How I Feel After Truly Tidying Up My Home

tidyI picked up The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo several weeks ago after hearing its praises sung. I love a tidy house, I love order, I love a clutter-free living space. For me, a tidy home brings greater relaxation and harmony.  Who doesn’t need more of those?!

I thought I was fairly tidy, but after reading Kondo’s book, I knew I wasn’t as tidy as I could be. Her method, which is known as the Kon-Mari method, teaches you to tidy in a very distinct order:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (aka Miscellany)

The way she tells you to decide whether or not to keep something is to ask yourself whether or not an item brings you joy. (As a side note, obviously this would not apply to something practical but necessary, like medications or a toothbrush, but those items would not be included in tidying). If it doesn’t bring you joy, discard it – either trash or donate, as applicable.  I adhered to her method faithfully and here is what happened.

First, I went through all our clothes – all of them.  I had to get real with myself – “Do I really like this?”  “Is this something I enjoy wearing?”  “Is this something I feel confident wearing?” I asked myself these types of questions and it helped me to purge maybe 20% of an already pared down wardrobe.  I did the same for my daughter and my husband took care of his clothes and purged as well.  I organized my drawers by rolling my sweaters and pants so that I can see every item when I open the drawer.  I organized my closet by camisoles, short sleeve, long sleeve, and dresses.  It’s pretty easy to get dressed now, and I don’t miss anything.

Next was books – which is a big deal for me, as I am an avid reader and literature lover.  Still, I forced myself to answer the questions, “Do you really feel drawn to this book?”  “Is this a book you truly love and want to keep?” I got rid of two boxes of books and now my book collection is nice, tidy, and manageable.

This book also motivated me to round up every single piece of paper in our home and either toss or keep.  I could not believe how many old bank statements, bills, and useless miscellany were cluttering drawers and boxes in my home.  It was very satisfying to file the papers all in a pretty box I found at Target, which is where I put all our important documents.  Now everything is in one place.

Finally, I went through all the rest – the miscellany, or komono – “junk drawers”, kitchen cabinets, and every other thing that hadn’t already been organized.  By this point it was easy to get rid of items that did not spark happiness.

I finished decluttering our home a few weeks ago, and I love the results.  There is more room, there is a system for items that come in the house.  It is easier to find things and easier to put things away.  Areas are less cluttered and more organized.

In short, our home is less cluttered and I for one am happier for it.  And we don’t miss any of the material things we tossed or donated.

Have you read this book?  Have you ever thought of decluttering your home?


Current Fall Favorites


These are a few products I have really been enjoying the last few weeks!

CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray – With aloe leaf juice and glycerin as the first two ingredients, this product starts off really well.  Throw in tons of skin soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients, and you have a super spray.  I’ve talked about this product here and the different ways I’ve used it since purchasing.  I recently decanted this into a glass bottle with a more delicate spray nozzle so that I can use it on my face before and after makeup.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beauty Oil – I picked this oil up when my husband and I were out of town and I was out of face oil.  I smelled the tester in a natural store we were in, and it smelled so divine.  If you like the smell of roses and love facial oils…just try this.  And for a natural oil, the price point is excellent.

Givescent Signature Perfume – This roller ball perfume is made of pure oils and smells spicy and sensuous with vanilla and citrus.  To me, this scent is perfect year round. The brand is cruelty-free and gives a portion of their proceeds to worldwide charities.

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush – Dense bristles and a narrow shape make this brush perfect for applying bronzer.  I’ve used it with both powder and cream products and it works perfectly with both.

Real Techniques Setting Brush – I love this brush so much for setting my eye area with powder.  Now that the weather is dry and getting cooler, I’m not powdering the rest of my face, but this is perfect for the eyes and around the nose.

Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit Deodorant – OK, I think this is my new favorite deodorant.  I’ve said that before, but this one really is my favorite so far.  There are a lot of pros with this: easy to find in stores and online, decent price point for a natural deodorant, smells nice, comes in a twist-up stick applicator, and doesn’t contain often-irritating baking soda. Yes, yes, yes!

Essence of Vali Sleep Oil – When I got this in my last Petit Vour box (I recently cancelled my subscription), I was unimpressed with the trial size vial of this essential oil blend.  But then I smelled it.  And then I put a few drops on my pillowcase one night.  Now, I love it and try to remember to use it every night before bed.  The scent is so soothing and calming and helps me calm down before sleep.

