Tidying up: Books and Book-like things

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After clothing and accessories, the next stop on the KonMari train is books.  Before I started piling all of my books in the middle of our living room floor, I realized that this would be a huge category to tackle because I have books all over the house!  My clothing and accessories were fairly easy to gather because it wasn’t difficult to make sure I had everything, but as I went through my house, scavenging for books, I realized that it would be easy to miss some.  My cookbooks for instance were tossed in after I’d already started my purge.  Even as I type this, I’m wondering if I missed anything… MAGAZINES!!!  Hmph…

Right, so back to the books.  I emptied all of my bookcases (trying to be careful not to take any of my husband’s, only partially succeeded…awkward…), and was faced with stacks and stacks of books.  This is exactly what Marie Kondo wanted…  Kondo emphasizes over and over that you must displace your belongings to really SEE them.  Although it would’ve been much easier on my back to leave my books in the bookshelf, and just pull the ones I wanted to purge, I can see now that this would have indeed been a “fatal” mistake.  Putting the beloved books back on the shelf took more work than leaving them on the floor, so it helped me to really think about it.

In the end, I did accidentally break the category rules.  I sorted through my journals along with my books without realizing that these belonged with my momentos (and apparently left out my magazines).  In her book, Kondo says that journals are largely unnecessary because she says we rarely look through them, and because they tie us to the past when we do.  But, luckily for me, she sticks closer to her “does this spark joy” rule than her journal rule, and I was able to keep most of mine with a clear conscience.  I love my journals, and I actually read through them about once a year.  I love reading my take on things that happened years ago, and remembering what a period of time was really like.  Our memories tend to evolve with our lives, and it’s easy to romanticize the past when we hit rough patches.  My journals help me keep things into perspective.  They’re also hilarious!  I’m apparently quite the comedian at times…I mean, I really crack myself up…  Hee hee?

Anyway…

When all was said and done, I put aside at least 1/2 of my stacks to pass along & recycle, and freed up quite a bit of space on my shelves.  In fact, I completely emptied one shelf that I can now use somewhere else.

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Next stop: Papers.  Eeek!

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Tidying up: Clothing, Etc…

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So I’ve begun putting The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up into practice.  To be honest, I think the word tidying may not be quite right for this task.  When I think about tidying, I think of moving things around to make a space look more organized, but not doing anything serious.  In the KonMari world, tidying is SERIOUS.  It involves a major purge of your possessions, then comes the organizing.  Everything is laid out in steps, from the purging to the storing.  Very detailed steps.  Although, considering the massive task that this book asks us to embark on, I think the steps will save everyone’s sanity if they stick to them. 

Anyway…  Marie Kondo (who is absolutely adorable – seriously, Google her) recommends tidying by category, and clothing is to be your first stop on the tidying train.  I’ve recently done a wardrobe overhaul, see my Capsule Wardrobe post, so I thought that would really help me get out of the first purge without too much trouble.  I was partially right, it was easier than it would’ve been, but it was still a fairly large task.  I hadn’t included lounge-ware, pj’s, seasonal items, shoes, accessories, or jewelry in my capsule wardrobe, so…  That’s a lot of stuff!

In the end I bagged up 4 bags out of this category, and that even includes some clothes that made the first capsule cut!  I seriously LOVED the premise for making my choices, “Does this spark joy?”  It was much easier than I thought it would be, and I knew right away for 90% if my items.  The general rule is, if you hesitate and have mull it over…it probably doesn’t spark joy.

While I’m trying to firmly stick to Kondo’s rules, doing this entire task in one go is something I just won’t be able to manage anytime soon.  I think I’d have to take vacation time to manage that!  Hopefully that won’t be a “fatal” mistake…

Tidying KonMari Style

Lately I feel like a pilgrim plodding down a well-worn track, that, though many have plodded before me, still has that air of discovery.  I’ve been jumping from discovery to discovery, and the latest landmark is the KonMari tidying method.  This book first caught my eye in a Barnes & Noble display, but I honestly didn’t go beyond picking it to look at the cover – it’s a lovely cover.  Since then, it’s been popping up in the videos of some of my favorite YouTubers, and after watching OrganizedLikeJen put the method to use, I thought to myself, “I should really check this out…”

It seemed to fall right in line with my current minimalistic obsession phase, so I checked with my local library to see if I could easily get my hands on it (for free).  Low and behold, I found out that my lovely, but small hometown library just started working with an audio and video service called Hoopla.  The selection is fairly limited at the moment, but The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo was an audiobook option!  Perfect!  Honestly, when it comes to non-fiction, I do much better with being able to listen instead of read.  It actually came at the perfect time to replace my daily The Lively Show podcast listening sessions (I’m already caught up…so sad).

I’ve already decided to veer a bit from her method, and sort my categories over the next month – instead of on one go like she suggests.  I understand her point to be sure, and may be kicking myself later if I ‘relapse’ or fail, but for now, I’ll just try to complete one category at a time.

Soooo….  Stay tuned!

Be Strong & Courageous!

Joshua 1 9

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or dismayed because I am with you wherever you go.

When I was thinking over possible Mother’s Day presents this month, this verse kept coming to mind.  I thought it was completely unrelated at first, and dismissed it as unhelpful distraction, but it kept popping up in my head.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really did relate to my mother.  My mother is the rock of our family, and I’ve always been amazed at the self-sacrificing strength she’s always seemed to possess.  She had 4 children, and managed to make each of us feel special and completely loved.  She encouraged us to walk our own unique paths, and to do something different than what was expected.  If you were to ask me about a time when I felt rejected or neglected by my mother, I’d have nothing to share…absolutely nothing.

But being a rock can’t be easy, especially now that we are all grown and going through our own unique struggles.  Especially now that my Dad has started chemo treatments for stomach cancer, and now that mom has her own health problems to contend with.  Each day has always brought its own challenges, and we all need strength and courage to be rocks for those around us.