Have you tidied up?
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My introduction to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came last summer in one of the most unlikely of places. Water-walking at the pool.
This funny (and wise!) group of women who spent their lunch-hours in the lazy river, all while soaking up the sunshine and chatting about life. I loved hanging out with them; what a treasure trove of stories, and wealth of great information.
Making a pie crust? They've got tips. The best place in town for dinner? They've got opinions. What happens if they run across a non-recipe sharer? (Hint: it's not pretty) The best sunscreen for every season of life? The best advice if you're a boss? (Hint: invest in a candy jar) Where to get a perfect manicure. And their secrets for
keeping a clean house
Surprisingly, no-one relied on a cleaning service. Most talked about their weekly or monthly schedule of tasks, though the specifics varied. One woman, on top of her daily chores, deep-cleaned a section every month. Her goal? To cover the entire house twice per year
Another? Well, she'd been tidying.
“You can borrow my book.”
Visions of our house, rooms, closets, the basement, and garage flashed through my mind (yikes!)
“Thanks! I'll let you know.”
I've been thinking of her an awful lot this past month. What started over the holiday break as a great idea to paint the living room has morphed into something much bigger: The Great Purge of 2016(!)
Since the living room looked so nice, we decided to tidy a bit while we're at it.
“Oh my gosh, that looks (and feels!) great. What room should we do next?”
The water-walking women would be terribly proud
Granted, at first blush, the Tidying Up approach is a little wacky. But honestly, there are some great pointers to be had
A few of my favorite Marie Kondo's tips?
Throw anything that doesn't “spark joy.” “Don't just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill. You must take each outfit in your hand.”
“Sort by category, not by location” How many times have I started in the closet, only to discover something that takes me back into the office, where I get distracted by the sea of owner's manuals mixed in with memories?
“Don't keep things you don't love” We tend to hold onto things, gifts in particular, out of feelings of guilt or obligation. “Presents are not ‘things,' but a means for conveying someone's feelings.”
Skip the Container Store “Don't buy organizing equipment, your home already has all the storage you need. Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But it's better to resist the urge to store (add storage), and instead, learn to live with what you love and need. To learn to ‘exercise self-control' “
Fold your clothes like sushi “Fold everything in a long rectangle, then fold that in upon itself to make a smaller rectangle, and then roll that up into a tube, like a sushi roll. Set them upright in your drawers.”
Hang clothes in rainbow order “Hang up anything that looks happier hung up, and arrange like with like, working from left to right, with dark, heavy clothing on the left. ‘Organizing them by category helps them feel more comfortable and secure.'”
Let your socks rest “Socks bust their chops for you, and if you ball them up, they don't get a chance to rest. The socks and stocking stored in your drawer as essentially on holiday.”
Get rid of papers. “There is nothing more annoying than papers. After all, they will never spark joy, no matter how carefully you keep them.”
“Cherish who you are now” With photos, she advocates looking at the one by one and applying the same rules about keeping only those that bring you joy.
Turns out my favorite water-walker is not only smart about tidying up, but she makes a mean appetizer as well. At this month's Spaghetti Saturday, her dates with gorgonzola were the most requested recipe.
The simplest of hors d'oeuvres: at once salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy. Next time you're hosting a few friends, put out a plate and watch them disappear
ps: For more recipes and stories from Spaghetti Saturdays .. here
~ Adapted from Martha Stewart Living | February 2016
Dates With Gorgonzola, Almonds, and Honey
- Gorgonzola Cheese (semi-firm blue cheese is a great alternative
- Sliced Almonds (optional, toasted)
- Cut a slit into each date and remove the pits (or buy them already pitted)
- Stuff each with a semi-firm blue cheese (or Gorgonzola)
- Finish with a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds and drizzle honey.