Saturday, April 18, 2015

What Happens After The KonMari Decluttering (with Photos)

Little whispers started dropping in my world, Kon Mari, Marie Kondo, at first I wasn't really connecting the dots, but then I started listening.  I didn't engage in any direct conversation, I just simply put Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up in my library queue, to find out firsthand what all the buzz was about. As to be expected, the wait was lengthy for the book. Close to three months passed when I received the email that my hold was ready and I instantly realized the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

The book arrived the Friday before Spring Break. 

The decluttering started immediately. Well immediately after I binge read the book, went directly to the closest store to buy a box of 50 extra large black trash bags, and pick up some empty boxes to start filling. While I could go through the details of my process, I simply want to say, I decluttered the major hotspots in my home all in one week. There are other areas I am slowly working through (storage closet for example). I have donated 2 full carloads and 1 truck load to local thrift stores. I have thrown away exhausted items and recycled old paperwork. I have mailed a 22lb box of lovely hand me down clothing to my niece in New York and given away 2 completely full reusable shopping bags of clothing to a kindergarten girl in our community.

It has been one month and my home has never been kept this way, full of joy and zen, especially for this long of a period of time. When I have some down time in my day, I now use it to clean, rather than avoid things like laundry, piles of junk mail, papers, the girls things strewn around the house. The avoiding situations don't exist anymore. My house it fairly tidy, comparing it to one month ago, it's exceptionally tidy. There is no place in my home that a visitor is not welcome to check out, no closed doors, no embarrassing please don't look spots. A great example, I had a girlfriend around for tea the other morning and I actually brought her into my closet to show her my folding method for clothing, NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS would that have happened before reading Marie Kondo's book.

Let's visually explore some of the changes since decluttering:

My closet before:

My closet TODAY (a month later):

My clothing (we have downsized one whole dresser):

Now for the ripple effect of decluttering. I've put up with this ugly grey tile in the entry way of my home for 4.5 years, it's truly a remnant from when my home apparently had wall to wall brown shag carpeting. I've spoken to my father and brother about ripping it out, but they both discouraged me from doing so, not knowing what the condition of the floor would be underneath. Josh took the girls camping for a weekend and I don't think they had made it out of the neighborhood before I had a pry bar and hammer in my hand going to town on the tile.

I simply no longer had a tolerance for the grey floor. It did not bring me joy, so I ripped it out. Admittedly the floor underneath is not perfect, but I simply purchased a rug that does bring me joy. Win, win. Soon enough, I hope to have our floors refinished, I just helped save us some of the cost of labor.

Tile entryway before:

Entryway now:

Which brings me to my most recent project. Last Tuesday (my day off), I walked into the bathroom and simply felt overwhelmed by how it brought me down. The paint colors (AWFUL), the cheap ass medicine cabinet on the wall that only housed the girls toothbrushes, the ugly ceramic towel bar and toilet paper holder. Dread is what I felt… So, I set about to fix that, to find joy in my little space. There will be a separate post devoted to everything I did in there because as one could imagine, I ran into a few unexpected repairs I needed to take care of. Can you say, patching drywall…

Bathroom Before: 
(I almost didn''t even have the courage to post this)

Bathroom now:
No more medicine cabinet, a white rug, new fixtures, and paint. Voile. This bathroom, tiny and functional, completely sparks joy in me. 

That's just part of the ripple effect. I've started working out and eating better. I stand taller, I'm smiling more, sleeping better, more present with the girls. I will continue to share my post decluttering journey and all the progress I've been making in my home and personal life. It's all intertwined and I feel so grateful for the changes that have been sparked by letting go of stuff. Simply amazing. 

---------------

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Take Home a Bra Giveaway at Title Nine's 2015 Fit Fest

When an invitation to a Title Nine's media only FitFest arrived in my inbox, I knew the timing was perfect. My exercise routine does not involve many high impact activities, but I've always been that person that settles for whatever is in my wardrobe to suffice when it comes to sports bras. I've definitely never been fit by a professional or as Title Nine calls their experts, Bravangelists.

At the event I met a really supportive group of women making the FitFest a breeze. There happened to be plenty of laughs, some bouncing on a huge rubber ball and hula hooping to see if my new bra withstood the bounce test. I learned a lot about how my sports bra should fit, what real support actually feels like, and that a supportive bra does not mean uncomfortable!

I decided on the 3 Reasons Support Bra, which is rated 4 barbells:

These bras work best for our fuller C and D cup testers who want great support for high impact activities. DD cup testers will do well in these for medium impact activities.

I love the adjustable straps, which are easy to access in the front. I went from yoga class where I was nice and secured in, to giving myself some room and relaxing the straps a bit on my way to pick up the girls from school. I've never owned a sports bra that had real clasps on the band, which is the most important part to help support us when working out. Lesson learned.


Title Nine is holding Fit Fests in many locations, all you need to do is RSVP with your local store. The bonus of attending a Fit Fest is that they will have the largest selection of bras on site to try on. I tried about 5 bras before giving the 3 Reasons a thumbs up.


Now for the exciting news, I am giving away a Title Nine bra for a reader that attends a Fit Fest! Locally, you can find Fit Fests:


April 8-9, 10am-8 pm
Title Nine Boulder
1801 Pearl Street
Boulder

April 15-16, 10am-9 pm
Title Nine Cherry Creek 
160 Steele Street
Denver

April 22-23, 10am-8 pm
Title Nine Colorado Springs
210 N. Tejon Street
Colorado Springs

Comment equals entry! 
Facebook comments will be transferred over. Good Luck. Contest is closing, Friday April 10th, 10pm MST. If you comment as anonymous, please just leave an email address so I can contact you. Winner has 24 hours to provide contact info or another winner will be selected.

------------

Disclosure, content at my own discretion, contest giveaway provided by Title Nine Sports, as well as the items I received when attending the Media Only Fit Fest preview.
---------

Update! Congrats to Hanna R!