Unroll.me: The Purger and Merger

Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock. Like, didn’t sign up for spotify until the end of last year type of rock.

It’s no surprise that with my fossilized tech sense of living that I also just used unroll.me for the first time ever. And goodness, is it awesome.

You go to the site, then allow it access to your contacts and sign into your email account. Then, magic happens. And if you’re drowning in junk mail like me, this might take a couple minutes.

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There is one catch. They let you unsubscribe from about 10ish things and then tell you to share it to be able to unsub to more. I just shared it privately to my FB and voila. All the unsubs.

Look at that number! I am a worm! I used to shop in person and online A LOT. And what do they do at checkout? Ask you for your email.

It also had blogger subscriptions which makes it easy to clean up blog subs from multiple places like blogger and wordpress. I mostly kept my blog subs but there were a few style/beauty ones I said adios to.

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Step one. I cleared out 57 my first attempt and then realized I had no idea what rolling up emails meant.

Round 2:

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I looked in the FAQ and rolled up emails means instead of getting 80 things you can get them all in one place merged in one email. I rolled up most of my shopping subs, art/event subs, concert subs, and etcetera emails and went from a cleaned up 97 emails to 43 kept in inbox. Glorious.

Here’s what I didn’t roll up:

– My blog subs I love and want to know about ASAP or be able to read via email.
– My top 5 shopping spots only because I do appreciate knowing what’s in season there and getting those quick sale codes when offered. Because 50-75% is amazing. With stuff I’ve already planned to buy, anyway. Not to impulse shop(at least, not as much as before).
– Anything related to banking/medical/bills

It’s a life changer.

While I keep a very uncluttered new email account, I still like holding on to my old one for sales posts and blog subs. It helps me separate things. I like that with the rolled up email I can still keep my retail subs from pertinent places without being tempted to look at them unless I need them. And that my inbox won’t get 30+ emails a day from mindless sources.

Amazon Find: TableTote Plus

Remember when I found a desk that rolls over a bed and that was the perfect room solution for me? I’ve found another crazy awesome product. This one is more of a dorm room/college piece of furniture but since I need functional, multipurpose, and easy to fold down, this is perfect.

First of all, this isn’t sponsored or anything. This is just something I’m excited about. I didn’t get free product or paid to say all this. lol.

Folded up, it’s 11″ x 13″ x 1.5″ which is roughly a little larger than a binder. Here’s the package it came in. The shrink wrap warped the outside paper a bit but the product wasn’t harmed. You can kind of see on this that the legs and pieces store in the foam which becomes the underside of the table. You can see this is the “plus” edition which includes the cup holder and cellphone holder.
The standard version is $2 less.

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1. Slide the one side off (the left part you see in the next pic) and place and slide so it attaches to the top part.

2. Take the pieces from the underside that are housed in foam and build.

3. The telescoping legs adjust to several heights. The picture below is at the lowest height setting.

4. Voila!
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It also comes with a small telescoping wand that holds papers. Super handy. And the black tray slides so you can extend the space out a bit depending on what you’re doing.

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Image Credit: Tabletote Plus on Amazon

Here’s a standard piece of printer paper over the cover which is practically the compact size, on the fully built table.
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It’s pretty sturdy and tall enough to function as a nightstand and side table and bed tray since my overbed desk is not deep enough to hold a keyboard or graphic tablet. And if I need the space or want my room to look nice for company, I can store it on my bookshelf or on the side of my bed where it’s a gap for the legs of the overbed desk.

The cup holder is super useful. I can put a clean cup in it and use it to hold my tablet pen or art supplies, or use it to keep my water bottle/drink without stealing desk area. The phone holder is not really worthwhile and while it stashes a phone it doesn’t hold it very well. HOWEVER…since I’m using this as a night stand the foam in it is perfect for when I take off earrings and jewelry before bed and keeping them in place. Otherwise I find it’s rolled away when I turn off my phone alarm in the morning etc. So it has a purpose, I guess.

