jewelry storage


one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

I’ve recently gone through my jewelry stash and edited it down to the pieces I truly love and, more importantly, wear all the time. I’m itching to get some pretty storage to showcase my most-loved pieces, and these caught my eye. urban outfitters has been so on point lately with their home pieces…I’m especially loving anything geometric in design.

happy tuesday!

good reads | the life-changing magic of tidying up: the japanese art of decluttering & organizing

tidyingupI’m sure you guys have heard about this book…it’s been everywhere! in my continual efforts to simplify my life (and because I was intrigued by all the hype that it had been getting), I bought it. I had a little bit of skepticism when I started reading it because a) things with a lot of hype don’t often live up to it; b) I’d tried other cleaning methods before & wasn’t sure what this could say that I hadn’t already heard; and c) I’m not the biggest fan of self-help/tutorial books. but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed reading this for the most part.

as you may have read/heard, the central tenet of the book is that when it comes to things, there’s really only one rule: discard anything that doesn’t spark joy. it sounds a little out there & laughable at first, but it really helped me when I tackled my closet after finishing the book. I didn’t think about how much I had spent on an item (and how much I hadn’t worn it) or of the situations when I might “need” something like this, or any of the other hundred justifications why you’re holding on to something. it was simple: as the book advises, I picked up each piece of clothing in my hands and asked myself then & there “does this make me happy to have this in my life?”. if the answer was yes, it stayed. if the answer was no or I don’t know, it went to the donate pile. within an hour, I had 2 bags of clothing & other items that were earmarked for savers & goodwill. another thing that stuck with me about the book was the idea of instead of focusing on what to get rid of, we should focus instead on what we’d like to keep. that shift in paradigm was eye-opening to me & made things a lot easier. I found that I was very clear about the things that I loved having in my life and coming from that selection perspective was much easier than asking myself what I didn’t want in my life. it’s crazy how sometimes looking at a situation from a different angle or point of view makes everything more clear.

while I do think that there’s a lot of good in this book, there are aspects of it that may be a little “out there” for some people. Marie Kondo advocates for speaking to your things – greeting them, thanking them for the work they do, etc. – which I find a little unconventional but also logical in a way. I’m open to anything that inspires me to be more grateful & appreciative for the things I do have, and I am grateful for everything my clothes do for me, so it’s not so crazy to actually go out of your way to say those things aloud. she also talks about the bigger picture beyond tidying and makes connections between the state of your things & the state of your relationships/life, which was actually enlightening for me but might be unexpected for someone who picked this up as a straight-forward decluttering guide. if you’re not opposed to a little bit of whimsy & philosophy in the midst of a lot of more traditional advice on how to streamline your belongings & your life, this book will be a good read.

I’m curious: have any of you guys read it? what did you think? did it work for you?

the capsule wardrobe, part 1


I mentioned last week that I had done a major overhaul of my closet, an overhaul that was completely inspired by Caroline and her lovely blog. you should read about the idea of a capsule wardrobe on her blog here, but the main idea is to limit yourself to a concise edit of clothes for every season. I’m tweaking her system a little bit and changing it to my own, partly because of weather differences (she lives in Texas and I live in Chicago) and partly because we’re two different people. I love that Caroline encourages each of her readers to make the system his or her own and advocates the capsule wardrobe idea as one thing to try if your current system isn’t working for you. this is what sold me on giving it a try, since she wasn’t proscribing that it was going to be the solution, just something worth giving a shot if the status quo wasn’t something you were satisfied with. that’s where I was at. I had plenty of clothes, but I always felt like I had nothing to wear. I was overwhelmed by all the choices hanging in my closet and 95% of the time, I ended up wearing the same things over and over. after reading Caroline’s blog, I realized that the 5% I reached for constantly were either the things I loved or the things that worked best for my life, or both. they were literally where form and function met in my closet. was it any wonder that they were the ones kept in heavy rotation and everything else was neglected? then I thought about how I didn’t like having things I neglected, how I didn’t want to be someone who had more than she used. so…

