Stop Stressing and Tidy On

Stop Stressing and Tidy On

When I take a hard long look at my life there are a few undeniable facts that I can’t ignore.  I have a loving family and a beautiful home.  Overall, I am an overwhelmingly lucky woman.  But when I look around at my life, I am constantly stressed out.

In my post “Let it Go“, I went room by room and purged.  I was amazed by how much stuff I had.  But when two homes are combined, you realize how much stuff you have and how much stuff you have been hiding from yourself.  We made several trips to Goodwill, Salvation Army and Dress for Success.  I have also earned money through a garage sale, consignment shops and selling to Thredup.  But even though I thought I had everything under control, I did not truly learn to “let it go”.

So now I jump forward to today and what has changed?  Not much.  I am constantly picking up stuff in every room.  Each day I think I can find a better home for my possessions.  And at the end of the day, my home is a mess and I am exhausted.  And the one place that is supposed to give me solice, my bedroom, is the worst place in my home.  I wake up every morning, looking around and instantly feel stressed and exhausted by the appearance of my bedroom.  I can’t even imagine what my husband thinks (I guess I can because at times he just can’t hold in the stress it causes him as well).

There are two types of stress: 1) stress I can’t control and 2) stress that controls me. There is no reason to even discuss stress I can’t control, but it is exactly that, out of my control.  But, stress I can control, now that’s a totally different subject.

The areas that give me the greatest stress are my cluttered home, my appearance, my health and finding my purpose in life.  I can give you every excuse in the world for why all of these things aren’t better, but when it comes down to it, it is me.

One of my favorite hobbies is to learn more about organization.  I have read so many books, but seem to enjoy the excitement of reading the books and the passion of the author rather than fully following through with organizing my life.

When I finally read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, one book finally addressed all of my stresses.  Marie Kondo talks about the power of tidying your life and the overwhelming impact it can have on every aspect of your life.  One of the first steps I am embracing is picturing what I want my life to look like.  This does not mean picturing things but picturing how you want a space to feel like and how you want to live your life.

This idea has given me hope.  The process is basically simple but oh so indepth.  What sparks joy?  Over and over, that is the ultimate goal of the KonMari method, to fill your life with only things that spark joy.  When I read this, it speaks to me.  This is what I have been searching for.

The six basic rules of tidying with the KonMari Method are as follows:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

3. Finish discarding first

4. Tidy by category, not by location

5. Follow the right order

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy


Now that I have my blueprint, where do I start?  The KonMari Method recommends a specific order: clothes, books, papers, miscelllany and finally sentimental items.  I, like many people, tend to hold on to things longer than I should.  I don’t know if it’s the sentimentality or the idea of wasted money but I have a hard time getting rid of things.  I think it’s finally time to let go of a lot and move forward.

I read an amazing quote recently from The Tidy Mom that was just the kick in the pants that I needed to start this journey.

When we look ahead instead of behind, we’re creating space for life to be lived instead of holding on to a part of time that can never again be more than a memory.  – the Tidy Mom


Davonne Parks, thank you for bringing motivation and inspiration in my battle to tidy my life and get rid of the stress.

I am ready to look ahead and am tired of holding on to the past.  The past holds jobs I hated, jobs I loved, friends I’ve lost, family I’ve lost, lost loves, a thinner self and the sadness of divorce.  I am ready and just need to look forward and embrace what I have, what I love and the life that is directly in front of me.

My journey to remove the bad stress from my life starts with using the KonMari blueprint to decluttering my life, toddler in tow.  The toddler part will definitely add a degree of difficulty to the task, but I’m up for it.  With added guidance from Organizing Moms, Realistic KonMari for Moms, it’s now or never.



KonMari step 1


…to be continued (10 bags down and many more to go)


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How to Survive Girl Scout Cookie Season

Two families. One Girl Scout. One large cookie goal.


When I was growing up, I was never a Girl Scout. It was something I perceived as clickish and it was a group that my parents decided not to put my sister and I in. There was also definite expenses to being a Girl Scout and that was more of a want and not a need. My parents were young and on a budget. Since I was never part of it, I didn’t miss anything.

Well, my life is extremely different from my parents. They had kids in their early and mid 20’s and I had mine in my very late 30’s. I also have two step-kids which makes life very different and ever-changing. I know nothing else than being a step parent because I have had the blessing to be a step parent twice. And I have to say, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have loved all four of my step kids more than words can say.  They are all truly amazing in their own unique ways.

cookie zone

Now back to the topic of Girl Scout Cookie Season. How to survive this crazy season?

My stepdaughter changed troops this year.  Her new troop is absolutely amazing.  They are one of the top troops in the state.  They know how to make a difference in the community, develop young strong leaders and sell cookies.  Last year my Girl Scout sold about 250 boxes of cookies.  This year, she decided her goal would be 1000.  Now this is a big jump, but with amazing leadership and a drive I have never seen in her before, I know she can make it.

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4 Ways to Cut the Fat … out of the budget

Now that the decision has been made to be a stay-at-home mom, it’s time to cut the fat out of our budget.  Cutting our income in half, is tough, but with hard work and budgeting it is possible to still have a great life.  Going out to eat 4 days a week is now out of the question, but so far, I haven’t missed it.

When I say “cutting the fat” I am referring to really looking at what our family needs and loves, not just wants.  After looking at the budget, there were four main areas to focus on: Insurance, Cable/Internet, Groceries and Entertainment.

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Strabismus, a childhood journey

imageThis is me.  Yes, I was an adorable child.  This is probably my very favorite childhood picture.  I was happy and energetic.  I was a little bit of an imp, and I prided myself in that.  I was pretty much a healthy child, but I was born with a condition called Strabismus (“struh-BIZ-mus”). describes Strabismus as a vision problem in which both eyes do not look at the same point at the same time.  Basically, strabismus is an eye condition that makes the eye muscles not work together, which causes double vision.  Strabismus is most often diagnosed during early childhood and it is thought to be genetic.  Continue reading


Top Things Nobody Tells New Moms

From Mommy Thumb to Breastfeeding, there are so many things that people just don't want to tell new moms.


I remember being pregnant with my son, all the excitement and eagerness for his arrival.  I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but was actually kind of excited about the sleepless nights and changing diapers.  I know it sounds weird, but I really was.  But what really shocked me as a new mom, were the amount of things that nobody told me about.  So for all of you new or expecting moms out there, here is my list of the Top Things Nobody Tells New Moms.

Breastfeeding Is Hard

Don’t completely believe the published numbers for successful breastfeeding mothers.  If you look at 2014 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card, it is reported that approximately 80% of all new mother’s breastfeed.  When I looked at that number, I said to myself, of course I’m going to breastfeed.  It can’t be that hard if 80% of women do it, and for the state I live in it’s closer to 92%.  But that is usually where most articles stop.  So, when I couldn’t produce enough milk and stopped breastfeeding after a short time, I felt like a complete failure.  (I did have some extenuating circumstances, but that will be for another post.)  When you look deeper into the numbers, it really is a different story. Continue reading