The Konmari method vs Capsule Wardrobing vs old-fashioned decluttering

As I mentioned on Monday, I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up and I started listening today.

Since I’m not ready to write a review yet, I thought I’d give you a quick take on the book so far and then talk about other methods.

The short answer is – I already love a lot of it. Those who are Questioners will enjoy it too, I think :)

this photo is from last year – half those things I no longer own :)


The Konmari Method

If you search the hashtag #Konmari on Instagram, you will see amazing photos of people’s spaces (and I think, lives) being transformed.

I follow someone who is a huge crafter and she is KILLING it. She’s done her clothes, kids’ clothes, toys, books and craft stuff. Amazing.

For me so far, it’s about more than stuff and organising and I think that’s why this method is so successful.

The abstainers will love it; as a moderator, I’m listening in the car, cringing at the thought of ALL my stuff on my FLOOR (my trigger! I can’t STAND stuff on the floor – #justaskmykids) but I can see the attraction, especially for the abstainers. If you’re a moderator, my organise your home e-course is much more of a step-by-step process.

The main thing is “does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it. If not, toss. So simple and yet so powerful.


Capsule wardrobing

Capsule wardrobes don’t really work for me mainly because I’m not a neutral type of person and I really love colour. But I ignored the numbers of things you’re “supposed” to have in your capsule, did a work clothes and a casual clothes capsule, and that did it for me.

I have much less, and most things do go with one another.

The advantages for me – easy to dress in the mornings, very easy to pack when I went on holiday and almost everything goes with everything else.

The disadvantage for me – my clothes started feeling a bit boring – but then I told myself, “that’s what scarves are for” and I have plenty of those, so much so I actually decluttered some 😮

Storing handbags |

Old-fashioned decluttering

Before all these new-fangled ideas came about, there was old-fashioned decluttering, which worked just fine for most of us.

I’ve written plenty about decluttering clothes before, and what I said then is still true. The process is solid.

We typically wear only about 20% of our stuff so why not only keep the 20% and actually wear all the things we love.

Decluttering is not as trendy a word as a capsule wardrobe or Konmari is, but I promise, if you go step-by-step, it will still work.

My thoughts

Decluttering is more for the moderator, and Konmari is more for the abstainer.

Although if you want to make radical change quickly and you’re prepared for a bit of upheaval, then Konmari’s going to get the job done SUPER quick.

What’s working in terms of managing your clothes/ stuff these days?

Are you a moderator or an abstainer?

If you look in my bin right now, you’ll see two empty chocolate wrappers (Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bubbly – mini!).

In my defense (and I need one!), the bin hasn’t been emptied for 3 days.

Create a beautiful life |

However, there’s another side to this issue – if I hadn’t bought them, I wouldn’t have eaten them.

I only eat what’s there – I would never drive to the shops just to buy a chocolate bar.

I’m a clear abstainer with chocolate. Gretchen Rubin talks about this in Better Than Before.

It’s easier for me to totally not eat that chocolate (and chips!) than try to eat just a little of it.  With junk food, I seem to be an abstainer. Although I do think I’m more of a moderator because extreme diets just don’t do it for me.

I’m on Weigh-Less and we eat from all the food groups. This is not a food blog but many of the popular diets prohibit certain of my favourite food groups 😉

(Interestingly, in the book, she says all dieticians are moderators!)

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

With everything else though, I think I’m a moderator. Just think about the things I say:

  • Baby steps!
  • Do things 15 minutes at a time
  • Only put 5 things on your to-do list
  • A little bit is better than nothing.
  • Even if you only achieve 3 things this month, it’s better than having tried nothing.


Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

Which one are you – moderator or abstainer?

PS I’ve been very on the fence about The Life Changing magic of tidying up largely because of the extremist nature of the method. But some of my very favourite bloggers have totally bought into the idea so I think it’s worth checking out. All in the name of research for the blog 😉 I’ve just bought the book and will listen during August.

Half-year update on The 52 Project

This year I’m doing two main projects – The 52 Project – where I take a picture every week of my kids, and my #52walksin2015 project.

