New Year, New Goals

I am sure we hear ourselves say this at the start of every year.  If I think back about the start of last year, I wasn’t thinking goals, challenges, resolutions etc.  I was focused on one massive continent move.  We celebrated Christmas, went away to the Countryside with friends for a couple of days over New Years, had a whale of a time and kept everything as normal as possible until that little trip was over…. and then, the big pack up begun.  Everything after that was a bit of a blur and I certainly was not focused on the year ahead, other than surviving the next couple of months.  Last year for me was about getting through lots of “news”.  New town, new home, new schools, new people, new absolutely everything.  So whilst I did a bit of a spring clean when we packed up in London, I also held onto a lot in case I needed it.  After having been back in SA for 11 months now I am starting to realise what is needed and what is going to stay and what is going to go.  I have worn about 5% of my wardrobe in the past year, which for me is really sad but the new climate and much more casual style here means I simply cannot wear closed shoes, high heels or coats and wooly jumpers for many days of the year.   On the interior front, our rooms now are a lot more spacious than we had before so things like rugs and tables and decorative stuff all feel rather puny in the larger space and rugs are not filling the areas as they should.

Having said all of the above my goals for this year are about slowly fixing everything to suit our new lifestyle.  We have survived the past year, now we need to thrive! Im quite an impulsive person and sometimes a little hasty, so when I get a bee in my bonnet or the slightest inkling of a “go ahead” from my husband, Im on to it.  I currently have the flooring guys in, ripping up carpets and sanding parquet and wooden flooring (we’ve only been home for 3 days after a month away).  Once that is done, I will move onto the next phase of this project.  Slowly but surely we will start to renovate and redecorate our home, but first we need to have a proper plan in place (which we are still working on).  The other goal this year is to not buy a thing! Other than the necessities of course. There are always those: “this is the best lamp I have ever seen and there will never be another one like it” (how many times have we heard ourselves say that and a couple of months down the line…!?!).  I want to utilise as much of my current bit and bobs as possible and make my wardrobe really work for me, discover new outfits and clear out what is not being worn.  Same goes for the boys.  The toys, and any home decor. This year is all about de-cluttering and then figuring out what exactly we want to replace and what we need once we are back to a minimal of everything.  I want a blank canvas to work with for the next phase.

Here are a couple of inspirational pics of those perfect spaces I would like to create, from bathroom to living to utility.

Bathroom Organisation – order and colour co-ordination

Make- Up, Accessories & Sunglasses. I seem to get a lot more of it all every year (clearly the older I get the more I need although the less I actually seem to use)

Books and Clothing – you need to see them both to appreciate and use them, tucked away and unseen, they become useless and forgotten about.

Kids play – I have this exact kiddies kitchen and I promise it is impossible to keep this tidy but I guess that is a sign it’s actually loved and is used regularly.  As do we have this many, if not more animals but I love the way they are displayed on the shelf (that wouldn’t last either).

The perfectly set up Utility room.  My lovely cleaner would kiss me if we set this up for her.  She is a laundry fanatic, loves it and takes great care in washing and retaining clothing colour and shape (we have a lot in common).

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I will share any developments of the house and wardrobe with you here.  I will also promise to disclose anything bought that is not on the necessity list on my instagram page here, you have my word (basically a name and shame of myself, hopefully this will help to refrain from purchases).

I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017 filled with so much love and adventure!  And thank you so much for reading my blog.

X

 

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Closet Clear-out

Im going to give a brief overview of how to create more space, cut down on everything in your closet and make use of more of your clothes. Wouldn’t it be amazing if our wardrobes looked clean and neat like this?

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So its a fact that the more clothes you have, the less you probably wear and the more you end up buying because you don’t realise that you have a red polka dot shirt already (because it’s squashed down behind a million other blouses). Firstly if you are not lucky enough to have a walk in wardrobe the size of your living room then I would highly recommend you pack away Summer stuff in Winter and visa versa.  Its just crazy to have everything out when you are not using it.  A brilliant way to pack clothing away to keep it in tip top condition, smelling good and moth free is by using vacuum storage bags. These bags are my friend Emma’s new favourite thing, she LOVES them, so if you have any doubt about a vacuum storage bag I’m sure she won’t mind if I put you in touch 😉

So once you have gotten rid of everything that’s not currently in season, go through all your clothing for the current season and try it on, decide if you like it, if it suits and when last you wore it. If you are unsure of any of these then it is most probably best to get rid of it. I will write a separate section below on best places to recycle.

Hopefully you have done a good job of whittling down the wardrobe. Now separate everything in the hanging wardrobe into categories, eg. dresses, jeans, trousers, blouses, skirts.  Once in their categories sort again into lengths and then into colours. So maxi dresses together, mini dresses together, long sleeved blouses, short sleeved blouses, then once that is done, all the whites together, all the blues and so on.

Separate your jeans into day jeans, and evening jeans and then day jeans into distressed, skinny, flares and colour code as well.

Now for the folded stuff. If you have open shelving then you are lucky as it’s easier to see everything, however if you have a chest of drawers it can be really difficult to see and get to things, especially if the drawers are deep. So the best solution is to roll your t-shirts or if you have more time fold them so the fronts (as in pictures or prints) are on the fold in the middle (see example below) for this packing solution.  This way you can see everything and wont pull out half the pile whilst trying to grab something from the bottom.

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With your hanging wardrobe you really need to ensure you have not squashed your clothes in, not only are you unable to see anything but its really damaging to your clothes and will ruin their shape long before their time is up! make sure you are able to kind of scroll through, there should be space so there is movement when you push hangers across when looking for things.

Once you have done this you should find that you wear more of your clothing and vary your outfit combinations more often. What tends to happen when we cant see things is we wear the same top with those burnt orange trousers because we cannot think of any other options, generally because you have no idea what’s in there and because when you are in a rush and you cannot see, you just grab what you know works. Also I know from experience that people opt for their favourite items and wear them over and over, neglecting everything else.  It is really not necessary to have a wardrobe bursting at the seams with clothes, you will feel so much happier and probably dress way better if you have less, this gives you room for more purchasing when necessary and remember to recycle and do not hoard!!!

There is a charity called Smart Works that you could donate your good stuff to which helps dress women on low incomes for interviews http://www.smartworks.org.uk/clothes-donations Others I can recommend are Suited&Booted which also offers a similar service to their candidates http://www.suitedbootedcentre.org.uk/donations/clothing-donations/

Alternatively anywhere in Africa!!!! I love to try and take back old clothes and shoes with me whenever I travel home to South Africa and give them to our domestic worker who either sells them or gives them away in the township.

And I leave you with some enviable wardrobes to ogle over, hopefully this will inspire you to get closet clearing!

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Pics: Pinterest