Tuesday, March 19, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 30 • Sentimental Items

Welcome to Day 30 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). THAT'S TOMORROW!!! This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

Day 30 is our very last day of tidying, and I'm so happy we're here. Today, we'll be tackling the dreaded sentimental items category.



Some thoughts on Day 30:

1) Set aside a few of your favourite sentimental items to use as a benchmark for spark joy. I find I don't typically attach sentimentality to a particular time or place, but rather to a particular person. I am still riddled with a lot of guilt when I let go of things that people give me. The closer the person, the greater the guilt. I'm trying to get past this, but it's difficult. I tried to group my sentimental items by person and keep only 1-2 favourites, but it didn't work. In order to keep "spark joy" at the top of my mind, I pulled out a few of my favourite sentimental items and put them where I could see them. I made sure to select at least one item from each of my favourite people, including my husband, my family, and my close friends. I also selected a travel item and our time capsule. These items helped centre me when I was feeling overwhelmed.

2) Unless the entire album sparks joy, take your photos out of their albums so you can review each photo individually. I'm not gonna lie, this was a huge pain-in-the-butt type task, but it worked. Most of my albums are more like scrapbooks, so it is next to impossible to remove the photos, plus I look at these periodically and they still spark joy. I only had two albums of slip-in photos that I decided to empty out. It was tedious but worth it. I was able to let go of around 2/3 of these photos.

3) Cards and letters have served their purpose the moment they are read by the recipient. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo writes, "The purpose of a letter is fulfilled the moment it is received. By now, the person who wrote it has long forgotten what he or she wrote and even the letter's very existence." I read this many times, but it was still hard to follow the advice. In the end, I let go of many cards and letters, including most of the letters from my childhood best friend. We became pen pals when I moved to California at nine years of age. Seeing her letters did spark joy, but we've since lost touch, so I just kept two of my favourites. I also let go of some cards from my biological mom, which was no easy task. Some of you know she passed away when I was 20 years old, so I wanted to cling to every single item that she gave me. I kept all the letters and many of the cards, but I was able to let go of a few.

4) If you decide to keep an item, keep it with confidence. This passage in Spark Joy struck me as being very important and relevant: "If you cannot bring yourself to throw something away, keep it with confidence. It might be a T-shirt designed by your high school class for a school festival, for example, but if you can't part with it, keep it. Don't berate yourself for not being able to throw away something as simple as that. Rather, trust your instincts, which you have already honed by choosing what to keep and what to discard for an astounding number of things. As long as you have approached that T-shirt with integrity, the day will come when you know that it has fulfilled its job." The couple key points in this passage are to (a) trust yourself and (b) be gentle with yourself. All your tidying up to this point has honed your intuition for "spark joy" so trust that intuition! At the same time, it has been a long and difficult journey, so be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to make very human decisions. What you decide to keep is what you decide to keep--this is a judgement free zone with no "wrong" decisions!

Guys.

WE DID IT! Whether you tidied over the past 30 days or 30 weeks, if you've followed along with these blog posts, you'll be very close to the end of your tidying journey. Today was difficult, but well worth it to go through years of sentimental items. Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul for following along with this series. Your kind comments really helped me through my negative self-talk and allowed me to better reflect and heal throughout the process. It was a long road to build up this much excess and clutter in my life, and it's so nice to come out on the other side. I feel like a happier, calmer, and generally better version of myself. I still have a lot I want to do in the self-improvement realm, so stay tuned for much more on Authenblissity. Perhaps another 30 day challenge will be in my future...

At the very least, I'll be posting a wrap-up video tomorrow, summarizing my thoughts AND sharing all the before and after photos. See you then! x

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Monday, March 18, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 29 • Bathroom Komono

Welcome to Day 29 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

Day 29 is the last day of the komono category! We'll be going through bathroom komono, hair care, and toiletries.



Some thoughts on Day 29:

1) By storing like items together, there is a clearly defined set of products that belong in the bathroom. While the particulars may be different for each person, if you've been storing like items together, you'll come across some things during tidying that no longer belong in the bathroom. For example, during today's tidying, I found a bottle of acetone, a sewing kit, and many items we only use for travel--all tucked away in our bathroom cabinets. After removing all these items, I was able to better organize what remained. I was also able to store all hair accessories in the bathroom, alongside my hair care products. I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before--previously, I had hair accessories stored both in the bathroom and in the living room.

2) The effects of an inflated stash lingers long after you've stopped shopping. I haven't shopped a whole lot in the last year and a half or so. Since I've been steadily using up products, one would assume that I'd be relatively close to the end of my stash. Ummm, not really. I still have a lot of products left in my collection of hair care and toiletries! Part of the reason is because I stocked up on way too many products during sales in the past. It's going to take me quite a bit more time to dwindle down my stash.

