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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-A Book Review

Life, Minimalism, KonMariAndrea SmithComment
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If you've been following me on social media, then you know I've been more than enthusiastic about the book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying". Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level with her system of decluttering, by using the category method than by room, or the little by little approach. Which has made this method "KonMari" probably the most effective way of tidying up once and for all.

But as I began reading this book, it was more than just about tidying. She asks really hard questions, that takes time to evaluate your heart and what you really want in life. I think this is one of the reasons why I love this book and method so much, because she helps you see clearly the areas in your life where you have been making excuses upon excuses to not change your habits. One of the reasons our homes are the way they are is because of our past experiences and our fear of the future, by facing your past and saying good bye, you not only get freed up but you can also confront your future with arms wide open and not cowering with fear of the unknowns. 

Here are 10 reasons why I love the KonMari Method;

The Pros-

1.) Direct, and to the point (no BS nonsense).

2.) She shares her life experiences, which feels a lot less intimidating. 

3.) The method works! She give tons of testimonies of people who were boarder line hoarders and NONE of them have relapse.

4.) She helps you see the things you've been hanging onto in your life that don't bring you joy.

5.) She helps you get clarity and vision for what kind of lifestyle you want to live and come home to.

6.) You learn the difference between "tidying" and "decluttering"

7.) You become more happier when you come home to a tidy house.

8.) You start living the life you want. (pursuing your dreams and goals etc.)

9.) You learn more about yourself, your likes and dislikes.

10.) You lose nothing! You only gain a better understanding of yourself, and are given tools to make changes within your home.

Here are 2 reasons of why I don't like this method;

The Cons-

1.) Although she talks about some spiritual things that I don't agree with, I can still respect her, and follow most of the steps she has laid out for tidying. So when you get to some of the parts where it gets little weird just skip it, it's OK. I don't think it will really make or break the tidying process. 

2A.) The only other con I have for this, is that I think you have to have outside help. Meaning if you're really going to tackle this, you need at least a good 2 full days to go through this process. Or be committed to tackling a category everyday after you get off work until everything is completed. I am mostly speaking to single folk regarding this.

2B.) As for families and stay at home mommas reading this, now that I have gone through the process, I wish I would of been able to go through it closer to her method of category by category.

What I did, was I went through each room, and then broke it down category by category. This is because when you have a little one or little one(s) tackling a category based on the whole house can be daunting and I am unsure it can be done when you are a stay at home mom. That being said, I would recommend having the kids stay with Grandma and Grandpa over a weekend and you and your husband tackle the whole house together. There is still a good chance you won't get everything done, but I am pretty sure you could get at least 50% completed, and then try again the following week. 

If you don't have family in town, I would recommend having a couple of close friends come over and help you with the decluttering process and/or help watch your kids so you can get a few categories completed. 

There is a way to get this done! You just have to be creative and ask for help. Once you go through this process you will never again have to declutter your house! And all the angels sing... GLORY! :-)

Here are some links to check out to start your KonMari journey! Happy tidying!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmbiwdkGQlU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1-HMMX_NR8

http://www.uselesswardrobe.dk/?s=kon+mari

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7uLdLA6IHE (beware of lanuage but she is great!)

A baby changes everything

Motherhood, LifeAndrea SmithComment

I'll be honest, this quote was a little hard for me to swallow because I DID NOT feel this way when I became a parent. Between the postpardum depression, and going back to work full-time, my life had been a mess and I hated being a parent. It wasn't until we made major life changes; me transitioning to a SAHM and going to see counseling for the depression has this quote making me smile. Everyday now, I fall more and more in love with my little son. I honestly thought I would never get to this point, but I finally feel for the first time in over a year, that being a parent isn't so bad. I can actually say that I love my life and my relationship with Liam grows each and everyday more beautiful than I could ever imagine.

Coming Alive

Motherhood, LifeAndrea SmithComment

After many months of transition, pain and loss of self, I finally feel like I am rediscovering who I am. Since having my first child and battling PPD, it's been a struggle to find enjoyment in everyday life. We recently celebrated my son's first birthday and it was a joy to say the least with family and friends surrounding our little boy with love and affection. I "officially" am a SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) and just enjoyed my first week with little Liam. Though both of us have been sick, it has been an extremely enjoyable week learning, talking and shopping together. Yes, momma likes to shop. 

Now transitioning from full-time marketplace, to full-time mommyhood, I feel a sense of relief and even feel at peace with just having one occupation. I think if I wasn't battling so much with PPD and other things in my life right now maybe it would of been ok for me to stay in the marketplace, but mentally, spiritually, emotional and physically it has stripped me. I think working moms are seriously the best. I wasn't able to do it, but I have such respect for mothers who go back to work after having a baby. My mother was a single parent herself for a time and I seriously don't know how she did it. My mother has sacraficed so much of herself for us and even now I tear up just thinking about all the things she had to do to push us to have better. It is a courage that has marked my heart forever. 

