The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Before The KonMarie Method

Friday, July 31, 2015

The life changing magic of tidying up. This blog will be a long one, so if you don't want to read the whole thing just read the next sentence. Get the book and read it, do it, you won't be sorry. 

Part 1...The before story...(You can read part 2, my after story, here.)
This book is no joke. It's the real deal. It completely changed the way I look at my possessions. My life is changed because of this book. I repeat, my life HAS changed. My everyday life is calmer, my daily chores, routines and housework are so much easier and I am so much happier. My marriage is better and my husband is happier. 

It's okay if you just read that and are skeptical, I was too when I first heard about this book. But for $9 on Amazon I figured I'd give it a chance. I read the book in two days and really let it sink in. While reading this book I had giant light bulbs going off and I had many Oprah 'aha' moments! This stuff just clicked. There were also parts of the book that I took with a grain of salt. She is from a different culture so some things I don't identify with. I will not idolize my belongings and trust me, MY socks don't have feelings haha! And I get it Marie, you love to organize even when you were a 5 year old. But the good definitely out weighs the bad in this book. 

Now let me give you a little back story. I am a pretty clean organized person. Always have been. I have yearly yard sales and they always do well, and almost everything sells. I enjoy getting rid of things and never had a problem doing so. I always thought I was tidy, until I began this process and realized I was just an organized hoarder. The things that are brought to light and the terror shock you feel as you realize how much stuff you actually have and that your family of two has over 30 bath towels, is sickening humbling. Not to mention my 10 year paper hoard, the 200+ DVD's, the totes of holiday decor that never see the light of day, and all those beauty related items. The list just goes on and on.
Are you kidding me, I actually forgot how bad it was :(
I had my yearly multi family yard sale May 1st and 2nd of this year and didn't think I had anything else to get rid of, oh hahahaha I was so wrong!! If only I had a crystal ball. I starting reading my book that weekend. Six weeks later I had my "I cleaned my house KonMarie style" yard sale June 5th & 6th at my brother in law's house. It was unbelievable how much excess, non-joy sparking stuff I had
I told you...unbelievable. I also sold a lot of the more expensive collectables on eBay. Marie suggests donating everything immediately and not to let it sit around. But I could use the extra money and I am lucky enough to have a garage, so I just kept everything in there until it was time for the yard sale. I am pretty well disciplined and wasn't worried about digging through bags of stuff I decided I didn't need or want anymore. And guess what? I haven't missed a single thing I've sold since, win! After the sale anything that was left was donated and with my earnings I was able to pay off a credit card, double win!!

This book is so entirely different than any other self help, cleaning or organizing books I've read. She also teaches you how to fold and organize, really, like an adult. Her claim is that there is no relapse and no repeat customers. Organize once and you never have to do it again. This process can take about 6 months. I was done in about 6 weeks. But I have a smaller home and no children, so I have a little less stuff to begin with than most people. I also am a stay at home wife and do not work outside of the home, so I could devote all of my time to the process. 

Sort by category, not by room. She has a specific order that you declutter in. Starting with least sentimental items, they are the easiest to part with and, ending with the most sentimental items. Her reasoning behind this is that by the time you get to the harder items you've already been training yourself how to determine if it's something you really love or not. You get into a groove and it's a physical and emotional trigger that really let's you know if it sparks joy. 

Clothes, books, papers, komono (misc items) and finally mementos. These are the categories.

Tidy in one shot, as quickly, and completely as possible. 

Sort by category, not by location. 

Does it spark joy?
There are lots of great links, videos and worksheets to help you, this was one awesome printable I used. And here's the link to my Pinterest board with other helpful articles. Take everything in a category and lay it on the floor. This makes you actually see how much you actually have, it's disgusting shocking, REALLY shocking. It totally made me feel like a crazy hoarder collector. Touch every item and ask yourself does it spark joy? If it doesn't, get rid of it. That simple. Do you love it or use it or even need it anymore? If not, thank it for its service and let it go. Do not hang onto things just because you might need it. Chances are you won't. I of course ran into a lot of stuff that was just garbage too, and I'm sure my poor trash collectors were relieved when I finished my big purge too.
The best feeling is giving myself permission to let go of the things that are weighing me down from guilt and what ifs. It is amazing to me how much power your possessions can have over you. And that moment when you are able to take control of you life and home, that my friends, is magic. 

When I look around and only see the things that I truly love, that makes all this hard work worth it. Picture how you want your home to be. An oasis. A peaceful serene place. Somewhere clean and safe for your family. A place where you can always find what your looking for. How about a home that when you get unexpected visitors you can open your door with confidence and say come on in with a smile, instead or rushing around kicking things under beds and cramming things into already stuffed closets while praying that they don't dare open up those doors? 

My biggest 'aha' moment was when I read these words "we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of." Seriously! So simple yet so life altering, I had never thought of it like that before.

