Decluttering with the KonMari Method

KonMari Method - cultivatedrambler.comSo let’s talk about the KonMari Method of decluttering. I know, I’m late to the party…this book was huge at the beginning of this year. Whoops! I randomly came across an article a few weeks back talking about its folding methods and all of a sudden I was in the internet research downward spiral. I was intrigued, I was hooked, and I bought the e-book immediately. I spent the next two days powering through it, taking notes as I went and reading though provoking passages out loud to my husband. I was hands down sold (he was not). I was going to become the tidiest person I know.

The basic concept of the method is to get rid of anything that does not “spark joy” in your life, thank it for its service then organize what you have left in an origami-like fashion. No need for special organization systems, bins or boxes either. A shoe box lid or Tupperware container will do the trick.

This all sounds well and good, but let’s talk about real life implementation people. Was it a catalyst to get a major purge done? HELL YES. Am I going to keep our house tidy 24/7? Probably not. Did I find some new ways to keep things a bit more decluttered and organized? For sure! Has it given me a new outlook on things I own? Most def.

Like the book suggests, I decided that my clothes were the best place to start and blocked off an entire afternoon to tackle the project. I love clothes and getting dressed up, but I was holding onto plenty of mediocre things that when put on, did not make me feel like a million bucks aka “spark joy.”

My donate/sell pile got very large very fast and it felt GOOD. It took me about three hours to go through everything then another two to fold and put things away. In the end, I donated or sold about 10 bags of stuff. I went from two full dressers down to one and emptied half my closet. Our bedroom has space now, like open physical space that feels kinda wonderful. And picking out an outfit in the morning is a breeze because I know that every single item is the most flattering, feel good piece of its kind.

In the next week, I also went through my papers and photos. I downsized from 30+ files to five and although I kept many pictures, I actually spent the time organizing and putting them into photo books. I do plan on going through other groups of things i.e. kitchen and bath items in the near future using this same technique.

I will never have that “everything in its exact place” sort of house, but it definitely brings a new, lighter energy to things. And now when I’m out shopping, I take a good, hard look at each and every item to make sure it’s the right fit for me. If it doesn’t “spark joy” then it’s not coming home!

Biggest takeaways:

It got me thinking about what really means the most in my life and only surround myself with those items. Why hang on to things that don’t make me 110% happy? If that means having less, well that’s cool.

Sometimes an item is hard to let go of because it represents something important or memorable from the past. Acknowledge its place and time with those special memories, then let it go. It’s served its purpose. This was a big one for me.

It made me re-think my whole pajama/lounge wear situation. I’ve always been a crappy sweat pants and hoodie sort of gal, but I took her words to heart and made myself a nice little lounge wear wardrobe from items already in my closet. And guess what? Not a pair of sweat pants in sight! I feel like a lady of the house now and not a frumpy old maid J

I was always of the mind set of hanging every piece of clothing so I could see it, but then I’d run into a super stuffed closet where I could hardly pull a blouse out. I thought the folding technique was sorta stupid at first, but now I’m hooked. It’s a pain to do it the first time, but easy to maintain.


This is an emergency 2…


OK, getting out of Europe trip recap mode and back to reality for a minute. Check out part 1 of my emergency preparedness brain dump here.

So we’ve got all of the supplies in order. What else are we missing? Ahhh, that’s right: food and water.

We recently purchased a Berkey water filter. Seattle water is great, but our pipes and/or water heater aren’t in the best shape so we bought this bad boy for uber water filtration. It will come in handy if we have to snag water from an alternative water source like our Water Bob 🙂 We also have 25 gallons of water stored with this cool boxed water kit. The general rule of thumb is to have one gallon of water per person for two weeks, which we don’t quite have, but hell, it’s better than nothing! I also plan on adding iodine pills to the mix down the road.

Out of everything that needs to be prepped, food is where I’m the weakest. I’ve never been able to figure out a good system for rotation and end up wasting a lot of items that I don’t catch before they expire. There are also items that have a great shelf life that I’d rather not eat on the regular. Here’s a list of what I try and keep on-hand.

  • Rice and beans – I like the Vigo brand
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal – Trader Joe’s carries one that rocks
  • Nuts – Costco has an assorted, no salt mix that’s handy to have around
  • Pasta
  • Power bars – Larabars are my jam
  • Rice
  • Instant tea and coffee
  • Sports drinks
  • Soup and chili
  • Booze!

I like to think that my gardening skills could come in handy too if there happened to be some sort of food shortage, but I can only count on that for four or five months out of the year right now. I do plan on winter gardening next year though so that could help stretch that length of time.

Oh, and I can’t forget Miss Stella! I always pick up the largest bag of dry dog food possible to keep around. She mostly eats wet food but I can never keep up with buying enough – it’s darn expensive too. At least I know she’d be OK crunching on some dry stuff if it came down to it.

OK folks, what am I missing?


Thinking Dirty

Working towards gentler, cruelty free beauty products - cultivatedrambler.comI’ve been thinking a lot lately about my health and beauty products ie. what’s behind a company’s flashy marketing materials vs. what’s actually in those bottles. I feel that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there and, as a consumer, I’d like to make more conscious, educated decisions when I head to my local Bartell’s (gosh, I love that store!)

I’ve decided to test out two apps to find out critical information about the products I use on the daily: Think Dirty and Skin Deep. I also like to keep Cruelty Free International/PETA in mind too as I’d rather not use products tested on animals – this site is super helpful in breaking it all down. I’m still a bit torn about animal ingredients in a product like bee’s wax or hair/fur used in brushes if it was taken in a non-harmful way…to each their own I say!

So here’s a list of the bathroom basics that I use daily and their ratings.  (more…)



IMG_2446It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster these past few days. My heart is both a bit heavier and a bit lighter at the same time – if that makes any sense? Heavy because a friend’s family lost their house in the Chelan Complex Fire and even heavier realizing that my other dear friend witnessed the two year anniversary of his beautiful mother passing away from cancer this week. Gawd life, can’t you make it just a little easier on the ones I love?

But then a sweet little light appeared at the end of the tunnel. A darling baby girl came into the world and joined my college BF’s growing, beautiful family this week. Welcome Miss Stella. You came along at just the right time.



Cappy's Boxing Gym, Seattle -

Cappy’s keeping it real.

Now that I’ve been through two cycles of ClassPass, I thought it’s time to give it an ole review. My previous group class membership, FitMob, was bought by ClassPass, so it’s the only gig in town now. I was a bit bummed at first. I liked that Fitmob did not limit how many times you could visit a studio per month while ClassPass did. ClassPass only allows you to book one week out too, which I thought would be an issue, but it hasn’t been so far.

I really like the concept of having access to all sorts of gyms and studios around town. A single month long pilates studio membership can run you upwards of $80 and this pass is $70 and gives you WAY more options. This gal likes her options! Here are some of my favorite classes:


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