6 Ways Bullet Journaling Makes Me Less Busy and More Productive

If we asked how many people feel perfectly happy with their organizational habits and systems, what percentage would say “yes?” Less than half, I’m thinking.

I haven’t written about my Kon Mari decluttering project in a while, probably because I haven’t worked on it since I did my kitchen this summer. That whole process is supposed to take six months. Since Marie Kondo’s book doesn’t acknowledge the existence of children and how life with them— and their stuff—might impact a massive whole-house purge, I added another six months for each kid. Even with that, I just passed my projected finish time. That’s OK, I know I’ll get it done. I watched the documentary “Minimalism” over the holidays and I’m re-motivated. Plus, I have a new system to keep me accountable and focused moving forward—bullet journaling!  Continue reading

Do Unfinished Projects Keep Us Comfortably Stuck?

This, my 46th year on the planet, is the year of finishing what I’ve started.

During a trip to Kripalu this past winter, I was introduced to oracle card decks, which are like Tarot cards, only they’re used in a more free-form way. I fell in love with this practice and brought it home with me. “Pulling a card” has become part of my morning prayer/meditation/journaling practice. (I even got my husband on board—we often will each pull a card together in the morning.) Usually, I use it as a general message for the day, and sometimes in response to a specific question I’m asking.

Yes, it’s kinda woo-woo, even for me.

I love my card decks because they give me a little nudge toward the intuitive, creative right brain every morning. By default, I tend toward the left side, so I can always use a little less logic and a little more magic in my life.

Speaking of magic, though, I don’t believe the cards supernaturally arrange themselves to hand me the perfect message. (Although I have a friend who believes this, and some spooky shit has happened, like my husband and I both pulling the same card for days in a row, which has made me wonder for a second.)

What I do believe is that there are beautiful gifts of insight when you find meaning in whatever card(s) you happen to pull. You can also use them as journaling prompts if you want to reap the benefits of journaling but are often at a loss for what to write about or where to begin.

So what does all this have to do with finishing projects? On my 45th birthday last week, I pulled three cards from my Earth Magic deck. The question was simply, “What do I need to know now?” Here’s what I got:

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It was pretty easy to find meaning in the the Childhood (innocence) and Mountain (strength) cards. Full Moon (completion), not so much. Continue reading

KonMari Kitchen Decluttering: Lose It or Use It

I started my KonMari Method decluttering adventure 14 months ago. This method is based on the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Kondo advises doing a ruthless, massive purge only once, by category instead of area, and keeping only those things which “spark joy.” The promised result is an organized, clutter-free home containing only things you love and use, and nothing extra to weigh you down.

You can read my first post here. I started with clothes, then moved on to books, then papers and files. The changes I made in those areas have stuck (yes, even the anal retentive folding and storage methods!), but my progress stalled from there because life happens.

According to Kondo, the whole process is supposed to take six months. However, she writes as if children don’t exist in the world, except for herself as a child, when she was already enthralled by decluttering, which my children are not. Kids, of course, mean a lot more stuff and a lot less time to spend decluttering it. So I figure I get an additional six months per kid, and if I’m done by Halloween, I’m good. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye (and Hello Again!) to My Little Green Subaru

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OK, so a car is kinda big to qualify as part of your decluttering efforts. But a beloved old car can be at the top of your list of old things that really need to go but can be so hard to part with!

I drove this thing for 13 years. It was 15 years old with 250,000+ miles on it when I finally replaced it with the minivan. It was the first car I owned that was expensive enough to need financing—all my previous cars were clunkers that I paid cash for. My interest rate was 17% because of stupid financial decisions made in my early 20’s and the consequences to my credit. I bought it because I was headed on the road for a travel nursing adventure and I needed something more reliable than my current shitbox. The second I saw it, I knew it was the one.  Continue reading

Decluttering Your Memories

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Before my KonMari Method declutter-palooza, I did make some headway here and there ridding our home of excess stuff. One of my favorite resources for simplifying life and changing your ways is the Zen Habits blog. A couple years ago, I bought a decluttering e-book by Leo Babauta, that blog’s author. My favorite takeaway was his advice on items that are packed away, taking up space but never used, yet difficult to part with due to sentimental value. He suggested taking photos of those items and writing their stories. Then you can let the items go while preserving the memories, which is all you really want anyway.   Continue reading

Lessons From Books (Not the kind you think…)

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As some of you know, I’m in the process of a massive decluttering project using the KonMari Method from the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The author recommends purging by category rather than area or room. Per the suggested order, I did clothes first, and after a long break during which life happened, this week I finally moved on to books.

Before I read the chapter on books, I was dreading this category, having always found it near impossible to part with books.   I did one purge already last winter, but only got rid of a couple boxes. After reading Kondo’s chapter on books, I felt excitement rather than dread because she gave me new ways to think about it that made sense to me.   Continue reading

Decluttering Brings an Unexpected Mother’s Day Gift

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I’m in the midst of a massive decluttering extravaganza via the KonMari Method. So far, I finished the clothes category and I am completely sold on the process outlined in the book. My reluctant husband was inspired to do his clothes after seeing my results, and we have gone from filling two closets to sharing one. And we both have room to spare in our dressers—we could probably share one and move the other one out if we wanted to. We are both finding it simple, easy, and pleasant to get ready in the morning.

I haven’t had time in the last week to tackle another category, but I have been doing small things to stay in the mindset. Continue reading