The KonMari Method and Why We’re Doing It

If you are friends with me on Facebook then you know my new obsession is with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The thing is, this book came along at exactly the right time in my life.

Last year at about this time I created a timeline of things to do to prepare for our move in June of 2016. I had planned for us to begin clearing out rooms and stuff, starting in May of 2015. We have so much and we’re busy, not young, and also kind of lazy so there’s no way we could wait til next spring and get rid of things + pack + move. It just would not have worked. We need the full year to prepare.

One reason the KonMari Method is really speaking to me is that I remember what it was like to get rid of a ton of stuff in order to move here. It wasn’t fun. In fact, it was the exact opposite of fun. It was painful. It’s still kind of painful now, seven years later. We left behind things we should not have. We left behind things that brought us joy. We did that and moved to a place that we absolutely did not want to move to. We were leaving behind the big kids who weren’t moving with us. We should have brought as much joy with us as possible, and we did not. It was a hard move.

This time around, we’re moving to a place we DO want to move to but once again, we’ll be leaving kids behind. The little kids won’t be going with us. At all. They’ll be at college, or off living their lives, or doing whatever it is that grown-up kids do when they don’t live with their mommies. And, this is the last batch of kids. The last time we’ll do this. This time — that’s it. HUGE life change.

We are not going to make this move any harder than it’s already going to be. We’re going to bring as much joy into the process of moving as we can. We’re going to bring as much joy with us as possible. We can’t bring along the kids who bring us joy, but we’re sure as hell NOT bringing any “stuff” that doesn’t bring us joy. Nope. Not happening this time.

We’re moving with joy.

Konmari Problems: Books

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you’ve no doubt seen me talking about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up aka the Konmari method.

Much of what I typed was just me being silly. It’s a little overwhelming but very interesting and much of it makes sense. My real problem though is her method of managing books. I don’t think she understands my relationship with books.

From the beginning of her section on books…

We have to take all of the books off of the shelf and put them on the floor. I understand her suggestion to do this, in general. It makes a lot of sense to see your collections of items as one big THING. It also makes sense to touch each item to determine which bring you joy.

Since I already know I have an ass ton of books, shouldn’t I be able to just pick up each book from the shelf, hold it and then either return it or discard it? Do I really have to move thousands of books into one room in order to determine joy? I think not.

Also, since TW and I co-own these books, how do we decide together which books bring joy. If one brings me joy, but doesn’t bring TW joy, does my joy outweigh hers?

She also talks a lot about imagining A bookshelf filled with books you love.

I, however, picture a good half dozen bookshelves filled with books I love.

Also, she does not understand that my books are arranged by color. Therefore dozens of bookshelves of books sorted by color DO make me happy. Those books DO have value just by being on the shelf. They are beautiful. They do serve a purpose by just being there. Books are not only valuable for the information they provide to you when you read them. Or even by the pleasure you get from reading them. They bring me pleasure simply by BEING there.

I suspect she doesn’t understand this. Or, I wonder if she’d tell me that my books are not in fact books, they are komono or sentimental items so they should be managed differently. Maybe?

One last problem is that I’m not sure I buy into the idea that “sometime means never” as in “I might read that sometime.” I do sometimes read the books from my stacks, though she is right — I rarely re-read books.

I also don’t think I buy into the idea that the perfect time to read a book is when it first comes to you and if you don’t read it at that moment, then you’ve missed your opportunity and you should simply let that book go. I’ve read books from my stacks years after I first acquired them and I’ve fully enjoyed reading them.

I’m not giving up, I’m definitely going to give this a try — even if I have to do some sort of modified version of Konmari. Totally fascinating.

Year In Review: Reading, Art Journaling and Filofaxes

Well. 2014 was… rough. All around rough. It was also awesome. That’s pretty much what I say every year, isn’t it? Good with the bad and all that sort of thing.

I did almost NO art journaling. I did a lot of doodling and I made a clipboard and a water bottle — so there was art and craft in my life, just not in my altered book or my art journals. Poop.

I loved my Filofaxes and my Every Day journal. Loved. (Though there were a couple of rough spots with both, when life got really crazy or when JMP was here visiting. I fell behind a bit and then struggled to get back on track.)

Reading… I’m going to stop making stretch goals. I wanted to read 300 books this year and I didn’t. I read 253 books — which is pretty much my yearly average. I’m not unhappy with that, just saying that I didn’t hit the big 300.

I wanted to read 12 books from my stacks, I read 4. I also read several that were purchased this year which keeps them from becoming “from my stacks” lol. I really really need to do a better job of this. Obviously.

I wanted to read/listen to 12 audiobooks and read 26. Yay. I should have had a bigger goal, lol.

