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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cottage Life - Blooms and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Every fall I bring my geraniums in the cottage to over-winter, and they reward me with pretty blooms. This is one of them in my kitchen garden window.




I didn't think my Christmas Cactus was going to bloom this year, but suddenly I see buds. Not exactly blooming at Christmas, but I'll take it nevertheless.





Last week I wrote about my closet purge. I enjoyed reading your comments, and learned that there are many of us on the path to a simpler, more uncluttered (and dare I say, minimal) lifestyle. 

It's amazing how just that one step of eliminating excess items from my wardrobe has motivated me to go further with my purging. I ordered a book through our library system titled the life-changing magic of tidying up - the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. I'm probably the only person in the world who hasn't already heard of this 3 year-old book and the KonMari method. 




Let's face it, there are a bazillion books, pamphlets, articles and blogs devoted to home organization, decluttering, downsizing, yada yada. . .and I've gotten some help from each one I've read over the last 30 years. Marie's book -- and specifically her KonMari method --  intrigued me because she deals with more than just organizing your stuff. In fact, she doesn't even address organization until first the clutter is eliminated.  

I've only just begun reading her book, but I've got a good feeling about this. I'm taking notes as I go and will share what I learn, but something that resonated with me last night is this:

"Before you start, visualize your destination. . .Think in concrete terms so you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space."

As a creative type, I get the visualization part. I have to envision the end product before I begin the creative process. Having a clear vision of what that looks like is what drives me,  and gives my work purpose. 

Thanks for joining me on the journey. I'm excited about where I'm going.





37 comments:

  1. I have heard of this method, but haven't read the book. I am interested to see how your journey goes, Nancy. I like the idea of getting rid of the clutter, first. I mean why organize things you don't need or aren't going to use...and I see a lot of people doing that. Ps...pretty flowers. Geraniums remind me of my mom. She used to bring them in the house over the winter and store them in the dark crawl space in paper bags. Yours look much prettier on the windowsill! ;)

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  2. I must get the book and start reading. My issue is letting go. I hear she helps with that :-)

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  3. Cleaning out closets is somehow the best feeling. Your beautiful indoor blooms must put a spring in your step these wintry days.
    Mary Alice

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  4. Hi Nancy, I get the visualization part, too. It is something that drives me with each project that I do and so much a part of who I am. Now, by poor Steve does not have it at all, so I draw pictures and take measurements and do my best to describe my "Honey-Do's" to him. He is great at building but must have a black and white pre-made plan.
    Your flowers are beautiful, they must be a delight to have in your window to enjoy while waiting on spring.

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  5. My Christmas Cactus finally bloomed this year too. I was giving up hope too. She showed me! lol
    As far as decluttering.... I try, but I love stuff, even in this small house ;) I really need to get to my closet though. I've found that I only wear a few things too and the rest just takes up space. I think you've motivated me to finally get to it!

    xoxo,
    rue

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  6. Nancy, I read the book, too...and while I didn't follow that exact method I used a lot of the concepts. It has felt so good to have let go of so much. The things I kept are things that I need to sell. I have donated tons of stuff and repuposed other things. It is freeing to let go of that which does not bring you joy---things that are boxed up for 'someday'. xo Diana

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  7. Your blooming plants are so pretty! Our geranium that we pulled inside has been losing it's buds before it blossoms lately. I am not sure why. The book you read sounds very interesting!

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  8. Some of my "clutter" comes from older family members with a lot of history and memories attached. I feel obligated to keep the items and to display them, yet I would like to part with some of it.

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    1. Hi. Hope I'm not intruding, but read your comment. For the family pieces, you might try taking a couple pictures of the item, then write a story (doesn't have to be long), adding a pic of who you received it from. Then, if you CAN part with it, how about giving it to a younger family member. You keep the pictures, they'll have a "new to them" treasure?

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  9. There was a time when I would go through the house like a mad woman thinking I was going "declutter" an entire house in a few hours. It never worked. The system I have in place now works for me. Currently I am thinking KITCHEN . . . "I did spices" a few days ago. My, oh, my, did that organization and sorting out, feel good. Another day, "I did drawers" . . . I am still in the kitchen . . . and I am still calm. Spice declutter meant some "throw away" . . .
    Drawers . . . I did plenty of "clearing out" and adding to my Kitchen Box
    of things going to resale shops.

    Another focus I have had has been BOOKS . . .
    I am loving donating my books to my local library . . .

    Little by little, I am clearing out, cleaning up, decluttering . . . and quite calm too!

    Love your winter color! I did that with my Hibiscus one year . . . bloomed all winter inside!

    Enjoy your Tidy Up days . . .

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  10. Isn't it funny how starting one project leads to another? What a great feeling to have extra space. Good luck on your journey Nancy ☺

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  11. Nancy, I found you on fb through another friend. I really enjoy your posts. I've read Marie Kondo's ideas. Lots of useful info, even if you don't follow every single rule. It just feels SO good to get a little order back to some of those clutter catching spots, doesn't it? Your blooms are so pretty. I just got an amaryllis to bloom and having fun with that.

