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konmari method

Books That Helped Me Get Through 2016

Books, Lifestyle, wellnessMaría Elena RodríguezComment
Pic via:  Paper Chasing

Pic via: Paper Chasing

I am going to be totally honest with you guys and tell you that I am not the most disciplined reader out there. I wish I was. But the reality is that I really have to push myself to keep reading a book I started, but once I'm hooked, I won't put it down. 

As some of you know, this blog is not only my hobby, it's my passion. So I dedicate most of my free time to writing, interviewing people and taking pictures for this blog. Needless to say, I hardly have time to sit down and read. That's why I have found that my favorite kind of books (to get hooked on) are inside the business and self-help categories. I find that I grow the most as a person when I read them. 

Here's a list of the top books that have made a significant difference in my life, specially during 2016, which wasn't a great year for most. And best of all, these are all written by amazing women. 

Hope you enjoy!

And please, let me know in the comments bellow what are your book recommendations for 2017! :)

The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Fustenberg

If you haven't read this book yet, please take a second to go purchase it and then come right back to this post. I'll wait. :) 

People may think this book is about fashion and the luxury lifestyle, but it is so much more than that. This woman is as human as it gets. The way she writes feels so intimate and unique. The first chapter is all about her mother and how she survived the Holocaust, in which I dare you not to cry. Then she goes over her fabulous life as a designer, her days of glory, her loves and her heartbreaks.

Everything she writes feels genuine, and even though it is a rather lavish lifestyle, you can't help but feel identified with her.

How did this book helped my life? I understood that being vulnerable is part of the human nature. Once you forget about what other people think and start doing what you love while being kind to yourself and others, life is even more beautiful. I posted a beautiful blog post about this on Instagram

Grab the The Woman I Wanted to Be here.  

#Girlboss by Sophia Amouruso

Pic via  The It Girl

Pic via The It Girl

Even though I actually read this book back in 2014, I thought I would add it to this list since the lessons I learned from her were on the back of my mind the entire year for listening to her amazing Podcast. If there is any chance you haven't read this book, please go ahead and buy it. It is the first book you need to read if you are a woman (or man) who wants to have her own creative business one day. 

Needless to say, she is irreverent, hardworking, a go-getter and a badass, which is why I can't wait for her upcoming Netflix show! :D

What did I learn from #Girlboss? It doesn't matter where you come from or what you went through in your past, as long as you have the grit and attitude to accomplish your goals. The only limits are put there by yourself. 

Grab #Girlboss here

PS: I am currently reading her newest book Nasty Galaxy. I'll let you know my thoughts once I finish it! 

Pic via  NYT

Pic via NYT

I was the first person completely skeptical about that "Life Changing" title, but my goodness was it true! I have taken her techniques not only to my home, but into my office environment, agendas, purses and even my way of thinking. 

But I won't get into too many details since I already wrote a blog post about this book here. I suggest you go check it out. :)

I will tell you what I learned from the Konmari Method: The more you simplify your surroundings and the less things you have, the happier you'll be. Simple as that. Pun intended. 

Grab the book here

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Pic via  You.co

Pic via You.co

Last but certainly not least is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, the same author who wrote Eat Pray Love. But this time, the book is more of a self help guide for people who feel a little bit lost in there career and specially people who put too much pressure in themselves. 

It makes a great gift too! I bought this for my sister as a Christmas present and she's loving it. 

What did I get out of Big Magic? That creativity can come out of nowhere and you need to be ready for her. It doesn't matter where you are in life, listen to her. She will always guide you in the right direction. 

Grab the book here

Until next time, 

María Elena

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Grab the books mentioned here:

https://thepointmag.com/2015/examined-life/paper-chasing

15 Things I Learned Practicing the KonMari Method

Lifestyle, Books, PopularMaría ElenaComment

"Life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something." - Marie Kondo

As you may have noticed by now, I love putting overly hyped products to the test. So this time I decided to give it a little twist and put a book that has been flooding my Instagram and Bloglovin feeds for a while: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

The entire book focuses on the KonMari Method (KonMari = a mix of the author's name), which is a basically a technique on how to keep your personal space in order for good by having less stuff and surrounding yourself only by the things that spark joy to your life. Beautiful, isn't it?

Until now I was what Marie describes as a "rebound" organizer. I would tidy my things up in my bedroom and two weeks later, it was all the way it was before: A huge pile of clothes, bags and shoes. So reading this book was the best way for me to actually realize what was wrong with my organizing methods and I invested a whole weekend in the biggest bedroom purge I have ever done in my life that resulted in a very happy donation store. This is why I decided I wanted to write down 15 things I learned from this book  and maybe several reasons to go ahead and try the KonMari Method: 

1. There is a sequence to tidying your home the best way possible

Clothes, Books, Papers, Miscellaneous and lastly, Mementos. You're welcome, I saved you the Google search. 

2. Tidying my space is much more spiritual than I ever thought.

I feel like I created my own little sanctuary where I can feel as relaxed as possible after a long hard day of work. 

3. When your room is free from clutter you have no other choice than to confront your feelings. 

4. Before you start storing stuff, you need to decide what you want to keep and what to discard.

Otherwise, it will destroy the KonMari Method. Discard everything you don't want all at once and then, just then, you can start organizing all the things that spark joy in your life.

5. The best way to not rebound = Tidy by category, not by place.

6. Tidying is a way of showing gratitude, so think about things as people

Yes, you read that right. Even though not everyone we meet is meant to stay in our lives, they did have a purpose to be in it. With things, it's basically the same, which is why we need to show our appreciation for everything we are discarding.

7. Don't keep old clothes as your official Netflix & Chill clothes.

Your "me time" should be your time to appreciate yourself, so show a little respect and put on some fancy clothes ok? Throw away ALL the clothes that don't spark joy. 

8. Folding clothes can actually be fun and kind of therapeutical

Just try folding everything into a rectangle, then into thirds and then trying to stand them up. It's fun!

9. There are more ways to organize your closet than just color coordinating your clothes

The KonMari method teaches that the best way to keep all the clothes that "Spark joy" in your life is to hang them rising to the right. Your eyes will be happier, try it. 

10. Keep only the books that make you happy when you see or touch them.

11. Letting go of mementos is the hardest part of the KonMari Method

I had about 5 boxes full of memories since high school, which I honestly didn't want to let go. I kept only the ones that made me smile and threw away the ones that didn't make me feel anything. Trust your intuition in this one. 

12. Storing systems are for hoarders

The only storage solution you need is to find a spot for every single category of the things you own. Your storage should always let you know how much you have of something by just a glance.

13. Clutter is the cause of laziness

Well, duh! But seriously though, this method will teach you how to make the only storage you have as effortless as possible. 

14. Empty your handbag every day

You have no idea of how skeptical I was about this. But after a week practicing this method, I can honestly say it doesn't bother me. I have a designated place for all the things that go inside my bag so every night I can put my things away and every morning I know exactly what needs to be taken for the day ahead. I'll let you know if it actually keeps working. 

15. We should treat all the material things that we use in our daily life with respectin order to get the best use out of it

Specially because these things spark joy in our lives. In Marie's own words: "Caring for your possessions is the best way to motivate them to support you, their owner". 


Please be aware that this is not a summary of the book. It is a review of all the lessons I learned while reading it and practicing the KonMari Method. I strongly encourage you to read it so you can discover what is the best way to un-clutter your life. I have a feeling you will like it just as much. :)

Let me know if you would like an update of my lifestyle after the method. 

Until next time,

María Elena