At less than $30 this wasn’t crazy expensive but it’s still not exactly cheap. I do think it’s fairly priced. I had an amazon gift card and I have prime, so I pretty much spent $8 out of pocket and for that I am very pleased!

More Minimizing Musings

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve been inspired to research more about minimalism and capsule wardrobes. The ideals, while not right for me, are really helpful as I am still discovering what sparks joy in my life and how to look at my “stuff” with an honest and mindful eye.

I stumbled across a plus size capsule article that piqued my interest. Mostly because it offered so many valid points. Two stood out to me. First, as a fat gal, amen to the thighs eating pants! I know many minimalist blogs say invest in costly pieces that will last you but plus size gals know the difficulty that is rubbing the inner thigh portion of pants to a pilled or holey mess. The other point was most important. Minimalism as we see it today is a fad of living in excess and having a privileged life.

It’s easy for me to react to that and think I am not privileged, but I am. I like to think of it as being blessed and well cared for despite not making much, but it’s true. One of the reasons I’m in this pit is because I’ve allowed having a little more than enough become a consumerist issue. I’ve fallen prey to owning too much just because I can. How many hours have I wasted wandering aimlessly and getting joy from stuff I shouldn’t own? I should be considering this more carefully. It means I’ve been frivolous and have room to work on how I spend and save my money. It also means I need to be more mindful with what I keep and what I bring into my home.

Be a ruthless editor of what you bring into your home. Ask yourselves, “What does this object mean to me?” – Nate Berkus (interior designer)

Some of the things that inspire me from minimalism are:

1.  Seeking the best of the best in items.

For example, being purposeful and researching even little stuff like kitchen spoons to make sure you love using it and only need one or a few to do something well. It’s no longer about savings or quantity, the value is rather placed in form, function, and purpose. For a kitchen item, that purpose may be more utilitarian. For a necklace however, that might be form – the pendant goes with many styles, function – the chain doesn’t pull hair out and is easy to clasp, and purpose – makes me feel beautiful and put together. If I apply this what gives me joy (KonMari) it makes it easier to make decisions on what goes in my home and what I let go of.

2. Mindfully opening up your space and life.

The best minimalist blogs treat minimalism with a purpose. I found out that there are two types of minimalism. One is domestic, and that is have a system that works for an efficient home and life. The other is travel based, and that is where you see people limiting to the extreme in pursuit of fun experiences over items. I used to think minimalists were just fans of all things white and black and boring, but there is no hard rule unless you’re going for extreme. Walls don’t need to be blank, furniture doesn’t have to be modern, but everything is edited down to essentials and the idea is to only own what fits your purpose. Minimalists don’t think of themselves as limited but rather they are equipped with all that the need and don’t want to fuss with more because it’s not necessary or doesn’t fit their purpose. Less clothes means less laundry. Less furniture and nic nacs means easier and more efficient cleaning. Less buying means more financial freedom. All their minimalist choices serve a purpose.

3. Making the most of what you have.

Rather than thinking they are limited by their space or lack of extra things, they think of how to best work their space and make do with what they have. This is where I fall short the most. I am guilty of thinking “if only” quite a lot and wanting items I already have just because it’s a little nicer when what I have is fine. I need to tap into a spirit of contentedness and be grateful instead of wishful. Perhaps if I did better in the area of gratitude I’d  not be so tempted by retail therapy. When I was a kid, I didn’t have a lot of toys. I thrived on being resourceful and using some imagination to make what was around the house work. Later as a teen, I applied this concept to cooking with what ingredients were in the house and make fun meals that made me proud. Sure, it wasn’t Pinterest worthy, but it kept those items from spoiling and it was fun to experiment and not be restrained to a recipe. Making the most of what I had in those instances was really fulfilling. And it still is today.

Have you found your “a-ha” or “just right” point with belongings? If you have anything to add, please comment and let me know!

KonMari Tips for the Plus Sized

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As many of you know, I’m still in the process of tidying. I did fairly well for my last space but moved and now need to find that ‘ah-ha!’ for my smaller space.