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  12. Hi Nancy,
    I read Marie's book last year. It really helped me regarding my clothing. She has many good ideas. I am looking forward to your review.
    Carla

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  13. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks. I do enjoy my flowering plants. :)

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  14. I bought that book about a year ago - and haven't read it or done anything with it yet! I also bought her second book! Of course, life has been a bit chaotic for most of the last year so I think I'll get to it soon. I'm in a new situation - I now own my mother's house FULL of antiques and collectibles that are beautifully displayed. I'm carefully choosing what will come live at my home and what will be good memories. I spent quite a bit of time taking photos before I began to remove things so I'll always have the sweet memories of her darling home and the things that were treasures to her. There was a story behind each one of them!
    ~Adrienne~

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  15. It's always nice to get the cottage ready for SPRING!!!! It's coming, I just feel it!

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  16. Hi...i too am on a mission..to get it GONE..just yesterday i listed a lot of things on eBay..i will be busy doing that again today..an by the looks of it..the weekend too, i'm thinking with the processes i can buy paint for my walls..an some furniture pieces i've long wanted to paint..oh an Thanks for posting about the book, i never heard of it myself, i'll add it to my list for the library. Hope you have a Wonderful weekend.!

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    1. Thanks, Wende. I like your plan of selling things to have money for sprucing up. I love the public library. Books and movies to borrow for free and then return so I don't have to store them. Yes!

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  17. Ahhhhh Nancy such pretty blooms. Oh how I cannot wait for Spring flowers and summer flowers to start to appear. Now that we are going to have to sell again I am in the process of purging and organizing too. Have a great rest of the week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  18. I sure enjoyed the blooms, thanks for sharing. I also read Marie Kondo's book, it is very good. I belong to a blog called "The Minimalist". I enjoy reading all the stories that she posts of other people's journey to paring down. I would like to be a true minimalist, but alas, I enjoy decorating too much to ever be able to do that. I find no matter what I do I still have a desire to cozy up things in the winter and use darker colors, and then to lighten things up in the summer and pare down. But I am constantly trying to eliminate unnecessary items and recycle them to friends and family. Good luck in your journey of purging, maybe you will inspire me. I did do some purging in my closet after your post about it.

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  19. Your header looks like my Daughters cottage in downtown Rockland. Maine. She is moving back to WPB, Fl. I will miss her but want her happy. I want to start on my closet this week snowed in. Fleel like I am in an igloo. They just raked 3 feet of snow off my roof. The french doors are covered in roof snow. Liked your blog. my first visit. Yvonne

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  20. Your header looks like my Daughters cottage in downtown Rockland. Maine. She is moving back to WPB, Fl. I will miss her but want her happy. I want to start on my closet this week snowed in. Feel like I am in an igloo. They just raked 3 feet of snow off my roof. The french doors are covered in roof snow. Liked your blog. my first visit. Yvonne

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  21. Such pretty blooms. How they must brighten your sweet little cottage. I do love the feel of simplicity. I continue to declutter and spruce up our little cottage. We are enjoying a week of 60 and 70 degree days. Quite unusual for this time of the year in Kansas. We have the feel of springtime.

    Blessings & Hugs

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  22. I think the part of the book that was life changing for me was to let go of things that you feel obligated to keep...and sentimental things that I never look at and our girls don't want. That was a lot of "stuff" hanging around our house! I literally sold (and donated) a garage full of vintage goods and I don't miss a single thing.

    Your flowers are so healthy looking! What a nice pop of spring color in the middle of winter!

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  23. Your plants are so pretty. I am having trouble with my indoor plants at the moment. I gave one some slow release fertaliser and it looks like it's not going to make it. I don't know why the feed should kill it. It was only the little pellets.
    Good luck with your organising,it always feels good to clear out.
    jeanette

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    1. I have very little experience with slow release fertilizers at my home, as I'm a Miracle Gro user. However, when I worked at the nursery last summer the owner showed me how to apply the pellets. Just a very little sprinkled around the base of the plant, careful not to touch the leaves.

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  24. What a gorgeous bloom by your kitchen window!

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  25. Her book sounds so intriguing, I've only heard great things about it! Organizing and purging are always a good thing, aren't they? I'm on that journey around our home, only keeping things I really love, and adding things that are divinely beautiful and meaningful to us.

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    1. I totally agree with you. The thought of only having things in our cottage that bring me joy is very appealing, and very motivating. Good luck in your own journey. Thanks for visiting.

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  26. So lovely and I really longing for springtime now...
    Have a happy weekend!
    Titti

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    1. Oh yes, I am longing for spring, as well. Finally the snow is melting here and I was able to shovel a walk to the garden shed. Thanks for visiting.

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  27. Your plants look so joyful, Nancy! They sure help us to get through the winter, no?

    Glad you're feeling inspired to declutter, further. Tidying up is another spring yearning. Hope you'll share more of your insights with us.

    Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. I'm always happy when I see flowers inside our home in winter. They do make me smile, Anne. I will be sharing more about my tidying up.

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  28. I like your flowers....they made me smile!

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    1. Thank you, Ronda. With all the snow we still have here, it really helps to have some blooms indoors. :)

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