A Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

 

A review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Just a little update on my hoard for ya.

Things were going o.k. for awhile - and then we started remodeling our house. And then my Mom died. And then we moved. Remodeling, death, and moving - that's like the TRIFECTA of unwanted stuff raining down into your space. The only thing worse than a bunch of stuff you need to sort through and get rid of is a bunch of stuff that is covered with 200 year-old plaster dust. Seriously.

My intention for the move to Colorado was to bring only the items that I loved. I would donate or sell everything I didn't want in my beautiful new apartment so that I could focus on mountain hikes and eating out at expensive restaurants. And then...I reached the point during packing that pretty much everyone does. The point where you say, "F*ck it. It all goes on the truck. I'll deal with it when I get there."

And that's pretty much where I'm at right now. Dealing with the aftermath of that mentality. Now, on the positive side? The mover made a comment that at 3,000 pounds, we were "light" for two married people. Maybe.

But when I heard good things about Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I downloaded that book right away. So this is also a book review. Not just a hoard review.

Kondo's toughest assignment is to sort by category, asking each item if it brings you joy. Like, she wants you to lay out every piece of clothing you own on the floor so that you can see what you own. And when you can see every piece of clothing you own in front of you, you have to question your relationship with it. If it doesn't bring you joy, it goes in the garbage or gets donated. If it gets sent away, you need to send it away with gratitude. There's more to this process than I can capture here, but I won't spoil it for you. You need to read the book.

And you need to quit dissing your socks. No, really. Kondo says,

"Have you ever had the experience where you thought what you were doing was a good thing but later learned that it hurt someone? At the time, you were totally unconcerned, oblivious to the other person's feelings. This is somewhat similar to the way many of us treat our socks."

Your sucks HURT emotionally when you roll them into balls. According to Marie Kondo.

It's funny to read, in its way, but what she's really talking about is our relationship to what we own and what that relationship means in the context of our lives. It's the meaning of the stuff that makes it so complicated. How many pictures of my mother do I need to save? What does it say if I discard a gift that someone chose for me? The answers to these questions are in this book. Or at least a helpful process for moving toward those answers. And there's a great chapter on the seductive nature of organization products and how to break up with them.

Probably my most immediate takeaway from Kondo's book is the section on sorting papers. There's a small list of things you need to keep - in my case, tax paperwork as I'm self-employed - but everything else? Kondo says pitch it. Chuck it. Throw it away. An instant cure for the stack of appliance manuals I had on my table. I thought the buyer of our Virginia house should have them, but I never quite got them in the mail to the realtor's office. Yesterday, I picked them all up and threw them in the garbage. Google it, dude.

I'm thinking seriously about dropping my grandma's dishes at the thrift store. For real, this time.

Good book. I recommend it. And I recommend it with a bottle of Apathy Anti-Bad-Mood Spray - to refresh your mind and your space while you sort.

--Heidi

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Mood Sprays to Appear in Nexus, Colorado's Holistic Health Journal.

This ad for Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays™ will appear in an upcoming issue of Nexus, a holistic health journal published in the Denver area. This ad was designed by Steve at Nexus!

 

Ad for anti-bad-mood sprays to appear in Nexus holistic health journal.

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Are Mood Sprays Safe for Pets and Children?

Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays are safe for use around children and pets.

 

Yes. Our mood sprays are safe for use around pets and children. The ingredient list is short, 100 percent natural, and essential oils are organically sourced as often as possible.

You can use your Anti-Bad-Mood sprays to freshen pet areas without worrying about exposing sensitive noses to harsh cleaning products. I use my Apathy spray near the litter box to clean the air without harmful chemicals. I spray the bedroom a couple of times after making the bed and I find it gives our bedroom a feeling of freshness when we return to it in the evening. When my cats are snoozing on the bed during the day, I know they are healthy and safe in that space.

I don't have children, but I'm always trying to push Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays on people who do. Anyone with a diaper pail needs a bottle of Apathy. I'm shipping a free mini-pack (a $10 value) with every purchase of a full-sized bottle through the end of October so you can give them all a try!

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My First Job and Two Ways To Make Your Office Less Miserable

 

Remember your first full-time office job? How unprepared were you to sit in one chair, in one room, with the same group of people day in and day out? School doesn't cut it. Even at school you get the occasional break - moving from classroom to classroom or the gym for the dreaded P.E. hour. No. The office is something entirely different. 

Obviously, it was kind of hard on me. My first job was at a major multinational corporation. The woman I worked for sat me down at a desk and trained me from 9-5 for two solid weeks.The training was intense, but it was HANDS DOWN the best job training I've ever received. For eight hours a day I looked at the hair on her arms and swore I'd never wear a finger condom when *I* filed. (That was *before* I found out that I was responsible for filing 2,000 paper purchase orders by number each and every day.) For those two weeks of training, the bathroom stall was my only private space. And it wasn't even that private. No matter what time of day, it seemed that a certain elderly employee would be settled in the adjacent stall smoking a cigarette and flinging questions toward my high heels.

This was a long time ago. Back then you could still smoke at your desk! I was so young I once believed an ingrown toenail caused by those pointy, 80's high heels worthy of a visit to the corporate nurse. Times are different now. It's 11 a.m. and I'm wearing flip flops in my home office. And that's just the start.

