Irony

Last week, I completely overhauled my and Lucy’s clothes. The post is written and waiting, the pictures are taken, but. But, they’re stuck on the camera. Which my computer won’t recognize. And we can’t find the CD that the Canon website is telling us we need in order to download and install the drivers from their website. We’re not even sure if we kept that CD or not. And other things just keep coming up that prevents us from completely tearing the house apart looking for it. I’d love to use my husband’s computer, but I swear he has it booby trapped.

This weekend I overhauled our bookshelves, though I’m still trying to figure out how best to organize them. Right now they are by size, then color within size. Which admittedly looks nice. BUT. But they are all completely random, which I kind of love but then I think “What if I want to loan a book to a friend, and have to search through all of the books to find that one?” So I’m looking at other possibilities too. Pictures to come. Ha. Ha.

Since I’ve finished the books, I get to move on to papers and then to Komono (miscellaneous). For anyone wondering, I’m using this checklist to help me keep track of everything and not overlook any minor category. Lets keep our fingers crossed that while I’m gathering all the papers, that CD appears amidst them and I can finally free the pictures from our camera! In the mean time, I’ll take pictures with my cell phone *and* the camera from now on.

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Why do you want to tidy?

I tidy so that we can go on every adventure available.

I’m having a really hard time not diving right in to the “get rid of stuff” stage. I’ve been drawn to minimalism for a long time and ever since finding out I am pregnant with Brooks, my desire to own less has been kicked into hyper drive. Now, the KonMari method isn’t necessarily minimalism. It’s living with only that which sparks joy in your life. She doesn’t give any magic number of clothes you should own, or books that should be on your bookshelf. It’s simple: If it brings you joy, keep it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

But the very first thing to do, Kondo says, is not to start deciding what to keep. It’s figuring out why you want to tidy in the first place. What is your goal? What do you want to gain out of this endeavor? It’s not enough to say “I want a clean house”. *Why* do you want a clean house? What type of lifestyle do you want to lead, and how is tidying going to help you get there?

I sat down today to talk to Ryan about exactly what we wanted for our lives. What type of lifestyle did we see ourselves living in this season of having babies and raising children? After 7 years together, conversations like this still drive me to simultaneous laughter and tears. I’m a planner, a goal setter, a dreamer. He’s a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person. I have no idea how he functions without some sort of clear goal in mind and trying to understand actually gives me a headache. Until today! We were at the park with our daughter, and two little girls, maybe 7 years old, took off running. They were clearly going on an adventure. A mom yelled after them “Come back! You can’t go that far without telling me where you’re going!” And so the girls had to come back, because if they didn’t know where they were going exactly, how could they tell their mom? AND THAT is when I turned to Ryan and said “I totally get you now! You’re going on an adventure!” After thinking for a moment, he said “Yeah, that’s about right!”

What does that have to do with tidying? That’s our goal: To go on an adventure. I want our home to be our launching pad, a place where we can rest fully and head off into the wild unknown from. I want our home to be a place of adventure for our children. Not because it is full of cupboards so full they are dangerous to open, but because it is a place where they are free to make messes and mistakes, to learn and grow. I want a happy home where friends and family always feel welcome and comfortable. What does that look like? It looks like counters and surfaces that are clear and ready for baking attempts or play-doh creations. It looks like bedrooms that are relaxing to be in, with music playing to match the mood of the day. It looks like bookshelves with books just begging to be read and loaned out. It’s a home where my husband can say “Pack up and be ready to leave in 30 minutes, we’re going on an adventure!” and we can.

I looked through my Pinterest boards, to see if anything I pinned was actually inspiring to me. I thought I’d share a few here. Just click the picture to be taken to the original URL.

What are your goals for tidying? What’s your inspiration?

“Interior Dining Rooms” found on the Dust Jacket blog.

Who wouldn’t love making music on a yellow piano?

I want to spend all day in this kitchen. Color! Light! Freedom!

Waiting, Impatiently

After reading countless Amazon reviews, blog posts about the method, getting on the waitlist at my local library (#87…) and listening to an illegal audio version of the book on Youtube, I finally just caved and ordered the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (not an affiliate link) yesterday. I may or may not have been refreshing my Amazon orders page, hoping to magically see that it shipped out the same day and would actually be here today. This morning I got an email saying that it *did* ship and instead of the unholy arrival date of April 27th, as it originally estimated, it will be here Monday, April 20th, instead! Whoop whoop! So I just need to wait 2 more days until that wonderful book is in my hands, ready to be marked up, notated, highlighted, underlined, and put into use.

I’ve decided to blog my way through the book as well as my attempts at bringing my house into order. We currently live in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome and I often feel assaulted by our stuff. “We” are myself, my husband Ryan, my brother in law Kyle, my daughter Lucy, and in August the newest member of our family will arrive, Brooks.

While I was reading other blog reviews and participating in Facebook discussions of the book and method, I noticed several themes. First, it seemed like moms liked the “idea” of the book, but couldn’t see how it was possible to implement in a family. It was pretty clear that Marie Kondo is a single woman writing to other single people. Second, the book was originally written for a Japanese audience which can make it occasionally seem “weird” or off-putting in some way to an American audience. Third, while Kondo claims that her clients have a 100% success rate and 0% relapse, that is a pretty hard claim to swallow.

Is it really possible that by following the KonMari method of tidying (decluttering), one will never have to do it again? Can it be used in a family setting? What about a growing family? I hope to discover those answers.