KonMari: A Simple Way to Organize with Shoeboxes

Organizing my home is not often my strong suit.

I can organize thoughts and information like a boss, but I’d rather spend my energy writing or spending time with my husband and friends than reconfiguring my small space. Like most creatives, I work most efficiently under deadline, so that means my home is at its cleanest when the pressure is on: my weekly Dinner Group is coming over or company is coming to stay.

After a recent social media onslaught of praise for the book, I started reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. At first, I was skeptical. I have read plenty of articles about how to pare down my wardrobe and create systems to clean my apartment. But even though I have consumed a ton of information on the subject, I just have not found a way to consistently keep my apartment clean for more than a few days. I have tried to embrace the idea that creative life is just messy. But then I find myself procrastinating the thing I want to do most (write) in favor of putting my space back in order.

The KonMari method developed by Kondo operates under the assumption that you have to start with eliminating excess first. While this is common sense, it can be a significant challenge for more sentimental people (like me) to do. What counts as excess? Kondo tells us to make our decision by trusting our gut. Pick up each object and ask the question, “Does this spark joy?”

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Well-Rounded Summer Reading for 2015

Kicking off my
Kicking off my “summer” reading last month in San Diego
bibliophile: n. a person who collects or has a great love of books.

This describes me well. These days I seem to read at least two books at once, and if I am loving them, you are sure to hear about it. My master “to read” list is sitting at a hefty 205 titles. I check my Amazon wishlist regularly to see if any titles I have been eyeing have gone on sale so I can snatch them up immediately. I will sacrifice sleep to finish a good book.  If I’m not reading, something is seriously wrong.

I made a goal to read 25 books in 2015, across the categories of Non-Fiction/Memoir, Fiction, Business/Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, and Relationships. I picked five in five different categories because I tend to “read to steal” – I like to read how I like to write. It makes me a better writer, and books by authors who blog also tend to be faster reads. However, I want to balance that impulse with other genres in order to be a more well-rounded reader and writer.

Because I love goals and the start of summer is as good a time as any for some new ones, I thought I would share what is on my current summer reading list.

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29 Lessons I Learned in My Twenties

29 Lessons MIMSC

Yesterday was my last day in my twenties. As strange as it seems to let go of this decade (already?!), I am looking forward to my thirties and what the future holds.

This has been a wonderful, frustrating, identity shaping, and tear-jerker of a decade. As I approach thirty, I’m choosing to believe the best is yet to come. Looking back, here are some of the most important lessons I learned in my twenties.

1. You have issues. Start dealing with them.
We all have wounds from childhood and past relationships. The sooner you admit this and start working towards healing and wholeness, the more you will have to offer the world.

2. City life as a 20-something is a blast.
I finished college in Philly, lived five minutes outside of downtown Knoxville while working my first real job out of school, and spent the last five years living in Hoboken. With endless opportunities for entertainment, food, and culture right outside my door, it would have been had to imagine living this decade of my life anywhere else.

3. God is listening and speaks to us.
For years I threw my prayers in God’s direction, and walked away hoping God would later hunt me down and give me an answer. Over the last decade I’ve learned that there is greater value in being silent before God than talking God’s ear off.

4. Heartbreak is inevitable, but can be worth it.
It’s pretty much a guarantee that if you fall in love in your 20’s, you’re also likely to have your heart shattered. Still, taking a big leap for love to find out if its worth it (even if its not) can lead to learning your most important lessons.

5. You probably won’t land your dream job.
Most of us in our twenties think we will have “arrived” in our careers by now… even though we’ve been working for less than a decade. There are a lucky few of us who have, but the good news is the majority are still figuring out what’s next.

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