Thank you for tuning into Day 29! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 30. OUR LAST DAY!!

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 28 • Cleaning Supplies & Pets

Welcome to Day 28 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me over the next 2 days, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

On Day 28, we'll be tidying cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, and pet supplies.



Some thoughts on Day 28:

1) I wasn't able to let go of my back-up products. Instead I stored them in a place where I can remember to access them. Marie Kondo advocates letting go on any items you have in excess (i.e., massive amounts of back-up items). I couldn't seem to do this, because I know I will use the Dr. Bronner's soap and other products I've stocked up on in the past. Instead of keeping these like items together though, I've decided to store the back-up items where I have storage space--in the many baskets at the top of the wall unit and in the locker. I'm going to put together some sort of inventory where I can keep track of these items so I don't forget about them in the future.

2) Certain categories are fun to tidy. Pet supplies is one of these categories for me! Truffle and Lulu bring me so much joy, and they are not picky about material things, so it was easy to determine what to keep and what to let go of. Truffle doesn't like toys, so his collection is already pretty paired down. Lulu only loves certain toys, so again, that made the tidying process rather straightforward. Overall, I really enjoyed tidying pet supplies, and I was in good spirits throughout the process!

Thank you for tuning into Day 28! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 29.

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 27 • Bags & Boxes

Welcome to Day 27 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me over the next 3 days, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

On Day 27, we'll be heading into the kitchen! We'll be tidying kitchen komono, eating implements, cups & mugs, cooking tools, storage containers, and table decor.



Some thoughts on Day 27:

1) Reuseable bags tend to build up very quickly. Hubby and I have decluttered our reuseable bags before, and we haven't really been shopping very much lately. Yet our collection of reuseable bags has somehow built up again. There is really only one or two reuseable bags I gravitate towards on a regular basis. I'll definitely be keeping those and perhaps a few others in the condo. As for the rest of them? I'm loathe to declutter them as I may use them for future donations, but since we have so many, I'll be letting go of some and storing the balance in our locker.

2) By now, you may have a lot of empty boxes that you can use for organization. Hubby and I let go of so many things in the 26 days leading up to today that we have a slew of empty boxes that we can now use for organization! I've earmarked a lot of them for hubby's things so he doesn't have to keep "finding space" for them in the wall unit. I'm not sure I'll need them all, but I'll try to use as many as I can and potentially store the rest. We have a lot of nice boxes that I'm sure we'll be able to use as our old boxes wear out (or get inadvertently chewed up by our rabbit).

3) Finding an organization solution to a longstanding problem area is a marvelous thing! The plastic bag situation in our condo felt like Groundhog Day. Every time I folded up all the bags and had them organized, they would inevitably get messed up again within months. The problem was that I was storing them in the wrong place--they were up high in a cupboard above the stove that I could barely reach, so I would just shove the bags in as best I could. Then I would open the cupboard, and plastic bags would reign down. Not ideal! With this tidying challenge, I decided to solve the issue once and for all. I folded the bags (again) and instead organized them into a couple of my empty boxes, which I will find room for in the next three days. Partial success!

Thank you for tuning into Day 27! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 28.

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Friday, March 15, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 26 • Food

Welcome to Day 26 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me over the next 4 days, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

On Day 26, we'll be heading into the kitchen! We'll be tidying kitchen komono, eating implements, cups & mugs, cooking tools, storage containers, and table decor.



Some thoughts on Day 26:

1) Keep your overall vision in mind. As you're tidying, think about that vision you created for yourself on Day 0. What type of life do you want to lead going forward? Do the things in your home support that lifestyle? How can the items in your home support you living your best life? These are questions I try to ask myself each day as I go through my many possessions. Sometimes, I get distracted and I lose sight of the overall vision, but similar to meditation, when I realize I've wandered off, I try to come back. I struggled today, especially with junk food. I know I should just discard all the junk, yet I hold onto it.

2) Let go of expired items and food you don't plan to consume (or want to consume) going forward. I really should take my own advice here, but for some reason, I can't let go of our processed snacks. We have a ton of Lindt chocolate and other goodies we purchased over the holidays. We've finished the majority of it though so the end is near, and we don't plan to purchase any more once we're done. After 26 days of tidying, I'm already starting to feel like a different person, and I'm super motivated to change my life going forward. I'd like to continue to shift my diet as well to include more whole foods, fruit and vegetables, and generally good-for-me ingredients. I'm going to try to limit my consumption of processed snacks.

Thank you for tuning into Day 26! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 27.

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 25 • Kitchen

Welcome to Day 25 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me over the next 5 days, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

On Day 25, we'll be heading into the kitchen! We'll be tidying kitchen komono, eating implements, cups & mugs, cooking tools, storage containers, and table decor.



