Thursday, September 17, 2015

Final thoughts on the life-changing magic of tidying up

Though reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we started sorting my daughters' clothes. After seeing how good it felt to clear out the old clothes they'd no longer wear, they started slowly deciding on their own certain things they didn't like about their spaces.
Emma decided that she no longer liked having a bunk bed, and having to touch bars when she rolls over at night. Also, now that she and her sister always sleep in separate rooms, the bottom bunk is almost always empty. Once you go through one category of your belongings (clothes) and ask yourself what brings you joy, you start to notice all of the things in other categories that don't bring you joy.

That is how we started the process of re-doing the girls' rooms. I've shared a couple of before pictures, and below I'll share some afters.
After painting my mom's house, we knew we LOVED the Classic Silver paint color from Behr, so that's what we used. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Emma chose this beautiful painting from Hobby Lobby (50% off) as the base of her room.
We put a cabinet she previously had in her room, in an unused side of her closet to make space. We are all about the space now. She picked out a fluffy butterfly chair from Target for her reading spot.
The white headboard is from and I bought it during a Labor Day sale, plus got free shipping with my RedCard Debit, and an extra 5% off. Same goes for the bedding. She didn't really like any of the in-store bedding, but they offer a lot more online.
I always wonder when I see blogs of picture perfect rooms, where is the kid stuff? Hate to burst your bubble, but don't feel bad that your home doesn't look like that perfectly blogged home. Bloggers adjust the things in the photo, omitting the things that aren't pretty, to get the perfect shot. Sorry, but I'm not paid to blog, this is just for fun, so I'm going to show you what's behind that perfect photo...LEGOS! Lots of Legos!
Just so you know, my children are not mutants, they still have kids' things that they treasure dearly. (No offense to the very talented professional bloggers, that is their job, and so they need to show the best photos they can.)

She LOVES to spend time in her room now, and I'm so happy that she has a more age-appropriate space.

Now onto Cami's room, which we actually did first.
At one point, a couple of years ago, we let the paint "murals" on their walls. Yikes. Their rooms have been hodge-podge ever since.
My mom and the kids helped paint both rooms.

Cami's new mint green bedding was a clearance find at Target. Eventually I'd like to order her a gray tufted headboard like Emma's, but since her bed is a queen size, it is more expensive. We're stockpiling our yard sale pile for one GIANT yard sale in October, and then she'll get to finish her room off with a head board.

The teal butterfly chair is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I can't remember what I went in for, but this was a happy, accidental find! The popcorn pillow is from Kirkland's, because if you know this child at all, you know she LIVES for popcorn. Both of the girls' bedside tables were clearance finds from TJ Maxx, for $16 each! She already had the white Ikea rug, and the white stool came from the living room.
Even the beautiful canvas that she loves was a clearance find at Target. We all love their spaces SO much more now, and the child who always had a problem keeping her room clean, now keeps it up beautifully!

My final thoughts on this book are:
~Is the reason I'm not good at properly cleaning my house because I have far TOO much to care for?
~If I care so much about my stuff, why don't I care enough to keep it clean?
~Would it really be covered in dust if it truly brought me joy?
~Is the reason people "don't have enough storage space" simply that they are storing far too much?

Don't misunderstand me. 
Things are not of real value. 
Relationships are. 
Love is.
Generosity is.
My point, and what I've taken from this book is that if my house is in order, and all of the things that don't bring me joy are gone, it will leave me free to live how I want to live. Less time spent taking care of things that I don't really care about, translates into more time to spend with others, help others, serve others, travel. The things that do bring me joy.

I'll leave you with this quote from the book that I wrote in my journal:
"The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic

I started hearing about this book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, from various sources and my interest was peaked. What could possibly be so life-changing about tidying up? I was skeptical, but after hearing about it from so many people, I decided to pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble this weekend. I am about 3/4 of the way done with reading it, but I've already started my decluttering.

She explains her history in detail, and how she came to finally develop the KonMari method of tidying. I'll admit, some of the things in the book are a bit over the top for me, such as thanking inanimate objects for a job well done, but I get the idea behind it. For me, I'm not going to be talking to my stuff, but it has made me think about things differently. I am more mindful. I am thankful that my clothes protect my body. If you don't think that clothes have that big of a job, you haven't watched Naked and Afraid. And really, if I'm not thankful for something, why am I spending my precious time caring for it (picking it up, putting it away, maintaining it, cleaning it, thinking about it, etc.)

I think that has been the biggest revelation of this book. That most of us have WAY too much stuff, and we can't possibly care about all of it, yet we allow it to take up our space, our time, and our mind. 

I've started following her method, and already my house feels a lot different. 
Yes, it is a lot of work. 
No, it is not like any decluttering you've ever done. 

Her method is different, in that it doesn't ask you to do it gradually, or by room, etc. You go by category, and you save the memento category for last, because it is the hardest. By the time you get to the memento category, you should be good at her method, and ready to part with things that no longer bring you joy or what she calls a "thrill of pleasure". 

This has been pretty eye-opening. Say you received a gift two years ago from a loved one. You didn't like or couldn't use the gift for whatever reason, but you've saved it all this time. It has probably even bothered you that you have it, yet haven't been able to use it. 
It actually brings you guilt.
Are you tracking with me? 
When they gave you the gift, you certainly felt joy that they actually thought to give you a gift. Do you think the giver would like you to hold onto something you can't use for years and have that guilt in the back of your mind? No. It has fulfilled its purpose of bringing you joy, and now you are done with it. 

The same goes for those mountains of cards we tend to save forever. If you are going through your cards to sort which will be discarded, she doesn't say you need to get rid of every last card, but simply hold each one in your hand (this applies to everything) and only keep the ones that still bring you that thrill of pleasure. Saving things forever that once made us happy, will amount to a whole lot of stuff that we will have to care for, move around, organize, etc.

I'm less than a week in, and since she has you start with the easiest category, clothing, you should SEE my closet! I have never seen my closet like this, not even when we first moved in to this house. Her instructions on folding clothes so that they stand up in drawers? Magic in itself.

I have empty cupboards.
Hear me, empty cupboards.

This has never happened to me. This is the magic she talks about that ensures her clients never rebound. 

I will freely admit, it is a mess and a lot of work to restart your life in this way. The thought of getting to the komono (which is basically a miscellaneous category) has me all , but I will do it because I am seeing the magic. I will have so much more time when there is so much less to pick up and put away. 

This book has also made me rethink when I want to buy something and bring it into my house. Do I love it enough to care for it long term? 

I haven't even come close to describing her method, because you really need to read the book for yourself, so don't jump in based on this blog post, because you will rebound from not accurately knowing her instructions. In the meantime, look for the town's largest yard sale in the next month or two! ;)