Good Pairs Of Jeans Are Hard To Find

You know what really annoys me?

Buying jeans and wearing them and then realising a few months down the track that you have a great big hole in your inner thigh area because, god forbid, your thighs touch.

Why hasn’t anyone made a pair of jeans where this section is reinforced so you don’t need to replace them every few months? It frustrates me because I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I don’t want to contribute to unnecessary landfill and I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on lots of clothing but I’m being forced to because whether I spend $30 on jeans or $400, I still have the same issue. So yes, I do buy the $30 jeans because if I have to replace them every few months at least this way I’m only losing $30. And to be honest I really like these jeans anyway. They are the Cotton On High Rise Skinny jean but it’s still infuriating that it costs more to repair my jeans than to buy a brand new pair.

So if anyone has a great pair of jeans that seem to not tear at the slightest touch I’d love to hear from you!

Using Your Space Effectively

I’ve decided I want to convert my spare bedroom into a home studio for myself.

I used to have this space set up for myself and my fiance had the smaller spare room for his gaming computer and garage for all the other stuff he has.

I loved it. I had my wardrobe and chest of drawers in there and that was it. My yoga mat was permanently on the floor and it was so good. My gym clothes were already in the room so working out was really easy. And it was enticing.

I lost this space when my fiance and I purchased a new bed. So the old bed went into the bigger spare room and became a second bedroom. Despite having a decent sized house I wasn’t able to find a new space in the house where I wouldn’t be interrupted by people needing to use the bathroom or the kitchen.

Its been 8 months and I already want to get rid of our spare bed. Our friends don’t stay over as often as they used to and definitely not in the same numbers. When people do stay the night they sleep on the floor or on the couch (yay for having a 7 seater!). Neither of us have family or friends who if they were to visit would stay with us as they all already have family in Melbourne so to me it’s a room that doesn’t do anything.

I read a blog post a while back (and I can’t for the life of me find it) that talked about how to use space in your own home. It spoke of all the rooms we should have but also gave some really good thought into how to use the space for what you need it to be. The woman who wrote the blog wrote about how her lounge room had 2 couches and a tv, because that’s what lounge rooms generally have but she rarely used the space. She didn’t watch tv so she usually avoided the room. She eventually decided to get rid of those things and turned her lounge room into a library/art studio where she worked on her projects and kept her books. She made herself a dedicated space for her hobbies which meant she didn’t need to use her bedroom and kitchen for these things.

That’s what I want to do. I want to convert a space that, whilst is set up exactly for its purpose, isn’t supporting or functioning in the way that I want to use it. The room becomes messy because I throw my clothes on the bed instead of putting them away. If I have something that doesn’t have a designated spot, it goes on the bed. Or the floor. You get the idea.

So what I want to do is turn it into my own little sanctuary. I want my yoga mat to have a permanent place in there. I want to invest in a ballet barre (didn’t realise they were so expensive) and potentially a pole although I may not have the space for both. I want to enjoy using that space and I want it to be my own private area to get away from everything, even for an hour.

How To: Start Decluttering

Decluttering can be a really overwhelming idea. It seems really simple as a concept but when you’re faced with space after space of stuff it can get really daunting.

To help ease that overwhelming feeling I like to start with smaller spaces. These tend to be spaces that you can clear in under an hour and still feel a real sense of accomplishment. Do enough of these spaces and you’ll feel like you can take on anything.

