and there you have it…



so fresh and so clean clean

First things first! We have the beginnings of a new blog design. Isn’t it nice? Isn’t it pretty? I’m liking it so far. Still needs some work, but it’s much improved over the *cough* 8 year old *cough cough* previous design.

Onto the challenge. I must confess, I am not done with last weeks challenge. Papers took me for a turn in the park. I thought we were going on a nice stroll to the neighborhood park and ended up in the Sequoia National Forest.


See that’s me, staring up at my giant pile of papers. No that’s not really me, it’s some dude over at At least I assume it’s him, I could be wrong, I didn’t really even read the article. But the picture is pretty awesome. And this rabbit trail has got out of hand.

This week we are onto DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs. Basically all flat round shiny things in your house. Since I own approximately 4 of our hundreds of movies, I am anticipating being able to finish last week and this week in one. Bycemaster will be manning the charge this week.

Anybody else get buried in papers? Anybody? Maybe it’s just me…Better luck with shiny things!

Go off and tidy!

pulse, papers, adoption

It’s been a week here, especially for those of us in Orlando. I switched the tidy challenge schedule up and let last week be. We spent time with each other and gave everything else a break. Many, many others have done more justice to the sentiments of my city on the Pulse shooting. I will not pretend to match those. This was one of my favorites, if you’re so inclined to read more. 

In reading account after account of survivors from tragic events all over the world, one thing seems to stand out. People who have lost greatly implore the rest of us to live fully. Appreciate what we have, who we have, and be mindful of what we do with our lives. In that spirit, I am choosing to continue on with the tidy challenge. It may seem trivial, but it is a part of opening our family up and creating space for others. I feel that is important.

So this week we move on to papers. The best I’ve been able to do with my papers in recent years was contain them to one spot.


It works right?

I feel it could still use some improvement.

Marie’s approach to papers is very limited, shocked aren’t you. She doesn’t recommend separate files. She has a small box with everything she absolutely needs, period. She says it is quicker to go through a small amount of papers to find what you need, than a large “well organized” filling system.

I see her point. I’m keeping my files. I am planning to pare down! I know the first thing that’s going to go are all the manuals, but from there who knows!

Honestly, this one is daunting. My inbox has been something I avoid even looking at.I relegated it to a closet. It elicits mountains of guilt by its very existence. I realize those are things we are trying to rid our home of. I will try again! Maybe even re-purpose the inbox so it can’t fill back up…ack…I don’t know if I can do that. I’m trying!

Small adoption update. Our home-study renewal was just approved. So we continue on. Please continue to pray for us as we wait. It is so easy to lose hope and disengage from the process. If I’m honest, that’s where I’ve been for months. I don’t want to be there anymore. We do greatly appreciate all your prayers and support in this long journey we’ve embarked on. Will let you know when we hear more. It could happen any day, it could.

Go off and live fully!

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!

your first mission should you choose to accept

We are getting ready to go on vacation. For a whole week. Just our family. We are breaking new ground over here. Long overdue ground. I am super pumped!

Cat sitting and house sitting is set up, van is cleaned out, suitcases are almost packed. Which means it’s time to blog! Right? Packing food, finishing the suitcases, cleaning the dirty dishes and taking out the trash…I am certain they all come after blogging.

I want to leave you with your first tidying assignment! I know already that some of you are going to scoff at this assignment (I can hear you in my head). But this is important. I want you to give it your full attention this week.

I want you to visualize.

Yep that’s right. This week’s assignment is all in your head. But we can’t get anywhere when we don’t know where we are going.

So from Marie:

“This means visualizing the ideal lifestyle you dream of. If you skip this step, not only will it delay the whole process, but it will also put you at a higher risk of rebound.”

“Think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space.”

“Your next step is to identify why you want to live like that.”

She recommends you ask why to each piece you visualize at least 3-5 times. Really drill down to why you want this.

So for me, I know my house is going to be messy, I have a bunch of children here, we are (lord willing!) going to have a baby here again. Messy it will be.

But…I want everything to have a place. Why? Because I want the house to be 15 minutes from tidied, even when it’s messy. If everything has a place and everyone knows where that place is, picking up is quicker and easier. Why? Because I want us all to be able to sit down at night and relax in a clean environment. Why? Because I love beautiful things and I love the beautiful things I’ve put in our home, when I can see them. When I’m not distracted by the piles and mess and clutter. Why? Because they bring me peace and joy. We have more anxiety than we need in our life right now. I want peace. And there we have arrived.

I am doing this for peace.

The physical clutter is just a part of the mental clutter. We are facing and dealing with both over here. I’m really in this for the mental benefits.

Really think this week and visualize a whole day in your clutter free space. What will it look like? Feel like? What will you do in that space? Can you see it?

Why do you want to live clutter free? Why? Why? Why? What’s really driving you?

I’ll see you next week! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

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