I'm a believer in this magic.

I am so grateful for this book and for a friends Instagram post with a picture of 100+ empty hangers and the hashtags #konmarie #sparkingjoy #thelifechangingmagicoftidyingup

Some before pictures...

The big paper purge, and everything in the boxes was shredded
Shredded papers and empty DVD cases
My husband burning papers outside while I shredded them inside
Photos that were duplicates, blurry of just double prints. Who in their right mind puts blurry photos in albums...apparently this girl did
109 items came left of my kitchen, I honestly don't know how that all even fit in the cabinets. I even KM'ed my Corelle dishes
67 items came out of my drawers and closet, and this was after I had already done my 1st yard sale just a few days prior
My husbands pile of clothes that he did himself without me asking him too. He said "your side of the closet looks so nice, I want mine to look good too." He's a keeper. This was 45 items
My out of control fabric hoard, and it looked like this for 6 years...shame on me
There are so many more before pictures but I think we all know what piles of crap junk looks like ;) so I'll just leave you with that.

I'll be posting an After The KonMarie Method next. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: Read part 3 here, my life one year later.

*These are my own opinions and I am in no way affiliated with Marie Kondo. I'm just another happy reader. 

Thoughtful Thursday ~ Evening on the Lake

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Last night we had an impromptu evening on the lake. We finished dinner, the mess was cleaned up and we turned on the tv to watch a little Netflix, this our typical weeknight ritual, when my husband said that we should go out and watch the sunset together. I don't think I could have gotten out of my recliner any faster haha! A nice warm, summer evening with my husband, on the boat, with some swimming, a little waterskiing and a gorgeous sunset, yes please!

I love surprises and my husband is terrible about them. We open our Christmas presents from each other at least 5 days before it's Christmas. He just can't wait and most of the time he slips and gives away what it is before I even open it! He's just too excited.

So a surprise like this is always appreciated, no matter how big or small it way be. I think we lucked out and choose the perfect evening for a little adventure

My husband slalom skiing, he's been doing it since he was 7. I just love to watch him. I can't even get up on two skis so this is like magic to me. Have a great evening and take time to appreciate the little things in life. 

Grilled Malibu Chicken

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If you think you know Malibu Chicken, think again. This will knock your socks off! I'm sure you know the yummy breaded kind of Malibu Chicken but this is sooo much better.

The first time I ate this was 8 years ago. I was at Carmela Winery in Glenn's Ferry, Idaho, it's since changed names and is now Crossings Winery. Their chicken was severed on a homemade croissant and it was divine! I was so crazy about it I asked our waiter for the recipe and the chef actually came out and gave it to me! I couldn't believe it, I was so grateful! Recently my husband and I went back to visit and even though the name had changed the menu was still the same! So I ordered it again and it tasted just the same as I remember and just like the ones I've been making at home.

This is packed full of flavor and has yummy layers of sweet pineapple, creamy Swiss cheese, salty ham and juicy chicken.

Yield: 6 chicken breasts (I only make two so I just cut the recipe down accordingly)
Prep time 20 mins + 2 hours for dry marinating
Cook time 25 mins

The first thing you do is grab a gallon storage bag and add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp oregano, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Put in your thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts and shake them around until the seasoning is evenly distributed

Then grab a meat tenderizer. I love this one from OXO. Pound out each breast until they are all about the same thickness, around 1/3 of an inch (I use the individually wrapped Kirkland brand breasts from Costco.) Put the storage bag on a plate and place in the fridge and let it hang out for 2 hours.

After the 2 hours are up I go turn the grill on high and let it get hot. While that's heating up grab a bowl and melt 2 tbsp salted butter. Then open up the can of pineapple rings and drain the juice into the bowl. Keep the pineapple for later

Then add I tbsp yellow mustard, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp molasses

Next add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 tsp chili powder, a 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix together thoroughly with a fork

By now your grill should be nice and hot. Clean it well with a metal brush and turn the heat down to medium. Take the chicken out of the ziplock and place on the grill and let it grill about 5 minutes and then take a basting brush and coat the top side of the chicken. Cook another 5 minutes and then turn the chicken and baste the other side. Keep basting every few minutes until the chicken is almost done. Depending on the thickness of the chicken it should take anywhere from 15-25 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked throughly through and is reaches an internal temperature of 165 degree Fahrenheit.

A couple minutes before the chicken is done put your pineapple rings on the grill for a minute and then turn them over

Next layer a piece of ham on top of the chicken, followed by a piece of cheese, and then two pineapple rings. Turn the grill on low and close the lid. Let it cook just until the cheese begins to melt

Mmm, melty cheese! That's it, you're finished. Enjoy :)
You can eat it as is, on a croissant, or even on a sandwich thin.