I have inquired about tips for plus sized but haven’t heard back officially unless Marie Kondo has touched on this subject in Spark Joy which I’m nearly halfway through.

There are a few hiccups for doing the KonMari method with plus sized clothing…

1. Our clothes tend to be wider and longer
2. Our clothes are more bulky in general
3. Our folding method articles often stand too “tall” to stand in an average dresser drawer
4. Some of us have more cover-up or modesty pieces (personal choice)
5. It can be hard to Spark Joy with certain articles of clothing depending on body type notions

1. Wider Longer Clothes

Our clothes require a few extra steps to fit our drawers better. I like to overlap the sleeves over each other more. This keeps the folded piece from being too long. A size L or XL person may not not have as much difficulty with width, but may need help with length. For length, take your finger and make imaginary lines or actually press into the garment where you would fold it until it’s short enough to fit the depth of your drawer.

File side to side, not front to back. This will help you fit more clothes and see everything in your drawer.

2. Bulky Items

Heavy winter pieces and outerwear DO NOT take up less space for us when folded. They take up whole drawers. Kondo suggests not hiding your clothes or storing them elsewhere lest you neglect the item. Here’s my suggestion:

Put your heavy sweaters, robes, and outerwear all in your coat closet (if you have one). Make sure you don’t keep ANY of them in your bedroom or other closets or you’ll be breaking the KonMari principal of all of one thing in one place. Or, use vacuum bags to suck up the air (individual bags per coat/sweater) and hang them in your closet on pant clips. Marie speaks of considering each piece and treating it with care, but unfortunately, your snow jacket will eat a good portion of closet space if you just hang it. Keep it loved by folding it and only using one garment per vacuum bag. Think of it as a case to display not to confine. It helps keep other clothes from getting lost in its bulk.

Do fold: slinky crochet sweaters, thin knit cardigans, lightweight sweaters, raglans, long sleeves, items that don’t wrinkle easily

Do Hang: jersey knit open sweaters, thicker cardigans, heavy but not bulky sweaters, embellished sweaters, raincoats, trenchcoats, heavy wool items, silky slippery materials

3. Items Stand Too Tall for Your Drawer

This isn’t just a problem for plus size people. Perhaps you are a standard or petite size but own some tunics that you wear with leggings or as short dresses and need to work them into a drawer. Or perhaps your significant other or son aren’t large in the weight sense but are just very tall and buy extra long clothes.

Remember how many folds you used and try adding one to two more folds to get it smaller. Remember to taper the folds a bit to help it “stand.” Draw an imaginary line or gently press down to crease where you would fold until you find that number. Remember how many folds you need for that type and they should fit.

4. More Layering Items

Just to clarify, this isn’t a problem for everyone. This is something I’ve noticed for me, though. Being overweight, I find I personally have more undershirts to smoothe my silhouette or to make low cut or thin tops more modest. I am busty and while I understand some cleavage is bound to happen, I don’t like being self conscious about shirts revealing more than I like if I bend over or slouch or cross my arms. Clingy shirts tend to show my rolls and so I use undershirts to make them less visible or have the shirt hang better. I also like to add cover ups like boleros and cardigans and open jersey knit sweaters to cover my arms and keep perpetually cold me comfortable temperature wise. They don’t all spark joy because of how they look, but they spark joy for the extra comfort they give me. If you feel guilty about keeping a lot of layering pieces, you may feel like I do. That they help you feel more comfortable and help you wear your clothes better. Don’t feel bad.

Don’t keep everything, though. Be honest. Maybe you have some white undershirts or tanks that are em…not truly white anymore. They’re now yellowing from regular wear and are so off white you can’t show them under deep v’s and scoops so you hide them under thin tops. That’s when I’d say it’s time to thank it and let it go. Or maybe you have 10 black undershirts and really only need 4 to rotate through. Find which ones flatter you most and thank the others and donate the rest. Same with the layering pieces. If you find that you are just trying to hide stuff, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to those tops or dresses and find more flattering pieces. If that outerwear isn’t versatile enough to wear with other pieces from your closet, maybe that top/dress and that outerwear piece both need to go into the donate pile.