  • Bedside tables. This is one of the easiest to clean out. I tend to fill mine with stuff that I can’t be bothered getting out of bed for so it’s usually filled with lip gloss, books, wrappers/packaging from books and a few other bits and pieces. Some of it actually belongs in there but most of it doesn’t.
  • Shower/bath area. Most people I know keep their necessary products in the shower/bath area. These things are usually shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, loofahs etc. But its important to narrow it down to what you actually use. Pre-renovation my partner and I had probably about 15 products in the shower between us. Post-reno we have 2 toothbrushes, toothpaste, 2 cleansers and soap.
  • Bathroom vanity. This depends on the size of your vanity and storage but this is another one that is easy to do. Go through your products and throw out those you simply don’t use. You’d be very surprised how many you rack up. If, like me, you keep cleaning products in your vanity, go through those too and see what you actually need. If there’s anything that you’re not sure about find another place for it with other ‘like’ items.
  • That junk table. We all have one of these. Whether it’s a buffet, coffee table or kitchen table, we all have a flat surface where everything goes that doesn’t have a specific place for it. Ours is usually overflowing with mail and stuff that doesn’t belong anywhere.
  • Linen. Go through your linen and see what you actually need. For a spare bed you really don’t need more than 2 of everything. In fact you can get away with having just the one set if you’re happy to wash and dry quickly. For my spare bed I kept two sets and this is simply because I am lazy and live in Melbourne where any day can have 4 seasons in a day. I used to have 7 sets because my fiance’s mother bought so many for him (it was his bed before it became ours) but it was just taking up space and I didn’t like any of the sets. For my actual bed I have 3 sets. I can get away with 2 but this bed was the first bed we had bought as a couple and the first bed where our linen wasn’t chosen for us. So I found some really good deals and splurged because I could.
  • Towels. Same deal as linen. Many people have more than they really need. Again we were given so many sets when we moved in together that we had about 20 at one point in time. We whittled that down to 8 and now we have 12 because I bought some new ones when we renovated the bathroom. Again these 4 were the first that I had actually bought for us and weren’t a gift. A few of the older towels will be donated to an animal shelter shortly so I can put the new towels into rotation. I know I can do with less but in our house the towels take around 3 days to dry so I’d prefer to have a few spare on hand just in case.
  • Cutlery Drawer. Its amazing how many things you have in a cutlery draw that you do not use. We used to have so many knives, forks and spoons. We had 3 whisks, 4 wooden spoons, 8 tongs and about 20 cheese knives. Go through and take out anything that you have multiples of that you don’t need. Go through your cutlery sets and see if you really do need 12 of everything. We narrowed ours down to 8 sets as we entertain a lot but my sister has 6 and that’s enough for when she invites myself and my partner and our parents over. Otherwise she’d just have 4.

Clearing these spaces can make such an impact. As mentioned earlier, they’re small enough to be handled in mere minutes but big enough that they can really change the way you feel about your space.

Whilst it’s a really great feeling, my big issue with decluttering is that I remember how much I spent on each item. But it’s important to separate the financial aspect with what your end game is. Trust me, I know how hard it is to let go of items that cost a lot of money that aren’t used and I know what it’s like to think “but one day I’ll use it.” If this is you this is what you can do – Get a box. Store all these “one day” items in the box. Close the box and put it away somewhere out of mind. In 3/6/9/12 months get the box back out. If you have not once opened the box in the time you’ve allocated, get rid of the contents. Make a promise to yourself that on opening the box you won’t assign fake sentimentality to items or worry about the monetary value of them. Promise that you will find a new home for the items or throw them out if they can’t be given to someone else.

It can be hard and it’s ok if decluttering is hard for you. It is difficult to let go of things especially if they have sentimental value but it’s always a good idea to start small and to trust yourself. If you’re having a really hard time letting something go, then don’t. Deal with it next time you declutter. Or don’t – it’s perfectly ok to hold on to things if they add value to your life.

Project 333

Project 333 has been going around for a while now. The idea is that you wear a combination of 33 items for 3 months.

There are variations to this idea with many people adopting their own rules but the general idea remains the same.

I’m intrigued by it, mostly due to feeling that I already encompass the 33 items (or close to) without trying too hard. So I’m keen to give it a go and see whether my view is accurate or not.

Once the painters have finished I want to do another clean out of my wardrobe and then I’ll be choosing 33 items of clothing to wear to work and on weekends for 3 months. Generally gym gear is not included in the list but I am going to include one outfit because it’s generally what I wear in my down time. I will not be including any type of formal wear so if I have a special event I’ll be using an item that is not part of the 33.

