Clear the Clutter

Clearing the clutter sparks joy! I love creating space and don’t want to stop. This invigorates me.

Today I cleared out my plates and bowls cupboard and removed all the small dishes that no longer spark joy.  I had so many little dishes for this and that and loved them once upon a time. I didn’t love the chaos behind the doors and today was the day to create space and to let go.  I touched each piece and thanked them for their service and their memories and put them in a box to give away.

Thank you Marie Kondo for writing your book that has inspired so many to tidy up! Thank you Helena for leading the way and inspiring me to be like you. I loved seeing your clean cabinets, rolled up clothes and piles and bags to give away! Way to go, girl!!

I love this new way of spring cleaning, creating space and letting go.

Happy Easter!!


Thank You

I believe in gratitude and the art of hand written thank you letters, acknowledging the connection between the giver and the recipient and closing the circle. I think taking the time to acknowledge one another is important. Someone takes the time to select and choose and prepare and deliver a gift with a thoughtful heart. The receiver should also take the time to acknowledge the work of the giver and thank them for thinking of them. This creates a bond between two people.

But what happens when one writes the thank you notes and yet never delivers them?

Yep. That’s what we do in our family. Notice I say we and don’t take the blame entirely. I’ve given commands and I’ve placed them in safe places and moved them from tables to desks to shelves to the car and back again and yet never quite get them to the right place. 

We write the perfectly imperfect thank you notes and just save them. 


Until it’s too embarrassing to deliver them (or we can’t find them) and I feel too badly to throw them away. What would Marie Kondo say to do? Do they bring me joy? No. They bring me guilt. But I do like seeing the names on the cards and recalling the sweet memories that prompted us to write in the first place.

Could I call this Gratitide Art? That’s being creative!

I just think I missed the mark and created the perfectly imperfect and useless thank you card, never acknowledging the gratitide we feel out loud. That’s embarrassing.  

Tomorrow I will say goodbye to these thank you notes and forgive myself and my family for not following through and expressing our joy in a timely manner. I’ll thank these little cards for their service and set them free with apologies to whom they belong for never reaching your hands. Thank you Miss Kondo.

My friends and family, you are loved and appreciated, even if you don’t ever receive your receipt! I hope you know.

Thank You and You’re Welcome!

The Magic of Tidying Up

I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.  If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it and following the advice, not that I’ve done all of what she says but it definitely has changed my life.

She provides strategies for creating space and decluttering so that we can get the most out of life. Her advice is simple and her words keep resonating in my head. Her basic premise is to consider all that you have and ask yourself whether each item brings you joy. If it doesn’t, she tells you to get rid of it so that you can create space for what does.  I absolutely love this and keep thinking about everything I see now and wonder if it brings me joy. If it doesn’t, I’m letting it go and clearing it out. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, I can’t even tell you.

My mom was here last week and I was telling her about the book and how I want to get rid of everything but that it takes time to clear things out. I pointed to a cabinet in my kitchen and she started asking questions and the next thing you know, we’re clearing out the cupboards and now they are empty. The space is ready to be repurposed and I can’t wait. Right now I love just knowing that the shelves are empty and that there is order.  I can’t wait to do more.

I called my sister to tell her of my a-ha moment and she told me she was reading the same book and was already clearing out her closets! She sent me pictures of the pounds and bags of stuff she was ready to recycle and sent me pictures of her newly organized closet. She was so happy. I couldn’t believe we were both reading the same book at the same time and sharing similar experiences.

My favorite part of the book is the end. The book is about learning how to declutter and find a space for everything and putting things back every day so that you have more time to do what you love and to spend less time wasting life on tidying and looking for things you can’t find.  She helps you to learn how to make decisions and to chose what is meaningful and these processes relate to all other parts of our lives.

She says, “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will hep you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”

I think by deciding what you want and don’t want and by being actively present and aware as you make these decisions, these small daily decisions will actually help you to decide what else you really want in your life and to take action right now.

I already noticed in a change in my thinking. This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market. Usually I’ll sit around and read the paper and make excuses why I shouldn’t move or go out. Today was different and I made a decision to go and invited Jeff to join me. He said yes, and we went on a spontaneous date together that made my day. I loved walking around, seeing friends, gathering food for dinner tonight, and eating breakfast together outside.


When we came home, I decided I wanted to cook Thai food and learn how to poach chicken. I spent several hours in the kitchen cooking and preparing dishes, just for fun. I didn’t procrastinate, as I usually do, and I enjoyed cleaning out the kitchen and just being home, playing and cooking. I loved seeing the kids come in to pick at my food and to enjoy my work and that an impromptu dinner was ready when they were hungry. I loved bringing out my beautiful dishes that I love, and actually using them just for me.  I think this is what Marie Kondo was talking about.

I created space. I made decisions. I enjoyed what I love and today was good.

I wish the same for you. Clear out the clutter. Create space. Do what you love.  nAMaste. xo

New Year – What Brings You Joy?

I was listening to NPR this morning and caught just the last little clip of a story about a woman from Japan who offered a unique way of thinking about decluttering. Decluttering is a daily conversation, thought, action and problem in my house. We have too much stuff, and decluttering isn’t necessarily helping. I have to purge. Most of us do, and the New Year usually sparks up dreams of tidying festivals.

Instead of thinking of getting rid of stuff, which brings it’s own emotional baggage, Marie Kondo recommends shifting our thinking to what brings us joy and what do we want to keep.  I like that concept.  If it brings joy, keep it. If it doesn’t, let it go.  It’s that simple and I love it. Less thinking and more doing.

Another recommendation is to gather all like things and go through them one by one, instead of going room by room.

We talk about wanting to live in the present, and sometimes all our stuff and our memories holds us back and we live in the past instead of cherishing who we are right now.  I love this and I think it’s why I struggle with my photo backup problem. I cherish the past and all the mementos, but it takes time in the present to sort, categorize, backup, print, etc. the old photos. Her suggestion to managing our photo crisis is to only keep 5 photos per day from any event. Typically these five can capture the essence of the memory and bring back the recollection of joy we had in those moments. This is BRILLIANT advice. I shall try this little nugget too.

If you’re interested in learning more, her book is called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up here.

The link to the NPR Here and Now discussion from today is here:

I think I will start with my clothes first and have a clothes party, holding each piece and deciding if it makes me smile or if it needs to go. I can do this. Where will you begin?  I can’t wait to create new space. I know there are clothes that have been sitting around gathering dust and I can’t wait to say adios!!