Best of Where The Light Plays 2015

Happy new year dear readers! I hope you’ve had a great start to 2015.

I have to say a huge thank you for all your support in 2015 and for checking in each week to hear what I’m up to on my corner of the internet.

If you’re a regular, you may enjoy revisiting some of the most popular posts from the past year, and if you’re new here (welcome!), enjoy your first peek into Where The Light Plays.

Where I’m At interviews

I’m so glad you are enjoying these interviews as much as I enjoy doing them. I think it’s great to learn from other women's routines and benefit from their wisdom.

A huge theme I see over and over again in these interviews is the need for women to be easier on themselves and know that they’re already doing a great job - clearly a big theme here on Where The Light Plays.

A few of the top Where I’m At interviews in 2015 were:

Shannon Ables from The Simply Luxurious Life

Vlogger Elle Lindquist

Rachel Gadiel from (the new!) Dream Create Do

And to read through all the interviews, grab a cup of tea and click here.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up posts

Considering how huge this book was in internet land in 2015, it’s no surprise you’ve enjoyed reading my personal journey through the KonMari method.

I overhauled my closet and my bookshelves and next year I’m hoping to tackle a couple of new daunting tasks - the kitchen and spare room (aka dumping ground).

Enjoy the posts here:

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (or How I Broke Up With 50% Of My Clothes)

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: Book Edition

The Day I Officially Broke Up With Dieting

This was probably the most personal post I shared all year, so it’s pretty humbling to see it was so popular with you ladies.

Intuitive eating has been a huge mindset shift for me in 2015 and I’m so glad I’m not entering 2016 with the usual body shaming plan to lose weight and restrict my eating.

Yes I want to feel healthy but I can do that in a much saner way now.

If you’re struggling with your body, I highly recommend signing up for Finally Free (coaches Paige and Simi are above), the program that truly helped me ditch diets.

The Day I Officially Broke Up With Dieting

Finally Free program

My Morning Routine

Another popular post last year was the view into my daily morning routine.

I love when other bloggers post their routines so I’m glad you feel the same!

I’m planning on tweaking a few things in my mornings in 2016 so once I’ve adjusted my habits I’ll be sure to do an update on the blog.

Time Management Series: My Morning Routine

What were your favourite Where The Light Plays posts this year?

What would you like to see more of in 2016?

Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: Book Edition

So there’s been declutter radio silence around here since I overhauled my closet after reading The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. I felt a sense of momentum at the time but thanks to some busier weekends and internal resistance to moving on to the next stage (books), I evaded and side-stepped the decluttering plan until last week.

On a rainy Thursday night, armed with a glass of wine, a bad ‘80s Spotify playlist and an ever inquisitive kitten, I edged towards our bookshelves.

The games begin. Pickles the kitten was thrilled with the extra hiding spots.

The games begin. Pickles the kitten was thrilled with the extra hiding spots.

Why did I resist?

  • To my family, books are uber important. I grew up around bulging bookshelves and due to never wanting for something to read, proceeded to read like crazy. I’ve always wanted my home to be full of books also.
  • I worked in book publishing for six years. Amongst co-workers and friends, literature collections were frequently discussed and often given the highest importance. I also received huge discounts and a heap of free books, so building my collection of classics and new books was easy.
The donate pile. Sorry Slash.

The donate pile. Sorry Slash.

The process

  • Take all books off the shelves and place them in the middle of the floor
  • As per the clothing exercise, find every book you own in your home. Every book.
  • Pick up each book and ask ‘Does it give me a thrill of pleasure when I touch it?’ If not, discard or donate.

Additional notes from the author

  • Do not start reading the books. This one was tough for me but I resisted…
  • You will re-read very few books in your time.
  • Ignore the notion that you may read it ’sometime’ - sometime never comes. You've missed the window once you’ve brought the book into your home and not read it.
  • Keep a hall of fame of books - the books you reread every year and the ones you want to read right now (but may be decluttered later).
Pickles could sense I needed a break halfway through.

