and there you have it…



clothes clothes and lots of books

We passed our one year “in waiting” anniversary last week. Not super excited about that anniversary. Hoping to not celebrate another one. Honestly still in distraction mode. It’s easier to wait when you don’t think about the fact that you are waiting every minute of every day. Though admittedly, the distractions are becoming less and less effective. But onto the current distraction.

The tidy challenge continues! It ended up taking us two weeks to go through our clothes and pass the joy on to someone else. Which by the way is super fun, passing on joy. I’m still not entirely done with the baby clothes, but I got through the first few sizes and found a few gems along the way!

They’re just too cute!

I’ve been loving the margin in the closet and drawers in the morning. Actually liking everything in there makes it so much easier to get dressed everyday. Who knew!?

This week the challenge moves on to books. We got a bit of a head start. My two oldest were chomping at the bit yesterday. Me, not so much, sorting through books is like sorting through friends. It’s emotional and difficult, but we did it (except for a small pile of about a dozen I need to finish). Apparently I sell ideas better to my kids, they are ready to do the whole house. They want to be surrounded by things that are their favorites. I’m getting more sold as we go on.

So your mission this week is to take all your books, all of them, from everywhere, and put them in a giant pile on the floor. We choose the living room. Here’s our giant pile.

IMG_1383The object is too see how many you actually have. Mission accomplished. It didn’t look like that many on all the random bookshelves.

We all sat down in a giant circle and passed around books for hours (with breaks of course). If anyone got a book they loved, the put it in their keep pile. If they got a book they didn’t they passed it to the right and if Bycemaster or I got a book twice we put it aside to pass on. No reading, just holding and looking and if it sparks joy, it stays. This, of course, is easier said than done, but practice makes perfect!

Here’s our end results.

IMG_1390This is all our keep. Sorry it’s so blurry, but you get the idea. Today we are going to start putting away.IMG_1389These are our books to pass on. For a family of book lovers, this is a lot of books. I purge books a lot, and we’ve never passed this many on before. But it’s different when you think of what books you want to keep. Gather all your favorites first!

It’s your turn! Looking forward to hearing your book stories!

mission clothes – part 2

So Bycemaster and I went through our clothes last week, closet, coat closet and drawers. All was sorted and bagged and removed from the house (though it is in the garage, but it’s going!)

Here’s my take-aways:

  1. I had no idea there was so much guilt attached to my wardrobe. I’ve have a war on guilt. I don’t want it and I don’t need to live with it, but I had never even considered my closet a source of it. Now when I get dressed in the morning, there is no subliminal guilt rushing in to start my day. It’s fantastic.
  2. I had much more clothes than I thought. I’ve kept my wardrobe lean for years, but there was still two giant bags of stuff I took out with no issue. There are clothes left, plenty of them actually. I must admit, I was a little scared.
  3. It looks so neat and orderly. Every drawer has a little bit of wiggle room, the hangers have space between them. I could hang up all my wraps that I’d kept in the closet where I could see them. It feels lighter.
  4. I’m actually excited to do the kids’ clothes, even if it’s still daunting.

So this week is kids’ clothes. I’m planning to have them work with me, at least the older two. I’ll do the baby clothes myself. What brings joy to me is what that little angel is going to where when she gets here. She can have her own opinion when she gets older 🙂

I had originally planned these for two weeks, boys’ clothes one week and the girls’ the next. But I’m thinking I should take the momentum and do them all in one week. I know some of you did the whole family last week already! But for the rest of us, is that too much for everyone? Can we get all kiddie clothes done in a week?

Do as much as you can this week and comment and let me know if we need to stretch it another week.

How did your last week go? Are you catching the excitement? Are you feeling freer yet?


mission next – clothes part 1

Hey everyone! We are back from vacation and I’m ready to start. I hope you all did your homework and visualized your future in your tidy home and why you want it! We are jumping right in this week.

According to the order of things in the KonMari method, clothes are first. They are the easiest and least emotional area of the home to sort through (according to her.) Since we have 6 people’s worth of clothes over here I am splitting this into 3 weeks, starting with the adult clothes. I mean we are supposed to be setting an example for our kids, right?

So gather ALL your clothes in one place, jackets, scarfs, hats, workout clothes, pjs, underwear, all of it. The importance of having them all in one place is to show the real quantity (which she says most people are surprised by) and begin to combat the ‘I don’t have enough’ mentality.

She says to make a big pile on the floor, I’m planning to use our bed (little more motivation to finish!). Once we have everything, (she says anything that was missed was obviously not important enough to be remembered so it immediately goes if/when found later) we are to individually pick up each article of clothing. If picking it up sparks joy, brings a smile to your face, makes you feel good, feels like you, whatever you want to call it, keep it. The rest goes.