…I did a major edit of my entire wardrobe. since I’m an overthinker and partial to sentimentality, I went with my gut when selecting what to keep or not keep. when considering an item, if I immediately remembered that I loved it or used it frequently, it stayed. if I hesitated a little, it went into the maybe pile. if I hesitated a lot or flat out hated it, it went into the gone pile. the majority of the items that didn’t make the cut were either donated to goodwill/savers/the salvation army or packed to be sent to my family in the Philippines. a handful of things I ended up consigning or selling on the spot. I revisited the maybe pile and edited it further down, with most things being added to the give away pile. the 8 things I was still undecided on got put into storage. if I come looking for something in that box during the fall/winter, then it stays. if come spring, I haven’t given any of these pieces a thought, they’ll go. although I didn’t do an accounting of how much exactly I had before the edit, judging by how clothes look in our new (smaller) closet and comparing it to how they looked hanging in our old apartment, I’d say I cut at least 50% of my wardrobe, if not close to 2/3.

from here, I tweaked Caroline’s 37-item, season by season capsule wardrobe to my own 56-item, somewhat seasonal capsule wardrobe. I chose to do a combined fall/winter capsule wardrobe, because in Chicago, fall lasts for about a month before things get really cold for the next 5 months. I chose 56 items because it seemed like a happy medium between 37 and 74 (37 x 2). like Caroline, I chose not to count such essentials like underwear, socks, hosiery, pajamas and workout clothes in my 56-item count, but like her, I did go through these categories and edited them down as well to amounts that felt generously limited. unlike Caroline, I chose to not count coats/jackets as part of my 56 items since by my logic, coats and jackets are not primarily fashion choices (though they can certainly be fashionable) when one lives in a place that gets cold for over half the year – they’re essentials. how many items do they amount to? 10. I have a puffer coat, a parka, a jean jacket, an army green utility jacket, a khaki utility jacket, a light fleece, a black topper, a rain jacket, and a classic trench. if you’re keeping count, that’s 9, but I am planning on adding a peacoat/car coat to my fall/winter wardrobe, so including that that comes to 10. 10 seems like a lot, and it is, but all of these are of different weights to account for all weather between -30 degrees to 60 degrees and some are multi-seasonal, so I find 10 to be a good number for me.

the last of my tweaks comes to shoes. I’ve decided to keep the total number to 40 and under, which if spread throughout the year, is about 10 pairs a season. my current total is at 36, including flip flops.  if I do add a pair or two that I’m considering, they will most likely replace a couple of pairs from the 36.

whew. that took awhile. but enough about the prep work and onto how I put my capsule wardrobe together. below is a collage of what I’ve been tossing around in my head for the upcoming season. some of the items aren’t actually items I’m considering purchasing but represent a color or a shape or a texture that I’m intrigued about and thinking of incorporating in my wardrobe for the next 6 months. some things aren’t even things at all – pencils, hot chocolate, scenes – but things I’d like to be doing in the next season. a little bit of the things that speak to my style, a little bit of things that speak to my life and who I am and who I want to be – that mix is what I’d like my closet to reflect (again, Caroline inspired me with this post when I was creating the collage). this is my inspiration board of sorts and the springboard from which I picked my color palette, which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post.

fw inspiration

what are you wearing this fall?

images via one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

jewelry storage | earrings


most of my jewelry hangs out in little trinket dishes inside drawers in our bedroom. this is a concession to the fact that we have a small apartment and things start looking cluttered if we have too many things out. it’s also a concession to the fact that I live with a guy, and since our bedroom is a shared space, I don’t want to make the room so overly feminine with all of my things out. the things that I do have out are constrained to my vanity, a little dish on my nightstand, and the top of my alex drawers, as shown above. I originally just had a stand holding my statement necklaces, my perfumes, and a candle on there until this past weekend when I brought home this jewelry tree  to use as storage for my dangling earrings. I’ve been attempting to wear more of my longer earrings. I tend to just reach for a pair of studs every day because they’re easy, but I’ve been neglecting the rest. as the weather warms up though, I’m wanting to wear pretty earrings again. there’s just something about the way a pretty pair catches the summer light, you know? I’m drawn to simpler styles in soft blues, whites, and peach tones that are around 1″ to 1.25″ long, but occasionally, a longer, more bold pair catches my eye, like the green pair to the top left.

how do you store your earrings/jewelry?

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