Jan 312016
 

I have been seeing so many people talking about the KonMari method from the books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and her new book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up both by Marie Kondo. So, I decided maybe this was for me!

I have been a perfectionist of the worst kind for several years. I am either all or nothing. Meaning, if I can’t do it all perfectly, I don’t do it at all. This either leaves us with a very clean house, or now that I am in pain most days, a very messy home that seems to be falling apart around us.

I have spent a long time placing the blame for the clutter on my family. They don’t want to part with anything and the house is cluttered, but MY SPACE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE! When I began to learn a bit about the KonMari method of decluttering it really hit home for me. What is worth my time and my pain to keep tidy and clean? From there I purged down my closet but I didn’t follow the rules of pulling out every article of clothing that I owned and placing it in a pile and going through each one, touching each one and seeing if it sparks joy while deciding to donate, toss or keep.

This afternoon I did just that with my clothing. Some of which had been stored in bags that I haven’t looked at in a few years. Since I already did my main clothes last week I didn’t pull those items out again as I know they are all part of my wardrobe that definitely spark joy. Here is the floor of my bedroom after I pulled everything that I had stored out. I am shocked that I had so many things stored, some of which still on hangers! Please tell me I am not alone?!


It only took me about a half hour to do my first sort through. I did 3 piles that I knew would work well for me. Keep, toss and maybe. This giant pile was quickly split in half which left me thinking “do I really want to hang up these things and keep them?”

So I went through the keep pile again and only kept a few pieces. A dress for my daughter that is brand new and will likely be worn to a school dance, a button up shirt, 2 leather skirts, a leather jacket, my pink spring trench coat, my white leather jacket and 3 tanks. Funny enough, these were ALL items I had been looking for and was upset that I couldn’t find. I had assumed they must’ve been lost in the move and I was looking to replace them. I am definitely happy I found these things! It saved me money and are pieces that I LOVE!


I also kept a stack of things my grandma made that bring me joy. They don’t fit but they have sentimental value. I will have to re-evaluate these items when I get to the sentimental portion of the KonMari method! For now, they stay.


And this is what I am getting rid of. I would have loved to be able to donate everything but unfortunately most of the things that were taking up space in my life were torn, stained and embarrassing. They served me well at one point and they definitely showed it! The blue bag is what I am able to donate. It includes pyjamas, pants, shirts, skirts, and even a set of sheets. I am excited that this bag will be able to bless others. I am also excited that I won’t be hurting my back anymore moving these things around just to tidy up.

I am definitely feeling like this method is something that is going to work for me. I am excited to get through all of my things so that I can then move forward to the kids and help them tidy up their lives and only have things that bring them joy as well. Who knows, maybe the rest of the family will catch on too!!!

This in total probably took me about 45 minutes, including pulling everything out of storage, dumping it out, sorting, sorting again, bagging things up and moving them to the door to be taken out by my dad. A task that had literally waited years because I didn’t have the time ended up being super easy and more than fulfilling! I would love to know how you declutter and how you keep things organized. Have you read through Marie Kondo’s books and did they help you?

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

$16.99 USD
Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.
$18.99 USD
Jan 312016
 

Summary

If you find yourself in between one thing and another, changing from who you used to be into who you are becoming, how will you live in the messy, beautiful middle? And what if the middle pages hold storylines that wound and surprise? Is God with us on those pages, too?

In Even If Not, Kaitlyn Bouchillon invites you to let go of trying to figure out the ending of your story and instead lean into the faithfulness of God. With honest and vulnerable storytelling from her own in betweens, Kaitlyn encourages you to say – no matter what page of the story you find yourself on – that although you believe God could come through how you’re asking, you’ll trust Him… even if not.

About the Author

Kaitlyn E. Bouchillon is an author and blogger who believes every person is a walking story and every story matters. She loves writing – blogs, books, and handwritten letters – is addicted to queso, and is crazy about her people. She currently splits her time between Starbucks and her cute little apartment in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thoughts

This book is available for pre-order on Amazon right now! I am so excited for Kaitlyn! She has been such an inspiration to get to know over the last few years on Twitter. She is definitely a child of God and I have NO doubt that this book will reflect her amazing journey with Him! To tide you over until the book is in your mailbox you can check her out on her blog!! Remember that if you reserve your copy of the book on Amazon now you are guaranteed the lowest price if the price changes in the meantime! Congratulations Kaitlyn! So proud of you!


Jan 302016
 

I woke up this morning and within an hour I had made tea, had a banana, washed the dishes from yesterday (wasn’t feeling well) and put them away, moved everything off the counter and wiped it down, cleaned the stove top, changed the trash bag and swept the floor and was working up a little bit of a sweat.

My muscles started to scream at me for water. I drank 32 ounces within a few seconds and remembered that I keep forgetting about me.

More importantly though, where was God?

As I guzzled water down fast the thought that God was searching for me when I wasn’t seeking Him was crossing my mind. Then, the words, “man cannot live off bread alone” slid into my head rapidly followed by fueling my aching soul with water from God’s well instead of my own.

