UPDATE: POWER IS BACK ON AND BLOG IS UPDATED with more pics, links, videos, and thoughts too! 1.22.16 5:30PM EST

 {attention: please note I wrote this post this morning just prior to my power going out. I wanted to go ahead and share (via my phone! Yay for Square Space blog app, dropbox, Google doc and all thing syncing! ) because it's content is relevant to our "snow day" but please forgive the absence of links, pretty pics, and more resources. Including video! I will insert those as soon as I regain power and let you know. But for now, enjoy a good old fashioned blog with mostly just words}

And we're back! 

***UPDATED 1.22.16 5:30PM EST***

Good morning friends!

And a special warm welcome to my extra bundled South Carolina friends! I do hope you are reading this blog from the warmth of your home, and you are getting a little jump-start on the weekend due to the weather forecast.  {And, may we be grateful and in prayer for those whose jobs require them to brave the elements. Because even if we get no snow or ice, its real cold, guys. }

SOURCE: PINTEREST. Original source unknown. 

But seriously, thank you. South Carolina may get teased for our empty bread and milk shelves pre- winter ‘storms,’ but ice is no joke, and many of you risk dangerous conditions to protect the rest of us.

So with the confirmation of your office being closed today, you may be straight Bridget Jonesing: and that’s quite alright.  It’s Friday. Shake it out, girlfriend. 

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

Or perhaps you and the family are building a fire, Netlfiixing, or taking on the troublesome task of explaining to your children why there is no snow on a snow day.  I do not envy you.  They want to build a snowman so badly, and all that is possible is a grassy mushy ice ball.  {As a child, I anxiously and attentiviely watched the scrolling school closure banner across the bottom of our television screen.  Wishing Hoping. Praying. Come on District Five..Just call it, I begged.  I always envied Transylvania County. They missed so much school. }

I digress.

Pre apocalyptic ice, I am usually in communication with my friends who also dwell in bachelorette or bachelor bungalows.  We are faced with the tough decision of convening to ride it out the storm together or face the ‘battlefield’ alone in our respective abodes. 

I must admit, that I kind of love an unexpected “snowed in” day.  It’s a real tangible way God shows grace on us.  Totally unmerited, we are given a surprise “catch our breath days.” For each of us, it looks different, I would never presume to think it would not.  So perhaps your routine is the same today, or perhaps you are finally getting to rest.  And for some, on this catch a breath day, you may be itching to finally get to all the household work you have been putting off.

I linked and have mentioned briefly, the “life changing magic” I experienced with Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. 

 

Marie’s book, originally written for a Japanese audience, exploded in the US last year.  If you have not read it, you have probably seen a lot of her transforming methods around Pinterest and Instagram. The Olive Shoe recently shared some amazing life and career tips, including home office decluttering inspiration from Kondo's book. 

When this book first came on my radar, I assumed it was another traditional organizational handbook for the truest Type A’s of the world. I kept a relatively neat space, but I am no OCD organizer, and if the Real Simple magazines at the grocery counter overwhelmed me, then I should most definitely steer clear of a 250-page book on the matter.

Kondo’s book, however, was not just a blip on my newsfeed or countless book recommendation in my inbox.  It was everywhere.  So on a particular growing pains kind of 2015 night, I drank cheap champagne and Amazoned Prime-ed that book.  It arrived at the bachelorette bungalow, and I promptly added it to the growing stack of books by my bed. 

Pro tip: 

Source Pinterest. Original meme source unknown. 

Source Pinterest. Original meme source unknown. 

It wasn’t until the Fall that I finally picked it up. It was mentioned by one of my favorite podcasters, Jess Lively, and the lessons from the book she shared on the episode were radically different than what I expected.  Kondo’s book was not another “simple storage solutions” or “declutter your closet book.”  It spoke to a deeper tidying that is necessary for all of our lives.  And her approach and actions, known as The ‘Kon Marie Method’ flipped many common housekeeping practices on its head. My curiosity had been piqued! Dusting off the gently used cover,  (seriously, always look for the used versions of books on Amazon when available—eek, I feel bad as a writer saying that, but there really are some great bargains when your book budget is already exceeding Mint.com’s recommended amount. )

I entered Marie’s magical world. 

Since then I have applied many of Kondo’s teaching and practices into my life.  Her book compliments so much of the #inreallife learning and listening I have been living in this most recent season. 

So, if today, on your unexpected day off, you find yourself itching to keep your January momentum going by clean out, begin with a few of my favorite takeaways from Marie’s book:   

Please note: I strongly encourage you to read the book in its entirety, as a tips and tricks or the few personal takeaways I share will not fully embody her book’s essence and theme.  I will, however,  include some helpful resources and videos that will engage and encourage your magical tidying efforts!

