 3”! Also, when people know you like things, they keep buying you those things and before you know it, you have a drawer full of nail polish!)

Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Once I got into the process, I was able to cull to below 30. I think I ended up with 27. Yip, just counted. The pile on the top left doesn’t count – those are my base coat, top coat, quick-drying drops, and so on.

(I’m realising as I type this how… um….passionate I sound. At least I’m not like this with make-up?)Β Β  Konmari-ing nail polish | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So there you have it – the nail polish is finally sorted but I know I’m going to have to keep a close eye on it because I already caved a month later and bought a gorgeous neutral this weekend called, “Oh Mr Darcy” from Rimmel.

Now who could resist that?!

I know we all have a certain “issue”. For some it’s hair products, for others perfume, make-up, face creams, etc.

Tell me what your “issue” is. And have you applied the Konmari method to it yet?

Konmari tweaks

I’ve blogged a lot about how I love the Konmari method of “tidying up”. I’ve also lived with the method for about 5Β months so I can now see what’s still working and what’s not.

By the way, this tweaking is a normal part of organising.

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1. While I love the uprightness of my clothes, when you take things out to wear, some of the clothes “collapse” and I’m really not into the untidiness that presents.

Am IΒ willing to use up more space just for the sake of 2 – 3 t-shirts that now are a bit more wrinkled than normal? Probably not.

Also, to be fair, the clothes at the bottom of the piles were also subjected to more creases when I used to organise the standard way.

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2. I eventually separated out my sleeveless t-shirts from the normal sleeves, and the work t-shirts from the casual t-shirts

I don’t know my clothes well enough (or it could be that I have too many grey t-shirts?!) so I couldn’t tell from the top if they were sleeveless and I’d pull them out, and then have to navigate the pile again to shove the incorrect t-shirt into the vertical pile.

This is nothing in the grand scheme of life, but it is a toleration. And most of us could do with fewer tolerations.

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3. And then there’s the not-so-small matter of the nail polish

The nail polish has been the hardest thing to “tidy up”. I truly love lots of bright colours. However, I do remember from listening to her book that she likes to apply logic to things. So realistically speaking, if I change my nail polish every 4 – 5 days, I could use 73 applications in a year. If I only apply each colour two times a year, that’s 37 bottles I need (I have more than that but I’m not telling you how much!).

Anyway, so the goal is 30 πŸ™‚ Because there are those I LOVE during winter (dark colours), and those I LOVE during summer (pastels and bright colours). And a few standard colours for my toes.

If I’m brave, I may show you the nail polish progress.

How are you doing with Konmari, a few months in?

{Konmari} tidying the books – finally

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about how much I love my Kindle but the fact of the matter is that I still have a ton of physical books.

It could have been worse but thankfully, I only keep books I really love/d.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So one weekend I decided I had to finally tackle those shelves and ask The Question, “does this spark joy?”

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

it’s always a good idea to dust once the shelves are actually clear πŸ™‚

Marie Kondo, in her life-changing book, does say a few interesting things about the process of decluttering books:

  1. books are one of three things most difficult to get rid of (is this true for you?)
  2. fewer books mean there’s a bigger impact on the information (true!)
  3. timing is everything. The moment you come across and feel compelled to buy is the right time for you.
Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

the two books on the left are borrowed indefinitely from friends… so yay, when I read them, I can return them!

Maybe number 3 is true for others, but I buy kind-of all the time because I’m reading and finding books online all the time. I’ve only recently stopped buying ahead on Audible. I’m listening to one book at the moment, and have one more ready to go. I don’t want to gather/ hoard more than this.

The thing is I do get to a lot of books much later than I intend to….and most times, I’m compelled to read them at the right time. There are physical books I’m sure I will read still on my shelves.

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

these are books I LOVE or definitely want to read. Motherstyles is my most favourite parenting book ever!

That said, I took her point about asking yourself, “does this move me or not, and am I happy to see it on my shelves?”

And that was the filter I used to declutter.

I must add that the task was much bigger in my head than in reality (isn’t it always?!). Once I started working, it probably only took me an hour to finish the exercise!

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

this pile went…

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

as did this pile (A painted house is my favourite John Grisham but I haven’t re-read it in the 10 years we’ve been in this house so I’m not likely to do so, right?)

I got rid of (well, that box is still standing in my entrance way ready to go to the secondhand bookshop) about 20 – 30 books that I liked the idea of, but know I probably won’t ever read, even though many of them are new.

I’m sure I could have done better but for now, this felt enough for me πŸ™‚

Konmari books | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Mission accomplished – I’m finally down to just 3 shelves πŸ™‚

How are you doing with Konmari? Has anyone done their books? Was it torturous for you?

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