Archive | June 2016

Putting My ‘Tidying’ Hat Back On

Has it really been 10 months since I went on a tidying hiatus and 8 months since I had a small post about the whole process? My goodness! Time to dust off the tidying hat and get back on the train.

A little over a year ago I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. It completely changed how I look at tidying and keeping house. I have not, however, ‘completed’ her course in getting my own house in order. After making great progress last year, I hit burn out in addition to simply too many other things going on in my life that demanded attention. (That’s only partially an excuse. It’s also at least somewhat true.) You can click on the “Quest to Tidy” link to the right, listed under “Recurring Segments,” if you want to catch up on all of the posts written so far.

woman with hat reading a book

How I imagine I’ll spend time when my life is tidied up…

To get myself back in the mindset for this summer project (and probably fall and winter too…) I have been rereading Marie Kondo’s first book as well as starting in on her second: “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up”.

“So, let me ask you point-blank: Are you committed to completing the once-in-a-lifetime special event of tidying up?”
– Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy”

Probably not quite as committed as she’d like me to be were I one of her clients, and I already know from reading her first book that there are a few things she does I simply will not do (such as pare my book collection down to a single shelf or two of favorites), but I saw the progress I made last year and I know that if I’m a little bit hard on myself and don’t completely give up, I can certainly make a lot more.

Expect many more posts to come (including a spin-off mini-series on organizing your digital life, something Marie Kondo also inspired me to do), but for now I’ll leave you with this very important quote from the brilliant lady herself. It’s good to think on before you roll up your sleeves and take on the seemingly-giant task of tidying.

“The responsibility for mess and clutter lies 100 percent with the individual. Things do not multiply of their own accord, but only if you buy them or receive them from someone else. Clutter accumulates when you fail to return objects to their designated place. If a room becomes cluttered “before you know it,” it is entirely your own doing. In other words, tidying up means confronting yourself. 

In contrast, dirt does accumulate of its own accord. It is a law of nature that dust and dirt pile up. Therefore, cleaning means confronting nature.”
– Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy”

 

*Image taken from Pixabay, creative commons license, user Pezibear

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Defining Stress

I’m back from a 2 1/2 week vacation abroad and nearly 3 1/2 weeks off work, and the last thing I’m ready to come back to is stress. Coming home means coming back to responsibilities with house, family, and the day job, not to mention trying to make time for all of the creative tasks I’d like to tackle in my life. Taken individually, those responsibilities are typically fairly easy and often quite enjoyable. Taken as a whole… well, let’s just say that little stressors love to group up like mean kids at a party and together they can ruin all the fun.

I had a great quote sitting in my inbox when I returned home from traveling. “Stress is the difference between who you think you need to be and who you actually are.” (Please click here to be linked to the original article quoted.)

Wow. Wake up call.

think I need to manage everything by myself. I’m responsible for keeping my house magazine-perfect both in cleanliness and style. I am responsible for creating and maintaining a perfect system of organization for everything in my house, both physical and digital. I’m responsible for always having an idea of what to cook for dinner, for always keeping bills in perfect order, and for somehow still spoiling everyone in my life on top of it.

I’m also responsible for finding plenty of time around all of that to read, write, blog, submit my work, and do other creative things like photography, scrapbooking, studying language, and more. I should have time to play the piano and harp (both of which I own and neither of which I’m amazing at largely due to lack of practice). I should also have time to keep up on all of my favorite television shows; it seems everyone else manages to do so. I should have time for networking online, both for fun and for writing (hopefully one day professionally). And I should have time for all of that and more around my 40 hours a week sitting in an insurance office keeping customers happy and maintaining a long list of ‘all the little things’ that run in the background as is expected of an office manager. And I don’t even have kids!

I wonder why stress likes to chase me down…

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Now let’s look at who I am. Continue reading