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Showing posts from June, 2016

KonMari - Least likely to be a bag lady (Clothes cont...)

Today, we are still on the clothing: accessories. My bag collection is limited. I am not a collector, and I rarely carry a bag. I'm always least likely to win during baby and bridal shower "What's in your Bag" games where you get a long list and points for every random item you can produce from your purse. 
While the purse collection is very small, the book-bags and computer bags are many. They are legion.  I recently tossed 3 rolling computer bags and 2 backpacks, only to produce 2 more backpacks, 3 messenger bags, and 2 computer sleeves in my closet. 
The KonMari process helped me go through this amount and put half in the donate pile. I am moving closer to a garage sale at my house this coming month. Marie Kondo empties her bag every night, and places the contents in the same place every night so they can be grabbed in the morning in a new bag if required. As you can tell from the pile in the box bottom right, I do not. That is mainly from my teaching and work ba…

KonMari - Clothing AKA the reason I'm not naked

Marie Kondo starts with clothing because, I guess, we are more quick to purge clothing. We have to do this over the course of life when clothing gets ruined or looks old. She obviously doesn't know people like I do, because I've seen closets that are packed full of every item the person has bought in the past 20 years (or more). I am not this bad ONLY BECAUSE I have fluctuated weight up and down so often that much of my wardrobe consisted of cheap Old Navy or (insert plus size store) which never wears more than a year. I don't have many lasting staples. No real investments at my size.

The saving grace is that the process Kondo gives--get all the clothes, put them all together on the floor and touch each piece as you sort into joyful items, donate items, and trash items--forces a mental revelation. YOU HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. I had over 30 tee shirts! I had 15 pairs of jeans! I had over a dozen day dresses and 10 fancy ones! I had 24 pairs of underwear, many I hated wearing b…

KonMari - Being Intuitive versus Being Rational

When discarding, follow your intuition. Don't rationalize holding on to things because they are "perfectly good" or useful, though you haven't actually had a use for it or love it.

Your gut knows the real-talk about an item. Your brain talks its way through reasoning value.

Your gut feels the emotion (good and bad) attached to your things. Your brain makes up stories to justify their existence.

You feel joy in your gut. You think about pros and cons in your head.

This is probably the best and worse advice Kondo gives.

Being intuitive and not rational is great when going through clothes, shoes, excess kitchen tools, decorations, etc. I'll bet most people can easily pinpoint that item that they know they hold on to but they have never used or it doesn't fit, or it is just there for no real reason.

When I first read this, I could name several items I have saved because I thought I would use them, but I have never used them.

Case one: My Mother-in-law's fake …

KonMari - The Basic Rules

Kondo wants us to only keep what brings us joy. When shopaholics shop, that is not the joy she is talking about, because if she were, a hoarder's home full of things that brought them joy would seem normal.

That joy in the moment is not the same as holding something and feeling real joy now. So the process is as simple as this:

1. Gather all of the items in the category in one place from all over the house.
2. Hold on to each piece and ask if this item sparks joy (Do you smile when you see it? Do you hold it and feel happy? If this thing was lost, would you truly miss it?)
3. Decide to let go of the things that feel empty or burdensome.

The things we own are normally spread in more than one location in our homes. There are many drawers with pens and cabinets with cleaning items. We have clothes in more than one closet, even storage of some wardrobe in the attics and basements, or worse, we may have purchased additional standing closets to house things we hardly ever wear (or wear …

KonMari - Digging through emotional clutter into the Why?

Marie Kondo is emphatic that you must find out why you want the lifestyle you want. This is not far from certain neurolinguistic programming (NLP) techniques that self-help gurus like Tony Robbins uses in his courses. I love me some Tony Robbins, and if you had read this blog in the past you know this, and his philosophy is rooted in getting real clear about your deepest why. Your motivation and desire will only burn if you focus your energy on it and fan those flames with constant and consistent focus.

Discovering your deepest why is where real motivation lives.

Let's get serious. Why do I want "...a home where I love cooking, entertaining, and relaxing"?

I love having people over. I'm usually an extrovert who loves to create dishes and parties for those I love. I show love through entertaining and laughter. I feel loved when people are happy here. My home is your home...just stay out of my bedroom.

My bedroom "why" comes down to a place of escape. I said …

KonMari - Begin by identifying your goal

"Before you start, visualize your destination" 

Let's paint that picture, shall we?

For me, this is a home where I love cooking, entertaining, and relaxing. I would have people over weekly, for dinner or drinks. You know those commercials where a group of good-looking adults are laughing at a dinner party over giant glasses of Cabernet and admiring some cheese plate - like this, only with pint-glasses and trays of bacon. Ok, maybe small trays of fancy, healthy apps too--something with quinoa or kale? I'm part silly, but I envision parties.

On the weekends, our place would be the best spot for movies, cards, and laughter. The cards may be Cards Against Humanity, or maybe Uno, but games and cards would be on the table. I would not fear people helping out in the kitchen (because drawers are neat and organized), prepping the table (because the dining room only housed the right stuff), and people could effortlessly stay over because the guest room is inviting and totally c…

KonMari - Before we dig into the clutter

I have owned Marie Kondo'sThe Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Upfor over a year. As an Audible.com member, I purchased the audio book version when I read a review online. I thought it would be one of those books to "read" on my commute and it may help me stop pack-ratting. It sat in my iTunes without a listen for all that time because I was overly involved in listening to the huge audio versions of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fireseries (you may know it as HBO's Game of Thrones). Whatever...


While I was writing my thesis, I had stacks and stacks of books, papers, and digital texts surrounding me for 4 months. I took over my dining room with The Walking Dead academic research and feminist theory resources. My house was a mess most of the time and I was losing things in the clutter.

This is nothing new.

My mom can tell you that I have been a clutter bug all my life (understatement of the year). I used to "clean" my room by shoving toys into the c…

Challenging, Me

When I started this blog several years back, it was because I wanted to do a juice fast and wanted to know the day-by-day of that process. There was a hole, a gaping hole at the time, in this field because it was prior to Joe Cross' film release and before people got into juicing in that way. So my blog was a way for give others what I wanted.

Fast forward 6 years! I still get thousands of hits to this site and am thankful that juicing changed me. More than juicing, the writing changed me. Back when this site was fresh, I had given up my masters thesis for lost, had settled into work and the daily grind. Sticking to the fast for 60 days solid showed me just how determination and focus creates change.

I recently finished my thesis and degree, having gone back in 2014 to retake some courses and write my thesis at night. I persevered. This was my biggest challenge, one that I beat myself up about for a long time. People don't know how hard failure to finish the first time was on …