It was definitely one of those moments where you are like “okay God, I am listening, I get the point. Slow down, take care of myself physically AND spiritually!”

As mama’s we forget to take care of ourselves and as children of God we tend to put our Bible studies at the end of our to-do lists instead of as part of our daily routine.

I have been studying the book of Ruth with Hello Mornings the past few weeks and it has been great, but today is Saturday and there was no reading for today, but God beckoned me anyway.

“Make ME a habit. Not a chore!”

So, I am going to focus on giving God the best of my day instead of fitting Him in.

How do you keep His Word on your tongue and have you heard God speak to you without any doubt before?

Jan 202016
 

Standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes while my girl reads to me the lost chapter she is writing for The Giver for her English class and I can’t help but think how much like me she really is. Only, this sweet child doesn’t know how to type very well and is growing increasingly frustrated because her typing isn’t able to stay caught up to the story in her head, giving her a case of writers’ block, which, I am definitely familiar with. I put the last dish to dry and wiped my hands and went and sat beside her at the table and read what she had, her paragraph cut short mid-way through and her having no clue where she was going with that thought because typing had hindered her.

I lean in close and she pushes her computer over to me and the story springs back to life, only this time my fingers are the ones bouncing up and down off the keys and she says to me with a bit of amazement in her voice “how do you type like that?” and she leans down real close with her face nearly on the table and her eyes staring horizontal across my fingers as they tap away and she watches me type, like she had never seen me do it in the 13 years she has walked this jagged line.

Within a few minutes her story is complete and she is proof-reading it, looking for spelling and grammar mistakes before I transfer it to my computer where software will do that. She edited away like she had done it a thousand times and deleted the odd sentence or paragraph that didn’t really make much sense and then I transferred it over to my laptop for a run through the software and to print.

I have been doing a lot of dishes lately. Yeah I know, I am a mom and that’s what we all say. But really, my mom normally does the washing up but I have been doing it the past month or so. There are a couple of reasons, one being that I really hate having dirty dishes in the sink and beggars can’t be choosers… I absolutely hate having to clean the sink to grab a glass of water or to fill the kettle but a family of five does that to you, even with a dishwasher, so I have been purposing to stay on top of the dishes just so I can save my sanity.

But you see something happened when I started doing the dishes. The girl child, she started sitting at the table while I do them. She comes out of her room and sits and chats, about everything and anything and that is the BEST REASON EVER to do dishes! She puts things away for me too which is also helpful, but praise the Good Lord for the 20 minutes a few times a day that she comes out and is simply with me. I enjoy our time together. I had no clue that we would grow our relationship over dirty dishes. Had I known, I would have started doing them more often a long time ago!

I am definitely a mom in the minority when it comes to having her kids do chores. They don’t have any designated chores. Why? Because they go to school from 8-4 and have homework when they get in and I don’t work outside the home and I would rather my children go to bed at a decent hour and worry less about chores and more about getting a good education, focusing on their grades. They help when they are asked and they often offer, which is fun because I get to see where they really enjoy doing things and where they don’t.

If my kids had chores I wouldn’t know that my son likes to work outside with my dad, especially when it comes to working on the tractor or anything with tools. I wouldn’t know that my daughter likes to cook, especially for me, and that she has a servants’ heart and takes great care in the things she prepares and how they look and taste, because once it becomes a chore, we treat it like a chore and school is a big enough chore for them right now and I absolutely love seeing what they have created or found while doing what they truly enjoy.

FYI my daughter is a bit OCD and does her own laundry on weekends and puts it away. Her bed is either completely unmade without a bottom sheet or made to the point you are scared to wrinkle it. My son is not a clean freak and is quite messy. He needs help cleaning his room and getting those types of things done because he has no clue how to even start, but if you say a wall needs built he’s in there like a dirty old sock (is that still a saying?) ready to help out!

I am so blessed to see some of the Proverbs 31 woman come out in me and to be able to, prayerfully, be a good influence to my children.

My daughter said tonight that her favorite song is inappropriate and my response was “sin is often easier, but it isn’t better.” I left her to think on that. Maybe we all need to think on that.

Jan 032016
 
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published by Slogan Books (first published August 31st 2011)
ASIN: B005KKUVX6

Summary

In the exclusive enclave of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a woman who builds custom guitars is murdered. A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator is hired by the dead woman’s father and immediately becomes the target of a violent ex-convict. An enigmatic music star performs damage control on her links to the dead woman. And a professional killer who idolizes Keith Richards is brought into town by a mysterious employer.

My Review

Started and finished this book in a single day. I love when I get sucked into a book so quickly that I lose track of time! It has been awhile since I have really enjoyed reading and I am finding some awesome reads lately that are just sucking me straight in.
This was a suspense/mystery without much graphic so I consider it to be a fairly clean read. There was some moments but that was more than expected.
The story for me was quite unique having it be a private investigator rather than a police officer or another member of law being the one who is doing all the leg work and unraveling the mystery/story. I enjoyed the extreme use of humor in this book, it really made it feel like I was reading the thoughts of the narrator rather than just the actions, which was a lot of fun. I love that this story had me guessing as the pages turned. Definitely recommend it to anyone who is into crime novels!!