Pickles could sense I needed a break halfway through.

Findings

  • I didn't totally agree with the instructions. There are a number of books I haven’t read but I do know I’ll paw through eventually - maybe only when on holiday, maybe when I retire (!), but I do want to keep them and read them.
  • I accepted every offer of a freebie for way too long - this spills across into most aspects of my life. Freebies seem amazing at the time, but in reality you usually take items you don’t actually need. I’ve noticed in the last year or two that 9 times out of 10 I say no to giveaways and perks.
  • I married the right guy - like I needed another reason to confirm this. Around 10 of the books I pulled out, I realised we had duplicates of. We read the same stuff.
  • I hold on to certain ideas or times of life - similarly to the clothing overhaul, as I touched each book, I felt some past emotions. Some related to times of my life when I was reading certain styles of writing. Some around books I bought on recommendations from a number of people but that never worked for me. It feels good to let these notions go, and to remind yourself that you’re becoming more and more of the true person you’re meant to be.
And the 'keep' pile.

And the 'keep' pile.

Next up in The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up? Miscellaneous papers! Can you guess I’ll be avoiding this one too?

Like this post? Let me know in the comments below.


The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (or How I Broke Up With 50% Of My Clothes)

 
magic-of-tidying.jpg

Jess Lively, one of my favourite bloggers and podcasters, recently recommended the Japanese book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

After moving into our new home almost a year ago, I've been planning a long overdue declutter - particularly of the boxes we haven't even unpacked yet. Oops. Jess and a few others had raved about the title, so I downloaded and read it in a couple of evenings last week. 

Abruptly, my plan to empty a few boxes in the spare room took on new life. I will disclaim this review by saying that there's some seriously weird stuff going on in this book. Marie is a 'cleaning consultant' who has been obsessed with tidying since she was a small child. She empties her handbag completely every night (what the?!) and believes we transfer energy as we stroke our clothes.

I'm clearly not into all aspects of the book, but the concept is that you 'tidy' or declutter your house by category, starting with clothes. You find every single item of clothing and place them in one area. Then you handle each piece of clothing and ask 'does this spark joy in me?' A little way out I know, but it's really saying: does this make me happy or give me positive feelings? 

The harsh reality. Am I a hoarder?

The harsh reality. Am I a hoarder?

This weekend I did it.

It took almost 3 hours but it was pretty amazing. I found it very challenging to start with. 'I've only worn this twice', 'I can't believe I'm wasting so many clothes', etc etc. Then as Marie points out, I thought:

To get rid of what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in your closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence?
the Keep pile on the left, and the discard/donate pile on the right. And the kitten in the middle!

the Keep pile on the left, and the discard/donate pile on the right. And the kitten in the middle!

I held each piece of clothing and thought 'joy or no joy?' The answer really does strike you quickly and intuitively, and for some items you know the answer before you even pick them up. My answers for many items I let go were:

'No, but it used to.'

'No, but it reminds me of our trip to XXX.'

'No, but I bought it to look like XXX.'

The order to review your clothing in is: tops, bottoms, jackets/coats, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, shoes. 

Marie also has a great way of folding (and recommends folding over hanging for most clothing). I was dubious at first, and will have to see how it goes for me in coming weeks, but the premise is that you can see all clothing at once and folding clean clothes to put them away makes you appreciate them and continue to review if they still bring you joy.

The end result and my first foray into a new folding style.

The end result and my first foray into a new folding style.

 

So my takeaways from my first life-changing tidying attempt?

  1. I was hanging on to a lot of stuff - figuratively and literally.
  2. Two of the garbage bags were for the bin, rather than for donation. If I can't even donate them, why am I keeping them?
  3. There's some freaking nice stuff in those donation bags, so I hope someone will benefit.
  4. Do you know how freeing it is to know you'll never put your foot into a sock with holes again? 

Stay tuned for my next round of tidying - books. As an avid reader and former editor who has been building a library for many years, I am truly afraid.