I am about 90% done with cleaning out my closet and I have bagged up about 75% of what was there when I started. I have a feeling the last 10% is not going to make it -- fabulous suits, but from another lifetime.
If I were to be totally honest with myself and only kept the things that truly gave me "joy" as the book suggests, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I would probably only have about six items left in my closet. My wedding dress, a cute black cocktail dress that makes me look skinny regardless of how much weight I've gained, a pair of adorable shoes with little bows on them, an expensive purse that I bought on a whim, a summer dress that I need to get altered, and a ring that all of my girlfriends bought together on a fabulous weekend away in Palm Desert.
It's just not realistic at this point to get rid of all that does not give me "joy". I would love to start fresh, but I don't have the time or the money to do so at this point.
That said, I have found the experience of trying on everything I own and really asking myself if I will wear it again refreshing and introspective. It was a bit like reading an old journal as I went through the clothes that I have kept for literally -- decades and dragged with me literally-- around the world.
I was surprised to fall back in love with some things that have been hanging in my closet for years. For some reason I was afraid to try them on. Afraid they wouldn't fit. Afraid that they would tug at places where they didn't tug before. It was delightful to discover that some of them did fit -- and looked great! As I tried on the cotton pages of my past, memories came flooding back of when I bought them or moments when I was wearing them. Clothing has a way of bringing back moments with such clarity -- perhaps it is the texture and scent mixed together with the picture of you in the mirror that makes clothing have such poignancy.
As an only child, I yearned to share my clothes with a sister. When I went to college I became the girl known to suit up everyone with a dress for the many formals we had at school. I loved having everyone over and rummaging through my closet together. These girls would become my sisters overtime. It's strange to get rid of all of these dresses that might fit some potential friend in the future. Of course, now we all have children and more income to buy dresses when the occasion occurs, so that chance does not come up very often these days. Also that occasion to wear a formal dress doesn't occur as often anymore when you're in your 40s. But it's still hard for me to get rid of all these dresses.
Dresses that might find a home on the shoulders of a kindred spirit one night.
This Thanksgiving was really magical. It is hard for me to find another word to describe it is hard to find another word to capture the ... well... magic.
I don't do Thanksgiving. At least not in the traditional turkey, cornbread sort of way. We like to go to the beach. And why not? My husband and I fell in love at the beach.
Why struggle over a menu, a table setting,, dishes... man.... those dishes.. when you really don't need to. Create a new tradition.
It started off with Nana and Grandpa's arrival on Tuesday night. That night, Lucas won an epic Monopoly game in front of the fireplace.
The next night the adults enjoyed pizzas and wine while playing bocce at a local spot. The ladies won, of course.
We are all thrilled to have our beautiful cousin Brynne practically next door in San Francisco and even more thrilled that she can easily join us for these holidays!
The next day, Thanksgiving, we hit the beach, as we do every year. We spent the day playing on the ocean's edge and hunting down sand dollars. (We found an enact one!) This year we discovered a new spot called Aquarius in the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz, CA. Just lovely with its floor to ceiling windows followed by a walk on the pier to watch the sea lions and sunset. Magic Meter was off the charts!
The day after Thanksgiving, we all went back to the beach to get our tree at a family-owned farm on the ocean. On the way, we stopped on a road-side sand dune to watch the whales swim along.When we got to the farm, we were greeted by a big fire-pit with all you can eat marshmallows- which Hudson took literally. Throughout the farm were huge swings hanging from redwoods and giant wooden xylophones.
On our way back from the farm, we stopped by my favorite roadside stand, Swanton Berry Farm for jam, soup and a few old-fashioned games.
The rest of the weekend was spent watching holiday movies and making Christmas cookies. What a magical (okay, I can't help myself ) holiday!!
People think I am a little bit nuts. We typically have a bunch of presents still left under the tree well into January. Why? Because sometimes Santa does not come until December 26 or Jan 2. And that is OK. Why do we care about an arbitrary date anyway? If you celebrate for religious reasons, no one really knows when Jesus was born anyway -- we know it was winter, but when? Does it really matter that all of the presents are purchased, neatly wrapped and all ready on December 25?
If you have kids young enough not to really care or notice -- why not do it? Change the date. Save some money. Relax and enjoy it.
Why do we do it? Because I like to soak in the holiday all the more. I need those extra few days to bake some more cookies for Santa or to make another gingerbread house. And why not? JIm, my husband, calls me the CEO of our house. I make that executive decision and enjoy it.
Just email Santa and tell him to come a few days later. Works well with the Gannon Gang.
Our home is magical, cozy and a little bit messy." Lucas - age 8
There is a lot of magic in our home. That said, I sometimes feel encumbered by the sheer numbers of shoes in our closet that I trip on or the beautiful storage boxes I have purchased for my bedroom closet, but never actually put anything in. I just seem to enjoy stumbling over them every time I go into the closet. I know my husband certainly relishes in it.
It would be lovely to only have magical thoughts about teaching my children how to cook brewing around my head rather than the two hour frantic search for a recipe that I cut out and bought all of the ingredients for, but now can't find. Marie Kondo states in her introduction that once I do a marathon tidying session, I will have clarity in not only my physical space, but also my emotional, personal and professional as well. Wouldn't that be nice?
I just started the book last night around midnight and thought I would read a page or two and then go to bed. A few chapters in and my heart was racing, Again, not because the writing is riveting, but it made me want to hop out of bed and take everything out of my closets to find only the things that give me joy. Not exactly sure how light bulbs and toilet paper are supposed to "give me a thrill of joy when I touch" them, but I guess I will find out when I keep on reading.
I am about to host my annual swapping party at the end of January. I love this party as it is a deadline for me to get things organized in my house -- even if it means just one closet. However, this magical book inspires you to set aside a chunk of time to organize ONCE. Yup -- that's it folks -- once and you will never really have to "tidy" again.
You look at your whole house category by category -- purses, jackets, books, shoes, cans, DVDs, etc -- and decide what still inspires joy when you touch it and what you can thank for giving you what it had to offer and send it to the swap (or Goodwill) but not the dump please :)
I am going to use my Swapping Soiree as inspiration to literally touch everything I own in my house and determine the level of joy it brings! My friends should expect a truckload of bags at this year's swap!