This is optional but I always make it with this chicken.

Malibu dipping sauce

1 tbsp miracle whip
1 tsp yellow mustard
Just mix it together and serve with the chicken.

Monday Morning ~ Weekly Schedule

Monday, July 27, 2015

One of my favorite things to do is plan out my week and prepare for it's menus and activities. I have a Type A personality so, lists, planning and calendars are just the best!

This is one of my favorite and easiest things that I've made. A thrift store frame that I spray painted, scrapbook paper, my Cricut and vinyl, some paper flowers and and a dry erase marker was all it took.

Isn't she cute?

My menu sits on my sweet little sewing table I found at a second hand store, I just LOVE it!

I have a fun Facebook page that's dedicated to food, recipes and what everyone it making for dinner. It's a lot of fun to run and it is definitely helping me try new things and test out my food blogging skills. What's Cooking Tonight? is the name of the page and you can check it out here if you're interested.

Here's a few things that's on my to do list this week and what's cooking for my weekly menu.

Monday ~ Is probably my favorite day of the whole week. I am able to get my house back in order after the weekend with my husband at home, ladies, I know you know what I'm saying. How can they be so messy!?! Monday's are the days I do some laundry, pay the bills and clean my bathrooms. The rest of the house gets a quick clean up, see my cleaning schedule here. As I've said before it's just me and my husband so things don't get too messy.

What's cooking? Chinese beef and broccoli, pork fried rice and egg rolls.

Tuesday ~ Hopefully I will be going over to my friend Amy's house to help her paint her master bedroom. It just depends on her work schedule, so I could actually be there Tuesday or Wednesday :) Also I will sweep & mop my floors.

What's cooking? I will probably be tired after painting, so I will be pulling out a homemade freezer meal for dinner, Frito Mole Pie, easy peasy.

Wednesday ~  Lunch date with my cousin and her baby boy, I just love when I get to see them :) I also change my sheets on Wednesdays so that will get done along with some more laundry and irrigating my backyard.

What's cooking? Grilled Malibu chicken, roasted red potatoes, green salad & pineapple. This is my favorite meal! I will post the recipe soon, I promise!

Thursday ~ It's dusting and trash/recycling day. I am planning on going to my mom and dads house and help them clean out their linen closet and my my dads clothes. We are going to have a big multi family yard sale this fall and they need all the help they can get their house is bursting at the seams. And ever since I cleaned up my house using the KonMarie Method, my parents have been antsy to clean up too. They won't go to the extent that I did, but I am helping them with the basics and they are learning what sparks joy :) as long as stuff is leaving the house, it's a successful day! We've already gone through all of my mom's clothes.

What's cooking? Baked salmon, rice pilaf, fruit, green beans and cheddar biscuits.

Friday ~ I need to do some catch up work and do a little bit of crafting. I have had a half finished project for awhile and just haven't had the time to finish it. What's cooking? BBQ pulled pork, au gratin potatoes, fruit and green salad, yay for crockpots!!

Saturday ~ I will make sure all of my husbands clothes are washed up for another work week and I will be working on my monthly chore, cleaning the car and cleaning up the garage. It's actually one of the easier ones to do, so yay for me! LOL!

What's cooking? Roast dinner, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied baby carrots, dinner rolls and fruit salad.

Sunday ~ Groceries, meal planning and vacuuming will get done today yay! And hopefully we will make it to church and spend some time with friends at the lake! We are super lucky to live only 10 minutes from the lake. Water skiing, tubing, swimming and knee boarding take up a lot of our time in the summer :)

What's cooking? Hopefully we will have picnic at the lake :)

We have some pretty amazing sunsets here in Idaho!

Out here in the open mmmmmoterboatin'!

Sunday Special ~ My Cleaning Schedule

Sunday, July 26, 2015

This will officially be my first post for my Sunday Special.

There are so so so many cleaning lists and schedules out there it can be a little overwhelming. This is the one I made up for myself and what works for me. I have been on this schedule for so long that it comes to me like second nature. And you know what? If something comes up and I don't get to do the cleaning, the world keeps on spinning and the cleaning can happen another day. Some people might call me a clean freak, neat freak, control freak, tidy person, but my world doesn't not implode if the cleaning doesn't get done. Life is short and if I get the chance to do something with my friends and family, you can bet that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Daily Chores
  • Make bed
  • Quick pick up (laundry, shoes, papers, whatever is laying around that shouldn't be)
  • Wipe down bathrooms
  • Load/Unload dishwasher
  • Weekly chore
  • Sweep floors
  • Wipe down kitchen

These things get done everyday no matter what. It  only takes about 20 minutes to do all of this and if it gets done and nothing else that day, I'm just fine with that and any visitors that might come would never know the difference.

