Cleaning Chronicles

An Updated Closet Clean out.

Hello, my dear friends! I hope that your week is off to a great start! I’ve been spending it trying to tidy up our closet, as it has gotten pretty messy. I’ve been working on cleaning it for about a week now. Slow and steady, my friends. Slow and steady.

I’ve actually written a blog post about cleaning one’s closet before, last December, but, I have a whole different apartment now! I thought an update would be nice. Especially since I’ve been working on it all week.

My closet now is a whole new shape than it was in my old apartment, so I had to come up with a brand new way of organizing it. And for those who don’t know me super well, I can be a tad particular about organization… so it can end up being quite a process for me.

One of the first steps to cleaning out your closet is to remove anything that doesn’t belong. I had plenty of things that had found themselves in the closet that didn’t belong there. Generally just Bobby and me shoving things in there when we had guests… but remove anything that doesn’t belong in the closet. Maybe it’s dirty clothes that need to be washed, or perhaps some crafting supplies, or even clothes that you don’t want anymore.

In my last closet clean out, I know that I talk about the various ways that we can rid ourselves of clothes we no longer desire, but for this round, I chose to do two things.

I sold a lot of clothes to Plato’s closet. I didn’t have one in Mount Pleasant, so I really enjoyed the ease of being able to bring clothes in and then immediately be done with it. That being said, Plato’s closet is VERY selective with the clothing they take, so keep that in mind. You may need to find other ways to take care of those clothes.

The other thing that I’ve been doing is upcycling old clothing.I recently bought a sewing machine (!!!) and I have been having such a wonderful time with it. This may not be for everyone, but I think it’s a super fun way to make use of items we already have.

Once you banish all the items you don’t want in your closet, it’s time for my favorite part… ORGANIZATION!!!

I like to organize my hanging clothes by type AND by color. I have a section for my skirts, dresses, long sleeved shirts, and then short sleeved shirts. And then within those categories I organize by color. I also make sure that all the clothes are facing the same direction AND the same color. (I believe I mentioned being VERY particular about such things…)
For Bobby’s side, I hang up his belts, his short sleeved shirts, his long sleeved shirts, and then his suit jackets. And then also by color.
Our closet also has this wonderful shelving unit built in that I use as well. I have baskets that contain my folded t-shirts, undergarments, and then winter hats. ( A little random of an assortment, I know!)
I use the shelving units themselves for my sweaters, my sun hats, and Bobby’s hats as well.

The containers all from either Target, Walmart, or TJ Maxx, from when I moved into my first apartment. If I were to replace these pieces, I would probably start at the thrift store. I have quite a few other furniture pieces from Goodwill and I find that they are not only cheaper than something you’d find at a store like Target, but they tend to be better quality as well.

I also utilize hangers to hang up scarves and belts. I know that there are fancier and cuter ways to do it, but using hangers works just fine for me! Even if I do wish it looked just a little bit cuter…

Another item that is extremely helpful is an over-the-door hook. These can be as basic or as fancy as you choose. The one that I use in my closet has eight hooks. I use them to hang up purses and bags. I don’t have very many of either, so the four hooks work perfectly! Over-the-door hooks are useful for every room, though. I have one in the bathroom for my towel as well.

There is much more to my closet, but I don’t want to bore my lovely readers with the details of every nook and cranny. So, on that note, I bid you all goodnight! (Yet another late night blog post!)

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Musings · Uncategorized

The Art of Keeping a Cozy House.

Hello, friends! A happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I definitely did. I was able to spend lots of time with my family, which I always love. Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it was outside. Finally! Spring weather! Sundress season here I come!

I spent most of my Saturday at my Momma’s house, which got me to thinking about how cozy it is. How could I have forgotten that? How can I have a house that’s half as cozy?!

I have never wanted to live in a large home with expensive, white appliances and impractical white furniture. My heart skips a beat whenever I see old farm houses way out in the boonies. I love houses filled with antiques and well-loved furniture. Anything handmade or passed down from generation to generation, I adore. I understand that this is not everyone’s style and that some prefer a more polished and expensive home, but I am not one of those people. For us regular folk, it is also probably out of our price range. We shouldn’t feel ashamed about this, not at all. It’s not what makes a good home anyhow.

