The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

July 7th, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, how’s that for a melodramatic title? I think I’ve seen this book on nearly every blog I follow sometime in the last 6 months, so I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now. It’s by Marie Kondo, a Japanese “cleaning consultant” who has a weird obsession with tidying up. Thankfully she channeled her weirdness into this lovely little book about the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

Marie Kondo Tidying Up

The book’s core lesson is to get rid of everything you own that doesn’t spark joy. Marie suggests paring down your stuff by category rather than working room-by-room. First you sort through clothing, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and mementos last—donating, recycling, or trashing whatever leaves you joyless. There’s a bit of crazy in the book, and a few sections apply specifically to Japanese homes, but overall it was an interesting read with plenty of helpful tips. Keep in mind the book doesn’t address the fact that there are some items in your home you have to keep around regardless of their joy factor, like a toilet brush. No joy there, but I totally need that.

Marie Kondo Tidying Up

I read this 6 months ago, and since then I’ve worked my way through the categories. I donated at least 2/3 of my wardrobe (maybe more) and haven’t bought any new clothing since. I don’t even miss the stuff I gave away—apparently I wasn’t wearing it anyway. I donated many boxes of books, but I kept even more (shh don’t tell Marie). Shelves filled with bunches of books bring me joy, regardless of whether or not the individual books do. Papers were up next—I must have recycled 20 lbs of old instruction manuals. Miscellaneous and mementos were harder to pare down because the categories are so vague. I was more scattered about sorting through those, but I made good progress, and this list helped me identify those pesky miscellaneous items.

Our home doesn’t have a traditional designated storage space like a garage or attic. We have a handful of small closets and some shelving I put up here and there. I’ve always liked this about our house, because I thought it kept us from collecting extra stuff. Before I started “tidying” I didn’t feel like we were drowning in junk or even needed more storage, yet somehow I donated more than 40 boxes of stuff. I don’t even know where it was all hiding! I wouldn’t call it life-changing, but I feel lighter knowing all those unneeded things are gone. Now I just have to be vigilant so that a new collection of joyless junk doesn’t find its way into my home.

Having an orderly environment makes a huge difference when it comes to my creativity. Sometimes I can’t get started making things until I have a clean space to work in. Is anybody else like that? I love the look of those cluttered, messy artists’ studios, but I’d never get anything done in there!

Have you read and/or applied this book? Any thoughts?

24 Comments

Summer Flowers

June 30th, 2015

Just for the record, my coneflowers and black-eyed susans look amazing right now!

cone flowers black eyed susans

cone flowers black eyed susans

cone flowers black eyed susans

2 Comments

World Map Poster

June 25th, 2015

It’s in the shop! This roughly 2′ x 3′ hand-drawn world map poster is finally available for purchase in all its kraft paper glory. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

wit & whistle world map poster

wit & whistle world map poster

wit & whistle world map poster

18 Comments

Happy Hatchday

June 23rd, 2015

My chickens turned 1 today! This time last year three tiny balls of fluff arrived in the mail peeping louder than I ever thought possible. I’m quite proud that I successfully raised them into full-grown hens, because baby chicks are fragile little creatures (and terrible ballerinas). I made them a yogurt + spinach + fruit birthday “cake” to celebrate. I may have also sung “happy hatchday to youuuu…” as I presented it.

pet chicken birthday cake

pet chicken birthday cake

Conspiring to get more “cake”. After this photo they lined up in front of me and stared at me without moving or blinking for several minutes. It was creepy.

pet chicken birthday cake

P.S. I spent the entire Jurassic World movie giggling and whispering to Daniel about how much Millie’s feet look exactly like dinosaur feet.

pet chicken birthday cake

6 Comments

Roasting Marshmallows with a Torch

June 12th, 2015

While cleaning out my old jewelry-making supplies, and I found my torch and some butane canisters. I was trying to figure out how to safely dispose of them when I got an idea. It turns out my little torch makes great roasted marshmallows!

how to roast marshmallows indoors

Okay, normally they don’t catch on fire like this, but it was impossible to carefully roast a marshmallow left-handed while taking photos with my right! It was kind of a “pat your head and rub your stomach” situation.

how to roast marshmallows indoors

If you don’t like burnt marshmallows, just keep the flame a few inches away from the marshmallow (as pictured), but make sure to constantly rotate the marshmallow. That way you’ll lightly brown all its surfaces instead of lighting it on fire.

how to roast marshmallows indoors

I came across this Creme Brûlée Eggs recipe today, and I have to try it next!

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