I’m updating today on the first project because:

  1. it keeps me accountable
  2. helps me to keep my photos reasonably organised if I know I have to give you feedback

This Sunday will be number 30 for the year and I’ve only missed 1 Sunday – the weekend Dion and I went away.

I was also away this past weekend but I got Dion to take a pic with one of our other cameras.

My purposes for this project are simply to get a snapshot in time. I don’t care about perfect clothes (obviously), kids, etc. I just want to take a pic of them on a Sunday afternoon.

It’s really cool to see the changing of the seasons too.

These photos are the 25 I have up until the end of June.

As I always say, it’s never too late to start a project!

Tips and tricks:

  1. make it super easy (I take a few minutes and we’re done)
  2. label your photos well
  3. keep track (I have a spreadsheet with weeks of the year and dates)
  4. choose the photo that is most interesting/ tells a story, not necessarily the picture perfect one – those are the ones people (and your kids) are interested in
  5. store your chosen pics in a separate folder and label accordingly – you may want to make a photo album at the end of the year. I have a folder called The 52 Project and my files are labelled 01-52, 02-52, etc.

I’m going to have to do a similar sorting exercise for my #52walksin2015 project but I know we’d done 32 walks by the time we returned from our holiday a few weeks ago.

You can check out how I’m doing on my Goodreads reading challenge by clicking the link on the top right of the sidebar —–>>>>

How are you doing on your projects?

Do you have a photo/ walking/ running/ crafting project going on?

How I get it all done

How I get it all done |

When people hear that I work full-time, am married, have twins, blog and coach time management, they often ask me how I get it all done.

Ha! I don’t.

Yes, I do a lot but the bigger focus should be on what I don’t get done.

Let me explain and help you to also get it “all” done:

1. Get very clear on your life’s purpose

I have my life mission typed out and I know my definition of success in life.

I also know my values. A quick secret – one of those values is not to have the laundry perfectly done, but it is to take action. This will help you get clear on your purpose and values.

Are you clear on your life purpose?

How I get it all done |

2. Make friends with “good enough”

I feel that it’s better to have something done than have it perfect.

If you’re cringing at that sentence, let me tell you that I used to be you. That was until I realized that trying to get the last 20% of any project perfect usually takes more time than the previous 80%.

E.g. If we were to make a picture collage, it would take just a few minutes to select photos and group them in a collage. The playing around to get the best configuration with the best background and font, and so on takes 3 – 5 times longer than just creating the initial collage.

There is a time and place for prettying something up – maybe for your children’s birthday party but for general sending out of occasional photos to family, that level of extreme detail is not necessary.

Do you know where 80% is enough in your life, or are you still stuck on doing things perfectly?

How I get it all done |

3. Make a To Not Do list

We all know there are 24 hours in a day and there is not enough time to do everything.

It’s far more important these days to know which things to leave on the To Not Do list.

• In my business, I do only things that need my “essence” and delegate the rest to my virtual assistant.
• In my personal life, it’s important for me to cook from scratch but it’s not important for me to peel and chop all the vegetables myself.

Can you see the difference?

How I get it all done |

4. Decide where you want to use your time and then don’t feel guilty about it

Be intentional about your time usage. I don’t watch TV which apparently saves me hours every week :) but I do spend a fair amount of time on the computer writing, blogging, photos, etc.

If you spend more time watching TV because that’s the way you relax, be intentional and enjoy it!

I’ve chosen to do otherwise. Neither is right or wrong.

I don’t feel guilty about the computer time because I know why I’m doing it.

How about you?

Where do you want to be spending your time and why? Are you intentional about it?

Do you know how to organise your time effectively?

How I get it all done |

5. Take consistent action

Unfortunately getting things done is not going to just happen so you’ve got to take consistent action.

Whether it’s moving forward with one big leap or lots of little leaps, I try to take some action every day.

I’m fairly good at constantly reviewing where I am in relation to my goals; you can get that way too.

Do you take consistent action ?

Now I want to hear from you – what’s on your To Not Do list?

