Aug 17, 2014
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Tag: Mothering

Spring Clearing

Spring Clearing

10KonMari Method, KonMari With KidsTags: , , , , , , , , , April, 17

 

Spring is here! It’s been a wet winter here in Northern Califorina, which was exactly what we needed and now we’re ready for some sun. Spring is a great time to get energized to clear and clean your home. In my community we are about to have a “swap” where some amazing mamas organize a day when we can bring all the stuff that we are ready to pass on, and perhaps find stuff that brings us joy. At the end of the day everything left is donated. I’ve been asked to share some tips for de-cluttering, and thought it would be a great resource for people beyond my local community.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

First things first, get a garbage bag and a box and go through each room of your house and the garage looking for the obvious things that are no longer serving your family or are garbage. This would be a fairly quick pass through with the idea of finding the stuff that you know you are ready to let go. You might find that this is enough.

 

Clear by Category

 

Now if you want to get serious about clearing the clutter, you’ll need to collect categories of it (or subcategories if you’re a busy mom). This free checklist will guide you. I suggest checking out the Kids section of the checklist; focusing on kids clothing and toys since they grow and develop so rapidly will serve you well. Small doable steps are a great approach to adapting the KonMari method for a mom. I love how Kendra (a local mom) describes her  de-cluttering process:

I like to pick an easy category to start with – I konmari’d my little one’s pants. I threw them all on the floor, pulled out our favorites and then it became really obvious which of the ones that were left didn’t make the cut for us anymore, then (this is the hardest part for me) I actually got the keepers all back in the drawer. Voila! Now her pants drawer is freshly organized with cute little folded pants, I have a bunch to give away and I feel great! 

 

Edit Ruthlessly

 

If you’re attempting to fully de-clutter, be ruthless.  Don’t keep too much stuff, because you’ll just have to go through the categories again and again. That is a waste of your time. Being honest with yourself the first time through might pull at your heart strings, but it is well worth the time (and discomfort!). To help you edit, ask yourself these questions as you go through your stuff:

Is it necessary?

Does it bring me joy? (Does it give me a positive feeling? Or does it give me a negative feeling?)

Having less stuff means less dealing with stuff. Less stuff helps you align with your values. Less stuff means more time connecting with your family and friends.

 

Letting Go

The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more joy you will feel. Marie Kondo’s  suggestion to actually say “Thank you” to your things as you let them go helps you maintain your attitude of gratitude. If talking to your things seems weird, you can say it in your mind, or find a way to remember how grateful you are. This act of gratitude can alleviate the momentary guilt you may feel about letting go.

 

Homes for Everything

Once you have gone through all your belongings, it’s storage time. Make sure each thing has a specific and permanent home. Creating homes for everything takes time; these strategies can help. Use the magical folding method for cloth. Place books and paper vertically.  Store related items together i.e. like with like.  Divide storage into squares by using boxes or trays.

 

Return Things to their Homes

After you use something, put it back where you got it from- right away, every time. Sounds easy enough, but it takes practice.  If you forget, gently remind yourself and your family. Make sure the home for each thing is simple and clear. With practice you’ll figure it out.

 

Control the In-flow

Once you’ve spent the time and effort developing your “joy meter” and de-cluttering your home, you don’t want to bring a lot back in.  Bring your “joy meter” with you when you go shopping (or to the swap). Trust that feeling and don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Now that you understand what things are necessary, and what things bring you joy, use that wisdom. If you stay true to your joy, you wont have much for Spring Clearing next year.

Join a Challenge Group On Facebook

We learn best in community. Facebook is a great place to find your tribe. Especially these days there are lots of groups dedicated to KonMari or Minimalism. If you are looking for a KonMari with kids challenge group join our community!

Motivation

Find Your Motivation

00Featured news, KonMari Method, Motivation, Self careTags: , , , , , , , , , August, 16

MotivationI’ve been staring at a blank page for over a month trying to write about finding your motivation. The irony is that my motivation took a dive after researching how people stay motivated for my Simplicity & Joy Course. What I found really shook me up. It turns out that motivation is really about self care. Now that I’m a mom I don’t feel like I have time for much in the way of self care, and moms need it the most. What I found out, and what I realized, is that to create a joyful life we must care for ourselves first.

My plan for the workshop was to have a list of all the things people can do to stay motivated to complete their home tidying project. My initial list included practical actions such as: create deadlines; use a checklisthelp others; remember why you started; schedule swaps/yard sales or donation pick ups, etc. After completing it, I had the sense that something was missing. There was some key element, some catalyst that was not there. So I decided to dig a little deeper.  I came across a list that, as it’s final entry, had a phrase that struck me: practice extreme self care.

