One of my goals for 2017 is to write more regularly- to map out all the little things that got me through the day and into the weekend. I’ll be sharing an article I couldn’t stop thinking about, a product I love, a song I had on repeat, or a book that really stuck with me: tiny glimpses of what I’ve been up to and things you might enjoy as well!
While I work my way through New Years goals, one thing that has been eluding me has been really cutting down on all the junk that just seems to accumulate. Around November, I was able to produce three giant bags of miscellaneous paper (think old bank statements, magazines, college papers) and had committed to begin roving around the rest of the house in search of things I don’t need.
Operation De-Clutter so far has resulted in one huge bag of clothes and shoes, two shopping bags of beauty products, four boxes of books, two boxes of household stuff, and two boxes of trash. All clothing goes to a local women’s shelter, the beauty products get snagged by my mom who takes them into work, books get carted off to the local library, towels and bedding to animal shelters and other stuff to Goodwill. De-Cluttering is such a weird process for me. I have to really channel all the cleaning gurus’ advice I’ve gathered to focus on being honest about what I have. Most of the time I find myself going down a rabbit hole of nostalgia which leads me to keep stuff that really should be let go. These are the rules I try to follow:
- Is it or could it be an heirloom? Do I use it?
- Have I worn it within the last six months?
- Is it multi-seasonal? Can it be dressed up or down? (this is where I have to be really ruthless- apart from a couple sweaters and shorts, I try to avoid “summer” vs “winter” wardrobes)
- Does it fit? Does it need tailoring or repairs? Am I going to do anything to make it work? (Probably not!)
- Does it fit within the beauty regimen? (I hoard samples)
- Has it expired? If not, do I use it? Do I even still like it?
- Have I read it yet? Am I going to read it?
- Is it still really relevant to my interests? Is it significant? Useful?
The trick to really doing this well is to be honest and organize as you go. I try really hard to not just create piles of Stuff to Re-Home Later- moving piles from room to room is not decluttering and it’s definitely not cleaning!
A benefit (or curse depending on how you look at it) to paring down is that it offers up an opportunity to identify gaps. I’m really trying this year to be intentional about the things I buy and the things I keep. For example: I really love my slip-ons but they have no support and they don’t breathe. I’m aiming to replace them with these, which I found on sale at Nordstrom Rack:
I already targeted my coats, replacing my scratchy wool one with a soft Wool-Cashmere Ann Klein version and my short puffer with a multitasking, long, compact windproof/waterproof vegan coat that I love. Both are perfect for brisk walks to and from the office.
What I was missing, I noticed, were dress up/down (we have a casual office) black pants (these fit the bill) and a decent raincoat. For Iceland, I brought a packable raincoat which works well in a pinch but is noisy and sweaty. I invested in a Seasalt raincoat in cheery yellow that’s conscientiously made from a company that supports its local artists in Cornwall (which coincidentally is where I’m headed this May!).
I am slowly learning to stop fixing what isn’t broken. If you have adult hormonal acne, this is what I use to keep it under control:
- Paula’s Choice Makeup Remover: Step 1! It’s a two phase that you shake to combine. Unlike some other two-phase makeup removers I’ve tried, this one feel super oily and if I’m really tired, I can do this as a one step and just pass out.
- Mario Badescu:
- Moisture Magnet– I’ve tried half a dozen lotions and this is the only one my skin doesn’t react to. It seems to keep redness in check and helps prevent peeling.
- Enzyme Gel Cleanser– gently exfoliates and doesn’t over-dry.
- Buffering Lotion– dries out problem areas without over drying.
- Anti-Acne Serum– for daily use. Keeps my hormonal chin in check.
- Drying Cream– for spot treating big stress crop-ups.
The bonus to adhering to the If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It rule is that I can clear all the superfluous junk out of my bathroom and off my bedside table!
Texture is currently offering a one month trial through Amazon. If you love magazines, this gives you access to hundreds of magazines from heavy hitters like the New Yorker to fluffier fashion magazines. As it’s all through their app, it’s perfect if you have a lot of flights to sit through or need something to skim on the subway. I find that I still gravitate towards my hardcover books and the same news outlets as always (like WaPo, NYT, BBC) but I did appreciate the ability to check out magazines I had been thinking of subscribing to.
I had a free download years ago for Fionn Regan and I’ve followed his musical career since. I find his music really soothing so he’s perfect for drives home and cold, rainy days when I just want to stay in by a fire. Bonus: his latest music video features fellow Irishman Cillian Murphy.
Photo 2: c/o Bloomingdales
Photo 3: c/o Seasalt Cornwall
Photo 4: Tech Crunch