Get rid of stuff, and organize what’s left.

I sort of subscribe to a mixture between FlyLady’s methods and Marie Kondo’s methods. Marie K is really big right now, thanks to her show dropping on Netflix recently. I am cracking up at all my friends’ facebook posts of all the crap they’re throwing out. I’m also throwing up at it a little bit, because it is truly overwhelming to come to terms with our materialism as Americans (and as humans). WHY? Why do we store up treasures on earth? They just overwhelm us and make us so sad and stressed. It’s NUTS.

I am totally guilty of this. I want and I want and I want and I want and it is just never enough. There is always some other dumb thing I want. I have easily filled homes with so much junk with no place to go and no real use for it and I’VE HAD ENOUGH.

So Marie Kondo’s big thing is to take everything of a particular category, no matter where it is in the house, and get it all in one place. Then go through it, hold up whatever it is, as ask yourself if it sparks joy in you. If yes, you keep it. If no, you toss it. Then you do it again with the stuff you decided to keep and a third time just to make darn sure that everything you own brings you joy. It’s actually really great, because it emits all these great feelings of “yay, I love my stuff” and “it’s worth my joy to have this particular item” as you’re getting rid of stuff instead of the usual “oh, I’m keeping this because I miiiiiight maybe use it someday even though I haven’t touched it until now for the past 5 years but it’s speeeeeeeeeeeeeeecial and I neeeeeeeeeeeed it.” Then, you put everything away in a designated place, and you fold it in a way that makes it take up less room, and voila! You have a beautiful, clutter-free, organized home.

It’s all good, until you don’t have enough time to sort every single item of clothing in your home because you are a total HOARDER and it doesn’t even all fit in one room and you can’t seriously go through it all in a single 3 hour period on a Tuesday night. This was my problem. I got it all into one room and then three hours were gone and I had gone through 1/3 of the clothes in my house. So, then, guess what I did? I threw all the clothes on the floor and went to bed exhausted, just like always. Actually most of them are currently in a gigantic pile on the unfinished basement floor, which is evidence that I need to get rid of them cause ain’t no big pile bringin’ me joy.

So anyway, it didn’t really work great. Marie K even says that in the book – she’s like, “Don’t expect to get it all done in one day.” And I’m like, okay, so where do I put the 80 jillion pounds of crap that I still own until I have time to determine if it brings joy or not?

These are the real questions.

Her method is great, but I just didn’t have the time to make it work for me. And everything was still such a mess. I do dream of really trying her method fully someday, but I have to use a kind of hybrid in the meantime.

So FlyLady’s big thing is kind of the opposite idea. She says just do one thing at a time so that you have some control over your life, and then add things, little by little, until you’ve run your house the way you want through consistent routines. She also is really big into saying goodbye to perfection – the toilet doesn’t have to be perfectly 100% germ free; it just has to not give you diseases.

not clean, but no diseases!
(please ignore, or note, depending on your sense of
humor and germaphobia, the used pullup just *next* to the
garbage can instead of inside it –
this was my life until a few weeks ago)

I have used varying levels of FlyLady for YEARS. I used to have this chore system in our previous house that was seriously the most elaborate thing you’ve ever seen, developed over more than a year of consistently adding one thing at a time until I had things like “2nd Tuesday of every third month, dust the attic” or whatever.

When we moved, we downsized significantly, so everything sort of fell apart and went to crap. I have never developed those great routines again, although I certainly dream of it. It also stems from having worked jobs that average 60 hours a week since living in this house and adding so many children (I have three now)(I think)(maybe four? there might be one hiding in that pile of clothes that I forgot about). I kid. There aren’t piles of clothes anymore, because everything is finally PUT. TOGETHER.

Truly, we are still working on all of this, but at the moment, everything without a permanent home is in the basement collecting dust (also known as the Room of Requirement)(see also: Labyrinth). Everything else has a home and is put together. We now have sucked it up and are acting like adults. And we have now started cleaning up constantly in little bits so that there never get to be overwhelming messes. I have found all three children. There are three; I’m almost positive. And the dog!

one, two, three. Yep, definitely three total kids currently

Now, this post has gotten very long, so I’m actually going to make a separate post to discuss the down-and-dirty of what we’ve done in this, but I’ll briefly say here: our first effort was TOYS. And I’m so excited to show you next time what we specifically did to tackle the crazy toy issue in our house. See you soon!

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