Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paper Trail

Current Weight: 304 lbs
Total Loss: 45 lbs
- Body Weight %age: 13%

First order of business, we have a winner winner chicken dinner for the "Spot of Tea" commenter contest. Jordan drew the name of my dear coworker, Emily, and yesterday we picked out some teas for her online. Excited to share the goodness and thank you to all commenters for your support and readership! I'll do another contest soon, it was fun!

You can't take a bad picture of this beauty. Congrats, Emly!
In other news, my campaign to be down 19 pounds by Christmas is not going well, I was up a pound on Monday and am weighing in over lunch today to see how I've done since. I was so discouraged but Jordan cheered me up by buying me a domain for the blog!! You can now find me at www.themegnificentmiles.com. I feel SO fancy!!

This bit of encouragement spurred me to take the following steps:
1) Pound water like Real Housewives pound pinot
2) Log all the things in MyFitnessPal and review logs with the ladies at PWLC
3) Move my butt (morning walks, Saturday walk/runs)
**BONUS: keep busy at home doing anything but eating**

So with that...

I finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing  by Marie Kondo and continued to apply the "Konmari" concepts this past week. It's uncharacteristic of me to read a self-help book, especially in an area I previously thought I did okay in but with an influx of Mom's momentos flooding the house, I needed a way to cope with the clutter.

The book proposes something new to me: sort by category, not by room. This way, you can gather all like items in one place and 1) view the sheer amount of something you own and 2) easily and quickly identify superfluous or duplicate items. She also proposes you take everything in that category, spread it all out before you then, as you move to put things back ask the question "does this spark joy?" I started with clothes as you know and next on her list was books and papers so that was last week!

Papers don't spark much joy but Kondo proposes if something is useful it carries its own kind of joy so this was an exercise of asking ourselves what papers/books were useful than isolating joyful items. I started with books. I had done a HUGE purge of my books last year so I eyed my bookshelves with suspicion thinking "I'm going to get rid of, like, two books here." Jordan played video games while I unloaded my already-neat bookshelf like a weirdo. Then I set to putting things back taking each book in my hand, looking at it, and seeing if it gave me a gut feeling of joy. I was surprised to discover my precious book collection sparked other feelings: guilt over purchasing then losing interest in some and, more prominently, acknowledging many books I enjoyed but will never read again. I even found five duplicates! So, as per the Konmari method, I "thanked them for their service" and put them in the giveaway pile. Here's the pile of giveaways by the time I finished! Cooper is even sitting on a bunch of them.

As Kondo promised, I feel more content now that my bookshelves contain what she terms my "hall of fame" cherished books (left set of shelves) and a library of unread books I'm eager to pull from (the right side). I once again forgot to snap a "before" shot but here's the "after" of the shelves (redecorating pending...):
That lone empty cube is dangerous...means I have to buy more books right, guys?...Guys?
Papers were up next. Jordo keeps good track of our stuff so it wasn't over the top but the desk and file drawers were looking pretty rough so we attacked this project together. Instead of fingering through the hanging files in their drawer as we would have pre-Konmari method, we instead adhered to the book and pulled out ALL the papers I could find anywhere around the house (not including sentimental papers like photos, cards and letters) and piled them in a laundry basket. 

Next, I did an initial sort of stuff I was comfortable getting rid of without Jordan's input, then I took the remainder to the kitchen table where we sorted through it together. I was pretty impressed with the efficiency and speed with which Jordan sorted through our paperwork and in no time we went from what had been a stuffed file cabinet to a small stack of filled hanging files. We unearthed a lot of fun gift cards we hadn't used yet, some important papers that will be useful but mostly we threw away a metric ton of papers (see white trash can photo at left). 
I made my husband sort papers as soon as he was up Saturday morning, that man loves me.
Pile in bottom right of corner is what we got the pile down to!

We also found a truly horrifying caricature I had done during choir tour in 2001...it had to go.
The worst part is it looks a lot like me.
All in all, this was a really fruitful project and with the exception of our most important papers in our fireproof lock box, here's all our paperwork in the whole house now and two sexy desk drawers.  
What's next? I'm glad you asked. 

The next category Kondo instructs readers to tackle is what she calls "komono" which in Japanese terms means "small articles, miscellaneous items, accessories, gadgets, small tools, parts, etc. I've already started this and will post photos next week of the all the crud Jordan and I have accumulated and are purging. I weigh in later today so will also hopefully have a positive report on the weight loss too—I can honestly say I've been spot on especially considering that by the end of today I will have survived my THIRD pre-Thanksgiving feast. I'm beyond blessed to have enough community to warrant FOUR total Thanksgivings but I can only say no to Stove Top so many times, people.

Will have some early Thanksgiving tips for you all when I post on WEDNESDAY (not Thursday since it's Turkey day) next week. #gobbledontwobble #madethatupmyself #ithink

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