Konmari Method + Life Lately + a Giveaway
This is me, climbing back up to the face of the Earth from which I have fallen in the few weeks.
It’s shocking to see how stuff in real life, or behind the scenes of this blog, can have such a huge impact on whether or not I can successful string a post together. This last week (or two) has been a good example of that. I’m learning to let go a bit and give myself some room for imperfection. You know what they say, right? Imperfection is the flavor of life. Ok, I doubt anyone actually says that, but I like the sound of it.
I got up this morning, earlier than the rest of my family (which is a rare event) and came down to the kitchen to sit with a cup of coffee and just soak in the quiet. I used to think I thrived on chaos, everything crazy and unpredictable. Now, I’m realizing that my mind and body need some calm to stay truly happy. I can’t do everything and frankly, I shouldn’t try. That’s what I’ve learned so far this Spring. There have been opportunities that I have wanted to be a part of, at church and the kids’ school, but due to other commitments, I haven’t been able to participate. Having to say “no, sorry, I can’t come or join or help” is very hard for me. I’m a people pleaser and always want everyone to be happy and it’s hard for me when I know that I’ve disappointed someone. Well, I am slowly finding out that I can’t do everything, help everyone, be everywhere. I can only do so much, and what I do do (Friends reference, anyone?!) I need to do to the best of my ability. What I can’t do, I need to be kind but firm about saying, “no”.
This is hard stuff. This is important stuff. I feel like my mind is slowly being decluttered and I’m loving the feeling.
On Facebook a few days ago, I shared a link to a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I couldn’t even tell you now how I came across this book, but I believe it involved a rabbit hole of internet comment reading where someone left a link to it. It would have popped up eventually in my life because it’s a #1 best seller and everyone is talking about it, but I’m glad it came around when it did. I am hesitant to ever state that something has changed my life. Basically I’m too cynical. There is no way some book is going to help me clean my house and, most importantly, keep it clean.
If you feel like this, keep reading!
Since Christmas I had been feeling insanely stir crazy. My house was a disaster with stuff covering every single surface. Closets held contents that hadn’t seen the light of day in 5 years. Bins in the basement that held who knows what. I started feeling like we would qualify for some sort of hoarder reality show and it was getting to me. I have always been a messy person – not dirty, let’s clarify – just messy. When I vent to my mom about how C is always a tornado of mess with her Legos and constant crafting all I get in response is a laugh. And I get it. I was the same. exact. way. C is a mini version of me as a kid, but even more fabulous. And by fabulous, I mean messy.
Well, even I have a breaking point apparently and it hit at the ripe old age of 32 and I just freaking couldn’t take it anymore. We had to do something about the way we lived and it had to happen fast. We have been talking about moving for a while and had the long term goal of putting the house up for sale next year, but knew that we needed to do some serious decluttering before that could happen. Not just to help the house sell, but for us. I don’t want to pay movers to move things we don’t want, need or love anymore. That’s just money down the toilet.
So, I checked the audio book version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up out of my library and got to listening. The only thing I had heard about it at that point was that you needed to keep an open mind. Don’t let yourself eye roll or be skeptical. Listen to what she has to say, and then try it.
I listened to the book 4 times. I’m not even kidding. And then I got to decluttering. I have never had anything flip a switch in my head as fast and as thoroughly this book. I look at my possessions in a whole new light. When I go shopping, I use Marie Kondo’s (Konmari Method) criteria of “Does this bring me joy?” when deciding on whether to buy something new. So simple, but life-changing.
As a household, we got rid of 20 13-gallon bags of clothes, about 250 books, 3 large garbage bags of papers to shred or recycle, 7 large pieces of furniture, 1 van full of toys to donate plus 3 large garbage bags of toys to throw away. After that I pretty much lost count. I have had van fulls of donations weekly (since the beginning of March) that were full of dishes, clothes, household decor, books, toys and the list goes on. I swear I can hear our house sighing with relief as we’ve purged. But the key to this method is not mindless purging. It’s thoughtful, going through of each item and holding it in your hands and asking yourself, “does this spark joy?”.
Some items have been hard to get rid of, even knowing that it brought us no joy. Perhaps it was a deep fryer that we bought two years ago and never used or a monogrammed gift we received at our wedding that has been sitting in basement for 10 years. Some things will be hard, and some will be easy.
I urge you to read this book if you are looking to get your house in order. Marie Kondo’s method of sorting by category and not room is also so simple, but I believe is the key to the success. We started this process in March and it’s taken us until this weekend to be fully complete. For a time, the house seemed a bit chaotic while we gathered things from different categories, but very quickly we could feel the relief. I could walk by a closed closet and know exactly what was in there without looking. The items had been sorted thoroughly and each item that was kept was given a permanent home. No more floating lunch boxes that clutter the kitchen counter on the weekends because they don’t have an assigned spot. No more photography props on the basement floor in front of the prop shelves because there simply is no room to put them. I have never felt this happy with the state of my home. Ever.
In fact, it is because of this book and it’s results that we were able to finish the few painting projects that we’ve been putting off and are now going to put our house up for sale this week instead of next year. Yeah, life-changing indeed. Our house is adorable and over the last few years it’s been totally updated. But now that it’s decluttered, you can finally see it. And it’s beautiful.
The decision to leave is bittersweet. Our entire married life has been in this house. We brought our babies home here, seen them grow, had first days of school, birthdays, anniversaries and I’m so grateful for it. I love this house, but it’s time to move on to the next adventure.
And because of the joy and love that this book has brought to me, I want to share it with you!
I am giving away three copies of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to three of you! All you need to do to enter is to leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you are looking forward to decluttering the most in your home! For me, it was kitchen stuff 🙂 I’ll keep the giveaway open until next
Sunday, May 24 at 9 pm ET
***UPDATE*** In celebration of receiving not one, but two offers on our house within 24 hours of listing it, I am extending this giveaway until Tuesday, May 26 at 6:00 PM EST. WooHoo!! Spread the word to any friends who you think would love the book 🙂
You must be a US resident to qualify. Please be sure to use your current email address when signing in to comment, that is how I will contact the winners.
If you are interested in other people’s experiences with this book, I found a few blog posts and videos that I’ve been reading and watching obsessively. I’ll update it as I come across new ones:
- Jennifer Ross – She has a bunch of great videos for several of the different categories in the book. The videos are long, but show her entire process of decluttering. I have found these very helpful!
- Hey Eleanor – I came across Molly, from Hey Eleanor, on Twitter and love her posts on the KonMari method. She’s honest and entertaining and found her insights both amusing and totally accurate.
- This Pinterest board is full of awesome visuals of clothes, folding methods and before and after photos. I was a slacker and didn’t take many before and afters, so this is a great way to check out some examples.
I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate each and every one of you that comes here to JT to hang out, read my ramblings and check out my recipes. You guys are the best. The best, the best. In fact, next week I am putting together a reader’s survey to get a little more insight into what you would like to see here on Jelly Toast. This will also have a very sweet giveaway, so be sure to stay tuned for that! In the mean time, have an awesome weekend and I’ll see you guys soon!
This post is not sponsored. I adore this book and decluttering method and wanted to share the happiness with you!