Start where you with this first step:

 

Visualize

Just as with other areas of our lives, it is important to visual your desired destination.  To gain a clear vision, asking yourself questions is key. Beyond asking yourself what kind of mood you want your space to feel like or what is your favorite décor style, Kondo challenges us with this:

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” (Kondo)

Jumping off questions for tidying are not that different than the ones we discussed on my blog about fear and change. (click here to read those sample questions)

So forget your previous notions of minimalism or fear/fascination with becoming a tiny house hipster.  This is not that.  (For further discussion and conversation on minimalism, click here. Worthwhile read, my friends and gives clarity to this #trendingtopic)

 { I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this, too.  Is it something you would like to see more about on the blog or hear about on the podcast? For a gal who loves her stuff , it’s been a fascinating exploration for me, especially in terms of layering it with the Gospel.  #justsomefoodforthought You can always email me directly: DorothyCamak@gmail.com, I love those personal messages, or feel free to comment below.}

Kondo’s desire for decluttering is to help us see clearly the true source of disorder.  Hint: it’s usually not the physical clutter.

Discard First.

Simple, right? Well, let’s think about it.  How often do we attempt to organize a drawer or closet and find ourselves repeating the same action over and over and over? We spent countless hours meticulously organizing and even making special trips to Ikea for bins and tools, but inevitably, our efforts return to mess. 

Kondo maintains that discarding is not only essential but first priority.  Purge Purge Purge.

Sort by Category NOT Location

Ah ha! This was new to me.  Instead of going room by room, Kondo’s method uses a different approach.  She insist that by discarding and organizing by category, we can truly tidy once and for all!  For example, Kondo recommends beginning with clothes.  So, this means, you gather up all your clothing..wherever they may be…primary closet, coat closet, attic, under the beds, etc…into one place.  When we gather all of the same type of items together, we can better assess the amount we have.  In our culture of excess, the sheer volume of our items when assembled in one spot is mind blowing.  And this is across the board, folks.  I am speaking as a one-person household and very small living quarters.  And yet, still, the too much stuff. We won't go into the details of last year's sifting and sorting on this post, but I do know stuff. And I know hoarding. My dear sweet father was one. And not like the kind you see on those TLC shows, but a hoarder none the less.  I wrote bits about the experience cleaning out his office space of 15+ years and home of 25 here. 

She writes:  “When we disperse storage of a particular item throughout the house and tidy one place at a time, we can never grasp the overall volume and therefore can never finish. To escape this negative spiral, tidy by category, not by place.” (Kondo)

I accepted her method without must resistance when it came to clothes and other household items.  I did, however, begin to question her orders (yes, she is quite authoritative in tone) when she brought up books.  She expected me to gather all of my books into one big pile? {No No, Marie.  You are actually mad, I thought.}  But, in an effort to immerse myself in her theory, I decided to jump in and test it out on my book collection.

“Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?” (Kondo)

  I took all my books off the shelves and out of the bins and begin the process. (Again, please read the book for more details.) I pick up each book and applied her most popular question, “Does this spark joy?” Following this question, I engaged in a couple of more of her Kumbyah-ness and plugged away.  Well, my friends, if Marie’s magic did not completely transform my book collection and organization.  I was able to effectively sift through the collection and give each book a home.  Some were passed directly to friends whom I felt an inner prompting to give.  A few were thrown away (gasp yes! Its true. Their words and poor advice was stopping with me. Eeeek. ) And still more were donated, leaving my most treasured books to keep. 

My ‘to read’ pile was organized in a visually pleasing way on a bookshelf --a gentle reminder to pause before “Prime-ing” and finish reading what I already own.  My favorites and ‘repeat reads’ are also displayed and do spark joy when I see them.  And the ‘must keep’, but not often referenced, are organized vertically( details on this Kon Marie technique in the book) and stored out of sight.  Dang it felt good!

Make it a special event.

Yes, Marie wants us to get fancy! Here’s our mind shift motivation, again friends.  We have the ability to choose joy no matter our circumstances.  We can even focus on moving our attitudes towards work from drudgery to something more pleasurable such as a life-giving hobby.  It’s all in the approaching attitude. Marie see’s no reason to treat tidying any differently.  Instead of dreading your cleaning day, how about making it an event? There are countless benefits to this approach, but one of the most momentum building is that if you allot a generous amount of time to the process, you can see and feel real time results.  This flips the common practice of “just a little a day.” By aggressively approaching your tidying task, you can yield huge results quickly. 

And that whole fancy part? Well, I differ from Marie on wardrobe choice (she actually prefers we wear dressy clothing), but I do understand her purpose.  Some of my #inreallife time of late has been spent doing just that: making tidying a special event! I was recently working with a friend in the category of clothing.  The task was really no task at all in my memory bank.  It was a glorious afternoon with a friend sharing precious and hard to come by time. We cleaned over conversations that made us laugh and cry. We purged old clothes to the sounds of 90s Britney Spears (Marie prefers silence), and we toasted our celebratory event and shared a meal.  The end of the session felt less like the relief of clocking out of a workday and more like a thrill of a cherished memory being made!

 

I could go on an on about other ways this book has positively impacted my life, but I’ll save that for another day.  So whether you are snuggling up today or springing into your cleaning early, I hope your day is sparked with joy, laughter, and of course…snow! ;)

 

Xoxo,

{Image source: Design School Canva.com via The Olive Shoe blog

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