Our objective is to focus on what we are keeping. This isn’t purging, this is finding the things that are you, that are me, and ONLY having those around. Be thankful for the things that are going. They were designed to bring joy to someone, let them go to do their job. Be thankful for the purpose they played in your life while you had and send them on their way.

If you want to have a little fun, keep track of how many bags of clothes are going on to bring joy somewhere else. We can post them on next weeks assignments for a little motivation/competition (for those that are into that sort of thing.)

Joy with what is kept, gratitude for what is going. That’s the goal. Are you ready?

You have one week. GO!

things i don’t do

I hear people tell me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it all!” Mostly after finding out that I have three kids 4 and under and we both work. I’ve often wondered what these people think I do. I’d venture a guess I do less than they imagine. I’ve been mentally tabulating a list of things I don’t do for the next time I get this comment. However I’ve decided spewing this list on the next unsuspecting person that stumbles upon that magic phrase may not be my best option. So you get it instead.

Things I don’t do (Part 1, like that ambition there)

Windows – even when we had a sliding glass door I didn’t clean it, totally futile in my situation.

Floors – I have amazing childcare that sweeps for me! Mopping does not exist. I also had a roomba for the last 3 years, since we moved I’m trying to figure out how in the world people actually do this regular vaccuuming thing, as of yet, I do not.

Dust – now I do occasionally run my hand across something that is look extra nasty, but that’s about it.

Change sheets – this is done when someone has been sick on a sheet…or a diaper has leaked, but usually only number 2. I know that’s gross, but it’s true. I do change pillow cases more often, like once, sometimes even twice a month!

Wash bedding – like the spreads and stuff, yeah not so much. I did however wash them all when we moved, I guess if we move every few years we’ll be good.

Iron – if something happens to make it in that needs to be ironed, it gets worn wrinkly (kids) or it magically disappears.

Pay bills – everything is on auto pay, those rare weird random bills are generally late.

Clean out the car – yeah I actually found a monstrously huge roach in our car the other day, makes sense, he has a never ending supply of food.

Wash the car – Neil takes the main car through the car wash every few months, the other one never gets washed.

Wake up with my children – after three years of waking up between 5:30-6:30 with our kids Neil’s mother managed to guilt him into getting up with them. Which means he gets up, straps the youngest into his chair and starts a video. Then we both go back to sleep, usually for another hour, sometimes more.

I don’t shop for kids clothes.

Most baskets of clean clothes sit for a few weeks before getting put away.

I don’t clean bathrooms, toilets, occasionally, in the downstairs bath, that’s about it.

We have not had a yard that required maintaining in years, so I no longer do yard work!

Also working means I change virtually no diapers, deal with much less meal times, nap times and toy clean up!

I am now starting to wonder what it is I do all day…

merry christmas

The Christmas season is officially over for this Byce family this year. It was an amazingly unstressful and even enjoyable Christmas season as far as these busy seasons go. Our house now looks  like an Apple commercial what with the two iPhones, iPod and now an iTouch (kids) and iPad (Neil) all we need now is the macbook air…anybody? But to counter all the screen time the big kids also got bikes and Jacob got a push/ride car. It was really fun watching the kids this year, I have a feeling it’s only going to get better.

A few highlights.

My mom LOVED the picture calendar we got her and her jewelry box, double win. I’ve never been so gratified with what we got her, our notoriously difficult to buy for person. Totally worth the time spent in creation.

Skyped in my sister for another year. Remember that part in the big ball ride at Epcot, where the grandparents are this holographic image on a screen for a kid’s birthday? Yeah every time we skype her in for an event, I feel like I’m on that ride. It’s the world of tomorrow. It just amazes me how the kids are so natural with it. Jena opens a present from Titi and the first things she does is bring it up to ‘Titi’ and show her what she got. Heck we forgot to do that half the time. Jacob was warming right up by the end of the event and kept coming up to the netbook to ‘chat.’ It was nice to have her there.

Grant managed to get a present that scares his sister at just about every Christmas this year, he finds this hilarious. Those in proximity of the ensuing screaming…not so much. I was getting flashes of my future with every ensuing scream.

I think my favorite gifts of the kids’, not that I’m playing with them…or anything…like that…really. Yeah, so my favorites are the interactive map of the United States for Grant and Jena and Jena’s dress up hanbok from Korea. I love that when Grant was playing with the map this morning he kept hitting all the states over and over and then looked up and said to me, but where’s Africa mommy? And watching Jena prance around in her hanbok and tiara and princess shoes was too fun. I was always Korea when we would do any sort of dance representing nations in my dance group, it’s really neat to see my daughter in the same type of outfit I wore.

I loved all my presents this year, but I think the best of all was the news that we have a renter, 100% official, lease signed. He will be moving in on the 22nd of January, which means we will be moved out 28days or less.

Merry Christmas to me.

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