This is the first year I didn’t read all of the Cybils. I ditched one about three minutes into the audio. It just wasn’t for me. Another one can’t be checked out at my library AND I can’t seem to buy it on my Kindle so I’m screwed unless I want to buy a hard copy and I do not. So. Blah. It was a good year for Cybils and also a not good year. I found quite a few that I just didn’t like very much — that doesn’t usually happen with Cybils. There were some others that I absolutely 100% LOVED and will stay with me forever.

I also wanted to catch up on sequels and prequels and I did a darn good job of that. Really good. I’m very pleased with myself and am super glad I added this as a challenge item.

I put 84 books on my Favorites list. I think that might be a record high for me.

I put 9 books on my Do Not Read This list. I think that might be a record low for me, lol.

2014 is a wrap — onward to 2015.

Filofax, Reading, Art Journaling and Stuff in December

As expected, it was a rough month for doing all of the things. That doesn’t mean it was a bad month, it was a pretty darn good month because Christmas and family and the weather wasn’t even that damn bad. Yay for December 2014.

I did a little doodling. A used my Filofaxes when I needed to and ignored them during the holidays. I got both of them set up for 2015 and I’m super excited about this. SUPER excited.

It was a slow month for reading, obviously, but better than I expected. I’m about 2/3 of the way through one more book and I might finish it today. Maybe. But I’m going to call the month DONE and get this up so I can do my year totals and go ahead and start the new year tracking because, why not? Right?

19 books total.

Just one audiobook.

1 short story which I’m counting as a book because I make the rules.

1 YA

10 Non-fiction, 7 from the Cybils shortlist.

1 from my stacks.

Not bad, really.

Filofax, Art Journaling and Other Goals In November

I had such high hopes and then all the unexpected things happened (along with some expected things) and my life went to hell and didn’t really ever recover. OK maybe it recovered a little. Enough for me to finish Melisa’s bottle in time to take it to her on our next trip to that stupid suburb. I’m pretty pleased with that bit of artwork, even if it isn’t art journaling.

I did a tiny bit of doodling and I played with some ephemera in prep for a page that I’ll work on … someday, someday maybe. (Oh look at me channeling Lauren Graham, just as I’m about to talk Filofax… which makes no sense to most of you, but makes perfect sense to me.)

I had a couple of rough moments in the Filofax world because life went to hell and so did my well laid out plans. I recovered. Mostly. Or I’m still recovering. My schedules are all wonky and my reusable stickies for recurring meetings and reports are effed all to hell because times and dates have changed so much. Rather than completely re-do them again, I’m holding off and out til 2015 and feel better about the week’s schedule already.

In other news, my mom bought a Filofax, the youngest child asked for a Filofax for Christmas, and I convinced Idyllicchick that the perfect planner for her was a Midori Traveler or a Fauxdori Traveler (it is and I’m all the jealous that she has one and I do not.)

Besides Filofax screw ups my few lines a day journaling went to hell, too. My mornings were so chaotic that I completely missed the two minutes I usually take to journal with my first cup of coffee. Hell most of November was done while cursing and trying to remember life a week ago — rinse and repeat, three times. Yea, it was like that.

December will be better because I’ve carried over my major to do items + added only holiday related shipping and wrapping stuff. I’m really just holding on til 2015. (Oh, I did finally order my A5 inserts. They’re not here yet but I expect them soon. That will be fun — all bullet journaling, all the time. I think. Mostly. hah.)

Moon Cleveland

Here I am playing catch up with books — so out of order, let’s go with Moon Cleveland. RJ flipped through the book while she was home on mid-term break and picked out a bunch of places she thought she might like to check out while we were visiting for parents’ weekend.

I went through it after her and then planned our itinerary around her choices — and mine.

- West Side Market was fantastic. Unplanned dash into Koffie Cafe — TW is still raving about her coffee.
- A visit to the A Christmas Story house/museum and that was awesome. Even if they over-booked their 12:15 tour and we had to wait in the cold for an extra half hour. Heh.
- Melt Bar and Grilled for lunch was a-freaking-mazing. Vegan chicken wings were excellent. All of our sandwiches were fabulous. I’m so glad I noticed they had vegan offerings because RJ was in heaven with her pierogie grilled cheese.
- Next, we headed to Cleveland Heights and wandered around the shops on Coventry Village. A used bookstore and Big Fun Toys were both big fun.
- We ran over to Eton something or other (a frou frou mall) for the Vegan Sweet Tooth and RJ was very pleased with her vegan baked good.
- A stop in Target for dorm supplies (and junk) rounded out a very full day.