I am very grateful though that my husband has witnessed the past year and has called for a change. I am grateful and humbled that he wants me to stay at home with our son and give all my energy and attention to his needs. Adjusting to my new schedule is interesting, but today is the first day that I can say, that I have felt true happiness, and I haven't felt this way in a long time. 

Happy New Year!

LifeAndrea SmithComment

This quote is more true today, then any other year of my life. I know it's a little late to be saying, "Happy New Year!" But there has been major transition in this season for me and my family. We are currently leaving a staff position of ministry we dearly love, and the Lord has been really speaking to me and my husband about priorities. We haven't been putting the Lord first in our lives, but everything else.

The past several months have been a time of humility and grace. I feel strongly the Lord is wants our whole hearts and He will do whatever it takes to have it all. Even if that means flipping our world upside to have us look to Him instead of ourselves or other people. This year I am willing to do whatever it takes to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. I want my heart to feel alive again, even if that means going through the purging. If I can draw closer to Him, love others better, love myself more, then I say amen, let's stand.

How far are you willing to go for the Jesus?

That Thing No One Talks About

PregnancyAndrea SmithComment

That thing that no one talks about. The shame, the guilt, the sadness, the anger, the rage, the random hurtful thoughts. It's overwhelming and consuming. This is something that can not be dealt with alone. So let's talk about it.

What is PPD? Here is a definition from Wikipedia.

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth. Symptoms may include sadness, low energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. While many women experience self-limited, mild symptoms postpartum, postpartum depression should be suspected when symptoms are severe and have lasted over two weeks.

Symptoms of PPD can occur any time in the first year postpartum.[8] These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

Are you a mother going through these mental, emotional and physical changes? You are not alone my friend. I was diagnosed with PPD shortly after having my beautiful baby boy. I was constantly frustrated with breastfeeding, not getting enough sleep, having no appetite to eat or drink anything, and having no interest in anything or anybody for that matter. I was severely depressed. Guess what, I am still going through this.

I thank God that He gave my husband the wisdom, discernment, and courage to confront me about it. I had not idea what was going on with me. Why I was only feeling intense sadness and anger toward everything and everybody. I had no interest in life anymore. I even considered ending my life. These thoughts bombarded me everyday. Sometimes I still face these lies, that this, me being mentally and emotionally unstable is my fault. That I'm a bad mother. That if I can't do everything, then you're worthless.

My husband approached me one night and told me he was looking up postpartum depression and he thought I had it. I wasn't offended at all.. I think I was too tired honestly to care. I just sat there for a minute and said, "well... ok then, what do we do?". He suggested we go see the doctor to confirm it was indeed a problem. She encouraged me and of course gave me some meds that might help. So far they have worked to a degree, but I think honestly the best thing for me has been to face it and talk about it. I sought out council and have been meeting with a mom (who now has three kids), but went through it with one child. Honestly, talking about it, hearing her talk about her experience and feelings has really opened up my heart to not only be honest with her, but to be honest with myself. Of course I still have my ups and downs, but I quickly recognize it now, or my husband will pursue me and take time to sit and talk with me about what is going on.

At first, I felt so embarrassed that I had to deal with this... thing that I had no control over. It's literally a chemical imbalance in your brain, and all you can do is walk through the trenches. It sucks because you keep getting stuck in the mud and trying to get your leg to break free and sometimes you do and sometimes you fall flat on your face in the mud. But a solider is never alone. There's always someone there to help get you back on your feet and to keep plowing through.

Listen, Postpartum depression is a very real thing and a real issue in our society. If you don't have a support system. Please go see your doctor. They can refer you to a professional counselor. But get support! Whether that's a good friend, counselor, another moms, your spouse, whoever. You need to talk with someone, and you don't have to go through this alone. We need to make this issue more aware to women and men! I bless you if you've never had to go through this, but if you know of someone who is going through this, or is showing the symptoms listed above, please, please have the courage to talk to them. Although, be warned, you might get yelled at, just being real. A lot of women will be in denial about this and it takes them a long time to realize they are going through PPD. So be gentle and have grace for them. Be a support for them.

I want to take just one more minute of your time and just show all the difference between PDD and Maternity Blues and/or Baby Blues. This is something ALL woman go through. The major difference is you only should have the Baby Blues for a few weeks and be getting better as time goes on. With PPD, you tend to get worse and worse as time goes on. Being disconnected to everyone, feeling angry, disappointed etc. Listed below are the symptoms of Maternity Blues.

Symptoms

  • Weepiness and bursting into tears.
  • Sudden mood swings.
  • Anxiousness and hypersensitivity to criticism.
  • Low spirits and irritability.
  • Poor concentration and indecisiveness.
  • Feeling 'unbonded' with baby.
  • Restless insomnia.

Again, you are not alone. There are people who want to help you. And guess what, you will get better. Trust me. It does get better. I know you're thinking everyone says that about having a baby, when you go through stuff  it's hard but worht it, but it's really true. Just like you didn't stay pregnant forever, you won't have PPD forever. You can do this.

As a wonderful 2-year-old girl said in a little ol' movie called The Help. You's kind, you's smart, you's important.