3 Reasons Why You Should Declutter Your Home

Every January I get this overwhelming feeling to declutter my home and get rid of unnecessary stuff.  Putting away Christmas decorations and throwing out the tree feels so good to me and that is what jump starts my decluttering.  It may have something to do with the feeling that comes with the start of a New Year.  Starting over and starting fresh.  I am doing this in a more extreme way than I ever have before this January.  Certain things that I just couldn’t let go of before I am not hesitating getting rid of now.

Mid Century Modern Dining Area Reveal

Last year I read the book by Marie Kondo, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and it changed my world.  I started discarding in the order the book suggests, starting with clothes.  I then moved on to books, and then papers.  I threw out bags and bags of stuff.  I also bought a paper shredder and shredded probably 30 pounds of paper… I’m not even kidding.  It felt amazing and liberating.  I got rid of the two annoying, eye sore piles of miscellaneous stuff on our kitchen counter top.  Check out that post here!  I had plans to keep going but life got crazy and busy and I never actually finished discarding and tidying EVERY category.

One year later I am happy to say that our clothes are still folded as Marie suggests.  I will never go back to the old way because this way makes so much more sense.  I have also done better with controlling piles on the counter top and keeping up with discarding or shredding papers right away.  But many areas in my home continue to accrue clutter and I feel like I am constantly “picking up” the same areas and things over and over again.  So I knew it was time to finish the Kon-Mari method in my home.  No more procrastinating!  And no more holding on to things that don’t bring me joy!

Getting My House in Order the Kon-Mari Way

This last weekend, I convinced Dax to help me tackle our three storage rooms in the basement.  Yes, three. Ridiculous I know!  I counted at least 30 empty boxes that we threw out from these storage rooms.  Most of them pretty large… including the box to our 55″ TV that we bought over two years ago.  We kept all these boxes “just in case” and NEVER needed them.  I was SO excited to discover how much space we had once we got rid of all that stuff.   We took one load to the dump and one to the thrift store to donate.  I have also sold several things online.  It’s a lot of work to tackle your clutter and sometimes hard decisions must be made.  But if you simply ask yourself what is suggested by Marie Kondo- “Does this spark joy?” it will make the hard decisions a little easier and you will know when it’s time to let go of something.

Spring Cleaning

Life is messy… kids are messy.  So why not just ignore the clutter and accept it as part of life?  Well I have three reasons why you should confront your clutter and resolve it once and for all!

1.  You will actually be able to find and utilize what you have

Shortly before we cleaned out our storage rooms, I bought light bulbs because I thought we didn’t have any.  Well….. come to find out we had several boxes of them haha.  It’s hard to utilize what you have when it’s lost in a mess!  More than once I have searched and searched for something I knew I had but didn’t know where I put it.  Organizing what you have and keeping similar things in the same place definitely helps with this.  What is the point of having something if you can’t find it or don’t even realize you have it?

2.  Rid yourself of the guilt you feel when you see things in your home that you never use

This might seem like a weird concept to some people, but when Marie mentioned it in her book I could totally relate!  Especially with clothes.  I would see a dress or shirt hanging in my closet that I wore maybe once or twice ever and feel guilty for not wearing it more or liking it more.  I have also done this with home decor in the past… I feel guilty for not wanting to hang up a certain clock or picture.  I once loved the item.. but not anymore.  When you declutter your home and get rid of things like this…. you no longer have to deal with that dumb guilt.  Bottom line:  if it doesn’t spark joy then don’t keep it!

3.  When you declutter your home, you can also clear (or declutter) your mind

Life is busy and chaotic.  We all know this.  Adding a cluttered house on top of that only adds to the stress.  Messy rooms have always been a distraction for me.  When I was in college, if my room was messy I absolutely could not focus enough to study.  I had to stop and completely clean my room or go to a library.  The feeling that comes with an organized, decluttered, and sometimes quite empty space is so much more calming.  When my home is clean and decluttered, I can better focus on other things that require my attention.  You will notice this even more if you clear away clutter in an extremely messy area of your house… the contrast will be intense!

Tribal Chic Office/Studio Reveal

I hope this inspires all of you to take on your clutter!  I highly recommend “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  Nothing will be left to question when it comes to discarding and tidying in your home.  I’m still not completely done with my decluttering journey but I’ve made huge leaps over the past couple of weeks.  I’ve also learned a little lesson about letting go.  It was surprisingly easy… I just had to make myself be a little more practical.  So get to work!  And let me know how it goes!

xo

Kemley

4 Tips to Remember While Spring Cleaning

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Hey everyone!  So today I’m going to go over 4 tips to remember while Spring cleaning!  Just recently I started into Spring cleaning my house, and wow it is time consuming!  Growing up, my mom always “Spring Cleaned” the house every Spring, which included things like washing walls and windows.  Now that I have a house of my own I’m figuring out what works best for me with my own Spring cleaning and I’ve decided to share 4 tips about Spring cleaning!

4 Tips:

#1:  Ajax is your best friend.  If something needs to be scrubbed off, including hard water on faucets and fridge ice/water machines, Ajax is where it’s at!  That powder is like magic and it’s also like $1.  The cheapest, most effective cleaner out there I swear!  It also did a great job cleaning the underside of our microwave/vent which is above our stove and was a yucky, greasy mess.  I also use Ajax to scrub our tubs, and it works wonders on getting rid of soap residue.   Just toss some of that powder onto a scrubber and go to work!  Shown below are my go-to cleaners for everyday cleaning and Spring cleaning!