Some thoughts on Day 25:

1) "Tidying the kitchen first is a sure way to fail." This statement jumped out at me when I first read Spark Joy. I didn't really understand why this was the case, but apparently, there's a reason we enter the kitchen so deep into the komono category. Two reasons, if you want to be specific. The first reason is that we need to build our spark joy muscle, so we can hone in on what exactly to keep. The second reason is to avoid buying unnecessary storage units, since we need so many to store all the different items we keep in the kitchen. I can attest to both of these statements. If you've been following my journey over the years, you'll know that I do an annual kitchen clean-out each December. In the past several years, I haven't been decluttering much, because I thought I needed everything I had. Now that I'm 25 days into this tidying challenge, I'm much more honed in on what sparks joy. As a result, I was able to clear out a lot of mugs in particular, which then allowed me to shuffle things around to make our kitchen more efficient. Also, hubby and I let go of so many things in the first 24 days of tidying that I now have a ton of empty storage containers that I can draw upon to help with organization.

2) Marie Kondo also tells us that most kitchens in restaurants are focused on ease of cleaning, not ease of use. I've been trying to clear off the countertops for years, and I've done a pretty good job, but I made even more progress during this tidying challenge. Hubby and I were able to let go of our Nespresso (he brought it to work to use there), and I found myself looking for ways to have more counter space. It certainly does make the kitchen easier to clean. And I love cooking in a clean kitchen!

Thank you for tuning into Day 25! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 26.

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

30 Day Tidying Challenge • Day 24 • Emergency Supplies

Welcome to Day 24 of the #30daytidyingchallenge! This challenge runs from February 18th to March 19th, and if you're tidying with me over the next 7 days, the plan is to be finished in time for the first day of spring on March 20th (or the March Equinox if you are located in the Southern Hemisphere). This tidying challenge is based on the KonMari method, and I was hugely inspired by these three resources: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

To help with the process, I put together this calendar, which shows all the different categories I'll be tidying during the 30 day challenge. Depending on your situation, you may want to tackle this project over a number of months, and that is totally ok too! You can still use the calendar--just follow the order, but take more time for each set of categories.

On Day 24, we'll be tidying rain gear, emergency supplies, flashlights, and first aid kits.



Just one thought on Day 24:

We have a lot of everything, except for things we might actually need in the event of an emergency. Today's subset of categories threw me for a loop. I have so much in every single category of items, except for emergency supplies. Hubby and I don't even have a proper first aid kit! While I'm not looking to purchase anything right now, I was curious as to what type of items I should have on hand in case of an emergency.

In terms of an emergency kit, the Government of Canada website suggests these items:

Basic emergency kit checklist:
  • Water — two litres of water per person per day (include small bottles)
  • Food that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace once a year)
  • Manual can opener
  • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Wind-up or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys for your car and house
  • Cash, travellers' cheques and change
  • Important family documents such as identification, insurance and bank records
  • Emergency plan — include a copy in your kit as well as contact information
Consider these additional emergency kit supplies:
  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place in sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items
  • Hand sanitizer, toilet paper and garbage bags
  • Prepaid phone card, mobile phone charger
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Infant formula, baby food and supplies
  • Activities for children like books, puzzles or toys
  • Prescription medications, medical equipment
  • Utensils, plates and cups
  • Household chlorine bleach or water purifying tablets
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, pocket knife)
  • Small fuel-operated stove and fuel
  • Whistle (to attract attention)
  • Duct tape
In terms of a first aid kit, the Canadian Red Cross website suggests the following:
  • Emergency telephone numbers for EMS/9-1-1, your local poison control centre, and your personal doctors
  • Home and office phone numbers for family members, friends, or neighbours who can help
  • Sterile gauze pads (dressings) in small and large squares to place over wounds
  • Adhesive tape
  • Roller and triangular bandages to hold dressings in place or to make an arm sling
  • Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Instant ice packs
  • Disposable non-latex gloves, such as surgical or examination gloves
  • Flashlight, with extra batteries in a separate bag
  • Antiseptic wipes or soap
  • Pencil and pad
  • Emergency blanket
  • Eye patches
  • Thermometer
  • Barrier devices, such as a pocket mask or face shield
  • Coins for pay phone
  • Canadian Red Cross first aid manual
Fortunately, even though they are not stored all together as part of a "kit," hubby and I do have a number of the items on the above lists. I'm going to go through the list with hubby so we can make a joint decision on whether we want to purchase any of the items we do not have on hand.

Thank you for tuning into Day 24! If you're tidying alongside me, please let me know how you're doing. I would love to hear about your journey and if you have any tips or tricks to share. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 25.

Note: not sponsored. Amazon affiliate links included above.

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