Have you tried any of these products?  What are some of your current favorite products?

Thoughts on Living Life for What Really Matters


My husband and I – Photo Credit

I looked inward recently and realized I’ve been too absorbed in material things – primarily beauty products.  I love lipstick, but it ISN’T life, you know?  It never will be.  People and experiences and peace…they are things of life.  I’ve been spending too much money on things the past few months, again, mostly beauty products.  When I step back, I realize – I don’t need these things.  I need very simple things.

This is a simple list of non-things that are very important to me.

Dates with my husband at least twice a month – something as significant as a concert or going to the city, or as simple as dinner alone at a romantic cafe.

Giving my child at least a few minutes of my undivided attention – This lets her know I hear her – I am listening to what she is saying.  And then I give feedback or respond to her.

Giving my child proper discipline – My child needs to know I love her, but she needs to learn discipline and right from wrong.  I try to always practice “follow through” – if I tell her something will happen if she does or doesn’t do X or Y, then I follow through with the consequence.  I hope this helps her learn valuable lessons.

Making time for myself an absolute priority – I don’t want my well to run dry – when I feel like it’s getting low, I get cranky and irritable, which isn’t fair to me or anyone else! Examples of things that I enjoy just for myself are reading, watching YouTube videos, doing my nails, taking walks, and even naps!

Finding zen  in thankless tasks – I could let myself get irritated due to the dozens of menial but necessary tasks that I do daily. They are tasks that often go completely unnoticed and unappreciated.  Putting laundry away, taking care of the dogs, cleaning up small messes, making dinner, washing dishes – you get the idea.  However, I like being useful and having the strength and health to take care of my home and family.  Also, these are things I would do even if I lived alone, which is a big thing to remember. I often remind myself to find peace in simple, thankless tasks.

Practicing gratitude for something in my life everyday – As someone who struggles with anxiety almost daily, I have found that anxiety helps me experience more gratitude.  When something is going well, or something made me smile, I feel very grateful.  Sometimes it’s something as simple as being grateful for heat in my home to keep me warm, or cabinets full of good food. I’m grateful for the ability to take trips and vacations and have weekends away. I’m grateful for a healthy daughter.  I’m grateful for lots of things, and I’m always looking around seeing more and more to be thankful for in my life.

What are the experiences and joys that matter most in your life?

Honest Beauty: A Review of 3 Products


I’ve been a fan of The Honest Co since I signed up for a bundle subscription a couple of years ago.  When I found out they were launching a separate beauty line, I was so excited to try a few things to see how they performed.  For my first purchase, I picked up an SPF moisturizer, mascara, and brow filler.  Read on to see my thoughts on these products!


Honest Beauty Truly Lush Mascara & Lash Primer


Up until now, my favorite clean mascara that I’ve tried has been the W3LL People Expressionist Mascara.  Although the W3LL People is still fantastic, I like the Honest Beauty Lash Primer & Mascara better.  First, I coat my lashes with the white primer and let them air dry for about 1 minute.  Then I go in with the mascara.  Truth – I don’t even really need to curl my eyelashes if I don’t want to!  I feel like my lashes get so long that it almost looks like I’m wearing false lashes. I love this mascara!


Honest Beauty Brow Filler in Dark Blonde –


First, I think this is a great product.  I don’t have anything to compare it to, because I have never used a brow product like this before.  The problem I have, specific to me, is that one of my eyebrows has a dreaded bald spot that will not be filled in with the product as well as I’d like it to.  The only thing that gets the job done is a brow pomade.  If it wasn’t for that pesky bald spot of mine, this product would be perfectly adequate for me.  I do love the spoolie and the brow color.


Honest Beauty Sheer Tint Beauty Fluid SPF 30

honestbeautyfluidswatchI picked this up as my fall/winter tinted sunscreen.  I’ve just recently switched to using this because I just finished my tube of Coola Tinted Matte Suncreen with SPF – which I love for summer.  The Honest Beauty Sheer Tint is so hydrating for the colder temps that are on their way, due to ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid.  The coverage is minimal, as with most tinted moisturizers.  The scent is mild and floral.  I have not had any skin issues since I started using this.  A+!

Have you tried any products from Honest Beauty line?  Are there any items that you want to try?