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Showing posts from March, 2018

Wow, Water Wow!

My cousin gave Sweetheart a Melissa and Doug Water Wow! pad for her birthday, and I'll admit that when I first looked at it, it seemed kind of far-fetched and too good to be true. A cardboard pad that you can paint with water over and over again? Uh huh.

Well, after much begging and pleading from my four-year-old, I finally opened it up and we tested it out.

Oh my goodness, people! This thing is awesome!

The way it works is that you fill the blue tube with water and screw it into the brush part. This causes the brush to always remain wet so you don't need to keep a cup of water out to re-wet the brush. Then you simply "paint" water onto the specially designed pages, and a colorful image will appear. Once you're done, you let the page dry, and it's ready to use again next time.

It really does work!

The Water Wow is recommended for ages three and up, but my two-year-old loves this thing. She happily "paints" each page, and cries when it's all done…

Tiny House KonMari: Kids' Clothes

After I tackled my clothes, I decided to go ahead and take care of my kids' clothes, too. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo recommends tidying only your own belongings, and she isn't really clear on how that applies to children's items. She talks a little more about kids in Spark Joy, but the impression that I get is that she recommends letting children help tidy their own stuff.

Okay then.

(Her kids must be a lot more helpful than my kids are. I think mine are mini-hoarders.)

Sunshine actually doesn't have that many clothes. (I wised up about the number of clothing purchases I made when Sunshine was younger and cut WAY, WAY back as she grew.) I more or less left her clothes they way they were so she wouldn't be running around naked. (Because that never happens around here.)

Sweetheart, on the other hand, had too many clothes, even after a big purge I did a few months ago, but she is just too young to have any concept of what we're doing. Wh…

Tiny House KonMari: My Shoes

I finally managed to get to my shoes. Sunshine "helped" me sort through them. There was one pair of flip flops that I couldn't find, but I think they must be in the car. Since our car is at the shop today, I will have to look for them later.

Including the flip flops, I started with twelve pairs of shoes. I made two piles as I went through them all, but when I went to grab a bag, Sunshine rearranged them for me, so I had to sort through them again. She wanted to try them all on, too. Ha!

I ended up setting aside four pairs to donate, including two pairs that never quite fit right and two pairs that I outgrew when my feet expanded a bit during pregnancy. I also tossed a pair that I have loved since high school. (I'm 32 now.) They were starting to crack and looked worn, and even though they once brought me quite a bit of joy, I feel good about letting them go now.

 That leaves me two casual pairs, one dress pair, my flip flops, and three pairs of boots. (I love my boots!)

Tiny House KonMari: Closet Before and After

Something that I think is important when following any set of rules laid out for the masses by an individual, such as when using the KonMari method to declutter and tidy one's home, is to make the process work for you. We are all different people with different routines and schedules and amounts of time to allot to things like organizing our closets, and what works perfectly for one person may very well drive another person up the wall.

I like to think that I am making KonMari work for me. I take what works in my home from Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I forget the rest. (This is especially true when it comes to tidying with kids, but we'll have to save that for a future post.)

With that in mind, here are a few before and after pictures of my closet. Mostly after. (I seem to get really excited to tidy when I find a spare moment, and I often dig in and then realize I forgot to take a picture first. Oops.)

My closet was actually pretty organized befor…

Tiny House KonMari: The Morning After

Dropping off those bags of clothes at the Goodwill was not quite as liberating as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, the sheer joy of looking in my closet and seeing only my favorite things (and being able to see them easily all at once) was worth the purge. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a sense of loss, though. I ask myself if I was perhaps a bit too quick to put stuff in the donate pile. I think of a couple of shirts in particular that I loved but that I know will never fit my post-pregnancy body again.

It's hard to let go of things sometimes. At least it is for me. I tend to be a sentimental person, and separating the memory from the item is not something that comes easily to me.

Knowing this, though, and knowing that the temptation for me would be to keep those bags full of clothes for a few weeks just in case I changed my mind was the main reason that I asked Chris to put them in the car right away whe…

Tiny House KonMari: My Clothes

I had a rare five whole hours all to myself recently, and I decided that would be the perfect time to start my "KonMari" decluttering journey. Following the order recommended by Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I began with my own clothes.

I ransacked my closet and drawers and looked upstairs in the loft and in the drawers in the entryway for every article of clothing that belongs to me in this house. (I did save swim gear, shoes, and purses for another day.) Then I piled them all on the couch in the living room.

It was quite the pile, especially considering how small our house is. I was really excited at first about how good it was going to feel to not have so much stuff, but as I carried armful after armful of clothing to the living room, I started to feel a little anxious about actually letting go of much at all.

I was committed to this decluttering experiment, though, so I pushed through that feeling of dread and sorted all the clothing in…

TIny House KonMari: Why Tidy?

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the first step Marie Kondo asks her readers to take in the KonMari process is to ascertain what their goal is in tidying in the first place.

Determined not to shortchange the process, I gave this question a lot of thought.

My beloved parents are not tidy people and yet both are perfectionists. I grew up believing that you could only have guests over when your house was spotless. At the same time, our house, while clean, was rarely tidy, and over the years, my parents only accumulated more and more belongings with no room to store them. My dad's whole extended family struggles with discarding anything, and their solution for having no room for so many items is to just build another storage shed to house it all.

I have known for many years that I did not want to live like that. I think that by falling into the tiny house lifestyle, we have been somewhat successful in curbing that inclination to just accumulate more and more stuff. However, s…

Tiny House KonMari

A couple of years ago, some friends of mine read the bestselling book about decluttering, Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpAt the time, I was intrigued by the whole "KonMari" thing as I watched my friends completely overhaul their homes in one fell swoop. It was a way of decluttering that I had never really heard of before, and apparently, it had become all the rage.

For those of you who are not familiar with the KonMari method of tidying, the basic idea is that you sort belongings one category (rather than one room or area) at a time, choosing to keep only those items which "spark joy." (Spark Joy is in fact the name of Kondo's follow up book.) Following the method outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is supposed to result in not only a less cluttered house but also a changed way of thinking about one's belongings and living space. This major purge is supposedly a once-and-done, life-altering event, and my friends who …