January 2016 archive

Five Lessons We Learned From Marie Kondo


With the news of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up finally hitting the number one spot in USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list, we thought we would celebrate by sharing our most-loved tips from Marie’s book.

Marie’s fresh new approach to decluttering has given homes across the world a new lease of life by simply saying goodbye to items we don’t need, and cleverly arranging those we do need. So, without further ado, here are five lessons we’ve learned from our new guru, Marie Kondo.

Tidy by category

When it comes to cleaning, most of us start the job room by room.  For a more productive approach, Marie tackles her decluttering category by category, for example books, clothes, documents, etc. This prevents us from simply putting unwanted items into the guest room, and dealing with them head on.

Don’t go down the nostalgia rabbit hole

The task of decluttering often means coming across a lot of old items that you had forgotten about. More often than not, this leads to an unscheduled hour of reading old letters and looking through photo albums. Kondo insists on putting your blinders on, and only focusing on the task at hand. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

It’s ALL about the vertical fold

Ever tried to find something at the bottom of a drawer, only to mess the whole thing up in the process? Worry no more, Marie’s vertical folding technique is here to solve all your problems. By folding your clothing and stacking them vertically instead of horizontally, you can see every item in the drawer and grab each one with no hassle. Life changing.

Fall back in love with your closet

With clothes stacked and piled in various places around the bedroom, getting dressed in the morning can become a chore that you dread. However, by mercilessly tossing any clothes you no longer wear, you can fit all of your favourite and most worn clothes into your closet, and fall back in love with it all over again.

Does it spark joy?

If you’re umming and ahhing when it comes to donating or disposing of your belongings, Marie suggests picking each item up and asking yourself “does it spark joy?”. If the answer is no, throw it out. If the answer is a yes, keep it! It’s that simple.

We don’t know about you, but when it comes to decluttering, we are total Kondo-converts. If you are too, head over to our Facebook to share your favourite tips.


Burning Calories and Organizing Your Home!

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The optimistic philosophy of “new year, new me” motivates masses of us to make a resolution for New Year’s. The idea of a clean canvas will be the motivation for us to do less or more of something in our day-to-day lives. Getting fit, exercising regularly and generally improving our lifestyle can usually be found at the very top of the list, along with home improvements.

You’ll be glad to know that burning calories doesn’t have to start at the gym, or sporting unforgiving yoga pants (unless you want to wear them). You can get a workout all over and improve your home, all at the same time! Kicking bad habits and performing regular household chores, can make your failed resolutions a thing of the past!

Let’s start in the bathroom…

Scrubbing the tub and tiles for 30 minutes alone burns 95 calories – add in mopping the floor for 15 minutes to burn an additional 45 calories! Accelerate the workout by getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing down all areas of the floor tiles.

Handy Tip: Alternate chores between rooms upstairs and downstairs. The more times you can take the stairs, the closer you are to toning your gluteus maximus! Walking up and down stairs soon adds up! Climbing the stairs can add up to 125 calories burned each day.

Vacuuming the floor or couch for 15 minutes burns more than 40 calories – that’s about the same as 5 minutes continuous burpees.

Back to the bedroom…

Making your bed for 30 minutes burns 38 calories – The same as jogging on a treadmill or flat terrain for 10 minutes. Ironing your linen burns approx 88 calories, and of course, it also tones muscles of the upper body. Alternate arms to even the workout.

Cleaning dirty windows for 30 minutes burns 68 calories, that’s the same as 15 minutes power yoga.

Improvements all round

Adjust your mindset: don’t let things to pile up at the bottom of the stairs – take individual items upstairs as soon as you need to. This kills those calories and stays on top of clutter in the home. A clutter-free home is a happy home.

When ironing, keep the laundry basket on the floor (rather than on a raised surface like a table). That way you squat down to reach the clothes. We love squats!

Get kitchen creative – chopping, stirring, peeling and beating all burns more calories than simply taking out a ready meal out and heating it… And if you really want to work up a sweat whilst making your home smell delicious, have a go at making your own bread using the below recipe – kneading the dough is hard work and great for your triceps!

Bake your own Bread – The Taste of Home recipe


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour


• In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

• Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

• Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

• Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each)


Recipe Credits | Homemade Bread in The Taste of Home Cookbook 2006, p452
Statistics from calorielab.com