- The Root Cafe for breakfast — my huevos rancheros were good, RJ’s friend joined us and her egg & goat cheese sandwich looked excellent. RJ was very pleased with her vegan scramble.
- The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame visit was more fun than I expected. TW was the one who really wanted to go there but I definitely enjoyed it.
- The Free Stamp was on my list but A had to be back to Oberlin by 2 so we didn’t have time to walk over to see it. Luckily, we drove right past it on the way back so that was a lucky break!

All in all, a good trip. Oh, the Moon guide was fine. Not exceptional but it did the trick.

Filofax, Art Journaling and Other Goals In October

Aside from some doodling in my filofax, October was an art journaling bust. October in general was a bust and I didn’t see THAT coming at all. My filofaxes did their job, I just ignored everything I planned and did pretty much nothing that wasn’t work or survival related — that sounds more dire than it should but that’s what the month was made of, really. Bah humbug.

I really have to get Melisa’s bottle done in November. HAVE TO. I also need to get back on budget because, yea. Umm. We need to do that.

And, I need to decide once and for all about my Filo inserts for 2015. My mom sent me an extra set of personal week on two pages (yes, she entered the Filofax world with a pretty Poppy cover story personal) so I guess that decision has been made for me (and that’s probably what I was going to do anyway — it makes the most sense.) The A5 though… bullet journaling is the method, but what type of paper? what type of layout? I really need to figure that out before the inserts I want are out of stock and I end up having to print my own. I do not want to print my own.

OK enough brain dumping, maybe I should get up and actually make a decent to do list for the month? Yea, good idea.

Ready for #Readathon

We have books.

We have snacks.

We have dog toys and treats.

I’ve set up my browser home page(s) to always open the Dewey’s Readathon blog, my blog, the #readathon twitter stream, and the Dewey’s Facebook page. (This makes it easier for me to interact with those who are reading along and participate in the mini-challenges.)

I have a plan for my day (though I may not stick to it):
- I’m starting with an art book because the first hour of #readathon is always rough for me. I’ll have to work. I’ll want to blog the opening intro challenge. I’ll want to check out the stream to see what everyone is doing and of course I’ll break out the first of the yummy food. So — an easy book is always best.
- Next, I’ll go for a novel, adult or YA, which should get me through til lunch.
- Then, I’ll go for a graphic novel.
- From there I’ll hit the children/middle grade books.
- I’ll end the evening with more art books.
- And of course, I’ve got a couple of fantasy novels on my kindle app and I’ll be reading those throughout the day and night.

I’m psyched!

Filofax, Art Journaling and Other Goals In September

Oh right, it’s October. Which means it’s a new month and time to review last month. Thank goodness last month is over.

I didn’t actually create a to do list until after JMP went home and that list was intended to carry me through October so I’m not too upset about the fact that the only thing I’ve managed to cross off is the mailing of packages to five people. I’ve managed to get started on a few other things on the list but I’m not making a lot of progress because September sucks and it’s awfully early in October.

I did order some storage bins to start weeding through the linens and towels and bedding situation.

I did art journal a wee bit at the end of September. I also tracked down a water bottle for Melisa and I think I even know how I want to make this thing… so we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll have that done by December 2 — which is the next time I plan to be in her stupid suburb.

I worked on JMP’s stocking last weekend and hope to keep making progress there. Maybe. Hopefully.

And we absolutely do have to find our winter clothes. ASAP.

Also, Filofaxing — I’m back at it, though I don’t seem to be doing any daily journaling. I need to get that back into my daily schedule. Soon.

Onward into October.

Re-Visiting The Princess Bride

I love The Princess Bride (who doesn’t, right?) I’ve seen it a trillion times (who hasn’t, right?) So I hesitated about ordering tickets to see The Princess Bride at the Hollywood Palms theater in that stupid suburb that I hate to go to.

But when TW wandered over there and mentioned that it was playing, I thought what the hell. It will be fun. And, they make a really awesome lemon sorbet martini. (I know, you’re shocked.) The tickets were super inexpensive, when you look at how much a movie ticket normally costs, so that was an added bonus.

After a rough couple of days at work, I was totally ready for this particular date night movie. It was even cooler than expected because we got to watch the movie in the special screening room that has like 12 small leather couches instead of the computer desk type chairs. Much more comfortable and intimate. Really nice.

We ordered more drinks and a ton of food (though not as much food as last time) and sat back to watch.

And that’s when I realized, I haven’t really seen The Princess Bride a trillion times. I mean I have, but not all of the way through from start to finish without working while watching or getting distracted by kids or pets or other people. And, I’ve never seen it on the big screen.

If you have the chance to see it in a theater this way, I highly recommend it — even if you’ve seen it a trillion times. It’s totally worth it.