Sis Switch: Book # 1

7:50 AM

One of the greatest rewards of living here in New York City is that I’m constantly surrounded with so much love and a whole lot of passion. Aside from catching up and hanging out with my siblings in one of the greatest cities in the world, we all get to gradually pursue some of our goals and dreams by being each other’s motivators.

My brother-in-law, Macky, is currently focusing on his music (and he’s absolutely amazing!) You should definitely listen to his songs at Macky Santiago Music Projects

My eldest sister, Alexa, on the other hand is a wonderful Booktuber and book blogger of Alexa Loves Books which you’d want to visit if you’re into reading something new, catching new things to do in the city or finding a new place to eat in. 

For my middle sister, Mel, she’s the most adventurous of us all as she’s gradually chasing her dream of traveling around the world. If you’re up for a hike or you’d like to know how she conquered Machu Picchu on her own, you could hit her up here. She’ll gladly share her stories with you.

So as you can see, we’re all focused on working on what makes us happy with the common goal of learning, living and inspiring. What makes it even better is that we all coincide with each other whether it’s on music, books, traveling, and photography which makes our passion projects always fun and interesting to do. 

I honestly believe that you’re more motivated to do what you love when you’re surrounded by it. 


Since moving to New York City, I’ve always admired the skills of my sister, Alexa, when it comes to b/vlogging. Aside from dragging her to cafes, thrift shops and dessert spaces, we’re also able to toss around ideas on collaborations and online content that we’d like to work on together.
One of the collaborations we thought of is the one you’re looking at right now called Sis Switch! It’s essentially a story feature where we ‘switch’ it up when it comes to the things that interest us. In my sister’s case that means she’ll be taking time to work on her flatlays and photos for her Bookstagram. In my case, that means sharing thoughts each month on a book my sister picked out for me. We decided to do this because we each wanted to grow skills we know we had but didn’t usually focus on.  This too is my first ever formal collaboration and I wanted it something interesting, fun and challenging for us.

So for the month of January, my sister made me read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo.

I’m a huge fan of this genre because I love learning new things that I could immediately apply to myself and share with other people. Last year, I got to finish the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow your Passion by Elle Luna. They were both great books that you should definitely read when you have the time.  

To be honest, I’m disappointed at my past self for shutting off the idea of reading without constantly trying my best to at least appreciate it. I always made excuses not to do so cause it looked so long, dull and boring but the past few months changed all that. I really missed out on a lot of good stuff and I believe it's not too late to start. 

Since to read more is one of my main goals this year, I’m working hard to read not just one book a month but at least two cause there are a lot of things I still want to know and learn. I’m actually so slow right now but I’m learning to pick up the pace through the process. While there’s still a long way for me to learn and grow in reading this year, I wanted to share my thoughts on this lovely book by Marie Kondo. 

First off, I absolutely love it! And trust me, you don’t have to be a minimalist, a neat freak or obsessive compulsive to appreciate this book. There is much more to it than just being a  handbook for tidying but actually a learning mindset of how objects should be treated and how to achieve the lifestyle you've always dreamed of. 

Growing up in a very organized family, I’m surprised that there were tidying methods that I thought were always right but were actually wrong. Throughout the book, I learned new ones (which I’m currently trying to apply), improve current ones I already have and to do away with useless methods.

There were a lot of insightful points that affected me and my perspective of tidying which made me more motivated to keep an organized lifestyle for a happier and better life. This sounds so vague and impossible now, but trust me, you'll better understand it when you read the book! 

What drew me to learn the “Konmari Method" was actually the way the author personified the objects and how she shared real life examples to match all her points. It’s rare to see someone like Marie Kondo who puts so much value to what she owns, buys and discards while making it so relatable for you to actually follow. One of the things I picked up and actually would like to learn moving forward is appreciating things more than I already do. This also made me rethink of how I actually treat the objects I own and how they deserve the best. 

To be honest, I didn’t realize the impact of this book not until my sister and I applied the “Konmari Method” a week ago. I’m giving you a subtle warning that finishing this book will make you want to tidy. I REPEAT YOU'LL WANT TO TIDY EVERYTHING.

Since I didn’t really take much stuff to New York, I had a half garbage full of clothes while my sister had around eight of them. What amazed me was that we applied her method and we actually saw instant results. 

If you’ve read this book already, don’t you just agree? 

So if you’re looking for a quick yet insightful read, I believe this is a good book to start with cause aside from beginning a year with a clean slate, you'll actually get to acquire a mindset that will help you start doing things you never thought you’d be able to do. 

Here are some of the best learnings from this book: 

1. "Keep things because you love them not just because.”
2. Free things from the prison to which you have caused! Let them go with gratitude. 
3. Tidying by location is a mistake. Tidy by category (Clothes first then Books, Papers, Miscellaneous Items then sentimental objects)
Make tidying a special event not a daily chore. 
4. Art of Discarding: No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are important.
5. To truly cherish things that are important to you you must discard those that outlived their purpose. 
6. When discarding, ask yourself: “Does this give you joy?” 
7. Art of Storing: Focus on choosing things that inspire joy and on enjoying life according to your own standards. 
8. Magic Effects of Tidying: Confidence in your decision making capacity (What you own equals how you want to live your life) 

If you’re just like me when it comes to reading, feel free to right down important thoughts on a notebook. You’d want to come back for it later when you forget. I’m pretty sure of it.

Also, I do hope you’ll love the book as much as I do. Let me know what you think. 
Here’s to tidying, starting change and 2018 bright and beautiful! 

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  1. I've read that book too last year in one seating. I remember it being late at night but all I wanna do is to not sleep at all and continue with my general cleaning haha. I loved it too! And so is this collab with your sister! I can't wait for more! :)

    1. I agree! She makes you want to clean after every chapter. And yes, this is a collab with my sister! I do hope we get to do one together. 💛