I’ll use my Momma’s home as an example, since my nest isn’t quite where I’d like to be yet. Especially right now. I’m trying to sell items I don’t have use for and in the process, I’ve kind of turned my apartment into a big ol’ mess. And let me remind y’all, it is far too small for a big ol’ mess. All part of the process, friends…

The flowers that I posted for the featured image are my mom’s. She bought them for $3.00 at Aldi, then put them in various clear jars and put them at both windows. It’s something that cost very little money, but made her home feel so much happier. It also kind of reminded me of one of my recent blog posts where I talk about little luxuries. My mother bought those flowers to brighten up the space and to give her just a little extra pep in her step. She only spent $3 on them and paired them with some jars that she already had. Not only is it the flowers that cozied up the place, but also the way she arranged them. Coziness goes hand in hand with ingenuity. It’s doing something unique with items, repurposing them when needing a bit of change. I took some inspiration from her and picked some daffodils that grow outside my church and put them on my windowsill. My aunt lent me a beautiful white vase to put them in and it pairs so nicely with the bright yellow of the daffodils. Just that little added something makes a home feel much cozier.

Bobby and I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored BIG time. We’re trying to find home decor for when we end up moving to Traverse City. We were able to find so much wonderful stuff. I bought some wicker baskets, a little homemade cup, and some wooden crates from a winery in Traverse City, two of them! (I also bought a beautiful red and white polka dot skirt, and Bobby found 13 DVDS) and we spent less than $50 on all of that! I want to scream from the rooftops that it’s not about where you buy something or how much it costs that makes the item a treasure. I spent the remainder of the day giddy about my $3.00 wicker basket.

A cozy home is one where people feel comfortable. It is a tidy home, but it does not need to be spotless. It’s simply doing your best. Life gets busy sometimes and maybe laundry isn’t number one on your to-do list. That’s okay. It also doesn’t mean you have expensive furniture or a freakishly large TV, instead, it’s a place where everyone has a place to sit and a feeling of belonging.  Where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Play a board game, talk to each other, maybe even share a meal.

A cozy home is one where the host/hostess is friendly and makes their guests feel at home. You may not have the most expensive food or be the best cook, but let your guests know that they’re welcome to what you have. Offer them a coffee, a tea, or a glass of water. If they’re spending the night, let them know where the extra blankets are. Act as though you are happy that they’re there, do not act as though they’re a burden! The kindness you give, mixed with the coziness of the home can make for a wonderful time, for both you and your guests!

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in photos and lives we see online. We go to Pinterest for inspiration and instead we start feeling bad about our own home. We follow an Instagram account for DIY tutorials, but instead we feel bad about our skills. This is so harmful to us! We’re so lucky to have these resources, but we must remember that our homes do not need to be copies of what we see online. What’s the fun in that anyways? What makes a home beautiful is the people within it. It’s fun to decorate and create a cozy environment, but at the end of the day, what’s truly important is the time we spend with our loved ones, our home is just a place to make that possible.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Why We Need to Stop Romanticizing Being Perpetually Busy.

Hi, friends! I hope that y’all are doing well. Today’s blog post is a little different, I suppose. I don’t really know where I want to end up with it, but I’ll start here: I don’t think it’s healthy for anybody to be busy all the time. But it’s something that we seem to treat positively, as though it’s admirable or something to strive for. I think it’s admirable, but I don’t think it’s something to strive for. I applaud every hard-worker out there, and respect them endlessly, I just worry about society forcing busyness onto people.

I think that it’s so profoundly sad that we live in a world where we feel the need to always be busy. I know it’s something that I struggle with. I began to make it part of my identity. I would, in a very strange way, brag about always being busy, as if it made me worth more than I would if I was busy a healthy amount. I think we’re too focused on moving forward, moving forward, moving forward. We seldom let ourselves just be.

I feel as though there are going to be some people that disagree with me on this, and that’s okay. I just really feel like I needed to speak my opinion on the matter. We’re only human, we need time to recharge. I used to work and/or go to class every single day, week after week, month after month. I was miserable. I didn’t have any time to charge, but I would still brag about it, in the strangest sort of way. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought people would think I was a better person, somehow? That’s probably what it was. Which still makes no sense.