 5. Body Types and Being Uniquely You

Whether you enjoy/are comfortable being plus size or are struggling with it, remember clothing is a way we get to express ourselves. We are all unique. Some people struggle with being super slim, other people struggle with carrying extra weight. Others easily embrace their size. Wherever you are, don’t let your unique shape be a negative. Part of the KonMari process is to learn more about yourself and where you want to be. Do you need to make body peace? Do you need new clothes that express who you are? Do you need to let go of smaller sizes that rob your joy for the pieces that fit you currently?

Perhaps you carry it all in hips. Or all in your belly. Or you feel disproportionate. I guarantee you that you’re not alone in these feelings. Get rid of articles of clothing that bring you down. Allow yourself to only buy clothes that spark joy so you don’t have negative energy in your closet. Or remember that you have that piece of clothing because it’s functional and meets a need. Create a sense of style that helps you shine and displays more than the physical appearance of you. Something that defines you as a whole – body, spirit, and mind.

Maybe you’re placing all that focus into clothes when it’s accessories that will bring that expressive factor. Bright scarves? Dainty earrings? Loud statement necklaces? Soft and sweet hairstyles and hairbands? Nerdy pins on your purse or sweater that proclaim your fandom or smarts? If you can’t communicate who you are to the world with your clothes, go for that wow factor with accessories. Whether you gain more weight or lose weight in the future, these pieces aren’t defined by your size. They exist to help you show who you are, at any size. Let them add joy.

I hope these tidbits help you! Please give me some KonMari tips too, I am all ears!

KonMari Method Part 1

Last weekend I decided to embark on putting the KonMari method to practice.

I am still working through the clothes category, but I decided to learn how to feel my “Joy Spark” with dresses since it’s probably my smallest category clothes wise.

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Admittedly, dresses are my most frivolous purchase. They make me feel beautiful and I like having a new dress to commemorate an extra special occasion. This year I had a wedding to attend, two graduations, and other functions and yes, I let myself buy a new one for each one. That’s probably how I ended up with 51 dresses total. Which, I’ll admit, is more than I ever needed! I whittled the collection down to 34 which still seems a bit large but does include extra dressy ones and ones I do rotate into my work wear. I don’t currently like how tunics look on my body right now as I’m heavier than when I purchased many of them (some of these items are a decade old) so it was easy to say goodbye to them.

Next, I did my bras, underwear, tights, and slips. I’ve always folded my undies as I think they look better that way but I did use a few shoeboxes to keep things compartmentalized and it made a huge difference! I wear a large cup and band size for bras so I think I will be moving my bras out of the drawer where they are being crumpled and jammed and put them in my closet.

And then, the madness of shirts and pants and tank tops. Oh my…that took up the rest of my day and I still have pants to work on as I mostly did shirts.

I’ll admit, getting things to stand and folding them KonMari style was more frustrating than I first thought. Because I am plus size, my clothes are wider and longer. This makes larger and longer rectangles that don’t stand as easily. I decided for pants to fold in the crotch area to bring the size down a little and for sweaters, to overlap a bit of shoulder to make them more compact. Despite frustration, the neat looking piles and streamlined look kept me motivated.

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I’m not a big shoe buyer so I reached out on freecycle for some clean shoeboxes and supplemented what I could find at the dollar store and Daiso. See how kempt everything is starting to look? Ahhh…

Remember how I said I’m plus size so my folded clothes are wider? I own a cheapie chest of drawers to begin with so it is not very deep or tall. My solution was to lay the clothes vertically. I was able to fit most of my folded tees into one drawer, where before it was a few drawers and then some. This was the most rewarding part of my day.

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I’m making progress! There’s much more to do this weekend. I also have a good amount of clothes to launder so I’m getting that out of the way so I’ll be ready to tackle part two.

From mostly tops alone, I filled two trash bags to donate. The dresses I plan to sell or give to someone (truly) in need of some.