KonMari with Kids!

Do you long to declutter? Does it seem impossible with kids? There’s a Facebook group called KonMari with kids that I’ve found to be super helpful – check it out!

Marie Kondo has been popular for a while but recently her popularity has soared with her new Netflix series! Before having baby girl #3, I Kon-Maried my house from top to bottom – mostly between the hours of 2-4am when I couldn’t sleep (all my kids were real active in the womb)! Also – just like Marie Kondo, I’m super into going paperless (I have another webpage devoted to that and my e-pamphlet ). I have a lifestyle of promptly throwing out, shredding or scanning papers – I HARDLY HAVE ANY PAPER IN THE HOUSE. It’s wonderful! I feel like it’s a huge stress reliever.

Anyway yet again we decided to KonMari our kids toys this past weekend. Here’s how we are organizing them:

You can see how each bin is labeled (LOL dolls, Hatchimals, Shopkins, Barbies, etc.). Very few toys live outside these bins and it’s been very helpful to teach the girls to clean up. Still, usually every Christmas or early winter we KonMari our house once again. Maybe we need to take a year off from getting Christmas presents (or something)! Still getting new gifts gives us a chance to share our used ones with someone in need.

Let me know your thoughts on kids and clutter in the comments below!

Kristen

Pray. Love. Repeat.

It’s hard to write a blog post on decluttering and other 1st world problems when you hear on the news about the border crisis, hungry children around the world, and other bigger problems.  Our pastor at church on Sunday reminded us to pray – especially when the right solution isn’t clear.  Specifically he said to pray for our leaders.

prayer-1497680

In my opinion, it’s important to look at the law involved in a governmental situation, rather than just at the leader.  The law has been around longer than the ruler, and obviously laws can be interpreted, but there’s a reason why a law was established and needs to be upheld.

Still, with the goal of keeping the law, needs to be grace.  When a leader has an obligation to follow the law, in this sinful world there will be casualties in the wake.  We know what God desires of us – to love Him and to love others.  Whatever your stance is on the border crisis, I hope that we all can agree on the fact that we need to help the immigrant children.  Here’s one of many groups helping them: Holy Family Institute.

I don’t believe that praying is a cop-out.  I believe that it’s a true solution to a problem.  God asks that we come before Him to pray.  (1 Peter 2) We are to entrust ourselves to God, as He is one who judges justly.  If we are involved in government, we have the responsibility to do things God’s way – to punish those who do wrong and reward those who do right.  We have a responsibility to love others, even when it might mean tough love for a time.

There are many reasons why our borders must be secure.  One reason is the problem of human trafficking; without secure borders this has become an increasing problem in the United States.  I’m not going to dive into this complex issue in this blog, but if you’re interested here’s info on an organization helping: Asservo Project.

Pray.  Love.  Repeat.

Free ePamphlet to Go Paperless!

Hello!  A little over a year ago I did my first presentation on going paperless, and I got such a good response that I put together some YouTube videos and have done other presentations since then.

Finally I found some time to put together a FREE ePamphlet with a CHECKLIST on how to GO PAPERLESS!  Yeah!  Hope this helps you!

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 11.15.08 AM

At some point in the future I hope to be able to offer webinars on how to go paperless, declutter, etc., so stay tuned!  In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you would like individual consultation!

Individual consultation to go paperless is currently available at an introductory rate, with various packages available.  You can email me at: sharingtheworldllc@gmail.com for more info!

Be Still

With the warm weather arriving there’s more to enjoy outside!  We are often on-the-go to our newest favorite park.  Our kids are learning to ride bikes and my oldest daughter and I are getting ready for the kids marathon, so we keep busy at the park.  Pool season will soon be upon us soon, so the focus will then shift to swim lessons and such – looking forward to it!

Julia picture.jpeg

With the beautiful weather it’s easy to get busy outdoors – which can be a good thing.  At Bible Study today I was reminded of the need to be still.  Be still in the midst of the draw of the outdoors.  Sometimes all of this activity is taking the place of something deeper, and although it’s wonderful, it won’t satisfy.  Activity, pride, etc. can cheat us of God’s best.  As Beth Moore puts it:

It can cheat us of contentment..because you “deserve better than this.”

…cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all.

…cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of pride to forgive.

…cheat you of genuine friendship…because nobody’s going to know the real you.

…cheat you of love…because real romance demands sacrifice.

…cheat you of God’s glory…because pride convinces you to seek your own.

Hope you have warm weather where you live, and a great Spring.  I hope you find time to be still.  Let me know in the comments what time of day/week works best for you to find quiet.

 

asana…an app to replace your paper lists!

Are you looking for a new, paperless way to keep lists?  I used to keep lists in an organized way, like in a planner, but it was always a mess tracking the progress of these “to-dos”, and in the end I had lots of crossed-out words.

I’ve been using asana.com and the asana app to keep track of things for years now.  I use it to keep lists and plan projects.  I use it for both work and personal use, and really recommend it.

Asana was created by a co-founder of Facebook and other individuals to help improve productivity at Facebook.  It’s a great tool because it allows one to create a project, and then tasks under that project, or just create tasks independently from a project.  You can set due dates, make them recurring if necessary, assign tasks to individuals, allow individuals to follow tasks, add attachments, etc.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 11.40.30 PM

Asana has an add-on in Gmail which is great when you want to clear out your inbox and make the email content become a task instead.

There are other productivity tools like asana out there, like Trello, and so this blog post is for you if you needed the nudge to go and try one!

Being blessed with discomfort

Discomfort comes in all kinds of forms.  The sickness inside…the heartache…stress at work…being woken up by a newborn 5x in the middle of the night…discomfort means different things to different people.  To the early bird, getting up early is just the thing.  To the night owl, waking at 5am to write a blog doesn’t seem fun, but here I am up with my 2 year old and I’m tired, but glad to find the time to write this week.

Albert Einstein once said: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”  Not everything that matters can be measured, quantified, etc.  Right now…sleep…I feel like that’s something that matters and can be measured, but then again, how much does one really need?  Everyone’s different.

As a CPA, Einstein’s quote doesn’t surprisingly bother me.  As someone who’s trying to declutter it motivates me – not everything in my house counts – I can live without…  As a mother who’s trying to get sleep I’m wondering if I can apply the counting concept to the lack of sleep, sometimes, and trust that God will multiple benefit of the sleep I do get.

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger,
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort and
To turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 5.33.59 AM
Art Depicting St Francis of Assisi (see link)

Birthday Presents (for Kids)

Hi to all (the mommas) who cringe about having a birthday party because of all the fuss and all the ‘junk’ (their kids get)!!

To reduce the birthday clutter, I have used the following poem to accompany the Evites for my oldest daughter’s birthday parties the past couple years and it’s been great for reducing birthday presents (which I have termed ‘junk’ after her 4 year old party):

Just wanted to mention – I’d like to spare you the fuss,
(not to mention my house feels just like ‘toys R us’)
I would like to suggest that for her special day,
If you’re feeling generous and to help on her way,
a couple dollars would be simply terrific,
as she wants to save money for something specific.
I hope you don’t mind or think me too rude
But I’d really appreciate the help if you could!

Some of my friends like to say only bring $7 if the child is turning 7, that sort of thing, but I don’t specify.

My daughter last year was able to buy a bicycle with the money from her party last year and it was awesome!

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 9.55.51 AM.png

I have another friend who does experiences (i.e. memberships, tickets, etc.) for Christmas and birthday gifts – she lets others give her kids physical gifts.

What have you done to minimize the birthday ‘clutter’ but still make your kids feel special and not minimize the celebration?