My “art” of tidying up….

So, I’m ready the book by Maria Kondo – The Art of Tidying Up.  I’m only part way through it, and I am a combination of motivated, in awe and over-whelmed.  This woman is serious about tidying: her book is peppered with stories of her passion throughout life – at 5, as a teen (she’d race home from school and tidy for hours until dinner time!).  I like to be tidy, but Kondo is an entirely different level (which I guess is why she is the best selling author)
At the same time, her methods promise a future of bubble baths, weight loss, and a more productive life. So, sign me up!  My inner thoughts on how to de-clutter are 100% wrong compared to her. I do a little at a time, when I have time.  According to Kondo, “Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever”  Damn! Who wants that?!
Her method is hard-core and to do it all at once:  make it an event, set aside a good amount of time, don’t rush it.  I love the concept, but I’m not there yet.  I can’t just take an afternoon and deal with all of my clothes at once: my closet is big, organized, but there is a lot going on in there!  It is not an afternoon only project. So, I am going to combine her method with mine. Maybe this is a rookie mistake, but hey, I’m only 1/3 of the way through the book, but ready to go!!!  So, today is purse day!

Purse Day!
She is very specific about how things need to be done.

1.  Take everything out of its place (and you would do this by category, not by room).  So, I’ve gathered purses from my purse drawer, back of closet, beside my desk in office, mud room.  All purses are now aligned.  I have less than I thought, but for a girl that never swaps out purses, I guess it’s a shameful amount. I never go backwards on purses either – once I get a new one, I don’t seem to use an older one.
2.  Decide what to keep.  Self chatter involves “does this spark joy?” and “thank you for being part of my life”.  The approach is “why should I keep this” vs what to get rid of.
3.  After step 2 is completed, only put back what you decide to keep.

Ok…off to do it….back in a bit…

I’m back….literally 20 minutes later.  It was easier than I thought.  75% of my bags are NOT coming back in the drawer.  The interesting part was the crap inside the bags – it gave me perspective.  Hotel key from 2011, People mag from 2013 (Bethany is getting a divorce!), cheap lipsticks, expensive lipsticks – all garbage now due to my own neglect. I found $12usd, $20cad, and a homesense gift card, so not all is lost.  Even from that pile, I tossed so much – pens, hair accessories, random things not worth re-homing. If I didn’t need them in the past 5 years, it’s unlikely I’ll need them in the next 5.

So, my purse drawer was near empty!  Such a good feeling (see below!). In the midst of my enthusiasm, I dared to look to the right – to the cubby that holds over-night bags. So, I yanked them all out.  Again, easier than I thought: a few are staying, most are going.  They are now stacked in the same drawer.  I kept the Gucci bag with the tags on, but if it doesn’t make an appearance in the next month, it’s going too!



The pile of purses to go is big.  Kondo is always talking about throwing everything out – literally, trashing things.  I can’t do it.  Stay tuned for the free purse give-away!


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Who defines what is “true”?

I heard someone (one of those judgy types that would rather bitch, than contribute) define a rescue org as a “True Rescue” – and it got me thinking.  1. who are you do decide what is “true” and 2. can anything be defined as “true”.

Can one decide what a “true” rescuer is – is it someone who pulls the dog off the street, or is the vet who saves their life (or does much needed care), or is it the people who provide home and shelter and show the dog the first bit of love they may ever know, or is the group that sponsors and works to find them their place in life, or is it the family that promises to love them forever?  Is it something that can be defined?  Is it something that needs to be defined?  To me, any of these volunteer roles are rescuers – does the capacity of their role matter?

How ridiculous would it be, if we defined all things as “true” or not.  What is a true doctor?  A true mother?  A true educator?  A true blonde?  A true cat?  A true apple?  (Sounds stupid, doesn’t it – but is there a difference?)

To each their own, I guess.  If people want to hold everything to that standard, so be it:  Life will be spent critiquing anything that doesn’t hold your standard of “true”.  Or, you can live in the moment and appreciate anyone that is doing SOMETHING to help – is doing something to help.  Does every action have to be the ultimate action, or can we take pleasure in the little bonus’ handed out by mere mortals who dare to contribute in ways big or small?

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Do Something!!!

I always have a passing thoughts…

  • I should exercise more
  • drink more water
  • clean out my closet / desk / fridge
  • organize this
  • do that…

Then, often, I spend my day working my ass off, getting kids aligned, dealing with rescue things, treading water to stay sane.  I go to bed at night, and realize that I’ve just lived another day and done NONE of those things that would give me better health (physically or sanity-wise).  Each of those things takes time and effort to do as a whole – which is not a bad thing, it just often gets pushed to the side.  Realistically, most days, I won’t be able to get to all/any of those things in full.

But – baby steps – do SOMETHING!  Go to your closet, find one piece of clothing that you haven’t worn in a year, and toss it (I keep a bag in my closet, to encourage my discarding – when its full, I donate it).  Go have a glass of water – right now!   Drop to the floor, and see how long you can hold the plank position.  You aren’t necessarily changing your life by leaps and bounds – but you are making time for you.  You are investing in yourself (even if it’s just a wee bit – it counts).   Before long, maybe you’ll grab 3 things from your closet to purge, or maybe you can hold a plank for 2 minutes.

Don’t try to boil the ocean – all you can do is drink it, one (filtered!) glass at a time!

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Your Mental List

How often, during the day, do we add things to our “mental list”.  I need to pay that bill, or get that gift ready.  Avoid cluttering your mind in one of two ways:

1. Just do it the minute that you think of it.  Don’t put the small things aside.  Send that email now, or make the quick phone call.  When we dwell on things, we spend more times thinking about them, than just doing the task.

2.  Make note of it.  A literal “note”.  It may be a piece of paper in your car, or a chalk board in your kitchen, or perhaps a task list in your phone.  It doesn’t matter:  do what works for you.  But – write it down, get it out of your mind.  Move on.

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