This phrase really made me think.  I started to notice how rarely my cup is full enough to give as much as I do. So I decided to act: instead of writing about motivation, I focused on taking care of myself.

For example, I’m finally going to cash in the gift card for a facial that my husband got for me for Mother’s Day.  Up until now, I’ve felt too busy to use it.  But no more- I’m going to take care of myself, too.

The things we do to take care of ourselves don’t need to be extravagant.  They can be small and simple.  The other day I was preparing food for my daughter’s summer camp lunch. While I carefully sliced the apples and put cinnamon on them I thought: “how lovely it would be to be so well cared for.” So instead of just taking the other half of the apple to work with me unsliced and not cinnamon adorned, I cut it up for myself and added the sprinkles of cinnamon. Such a small gesture of self care felt lovely.

But even these things are not enough.  Self care, at it’s core, is about healing our hearts. And to do this, I’m going to the local Hand in Hand parenting support group.  At this group parents take turns completely listening to each other talk about the joy, hardships and heartaches we are facing.  It is not easy to do – we deeply feel and express our emotions – but it is powerful medicine. I come home to my family more capable of being the mother and wife that I want to be- calmer, kinder, patient and a little more playful. The group meets weekly and if I miss a gathering I really miss it!

So with this in mind, I decided to create a new list.  This list is designed to build the foundation of your motivation.  It will serve not only to get you going, but to sustain you – to keep you motivated to reach your highest potential.

Self Care for Motivation

Sleep – I know it’s hard, especially with young ones, but when you have enough sleep you have energy and can function. Your overall health depends on having enough sleep. Everything in life is better when you feel rested.  Do whatever it takes to get enough rest.

Meditation supports a sense of well-being in many ways. It can help you to let go of negative emotions and positively transform your dysfunctional thinking- making space for a joyful mind!  Find a meditation style that you are comfortable with and meditate daily.

Nature – Take time to get outside and into nature. The fresh air, the green and blue, and the pure beauty of the earth helps put things into perspective.

Connection with others makes life meaningful. The more connected you feel, the happier you are. Meet a friend for tea or make that phone call you’ve been meaning to make. Reach out to your people and feel the love.

Support –  Knowing you are not alone, that you are loved gives you strength to move through the joys and heartaches of life.  Find a support group online or in person. Notice the people who lift your spirits and hang out with them more.

Emotional release heals your heart. So you can heal the world. Find what moves you- a tear jerker movie (Steel Magnolias always gets me), a therapist, a support group. Let the tears flow.

Play helps you lighten up and be in the moment- to let go in the best way possible. There are a million ways to play. Dancing is one of my favorites- I’ve been loving the Michael Franti station on Pandora lately- great positive vibes!

When my husband wants to go mountain biking or mushroom hunting, I do whatever I can to make it happen because I know when he has taken care of himself he is way more awesome to hang out with-he is happier and healthier, and that affects everyone around him. I can see that clearly with him and I feel it for myself, but am still working on letting go of my own blocks around taking time for myself. Note to self: Stop feeling guilty for making time for you. It helps to know that my daughter is watching and learning from my actions.  I’d like for her to see me taking care of myself (and being way more awesome to hang out with, too)- so she’ll know how it’s done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart of KonMari Magic

00Featured newsTags: , , , , , March, 16
During my KonMari session one day it dawned on me that how I felt about myself would become how my daughter felt about herself, regardless of what I said to her about how she was lovable, worthy, and capable. I struggle with feeling afraid of making mistakes, being vulnerable, not being perfect or creating perfect things. These negative feelings are not what I want to pass down to her. I want her to feel loved, confident, and capable of doing anything without fear or self-criticism holding her back. I want her to know and love herself so she can be herself. Which means my commitment must be to love myself, be myself, and share my ideas in order to model how it’s done.
Revised self love
I have returned to going to therapy regularly to work on my self-compassion and I have been doing the self-compassion meditations that I am always sharing in the FaceBook group. I was thinking that meditation was connected to the KonMari Method since asking the Joy or No Joy question is all about tuning into your inner guide. I hadn’t made the direct connection that learning to love yourself was an acknowledged part of the method until I read in Spark Joy, by Marie “KonMari” Kondo that “the greatest change that occurs through tidying is that you will learn to like yourself.” This is happening for me, slowly yet surely, and my hope is that it is happening for you too. It makes all the difference in the world- it makes joy possible.
In her most recent talk in New York, KonMari made the claim her method would lead to world peace, and I wondered what she meant. Now I understand that once we face our belongings we will learn to like ourselves, and from there we will be loving and kind to ourselves and to everyone around us.