My life in Instagrams – April

I spent the weekend in Port Elizabeth for my mother’s birthday and a Spanish reunion :) so to ease me into the week, an easy post.


From our holiday in Sabie


Most of these are from the Easter weekend


Kendra reunited after her first sleepover, and just one very important item on my daily to-do list!


that chair, Project Life, autumn walks and kid stuff


That’s Connor and me on a walk in the middle on the top. Do you like my lime-green handbag?


beautiful light everywhere! 20-year anniversary and lunch with a friend


Are you following me on Instagram?

I have two accounts – one for Organising Queen and my main one.

What (if anything) do you do with your Instagrams?

{Creating} your ideal weekend

I’ve shared the components of my ideal weekend before but let’s talk more about how to create yours, and then how to consistently have a great weekend.

M faves

  1. Define what an ideal weekend looks like for you and your family. Write as many words as you want – the main thing is to get clear on what you want :)
  2. Make categories. Mine are Out and About, House stuff, Computer stuff, Relaxing
  3. Make a list on a Friday evening (or earlier, if you like to get things going) for the weekend ahead
  4. Be sure to add in the “anchor events” as Laura Vanderkam refers to them. For us, that’s gym and church, and any birthday parties or other socials.
  5. Display this list in a prominent place (mine goes on my desk) and leave a highlighter nearby
  6. As you go about your day, cross them off with wild abandon.
  7. Tweak for the following weekend until you get the mix right for it to feel like an ideal weekend for you.

Here are some pics of my list-making in progress:

IMG_8105 IMG_8106 IMG_8107 IMG_8110

Do you use weekend to-do lists?

If you post yours on Instagram, please tag @organisingqueen so I can take a peek :)


Favourite lists I use to manage my time


When you write things down, it frees your mind for the big picture thinking (important things) and you don’t have to worry so much about remembering the details.

If you’ve downloaded the Time Management Purpose Pack, you’ll notice that there are a lot of different forms. I give you all of those for options.

At some point or another, I’ve used each of them but there are only a few I use on a regular basis:

1. Master list

This is a place for my “brain dump”, a place for ideas I have or possible projects I need to tackle.

You can work off one master list for months, like I do with my business or blogging ideas. I do re-write mine now and again because it motivates me when it’s a shorter list.

100 things to do list |www.

This is the master list for the house.

2. To-do list

A typical to-do list can be monthly, weekly or daily. I use a weekly list when Beth and I chat, I make a weekend to-do list and I have a very short daily to-do list following Eat the Frog principles.

The difference between a to-do list and the master list is that this one has a time deadline attached to it.



I want to caution you to only put a maximum of 6 items on your daily to-do list so you don’t become overwhelmed!

3. Checklist

I love checklists. This is a place with a list of items which you check/ tick off.

I use this kind list for anything I need to do regularly. I have one for my monthly photo organising, a packing checklist, a shopping list, a “newsletter” checklist and Trisha, my virtual assistant, uses a few more checklists to add products to the store, and so on.

Once you start using the right list for the correct task, you’ll be flying!

You can download a variety of lists in the free pack on my website.

Of these lists, my favourite favourite one is the weekend to-do list. I love the satisfaction of highlighting all the done tasks as the weekend progresses. #itsthesmallthings

Please share your favourite lists with me in the comments.

An update on the Moment app

I wrote a post some time back about how shocked I was by the data the Moment app gave me about my phone usage.

You can read that post here.

I kept it going for awhile but then I deleted the app.

Message notifications on iphone

This screenshot was taken on my birthday last year, which is why the emails, messages, phone calls and whatsapps are out of control :)


I have data for March – mid-June which I thought I’d share with you:

Month Minutes Pickups
March 131 29
April 146 28
May 116 29
June 104 35
Overall averages
124 30

This still shocks me when I look at it objectively – both in the number of minutes a day (on average, over 2 hours a day) and the 30 pickups.