During this time I will also not purchase anything unless one of the items becomes unwearable during the time frame.

I hope this exercise serves as a way to really reiterate to myself that I don’t need multiple items of clothing because I don’t mind wearing the same thing over and again. I already have an unofficial uniform for work so obviously new pieces aren’t that pivotal to me.

I already have a list of items that I know I need in order to really round out my wardrobe but maybe this will help me either refine it or discover pieces that I need that are versatile but still already work with my current offerings. Before starting I know I would like a black leather jacket. I already have one but it’s very thin and suited for summer so I would like one that is warmer. Considering I usually wear jeans I think a black leather jacket would be a good piece to add.

I’m looking forward to this project. I’ll need to wait until after I have surgery and am back at work so I imagine I won’t start until about mid September. It’ll be an interesting time because I’ll need to consider the change in seasons.

Have you completed Project 333 before? What was your experience like? If you have, please link your blog post if you’ve got one in the comments!

 

In My Wardrobe

My wardrobe once again seems to be very full and its making me anxious. There is so much in there that I don’t use and I really need to just let it go and move on. I don’t know how it’s piled up because I don’t feel like I’ve purchased much recently.

What I have noticed though is that there are still key pieces that I am missing that I either never owned to begin with or I got rid of because they no longer fit me.

These are some of the pieces that I would like to add to my wardrobe.

  • Black wool work pants – these need to not have pockets on the side because that is really unflattering on me. I would also like them to be straight leg so I can wear them with boots or heels alike.
  • Black, long-sleeved wool dress – I’d like this to be basic enough that I can wear casually or for work. I don’t mind what sort of neck line it has but I don’t want something that is cut at the waist.
  • Black short sleeve dress – I would like this one to be a bit more dressy that I could wear to weddings and events but still be able to dress down easily enough. Ideally it’d stop a couple inches above my knee and have either a scoop neck or v-neck.
  • Black shorts – these would need to be mid length so my butt-cheeks don’t hang out and long enough that I don’t get thigh chaffing.
  • Black leather loafers – no zips, ribbons, bows, buttons or any sort of embellishment. Just plain black, leather, slip on shoes.
  • Sheer black top – I don’t want that mesh/fishnet material but I want something that is dark enough to not be obviously sheer but still get hints of what is on underneath.

You’ll notice a bit of a trend here and that is that everything I want is black. This is for a couple of reasons – 1. It’s easier to mix and match clothing when they are all the same colour and 2. I don’t wear colour.  I’ve never been a fan of colour and always feel more comfortable in dark, neutral tones.

It’s been surprisingly difficult to find these items. I want to buy good quality investment pieces but I don’t necessarily want to spend a fortune on them. Ideally I’d like them to be made in Australia using Australian fabrics and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

The good thing is that I don’t immediately need these items so I have time to shop around and wait for sales. It’s been fun researching because I’ve also come across a number of designers that I’ve never encountered before and whilst I can’t afford most of their pieces it’s good to know that they are there if I ever need them.  Being this specific has also made me question whether I really need an item if I find something similar but not exactly what I want and truth be told, most of the time I don’t.

I’ve also started being really realistic about my clothing style. It’s best described as simple. I don’t have a work uniform but I’ve given myself one. In winter – black Cotton On jeans, black Rollie shoes, black Cotton On long sleeve top, black Cotton On singlet underneath and either a black Seed jumper or a black Cue jumper. In summer the only thing that changes is that the black long sleeve top becomes a short sleeve top and I may wear a black Asos skirt instead of the jeans with a pair of black Wittner heels. Because my work wardrobe is so basic it means that my weekend wardrobe has become that way now. I’ve realised that I don’t need all the different coloured tops I’ve kept just in case because realistically I’m not going to wear it.