Dec 282015
 

Allergy Friendly

Essential Oils

Fitness & Weight Loss

Healthy Kids

Homesteading

Natural Home

Natural Remedies

Paleo

Real Food

 

Dec 262015
 

Do you spend more time planning your day than you do actually checking things off of your to-do list? Are you working from home and struggling to balance business and pleasure, or business and household tasks? With these 6 tips to staying on track you will be well on your way to being more productive in less time, while improving your overall health!

  1. A morning routine

    This is the cornerstone to having a productive day. Part of a morning routine is waking up at a designated time, if you are like me and you can sleep in every day then great, but don’t push past a certain time. Set your alarm for what works for you whether it’s 4am or 10am and GET UP when it goes off. Have a shower, breakfast, Bible time, and don’t slip pj’s back on. I’m not saying you need to get dressed in a suit but tossing on clothes you would be comfortable answering the door in is a great start, add in hair and a little makeup and you are mentally going to be ready to go.

  2. Important things first

    Getting your most important task done first will help you to feel accomplished and therefore encouraged to get on to the more menial things you need to tackle in a day. It is also an awesome way to know that if a child falls ill or something comes up you have already finished what was number one on the list instead of being rushed around and staying up late trying to complete it when you are weary.

  3. Schedule your time

    Another load of dishes or a basket full of laundry may be something you need to do each day while you are working from home. You would be surprised how much time it really takes to get these things done when you stop procrastinating. You can easily get all the dishes finished and put away in 15 minutes. Don’t believe me? Set a timer and get to work. When it goes off look at how much you have accomplished and take note of that so you can easily schedule it in and not be pulled down by procrastination. If something does take you a long time and you feel like there must be a better way, it may simply be that you have too much stuff. Decluttering, even a little bit, while you clean up, goes a long way to making regular tasks, like putting away clothes, go a lot quicker and more smoothly. And the bonus is when you get dressed the next day everything is in its proper place!

  4. Unsubscribe and turn off notifications

    If you like a Facebook page, follow someone on Pinterest or Instagram or are active on Twitter or Periscope schedule that in so you don’t get distracted. Don’t even open these time-stealing apps until you have time to relax for a bit. It becomes far too easy to be checking our notifications and replying to the next cute photo when we should be actively working. Shutting off notifications means we won’t be sidetracked by constant alerts on our phones, tablets or even PC. If you are getting trapped in the land of email take 5 minutes each day as you go through and purposely unsubscribe to emails you would normally not even open that are just making your inbox feel daunting. This may take you several weeks as every mailing is scheduled a little differently, but once you have finished your inbox should be full of things important to you and not full of time-bandits.

  5. Dedicated workspace

    The idea of a home office is often a dream that turns into a catch all and therefore more anxiety and less work. That said, do your best to set up a little nook in a room that you need to be in throughout the day. I have seen some ladies using a tool tote with their pens, planners and other papers in them so they have all of their office supplies in a grab and go bag that works anywhere in the house. If you are blessed with a desk keep it minimal. Scan or take photos of papers you don’t need to keep and then shred the hardcopy and save the digital. Any papers you do need can easily be filed away. If you can purpose to work in the same area each day and not use that space for leisure you are going to be far more likely to use the time in that space productively while saving the more fun things for later!

  6. Break things up

    If you are working from home then you need to treat your work as a job instead of as a hobby. Blogging can be either or both and sometimes that line can become blurred depending on your current season. Setting up a regular schedule for posts, putting them in your planner, coming up with ideas ahead of time and taking the time to work is all great but what about when we spend too much time doing research or working and the house crumbles? Well that’s why we need to break things up. If you are a work at home mom you need to schedule your work time smartly and schedule in time for household tasks too or you will fall behind and end up spending the late evening playing catch up only to wake up feeling behind. Depending on the ages of your kids this may be a lot easier to schedule than during other seasons. Setting a timer for how long you are going to spend working can be a great reminder for you to take a break and it can also show your children when it is okay for them to take a break too and get ready for lunch or playing outside, etc. And, don’t put in overtime on evenings and weekends!

Bonus Tip!

  1. A night time schedule

    Just as you see children thrive with routine, so do adults. Eat your dinner at roughly the same time each day and clean up those dishes so you can wake to a clean kitchen! It only takes you 15 minutes and will help you to start the day off right. Have a shower or bath to wash the day away, sit back with a good book, TV or check in on social media. Have a time set for bedtime and stick to it! You need to be getting around 8 hours of solid sleep each night, if you wake up at 6 each morning you should be going to bed no later than 10. If you are struggling to fall asleep, try reading a real paper book. The blue light emitted by our electronics has been shown to prevent our brains from realizing that it is as late as it is, so stepping away from the screen an hour before bedtime and getting into a book or your paper planner may just be the screen time detox your body needs to fall asleep when you lay down.

If you work from home or are a stay at home mom/wife/dad/husband, what are your tips to staying on track and getting things done? I would love to know your personal tips/tricks in the comments!!

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