Saturday, June 13, 2015


There's this book. 
The life-changing magic of tidying up 
I've had it on hold at the library for months.  Tired of waiting, I bought it at Costco last week.  It was a small choice that has made a huge difference in my house.  Operation: Tidy-Up is my summer project.  In a nutshell, the idea is to only keep those objects that make you happy.  If you really need something, then obviously it makes you happy.   Discard or donate everything else.  There are some parts that I think are more than just a little bizarre, but it has been the inspiration to do what I have been needing and wanting to do for a long time.  She has a rather extreme method that I have not followed exactly, but I am seriously digging the spirit of it.  I won't tell you how many garbage bags I am getting rid of.  I won't show you any before pictures, because seriously, I horrify myself with how unorganized and junky parts of the house have become. 
The thing is, I am certain, and have been for quite some time that our family can very comfortably live in this house with everything we need and even much of what we want.  But we must be very careful not to let "stuff and junk" overpower us.  
So as we have been combing through the house the girls have been teasing me a little about my newly found obsession, but are totally on board.  Faith's room and Bethany and Elinor's room look and feel so much more spacious.  Getting rid of things is more challenging for Bethany than it is for Elinor, so I was very, very proud of her repeated efforts to pare down her possessions even further.   Truth be told, Elinor is rarely attached to things, so it's much easier for her.  
They even passed along their beloved knock-off American Girl Dolls and horses and other accessories to younger cousins and neighborhood girls. 
Here's an absolute gem we found amongst our boxes.
This is the dress my mother wore in her engagement picture that was taken on the bridge in Memory Grove in Salt Lake City.  It fit Bethany beautifully and I could not believe my mother was so tiny!
 And now the dress is vintage and so beautiful!

The little boys are patiently awaiting their turn to have me go through clothes and other treasures with them, to help them keep their room tidier as they contentedly live with less.   
But there are two people who are struggling with my fanaticism.
This is the door to Clark's room.  He got the "Man Cave" sign for Christmas.  In all fairness, for a teenage boy, he does a pretty good job of keeping his room picked up and organized.  That's not to say there is no room for improvement, but I really can't and don't complain.  Can you see the strip of red tape across the top of the door frame.  In his words, "This is so the Destroying Angel (Mom) will spare my room".
How rude.
You should be thanking me.  
You will thank me.
We're not through talking about this yet.
I love you.

Oh, do you want to hear something so coincidental it's almost freaky?  This morning Clark took the ACT for the first time, and while he was taking it I was going through boxes in our storage room and I came across my ACT scores I received in the mail over twenty years ago.  I haven't seen that envelope in forever, and yet, the day my oldest child takes the ACT, I run across it.  That just seems crazy weird to me.

About the ACT, Clark said some parts went better than he expected, and others were rougher.  He admitted that during a challenging part, the thought occurred to him to give up, cry, and doodle on his paper for the remaining time.  At which point he had an Abraham Lincoln moment-- he thought of his "Angel Mother" and how I would literally become his Destroying Angel if he gave up.
Anyway, back to the other person who is not loving my project.  Abe.  Well, actually, I think he is liking the results, just not the process.  I think it is fair to say he is more sentimental than me.  It's also fair to say that he does not do much by way of taking care of our household possessions.  That is not criticism-- he works super hard and so do I, and we're all good there.  However,  he is not surrounded day in and day out by all this stuff, nor does he have to get after the children to put it away.  The fact is, it is easier to put things away when there is less of it to put away and clear places to put it.  
Operation: Tidy-Up will REVOLUTIONIZE OUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!  
Have I ever mentioned I might have some manic tendencies?  
I am really looking forward to having more space in my brain and home.

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