No wifi

When I’d first checked, I noticed some of my behaviour:

  1. I pick up the phone to switch off the alarm about 3 times a day (snooze!).
  2. On the two days a week I travel by myself, I go in a bit later, and waste a fair amount of time on Instagram in the morning.
  3. Every time a notification message pops up, I pick up the phone.
  4. On the other hand, if I leave the phone in my bag, hours go by without me checking it (when having lunch/ supper with friends – this is good!)
  5. Intentional phone usage is not the problem – I knew when I was on Instagram, checking text messages, checking steps on my Fitbit, checking my email, checking my calendar, etc. – it’s the phone pickups I wasn’t aware of that were the problem for me.

Usually with these kinds of things (monitoring apps), one changes behaviour because you know the app is “watching” you.

I didn’t. I still want to check my steps, email, messages, etc. and I only used to check them about three times a day unless the phone was on my desk.

Fitbit app

The only things that helped me were:

  1. disabling all those blinking notifications
  2. removing apps from the phone
  3. leaving the phone in my handbag unless it was time to check emails, Instagram, etc.
  4. when charging the phone via my computer’s USB port, I plug the charger in and push the phone to behind the laptop so I don’t see all the blinking going on.

In a month or two’s time, I want to download the app again, and let it monitor my usage for a month to see if any of my good habits have stuck.

Now tell me…did you download the Moment app? were you surprised by the results?

Organising with mini bags

I love the concept of everything in its place, and I find that this works really well in my handbag if I use a little bag for all the categories.

I used to use mesh bags before – still love them!


There are the obvious categories like the one for make-up but I have a few others:

  • technology – power bank and charger, phone charger and car charger
  • nail polish
  • pencil bag


This little bag was a gift from a friend and housed lip balms. I liked the lip balms but I LOVE the bag because it’s my new nail polish bag.

You see, I have a “thing” – I can’t stand chipped nail polish. If my nail polish chips, I need to fix it. I even keep nail polish remover and cotton wool in my work drawer.

So this is very useful for me.


So easy to keep things organised and more importantly, so easy to find when I need to fix something.

Do you use little bags within your main handbag?

The twins turn 6… and outer order, inner calm

First up, my kids turned 6 yesterday. How did that happen?

3105 best-012

To celebrate, you can use code KANDCTURN6 on page in the store to get 12% (2 x 6-year-olds) off anything you fancy. I suggest the Organise your Home course or Break out of Overwhelm as those are the first two things I think of when I think of the TWINS :)

The coupon code is valid for one week only.


Now for today’s post.

I think there’s a lot of truth to the statement “outer order, inner calm” which I first read about in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project.

Outer order, inner calm

The idea is that if your outer environment is ordered and organised, so too will your inner environment be.

I’ve seen this concept play out both in my own life and in the lives of my clients. This is often how I’ve seen it show up:

– I’m more inspired to cook or bake if the kitchen is sparkling clean
– When my photos are in order, I want to play more with my photography. On the other hand, if I’m behind on photo organising, I often feel reluctant to take photos because I know it’s just adding more work to my backlog.
– When my desk is neat and tidy, or at least organised, I feel like my mind is more organised and I can be focussed and productive while tackling my Eat the Frog tasks
– When my house is organised and in order, I’m more able to relax with a book
– My creative clients have told me that when they take some time to sort out their environment, they are more creative

How have you observed this concept playing out in your own life?

organised wardrobe

I’m not for a minute suggesting that you’re not productive, effective or creative if your environment isn’t tidy and organised; I’m just saying that I’ve seen this in a lot of people and in my own life. I think it’s because 65% of people are visual learners.

If you’re also very visual, here are a few tips to maximise your effectiveness:

  • Reduce the flow of paper into your life and have a system to contain it.
  • Have a place for everything and don’t just put things down; put them away. It takes just a few seconds longer but it’s so worth it.
  • Build in a 5-minute desk tidy at the end of your daily work routine
  • Declutter regularly and as much as you can manage.
  • Stop bringing things/ stuff into your home. One of my friends has a no gift policy for birthdays but they gladly accept cards.

Your coaching challenge

Which of the five points above do you most need to implement? Number them from 1 – 5 and try working on them with the most important one first.

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