The Smith Project

life together

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

Life, Minimalism, KonMariAndrea SmithComment

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! (beware of lanuage but she is great!)

Date Night

MarriageAndrea SmithComment

Having a weekly date night is extremely important to you and your spouses' relationship. When me and Jared were engaged we were told over and over by couples that if they didn't schedule out their date nights, that their marriage wouldn't be in great shape. In the first couple of months being married it was extremely hard. For one we didn't have an established date day. My husband has a one full time and one part time job which makes me seeing him basically when I go to sleep and wake up in the morning. This was causing us a lot of stress and tension especially in the beginning. I felt very alone and unworthy of my husbands time and affection.

As our relationship was crumbling, we started to take action on our situation. We agreed that Sundays we would designate that day for us to go out on a date. Whether that was spending the whole day together or spending a couple hours with one another, our relationship was starting to become whole. Some unspoken issues were addressed. We were able to have fun again. We were becoming friends again. I just want to emphasis again, really spending time with one another is so vital. It's just like any other relationship. If you have a best friend, you want to make an effort to spend time with them, whether that's hanging out or having a heart to heart. Every relationship takes time and effort on both parties. Are you willing to do what it takes to make your relationship last?

If the answer is yes I want to give you a list of 10 creative ways to make your day fun with your best friend.

1.) Plan a picnic to a place you and your spouse have never been before

2.) Take a road trip to a city or state for a weekend get-a-away

3.) Leave notes of love for your spouse all day, in all the places they would be throughout the day. At the end of the day, lead them to the place where you had your first kiss together.

4.) Go to a drive in theater

5.) Make your spouse a surprise dinner. Let the light be all from the surrounding candles, make a playlist before hand and have a great night.

6.) Plan a day where everything you do is new. Example; go see a baseball game, jazz club etc.

7.) Ask your spouse something they have always wanted to go do. Whether that's taking a painting class or going to see the ballet. Then go do it!

8.) (For bookworms) go to a bookstore, go to the travel section and plan your next trip out together

9.) Pretend to be strangers for the day and you just met and are having your first "hangout time together" this give you a chance to get to know one another all over again.

10.) Go stargazing

Your Story

MarriageAndrea SmithComment

Your story usually starts out like this, how you met, dating, the proposal, the “big day”. A lot of those little details get lost along the way of making your life together. What about re-telling your story? It's so important to keep those stories alive and going for generations to come.

I mean think about it, you have your kids, grandkids, great-grand kids. They want to know about you, whether or not they will meet you or not. The history to one's life is such a beautiful thing, and we need to continue to tell our family and friends about where we've come from.

  1. Scrapbooking-I recommend getting a Smash book or a knock off brand. You can buy extra little goodies to make cute colleagues for every type of occasion and season.


  2. Photo colleague-Get a matte board, collect photos of you when you were going up, cut them out and paste, and arrange them in a creative way.


  3. Music colleague-Make playlists, or create mix CDs of the different seasons of your life with your spouse. Play music that was popular when you got married.


  4. Writing on a blog/website or journal-If you enjoy writing or story telling I think this is the simplest way to say what's on your mind from your perspective. Journaling would be awesome because you can have books and books of stories of you and your spouse lying in an attic and your great grandchild finds it and it's like treasure to them.


  5. Voice record/video record the stories-A new innovative way to reach to the next generation. Hearing and seeing people make such a difference. It takes away the imagination a little, but you get the raw reality of who these people were.

  6. Decor story frame-Write out a bunch of stories and create a board that overlaps each other, apply Mod Podge to a canvas or large flat surface, frame and put on your wall as décor.


  7. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES! Keep photo albums, but also keep digital copies so you always have back ups.


  8. Dedicate a room-Write on paper, or the walls, different things that happened on your journey that you would want people to remember you by. Just make sure to take pictures of it before you move.


  9. Write a book-If you want to write a memoir then do it! If you can't write that's ok, that's what Ghost writers are for. I would first ask your close friends and family first if they know of people then search online.


  10. Collection of letters- All those times you wrote a love letter to your spouse. Keep them in a cool decorative box (T-Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Thrift store) and hide them away for a later time to bring out to the kids.

I think what I am going to do is mix a combination of these and make it my own. I want to have the traditional photo album but also have a fun Smash book to go with it. Whatever you choose to do make it your own and share it for future generations of your family line.

***If you have other awesome ideas, PLEASE share! I love getting feedback and hearing what other creative people have thought of. Please leave your comments below.

Starting Fresh

MarriageAndrea SmithComment

When you get home from your honeymoon and you've had some down time, you now need to get things moving. First things first, food. Your fridge is empty and you need to shop ASAP. But where do you start?! My husband and I like to have a game plan set before we make purchases. We are a newly wed couple, barely getting by with the rent and need to wise about our spending. So this might sound really rigid. But, for newbies who are broke, we wanted to start out with the right foot financially. Below I have some suggestions that have helped me and my husband out so far.

Here are 5 Tips that have helped me when shopping “Together”

  1. STICK TO THE BUDGET When it's your first time shopping for groceries make sure you have enough money to get everything you need. You'll be surprised how quickly things add up. We ourselves ended up going over the budget. But we underestimated on what we needed and how much everything would cost, and I don't want you to make the same mistake. So try not to blow ALL your money on the honeymoon so you have some money for when you get home. Luckily we had some left over money and were able to cover it. But from now on we've agreed, we stick to the budget.
  2. MAKE A LIST I find lists to be a lifesaver because it saves me time and money. Even when I was single it helped me so much in making purchases that I NEEDED, and wait on other things that I WANTED.
  3. GO SHOPPING TOGETHER I've heard it's important to go shopping together often during the year of marriage. I think it's fair to say that's true. Think about it, you are two different people starting to live together FOREVER! So you need to figure each other out, give and take a little so your spouse can see what you like and dislike.
  4. BE PATIENT My husband gave me this great pointer and it's so true! You really need to be patient and gracious with each other when you go out. Jared and I had a good time out shopping our first time. Until we came to the checkout :-) but we learned from our mistake and will move on. Even though you have been dating for x amount of years, or engaged, it's so different when you start living together and you're stuck with them. ;-) You have to work it out. You've gotten this far from when you first dated to your wedding day. If you're having a disagreement about which cereal to buy, take a step back and breathe.
  5. EAT BEFORE YOU GO OMG I don't know how many times I've done this, but I tend to be in a rush and go run errands but forget to eat! Then I end up spending WAY more than I wanted to, and end feeling discouraged. But when I eat BEFORE I go grocery shopping I am much less tempted to spend extra money. I think I am not alone here. We all have done this so start making it a habit now before it gets crazy.

How to save Money-


-Decide where you want to shop and look online or in the paper for coupons, you could save more than you think!

Farmers Market

-Purchase fresh, organic foods and spices for super affordable prices. Ask around. People know where to shop and save money

Food Pantry

-You'll be surprised, but if you are on a tight budget lots of food pantries and churches get donated great food from places like Panera Bread, Dean and Deluca etc. And it's all free!

***I would LOVE to hear your suggestions and comments regarding this post. I want to make this a place where people can come and give advice and suggestions for married life. Look forward to reading your thoughts! :-)