Sparking Joy All Over My House*

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for several days, but it’s been a wild week. Miss S was quite sick last week and long story short, we ended up spending several hours in emerge as she just couldn’t stop vomiting. She had been doing really well on the antibiotics for strep throat, but within 36 hours of finishing them, she was completely laid out with some kind of nasty virus. My doctor was worried about dehydration and referred us to the hospital as she wanted S on an IV. The vomiting finally slowed down while we were waiting in emerge, and the doctor there was able to give her some kind of super power gravol to make her stomach settle and keep some fluids in. We stayed quiet for a few days after, and she’s doing much better. Her stomach is still a little sensitive, but no more crazy symptoms. The last three weeks have had more fevers and vomit than I care to experience in a year.

(Hear that universe? I can be done with all that now. Thanks.)

I do have a legitimate reason for not writing though… and for that, you can blame Netflix. I have been binging, but not on a show.

I’ve been binge-cleaning my entire house, sparking joy right and left.

While I was scrolling Facebook in my near-death-tired state at the hospital in the middle of the night, I saw someone post about this new tidying up show and how they were purging their entire house as a result.

I’m not the best at it, but I love organizing and cleaning so I was sold just at the title. I made a little mental note to check it out when I was, you know, alive, and went back to my zombie mom scrolling. I finally got around to watching it the next night.. and didn’t even make it through the whole first episode before I started making piles. I’ve been Marie Kondoing my whole house and I LOVE IT.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, the show is called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She is the supreme leader of converting chaos to calmness within a home. In the show, she works with regular, average families and helps them reevaluate their possessions. There are five categories she works through, and by the end the transformations are incredible.

To be perfectly honest, none of what she does is rocket science…. but what I love about her method is that everything revolves around joy, and intentional possessions. She often asks, “Is this something you want to take with you into your future?” and something about that just clicked with me.

There are a lot of things in our home that we have accumulated over the years that we’ve kept because we didn’t really have any good reason not to. But we’re also at a point where our children are getting bigger and our house is getting smaller… and rather than buying a bigger house to fill with more things, I’d rather repurpose the space that I do have.

So, I’ve been sparking joy. (Watch the show. You’ll understand.)

Since I’ve started watching, I’ve:

–Downsized to a smaller dresser we had in storage and sold the larger one
–Listed (and sold) four other things we’ve just been keeping around
–Cleaned out and organized storage behind and under the couch
–Gutted our home office & guestroom. Reorganized and cleaned the entire room, donating multiple bags and over 20 of M’s books.
–Reorganized my “junk drawer” in the kitchen and donated a large bag of unused or spare kitchen tools
–Donated several books that I’ve finished reading and no longer need to keep
–Reorganized the kids’ dresser with small boxes inside the drawers, and donated a large pile of excess clothes
–Went through my own wardrobe (and shoes) and donated another pile there
–Pulled apart the storage space on our food storage shelves and donated another large bag of items

I’m even getting the kids involved. They had a wonderful Christmas and got some amazing gifts from our families. I am a firm believer that there is such a thing as too many toys, so on Saturday afternoon S, H an I sat down in the living room and went through every. single. bin. We made three piles: things they love and play with all the time, things they play with sometimes, and things they don’t play with anymore. We looked at every single toy we had, and made three big piles. The things they didn’t play with anymore went straight into a garbage bag. The things they love went right back into our toy bins. Then we went through the “sometimes” pile together and added half to the bag and the rest we kept. It felt really good to involve them in the process, and I was able to give the toys to a friend who runs a home daycare down the street. Win win.

I feel like I’m on fire with this and I don’t want to stop. This show has motivated me to clean out and organize those spaces that were sort of out of sight so they didn’t bother me all the time… but I always knew that they were there so it was always in the back of my mind. It’s making me feel like I’m more in control of my house, and not that my stuff is controlling me.

So, that’s where I’ve been. My regular writing time has been spent mucking out my house and it feels so so good. Cleaning and tidying really does bring Joy. <3

Time to go fold some shirts.

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