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Month

April 2016

the life-changing magic of tidying up

I know I’m a bit late to the party. Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been on the best sellers list for quite some time now. Better late than never!

With all the heavy (but good), books I’ve been reading lately. This book was a breath of fresh air. A non-fiction book I could relatively easily do something about. While implementing Brene Brown’s overcoming shame techniques is also something I’d recommend, it is significantly harder and requires much more emotional energy. I digress.

This books message hides behind tidying. It is about sorting and organizing, but as a means to an end. It is really about discovering who you are and decluttering your mind. To quote the book,”a messy room equals a messy mind.” The process (in her order) of discerning what ‘sparks joy’ is designed to hone your decision making skills regarding what should and should not be in your life. “When a room becomes cluttered, the cause it more than just physical. Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.” Guilty as charged.

Marie has a very specific method, the KonMari method, she insists must be done in order, all at once, once and for all. She says it takes the average household six months to make it through her whole system and then you are done. No more purging, no more sorting, no relapse. She says once you’ve felt what life is like after you are done, you will never go back. She says she has a no relapse rate for clients that finish the process.

To be honest, all of this sounds a bit pie in the sky for me, but I am continually purging, sorting, and re-organizing as is. If this doesn’t work, at the very least I’ve just continued on in our normal. But part of me thinks it might.

Let me tell you a story. Long, long ago in a galaxy far far away…wait wrong story…

Early in our marriage our bedroom was a disaster. The bed was never made and rarely clean. Mount Rushmore had permanent residence on the bedroom floor. Nothing was ever dusted or put away unless someone was coming over. Our curtain was an old fitted sheet. It was just gross.

Then when we got pregnant I signed up for flylady. I don’t even know if she still exists, but she was a big believer in your bedroom was your haven, your sanctuary from all the rest of the chaos. She believed you should make your bed, everyday, as soon as you got out of it. This single act would inspire the rest of the room to be cleaned. She has all sorts of routines to declutter and keep things clean, most of which I don’t remember, but our bed stuck. With few exceptions our bed has been made everyday since, and our room DID turn into a haven. It’s the one place relatively picked up and clean. I’m not trying to say it’s catalog all the time. There are dirty clothes on the floor here and there and sometimes a few other stray items wander there way in, but it has NEVER gone back to how it was.

That feeling of peace was addicting. I actually enjoying dusting our room and putting the few things out of place back in order. In fact it’s the only room that gets regularly dusted in our house. I realized, after reading Marie’s book, I’ve only let happy things in that space. I like looking at my little ring dish from Israel and my jewelry holder from the taj mahal. They make me smile when I pick them up to dust around them.

So the cynical part of me is still having a hard time buying this, but I’m trying it. I’ve found the cynical side of me is wrong a lot anyway. So I’m good at planning things, and even starting things, but not so great at finishing them. But my sucess rate goes way up with a team and I’d beat yours does too.

So join me! I’ve written up a plan and attached it to a timeline. I’ll post assignments week by week here on the blog. I would strongly encourage you to read the book first, it’s a relatively short book and an easy read. But I will be posting the steps following her method so it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t (but do it’s really good!)

So who’s with me?

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a birthday for a girl

Dear first born daughter,

You and I went to the beach together to watch the sunrise on your first day as an 8 year old. I woke you up, put you in the car and asked how you felt now that you were 8. You made a surprised sound and said, “I’d forgotten! Sometimes you forget things when you go to sleep.” We started the day with a laugh.

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You have continued to blossom this last year. You’ve found a love in gymnastics and dance. You’ve added round offs and pirouettes to your still near constant cartwheeling through life. Piano has also been added to your repertoire and I am in wonder watching you play. You have a regular practice time, but it’s so rarely the only time you play. The only time I enjoy hearing Let It Go is when you play it. Though I still enjoy the Star Wars Theme and your favorite Hall of the Mountain King a bit more.

Baking has been big for you this year and you made your own mermaid cupcake cake for your party.

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You’ve also been somewhat obsessed with tiny houses. You make your own in the bedrooms, you plan how you will someday make a real one, you watch documentaries on them. I, for one, would be very interested in seeing a tiny house you made. You’ve also been taking your faith more seriously this year. You read through your entire kids’ study Bible and are in the process of considering being baptized. It is very exciting for me to see you begin to rely on God. He is the one who made you who you are, and He is so vested in your life.

You throw all of yourself into the things and the people you love. You are kind, generous and caring toward the people in your life. You consider what they like when picking out gifts, even when you’re tempted by what you like. You are excited about life and having adventures. You are so many things it took me so many years to learn and it gives me such joy to watch you.

As you grow into the approaching pre-teen years, these years that seem to start earlier and earlier these days. I will try to make sure you hear the good things I think and believe about being a woman said out loud. I will try to show you how to love yourself and your body. I will try to show you to not internalize the guilt and shame others will try to put on you. I will try my best to be free, so you will know the path to staying that way. I know they’ve shown that children, you, learn best by example. Nothing has made me try harder to be the whole person God intended me to be, so you’ll know how to do the same.

As always, I love you, for who you are,

Mommy

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