  • Lysol bathroom cleaner
  • Windex and Sprayway glass cleaners
  • Ajax!!
  • Pledge for dusting
  • I also use Lysol Kitchen cleaner and 409

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#2:  Blinds require special attention.  I have come to the conclusion that just lightly dusting off blinds is not good enough.  I found that the best way to get nice, new looking blinds is to wipe each and every slate, often more than once because dust smears.  I fill a bucket with warm water and little bit of dish soap, get the rag wet in the soapy water, wring it out, and then add some 409 cleaner to the rag.  409 is awesome in getting rid of fingerprints and other grime that you wouldn’t think would be on your blinds.  It’s crazy how dirty blinds actually are once you get up close and really look at them.  Blinds definitely need to be cleaned every Spring, if not more often!  I’m all about practicality while cleaning, so if an old ice cream bucket works then it’s good enough for me!  Haha.  A fancy bucket isn’t going to get those blinds any cleaner!

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#3:  Good Smelling Scents are Important.  Whether you prefer candles or scentsy or home fragrance oil (like I do), get those good smells permeating your house!  Spring cleaning gets me excited to de-clutter and change up a space and good smells are necessary to get the feel of a renewed and refreshed space.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE home fragrance oils from Greenleaf!  My very favorite is a scent called “Hope”, it is lovely and the name totally fits it!  A close second is a scent called “Orange and Honey”.  The oil can be put in any warmer, but I prefer the light bulb ring.  It sits right on the light bulb in your lamp.  All you have to do is put several drops of oil in it, turn on the lamp, and pretty soon the house smells so good!  Just use a low 40 watt light bulb to prevent a slight burning smell that I have experienced with a higher watt bulb haha.  Visit Greenleaf’s website to find these amazing oils!

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#4:  Don’t stress out if your Spring cleaning takes longer than a day.  I honestly thought I could get my entire house done in one day.  My sweet little sister babysat Nash for 4 hours of the day and I seriously never got out of the kitchen in that 4 hours!  I then finished the cleaning day with Nash at home with me, which was not super productive because he is an 8 month old who doesn’t nap and likes to roll around and get into everything!  So in that day I got the kitchen appliances and cupboards really clean, the blinds and window sills in the kitchen and living room, and the baseboard in the kitchen and living room.  I didn’t want to brush over things really quick and not get things very clean just to get more done.  The quality was more important than the quantity.  This type of cleaning is only done once a year to this extent, so it is a time to be very thorough.

 

I am planning on getting the entire house done within the next couple weeks.  The main living space of our house is already feeling so much cleaner and fresher!  As a final touch, I cut some lilac sprigs from our yard and put them in a vase on our kitchen table.  It was so nice sitting there in my clean, fresh kitchen with fresh lilac on the table and the scent of the lilac and “Hope” floating through the air.  Perfection!  I hope this inspires you all to Spring clean your house!  I think all of us could use a cleaner house and it just feels SO GOOD.  It is worth all the hard work for sure!

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xo

Kemley

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year: Getting my House in Order the Kon-Mari Way

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I the love feeling I get when a new year starts.  This is when I get super motivated to declutter and clean up my house.  It feels so good to clear away clutter, especially after the overload of Christmas decorations.  Just recently I read the book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up- The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo.  And…. it changed my world!  New ideas I had never heard of in my life were presented in this book.  I have made a goal to “get my house in order” (as Marie calls it) as soon as possible.  The idea of the Kon-Mari method is that if you truly get your house in order once, you will never have to do it again.

Marie recommends tidying by category in a certain order.  The first category is clothing.  Basically you are to hold each item of clothing in your hands and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”  If not- discard it.  Don’t keep things because you think one day you will wear it (when you tell yourself that every year, yet never wear it).  It is the most liberating feeling in the world to finally make the decision to discard something and throw it in that discard pile.  Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to see items of clothing I never wear hanging in my closet and feel guilty for not wearing it.  Guilty for not loving it.  Weird I know.  So getting rid of these guilt causing items feels amazing.

I started this journey a few months ago and just barely finished discarding and organizing all of the clothing in our house.  It took me a lot longer with a new baby, I couldn’t just go crazy and take a whole day to do it.  I also wanted to do it right and not cut any corners.  I donated bags and bags of clothing.  When it comes to organizing clothing, Marie recommends folding and storing everything vertically. not horizontally.  She states in the book, “Every piece of clothing has it’s own ‘sweet spot’ where it feels just right–a folded states that best suits that item.”  Sounds crazy, but it’s SO true.  See the picture below, this is Nash’s top dresser drawer with his clothes stored vertically.  I love how I can see every item.  There is no digging in drawers and forgetting about an outfit because it’s buried.  The drawer dividers are Ikea Skubb Organizers and they are perfect for baby clothes.

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Putting away laundry used to be my least favorite job.  I don’t love it now by any means, but it is SO much easier to do.  I no longer have to put all my strength into forcing my husband’s work shirt drawer shut because it’s so stuffed.  Our closets are also so much more organized and tidy.  Our master bedroom does not have a walk in closet, unfortunately.  Instead it has two regular closets.  I now like my closet a lot more, even though it is not a walk in closet, because of how tidy it is.
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I am now ready to move on to discarding and tidying in the next category: books.  Which I think will go a lot faster than the clothing category.  I’m so pumped and motivatd to continue tidying and getting my house it order.  It is so liberating and amazing!  So buy this book and start your own journey to happiness and tranquility in your home!
XO
Kemley