Weekly Chores
  • Bathrooms & Towels
  • Laundry & Monthly Chore
  • Sweep & Mop
  • Trash & Dust
  • Sheets & Whites
  • Vacuum & Groceries
  • Catch-up & Crafts
Each of these gets done once a week in addition to my Daily Chores. Choose one to do each day and check it off the list when it's complete. The next day choose another and so on.

Monthly Chores
  • Yearly Chore
  • Rugs & Deep Clean a Room
  • Organize & De-clutter
  • Refrigerator & Oven
  • Car & Garage
These bigger jobs are so much easier when they are broken down and only one is done each week. So throughout the month the harder stuff gets done without you having to make extra time to do it, it's already scheduled. Choose one to do each week and check it off the list when it's complete. The next week choose another and so on. 

Yearly Chores 
  • Bathroom Cabinets
  • Kitchen Cabinets
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Blinds & Curtains
  • Outside of House
  • Curio Cabinets
  • Silk Plants
  • Windows & Sills
  • Garage & Storage Room
  • Baseboards & Mouldings
  • Walls & Touch-up Paint
  • Under Refrigerator 
The yearly chores are a just like the monthly ones only you do these once a month instead of once a week. The time is already scheduled to do them and it only takes one day out of an entire month to do it. Choose one to do each month and check it off the list when it's complete. The next month choose another and so on. 

This is what works for me. It might not be ideal for you, but try it and see. Maybe something similar will work. I tried a bunch of different things before I came up with this one and it stuck. Now it hangs on the side of my fridge so it's easy to see everyday just incase I need a reminder. I also made those adorable frames with just cardboard, glue, scissors, magnets and scrapbook paper. Thanks Pinterest, here's the tutorial I used :)

Happy Sunday and I hope you have a productive and happy week :)

7 Layer Taco Dip in 15 Minutes or Less

If there's one thing I love it's food and getting together with friends. Okay, I know that's two things but they go hand and hand, food and good times! This weekend I got invited to a GNO (girls night out) game night at a friends house, complete with food, drinks, and lots of laughs! Moscow Mules, Nerts, Catch Phrase, and Jimmy Fallon's Say Anything tape game, were all part of the fun! Seriously the tape game is hilarious and way way harder than it looks!

So I was trying to think of a quick and yummy snack to bring to the party, besides my rice krispie treats that I ALWAYS bring anywhere I go, and with all the fresh produce we have right now I thought that a 7 Layer Taco Dip was perfect! Refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, olives, green onion & cilantro, served with corn chips, yum-o! Best of all this is super easy and quick to whip up, 15 minutes or less!

7 Layer Taco Dip

I make mine in a 8x10 glass baking dish.
A 9x9 will work, as well as a 9x13, the dip will just be a little bit thinner.

Open one can of refried beans and spread it evenly into the bottom of the glass baking dish

Cut open 2-3 large avocados, take the pit out, scoop out the fruit with a spoon and put into a bowl
Add a good squeeze of lime juice, course salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Use a fork and mash it all together until it's mostly smooth and then spread it on top of the beans

Next is the sour cream, you can add half a store bought taco seasoning packet to it, or if you're like me, make your own with spices that's probably already in your cabinet. 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, 1/4 tsp each cayenne pepper, salt, cumin, oregano & black pepper. Mix into the sour cream and then spread on top of the guacamole

Grate about 2 cups of cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top of the sour cream. 
Try pepper jack cheese if you add a bit of heat to the dish

Next dice up 2 Roma tomatoes and let them sit while you do the next steps. I like to let them rest so the excess juice will come out of then and I drain it off

Slice up a can of black olives, or get the pre-sliced ones like me because I'm lazy efficient, and drain the liquid off

Chop up 1/2 a green onion and about 10 springs of cilantro for the garnish
Now add the drained tomatoes, olives, green onions and cilantro to the top of the cheese.

Cover and refrigerate or serve right away with some corn chips.

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2-3 large avocado
  • 1 16oz container of sour cream
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 green onion
  • 10 springs cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 taco season packet
  • *Homemade taco seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
  • 1/4 tsp each cayenne pepper, salt, cumin, oregano & black pepper

  1. Layer each of the ingredients into a glass baking dish starting with the refried beans. Then mash up avocados and add salt, black pepper and lime juice. Spread on top of the beans.
  2. Mix taco seasoning into the sour cream and spread on top of the guacamole.
  3. Grate 2 cups of cheese and sprinkle on top of the sour cream.
  4. Dice 2 Roma tomatoes and drain of excess liquid, put on top of the cheese.
  5. Slice a can of black olives and put those on top of the tomatoes and then garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro.
  6. Serve immediately with corn chips or cover and refrigerate. Enjoy :)

***Bonus you can make this a little more figure friendly by using fat free refried beans, plain Greek yogurt or fat free sour cream, and low fat cheddar cheese.

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