But there is one part of my wardrobe that I can’t seem to let go of and that is my shoes. I have pairs of beautiful heels that I just don’t wear that I can’t bear to let go of. I know I should but I have such an attachment to them that I don’t want to let them go. So I’ve decided that’s ok – provided I let go of other pieces that I’m holding on to for no reason other than it cost a lot of money at the time.

 

What’s your wardrobe item you can’t bear to let go even though you never wear it?

10 Things To Go Through Right Now

Last night I went on a bit of a cleaning rampage. I randomly get these moods. The ones where you are so fed up with all the shit you’ve accumulated that you just want it gone as soon as possible. It baffles me that I have so much stuff. Mostly because I feel I make an effort to not buy things I don’t need. And despite my best efforts, I end up with cupboards full of crap and I get overwhelmed.

The good thing is that because these moods strike me every couple of months I know which areas to hit so I can start feeling better about the whole situation again.

  1. Old make up – I have tonnes which is ironic because I don’t wear make up unless I have a wedding or something like that.
  2. Magazines and newspapers – I never re-read them so I have no idea why I hold on to them. It must be the money value I’ve assigned to them.
  3. Cards – unless they are sentimental, I throw cards out. The only ones I’ve kept are special ones from my parents and the ones we received at our engagement party. These are filed away so they aren’t taking up space but any others get thrown out.
  4. Food in the pantry – Go through your pantry and I bet you’ll find a number of items that you’ve used once. There’s no point keeping things ‘just in case.’
  5. Jars in the refrigerator – same principle as above. We have a number of jars and things in our fridge that we don’t use regularly enough so keeping them in the fridge just wastes space.
  6. Old cords and technology – if it hasn’t worried you in a few years its time to throw it out. When I moved I threw out a number of cords that I had kept. I had no idea what they belonged to but thought I’d keep them ‘just in case.’
  7. Samples – I used to be such a sucker for samples but they just collected in a drawer never to be used. If you don’t use them within a couple of weeks of receiving them then chances are you never will.
  8. Disliked skincare – just chuck it. If you don’t like it now, chances are you never will.
  9. Vases – I have 4. A small, medium, and two large ones. I had about 12 at once stage but I really didn’t need that many. Now I have one for each size and that’s it.
  10. CD’s – Upload all your music and make it digital and get rid of the cds. Most of my cases were broken or missing so there was no point keeping them. I did keep a couple which had autographs and are sentimental to me but I got rid of the rest.

Getting rid of these things seems like a small step but in all honesty it makes me feel a lot clearer and settled. I get really anxious when I feel I have too many things so this helps to settle that feeling. Plus it’s productive cuz most of that stuff should be done on a regular basis anyway.

 

Do you ever get overwhelmed by what you own?

How To Say No To Stuff You Don’t Want

When my fiance and I moved into our new house we were given a lot of things – furniture, cutlery, crockery, towels, rugs, bedding and many other things. It were great to start with as we didn’t have to spend money on things that weren’t that important to us but it meant it became an expectation that any time someone didn’t want something that they would give it to us and we would be grateful. Except we weren’t.

So how do you go from just accepting everything thrown at you to saying no? Well it goes a little something like this –

  • ‘Thank you but no, I do not need anymore cushions/towels/cheese knives.’

If they insist or kick up a fuss –

  • ‘Thank you but again no, I don’t want it.’

If they keep insisting –

  • ‘As I’ve already said, no. Please stop insisting.’

Hopefully this is enough to stop them from continuing but if it doesn’t you may need to ignore it and change the subject –

  • ‘Have you tried that new Spanish tapas place around the corner yet?’

Alternatively you can just tell them to get out of your house for making you so uncomfortable.

I get it. This can be a difficult conversation to have and its mostly difficult because you’ve changed the script that the other person is used to. But that isn’t your problem, it’s theirs. So keep doing what you need to to make yourself clear. Steer away from ending anything with ‘right now’ because it implies that you are happy for them to try again and that is giving mixed signals. Be clear, direct and as polite as you need to be, remembering that its ok to decrease the level of politeness the more you have to repeat yourself.