So long, summer! My friends and family joke that I turn into a “cool mom” during the summer months – less structure and routine for me and my kiddos. Around here, sandy toes, ice cream daily and late bedtimes translates to a messy house with sandy floors, sticky toys and wrinkled clothes that spent a night (or two) in the dryer. I just could not keep it up. Although we spent 95% of our time outdoors when we could, somehow the indoors was just chaos. Toys were misplaced, random drawers were a mishmosh of keys, bows, tape, stamps and the nose frida no one ever wants to use. Carpe diem, for sure, all summer long, but hard to start said ‘diem’ when you can’t find your car keys and the Cinderella underwear that your recently potty trained two year old needs to wear.
What is funny about all this, is that I thought, a lifetime ago, before kids, that I had OCD. I like things neat and organized, and I like to tidy. Needless to say, I needed an intervention. I had read all the hype about Marie Kondo’s methods of organizing and decluttering. While I was once a neat freak, I have always been a bit of an emotional hoarder (read: I kept the key to our honeymoon suite). The method helped me declutter. I got rid of the key, got rid of an old Vogue magazine that had Michelle Obama on the front cover that I insisted would be worth something one day and got rid of my comfy soccer sweater from high school. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up had been sitting on a book shelf for two years. I bought the book, started it, and while I had every intention to finish life got busy and I had read so many articles and seen so many news segments about it that I figured I got the idea. Well, here I am, wishing I had a direct line to call Ms. Kondo herself and beg her to come to my house and whip me into shape. Summer is over. Back to school, routine and structure. It was time to read the book, cover to cover.
It all seems so simple. Purge, tidy and be happy. I am the queen of tidying like Magda (tell me you remember, Magda!) Apparently, that has not been working for me. Our problem is we just have too. much. stuff.
So far, I’ve learned a few things from this Japanese art of decluttering and organizing:
- Purging feels so so so good. And what’s even better? Purging your husband’s stuff without him knowing or ever noticing. It is so liberating and validating (yep, sweetie, that “lucky” Patriots shirt with holes in it that was the reason they won the super bowl, gone!)
- Belongings deserve our respect. I actually find myself feeling guilty and sorry for that lonely baby sock in the corner of the living room and am determined to find its match as if my life depended on it.
- I have been folding incorrectly all of this time. Oops!
- This method is productive and if you tackle one category around the house at a time you won’t feel too overwhelmed.
We are really just getting started over here, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, pick up your copy and join me on this life-changing ride!