Monday, September 21, 2015

KonMari- some befores and afters

Currently, I'm in the middle of my KonMari festival. I've completed clothing, books, and toys. I may have some room to go back and re-do, but I'm satisfied so far. I've got papers next, which I have gathered all together and just need some time to do. I also have been collecting like things together so that it's easier when I reach that category, and I've been ditching every item I come across that I know does not spark 'joy', irregardless of category order. These rooms are nearly done and look great in my opinion, so I've posted some before/after pictures for you to enjoy. Please don't judge the messy before pictures too harshly!

Before and After: Corner of Living Room
Notes: Need to finish painting and probably find a new home for my daughters table and chairs.

Before and After: Living Room Bookshelf
Notes: Would like to hang the painting in a different location or at least not so close to bookshelf.

Before and After: Living Room Entryway
Notes: Not sure if I need to do anything here!

Before and After: Living Room
Notes: Get some curtains! Also would like to replace the sofa one day.

Before and After: Dining Room
Notes: Get some curtains!

I have many more places to finish- the bathroom, kitchen, my bedroom, the spare room/my daughters room, porch, mud room/laundry room, and the garage. I'm sure this really will take 6 months to finish, like the book says!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Turning the corner

Hello everyone!

Here's a thorough update on how things are going. I couldn't have written this in the recent past for shame, but now I feel like I can share. I've succeeded in dramatically slowing down my shopping for clothing and craft supplies in the last month (and am on a ban for both for at least this month, but probably longer). The odd thing-- I feel like I just turned a corner last night- I decided, I CAN DO THIS. I can fix this, and I think I know HOW. Suddenly I found the light, some clarity, whatever this positive energy is- and I could not be happier. I have some mountains to climb, but I'm feeling strong and purposeful and like I can beat this. I'm hoping this positive feeling is not temporary- but I FEEL like it's not. In the terms of the group I am involved with on facebook for the KonMari process, I have reached a 'click point'.

The husband and I ordered a very nice bed frame (pictured below) with two night stands that were on sale for $3000 total. Currently, my bed is on box springs on the floor. My nightstand is the same beat-up piece of crap from when I was a kid. I'm so happy we're going to be like 'real adults' and have a 'real' bed. In reality we could have waited as there are always sales, but I'm glad we didn't. It's quality and solid wood, will last for years. The matching dresser (pictured below) was out of my price range for the time being- it's an additional $1800 (on sale, probably much more regular). This is going to be my motivation to curb my shopping, as silly as it sounds. I've easily spend this much in months past on things that really don't matter- it's about time I put my $$ where my heart is and spend it on things that I'd much rather have! I'm really so very excited about the future.

I also suddenly feel like I can conquer what debt we have accumulated over the past few years after reaching debt-free status in 2009. I have been ignoring the finances/goals while shopping with what money we had left after paying bills (like I stated before, a major major backslide for the last 5-6 months happened). Here's a quick 'where we at': We've got about $6k on the credit card (typically a monthly balance of $2k is expected for/ paid each month since most bills go directly here) and still just under $10k owed to my car loan, as well as just under $37k on the house. The plan had been to be debt-free (except the house- that's to be paid off in 5 years) again by the end of the year! I'm $16k behind. 

Instead of feeling sick to my stomach and wanting to ignore it (and just make the payments and pretend it's all fine), I suddenly feel supercharged. I can easily beat this- I know it! I feel motivated and empowered and freer than I have in a long time. I'm moving some of my savings to pay off the credit debt by mid October, upping the car payments, and stopping shopping to keep everything where it's supposed to. I won't make the goal by the end of the year, but I'll be back on track and definitely will reach it next year. We want to start trying for another baby late next year, so it works out perfectly (so we can afford to pay for daycare for another one without being really cramped for money, which is about $8k a year). 

Going forward: With our 'excess' income (including our bonuses and our tax return, which should net about $11k!), we'll be boosting the savings back up (goal of $10k), saving for the dresser ($2k), and saving to finish the kitchen remodel ($5k), as well as paying down debt. We also need to put aside money to get a new truck for my husband in the next year or two, but that might come out of the savings and then get paid back. This all means no indiscriminate shopping for me anymore- only real needs. I also need to get tighter in all the finances, we've been lax with eating out, grocery overspending, etc. It's very apparent to me that I was acting very disordered in the recent past, blowing money without regard to my goals in particular on STUFF I didn't really need. It's about time I got back to reality and sanity.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

KonMari X2

I've re-started my KonMari 'festival'. The KonMari method of decluttering can be found by reading her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I started earlier this year/end of last year and gave up. I think partially my problem was that I did not follow the method very strictly or in order, which led to frustration and giving up.

The basic rules of her system are as follows:

  • First- visualize what you want to achieve by doing this, and then keep asking WHY? until you have the deep reasoning and motivation for you to do this. I just did this and had some eye-opening answers.
  • Do one category of items at a time (not by room). 
  • Put all items of a category in one spot (floor if necessary) and do all at once- so you can see just how much you really have. You can sub-divide into smaller categories if really necessary.
  • Do the categories and sub-categories in order (see her book for specifics- but in general, clothing, books, papers, and other).
  • Touch each item in the category and hold it if possible. They are 'dormant' until you 'wake them up' by really holding them individually.
  • Focus on what to keep, not what to get rid of. Items that 'spark joy' can be kept, all others cannot.
  • Do not organize your items until you are completely done with the entire home.
  • When you are done, each item you have kept must have a 'home' to 'rest' in/at when not in use.
  • Only do this to your own belongings, or those of very young children that cannot do this themselves. Often times, the 'magic' of this mindset gets transferred to a resistant partner or child just by proximity and seeing the results.

I'm currently finishing up the first major category- clothing. I let go of a few items, but not much. I let go of much more clothing for my toddler (lots of hand-me-downs / next-size-up's, put away the keepers that are too small for possible child #2), and broke the rules a little bit by getting rid of a few things that have never fit my husband (he really won't care too much, but will never do it himself- at least, not yet). I've also done some things out of order, but I will revist them when I get to that category. For instance, I did quick toy and book sorts for sanity's sake.

This process is helping me realize how much we really HAVE (in excess) and is helping me quiet my shopping impulses. I'm getting a list of things I really would like to buy together for use when I am done with this- and by the way, none of the items on the list are clothing or craft related (my two biggest personal expenditures). I want to replace the couch, my nightstand, and curtains, finish the second half of the kitchen remodeling in the spring, get a big-girl bed for my toddler, and get an actual bed frame/headboard for my own bed. If I'm careful with my pennies I can do all of this! It's great motivation to stop and think before shopping and spending money on yet MORE things I don't need.