Sunday’s are supposed to be a day of relaxation and reflection, but how often do they turn into a day where you try to get your whole entire life together? For me, it’s more often than not. I make myself lists, long, long lists, that are absolutely impossible to finish in a day. I’ve been trying so hard not to do this anymore. Lately, I have been making a list of five things per day. Generally, it has one or two schoolwork things that HAVE to get done, a household chore, and then a couple self-care activities. An example would be:

To-Do List

1.Turn in annotated bibliography.

2. Do dishes.

3.Take meds.

4.Take shower.

5.Post blog.

I think it’s important to have some items on the list that are fairly simple, so that you can feel some accomplishment in your day. Before, I was putting so much difficult stuff on my lists that I would go days without being able to check anything off. And let me tell you, it’s not going to motivate you whatsoever.

Finding the balance is so dang hard, and I’m still trying to find a balance in my life. It’s very hard to do, but I suppose it’s something that we all just need to keep working on. We must continue (or start) listening to our bodies and our minds, so that we know what we’re capable of. And it’s extra important to be honest with yourself about this. Whether it be realizing that you need to do more work, or whether it be you realizing you need to do less work. Everyone is different and we need to accept this. The amount we can get done in a day is different. I’ve always been pretty slow and things take me so long to do. I move at a slow pace and therefore get things done at a slower pace. But hey, they’re still getting done, right?

We need to quit worrying so much about what we should be able to do, and instead, focus on what it is that we can do.

Thank you so much for reading, friends. I appreciate the fact that I can send my words out on the internet and they can reach so many people. Much more effective than a message in a bottle. Although not quite as cool, I must admit.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Intentions for 2019

Intentions for 2019

Hi, y’all! Can you believe it? It’s 2019! I’ve decided that this year, I want to have an intention for the year as opposed to a long list of resolutions. In 2019 I want to live life the best as I can. With this intention comes the question: how the heck will I accomplish this?

  1. I want to compliment people more often. So often I have something I want to tell someone, say, a stranger I see with the most killer scarf on. Sometimes I muster up the courage to say, “Oh my gosh! I love your scarf!”, but oftentimes I get too nervous and say nothing instead.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more outgoing, but inside of me is still the very shy girl who was too scared to order ice-cream at Dairy Queen and would make my younger brother do it for me. I also have a terrible habit of isolating myself, especially in the classroom. I see people making friends in classes, something that I’ve never been able to do. That shy girl is still inside of me, worried that they won’t like me. I’m 21 years old and I still feel like a little girl when it comes to socializing. I want to put myself out there! I want to be less scared. With this, I am going to try to compliment at least one person a day, and/or initiating conversation with someone in my class, even if it makes me terribly nervous
  2. I want to get out of my apartment more often. Between work and class, I feel as though I’m never home. However, that is not the case. If I’m not at work or school, then I’m in my tiny apartment with the one lone window. And don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment. My friend Tenley recently helped me organize it, and it looks and feels SO much better. That being said, it is quite small and I do get quite a case of cabin fever sometimes. This can be alleviated by going for a walk or doing some yoga, but once I get in the cabin fever funk, it’s hard to snap out of it. But I work on that. These activities refresh me completely, but my brain gets convinced that they are impossible to accomplish, which is really not true. Get out of the house, Mattie! It’s so good for you!
  3. Stop getting so much happiness from material possessions.  I mean, I get it, stuff is great. And I like stuff. But I’ve been thinking lately about how much happiness we put into receiving things. And how short-lived that happiness is. It’s really quite sad, and also quite detrimental to our mental-health. When Tenley and I purged my apartment of bag after bag of clothes and knick-knacks, I could feel myself getting lighter. And sure, there are a few things I still want to acquire for my wardrobe and my apartment, but I am trying my hardest not to buy things that are not practical, or things that I don’t absolutely love. If you’re thinking of purchasing something, you need to remember that you will never love something more than when you’re in the store. So often I would buy clothes that I sort of liked because they were cheap, and after that, all they would do is sit in my closet, unworn. I’m trying to get rid of things that I don’t absolutely love or use anymore. I am a big fan of knick knacks, but the fact of the matter is, they get dusty and forgotten about in my apartment. Some I love and will never get rid of, and some, after the initial sting, I was able to get rid of them and feel totally fine about it. If you can get rid of something that easily, perhaps it’s best to get rid of it.
  4. Stay on top of grooming and self-care. I have the hardest time keeping up on all my self-care in the winter, it’s probably because all I want to do is cocoon in bed. Sometimes it makes mustering up the courage to shower a little difficult. But showering is, of course, very important. And once I do it, I feel so refreshed. Same goes for simple things like plucking my eyebrows or painting my fingernails. These are such little things that I can do to make myself feel more put together and as a result, i tend to feel a little bit better and more motivated.
  5. Allow myself to enjoy resting time. I am a person who is generally pretty busy. And I have such a difficult time relaxing. If I’m watching TV, I’m thinking of the million things that I still need to get done, and what I should be doing instead. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to be though. I think that we all need to take time to do nothing and allow that nothing to recharge us. We may be getting things done if we’re constantly in motion, but we’re seriously negeclting ourselves and our own well-being which is way more important.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful 2019 so far! What sort of resolutions/intentions do y’all have the year?