But I digress. A friend shared this ThinkGeek product on Facebook and I had to post it here.The Insta Sky flourescent light filter creates...well...an instasky out of those miserable overhead office lights. Simple products (like Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays) can change the mood of the whole room. A perfect gift for that office worker in your life. Add a bottle of Apathy and they're set for the year.

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Mini Travel Size Aromatherapy Mood Sprays

The yellow? Or the orange. Obviously the orange. Coming soon: a mini four-pack of Anti-Bad-Mood Spray bottles. For your bad moods on-the-go. This package will replace the mini aromatherapy mood spray tins in time for the holidays.

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The Best $5 I've ever spent.

What's the best $5 you've ever spent? Leave a comment on the Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays' Facebook page! If you post a response you may win a free set of mini-sprays!

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Phthalates, Synthetic Fragrance, Cosmetics, and Hormone Problems

 

 

I rabbit on about the dangers of synthetic fragrances but my friends just smile and nod. In all honesty, they probably decided I was crazy years before I started this anti-bad-mood spray company. My guess is that whenever my anti-phthalate argument kicks in at the dinner table they just tune me out and start thinking about their personal lives. Or maybe that's just my sister. I don't know. 

Anyway. The facts are these:

Phthalates are chemicals used in cosmetics, air fresheners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and perfumes to make fragrances last longer. Two common phthalates are DBP (di-n-butyle phthalate) and DEHP (di[2-ethylhexyl] phthalate).

In tests on lab rats, certain phthalates have been linked to an anti-testosterone effect, specifically testicular "changes," liver problems, and cancer. A study of 319 mother-and-child pairs from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health showed a link between higher phthalate exposure in utero and slower development in children. 

In an interview for The Environment Report, study director Robin Whyatt stated, "Three of the phthalates were significantly associated with behavioral disorders, or behavioral problems: anxious, depressed behaviors, emotionally reactive behaviors, withdrawn behavior.” The study also noted a link between the presence of phthalates in the mothers' urine and motor problems in children. The study controlled for a long list of other factors, including smoke, lead, pesticides, and other common chemicals found in our every-day environment.

The European Union bans DBP and DEHP, along with a third phthalate, BBP. The US Environmental Protection Agency has placed both DBP and DEHP on a list of chemicals that may be hazardous to humans.The problem is that manufacturers of cosmetics and synthetic fragrances aren't required to disclose ingredients on the label. You'll simply see "fragrance" on the list without being able to determine whether the phthalates were added to the product.

Now, obviously, I make my own air fresheners out of totally natural, good-smelling essential oils and sell them on the interwebs for anyone who'd like to give them a try. Sometimes, people tell me that they don't want to try spray my products in shared spaces and I don't say anything, but I'm thinking..."You have no idea how many harmful chemicals are part of your every-day world. A little pink grapefruit essential oil might be the best thing that ever happens to you."

But I don't say that. I just politely nod and smile and respect their decision. But a fifteen-year study from Columbia University is good enough evidence for me. I don't need my toddler to grow man boobs to convince me not to use fabric softener, ok? My towels smell like towels, not Jamaican Kiwi-Vanilla Shazam! And I'm just fine with that.

H. 

 

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Life Stinks: You Can Do Something About It.

 Apathy anti-bad-mood spray smells like fresh-peeled pink grapefruit.

 

People smell, and that’s not so out-of-the ordinary. And neither is chronic, day-to-day misery. What’s unusual is when people – either smelly people or miserable people – actually make an effort to do something about it.

In an email to HR Products’ headquarters, Heather A. explains how much she hates her life:

“Things at my work are going to hell in a hand basket. The only thing keeping me sane is the sprays. My co-worker says that that I look like a ‘huffer’ when she catches me in my office sniffing all the room sprays.”

“She doesn’t smell,” says Heidi Rettig, CEO of antibadmoodsprays.com. “At least I don’t think so, because we’ve never actually met, but her life is obviously completely miserable because she bought all four of my mood-lifting sprays.

Heather A. bought a bottle of Apathy and then ordered the other three scents just hours after receiving her first delivery.

“Okay. I’m hooked. I hate you. I just got my box delivered, and now I’m ordering again. I’m spraying this sh*t on me and everyone that comes in my office. And my home. Ahhh … now I can function. Thank you for making my life bearable.”

How does HR Products feel about that? Heidi Rettig replies, “We love Heather.”

 

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Aromatherapy mood lifting sprays on DailyCandy.com

Our anti-bad-mood sprays were featured in a hilarious anti-Valentine's slideshow, "(Not So) Bitter Party of One" on DailyCandy.com  

The feature made me so happy - I love DailyCandy.


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Why I Developed A Set of Anti-Bad Mood Sprays: 1.0


Why did I develop a set of anti-bad mood sprays? Not just for you. Not just for your office or your home. 

I did it because when I arrived at my office this morning, one of the building tenants had parked in the driveway entrance to the parking lot. And left his car there for 45 minutes so no one could get in or out of the office garage. Which meant I had to find a spot on the street and then, when he finally left, drop what I was doing and move my car again. The fact that he thought he could do that without worrying about the rest of the building's schedule? That's why I developed

Aggressive™. 

Blended with aromatherapy essential oils to calm me down. Which is good. Because sniffing herbal room sprays is so much more acceptable than letting the air out of his tires.Or whatever I would have said if I'd run into him in the hallway.Fresh orange. Maybe I can pretend I'm somewhere else. Like an citrus grove in Florida. Instead of this old, smelly, office building where I don't even get to use the parking spot that I PAY FOR. 

--Heidi

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