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Cleaning Chronicles

Cleaning Chronicles: Cleaning Out Your Closet

Hi, y’all! I have a confession that probably isn’t too surprising, especially if you know me — I love shopping and I love clothes. That being said, my apartment is very small and I have no room whatsoever for all of the clothes that I have. Also, I don’t wear hardly any of the clothes I own. Let’s just say that I’ve had a couple questionable fashion stages… I’ve decided that it is FINALLY time to do some decluttering.

I have a fairly large closet, but it’s certainly not big enough for all my clothes. I have a shelf in there, multiple baskets, tons of those big tubs that people use to store Christmas decorations, and then I have all my dirty clothes in hampers. Maybe my boyfriend was right when he said I had too many clothes…

The first thing that should be done is to wash all of your clothes. That makes it easier to know what all you have, so that you have a simpler time getting rid of things. Note to self: this is helpful so you don’t end up having fifteen of the same plain black t-shirts.  I am one of those people who isn’t the best at doing laundry when I need to, so this is usually half the struggle.

The next hurdle is to get rid of the clothes that are too small or too big for you. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to fit into the clothes that you wore when you were fourteen. I’m only now starting to be a little better at this. It can be kind of rough getting rid of them, but I find that it’s even rougher to look at them in your closet every day. There’s no reason to keep clothes that only serve as a reminder of what your body used to be like. Nor should your closet represent how you want your body to look. I think both of those things are so detrimental to one’s self-image. As usual, it’s easier said than done, but it’s a good first step.

After you’ve gotten rid of the clothes that don’t fit, move on to clothes that you don’t find yourself wearing. This is where I have the most trouble. I never wear the t-shirts of bands I listened to in middle school, but I still have them all. There’s no situation other than homecoming that I would need uber-fancy dresses for, but it took me years and years to get rid of all my homecoming dresses. It’s important to get rid of clothes that you don’t wear because they’re adding clutter to your house and to your life. I find that when I have a messy house, I also have a messy mind.

Now the question remains: What to do with these clothes once you’ve decided to get rid of them?

  1. Donate them! There are so many people in the world that could benefit from your clothes! Especially schools. You can get in touch with a teacher that you know and ask if they could use any clothes to give to students. Odds are, they will say yes!
  2. Have a yard sale! A great way to get rid of clutter AND make money.
  3. Have a clothing swap with friends! This is probably one of my favorites. It’s a great way to add new pieces to your wardrobe without spending a dime. It’s especially great if you and your friends have different styles, because you can experiment with your look without spending any money. Your friends will love it too!
  4. Sell it on social media or a shopping app!Another cool thing that you can do is to sell your cloths on your Facebook or your Instagram. It’s great because it’s far less work than a garage sale, especially if the person who wants to buy it lives in the area and you can just drop it off at their home. I’m just now starting to sell clothes on Poshmark! I haven’t sold anything yet, but to be fair, I only have one item listed. My username is @midwestmattie if you want to check it out! This one seems pretty simple so far, all you really have to do is take pictures and add the descriptions of your items then you just need to wait!
  5. Last but not least, re-purpose your clothes!  You can take old dresses and turn them into shirts, rip old t-shirts into rags, turn jean jackets into jean vests… the possibilities are endless! It’s always fun to revamp your clothes so that they feel like new, or use them for a whole new purpose!

I’m hoping that writing this post will help me get my butt in gear and finish cleaning my closet! I need to be held accountable! I would post a picture of what my closet looked like before, but I don’t want to scare y’all.

Have a great day!!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae