Beginning with the End in Mind


I jumped on the bandwagon and read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.

First, I unlock the door and announce to my house, “I’m home!” Picking up the pair of shoes I wore yesterday and left out in the entranceway, I  say, “Thank you very much for your hard work, ” and put them away in the shoe cupboard.  Then I take off the shoes I wore today and place them neatly in the entranceway.  Heading to the kitchen, I put the kettle on and go to my bedroom.  There I lay my handbag gently on the soft sheepskin rug and take off my outdoor clothes.  I put my jacket and dress on a hanger, say, “Good job!” and hang them temporarily from the closet doorknob.  I put my tights in a laundry basket that fits into the bottom right corner of my closet, open a drawer, select the clothes I feel like wearing inside, and get dressed.  I greet the waist high potted plant by the window and stroke it’s leaves.

Froufrou overload.  I spent a great deal of time trying to keep my eyes from rolling to the back of my head. It started to go bad for me right in the first chapter when she talks about how once people start this life changing method of tidying – lives are completely changed.  One person was so changed they even got a divorce.  It’s not that I don’t think a divorce is ever necessary and it may have been the right thing for the person to do, I just don’t know that it should be a selling feature of your method.  I was just so happy getting rid of all my extra stuff, I threw my husband out too!

A nit-picky little disagreement I mentioned on instagram.  No way that there isn’t going to be some wardrobe cycling in the standard sized closet of standard Wisconsinite couple.

My biggest complaint was the permeating idea of affluence which probably makes sense when you think about the audience of home organization books, but was still overwhelming.  I think it’s a little arrogant to assume that people can afford to surround themselves and clothe themselves only in things that “spark joy”.  Ideal, perhaps, but also unlikely.

Anyway, all of this to say, while I’m not crazy about all of the book there are definitely ideas worth incorporating (visualizing the life you want to live, organizing by type and not room, and doing it all in one sweep).  I’ll fold clothes all fancy if it helps keep my t-shirts more organized and while I’ve never been one for keeping a bunch of mindless paperwork around, I’ll go through and toss out more (though some of the things she deems unnecessary, I use and will keep).

So I’m spending some time thinking about what I want life to look like and how our family home can reflect that.  Of all the things she speaks to, I think that is the one thing I will definitely be taking away from this book.  It’s always a good idea to begin with the end in mind.


In 2014, I made a list of books that I wanted to read.  And then I mostly forgot about it.  While I was updating some things on the blog, I came across my list (this is why I blog, it helps me remember  things that I would otherwise forget).   Luckily for me, I still have a few brain cells and have been working on it despite forgetting about it.  So I thought I’d update it again with what I’ve managed to check off.  Books in italics are titles I’ve read before.

Junior Fiction

1. Anne of Green Gables
2. Bridge to Terebithia
3. A Wrinkle in Time 
4. Jacob Have I Loved 
5. Daughter of Smoke & Bone
6. The Secret Garden
7. The Wind in the Willows (I can’t finish this, I’ve started it three times, and I just can’t)
8. Where the Red Fern Grows
9. Treasure Island
10. The Chocolate War

On the Shelves

11. Cloud Atlas
12. Lit
13. So Much for That
14. Skippy Dies
15. A Confederacy of Dunces
16. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
17. A Widow for One Year
18. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
19.The Jungle
20. The Bean Trees


21. Tess of D’Ubervilles
22. Wuthering Heights
23. Mansfield Park
24.The Woman in White
25. Gone with the Wind
26. Frankenstein
27. The Grapes of Wrath
28. Rebecca
29. The Hobbit
30. The Awakening

Recently Published

31. We are Water
32. The Goldfinch
33. The Luminaries
34. And the Mountains Echoed
35. The Husband’s Secret
36. The Light Between Oceans
37. Defending Jacob
38. Shotgun Lovesongs
39. This is How You Lose Her
40. Something Like Normal


41. Lean In
42. Carry On, Warrior
43. Bad Mother
44. I Am Malala
45. Stitches
46. Jesus Feminist
47. Rose Kennedy: The Life & Times of a Political Matriarch
48. Reading in the Wild: 
49. Real Food: What to Eat and Why
50.A Long Way Gone

I seem to have made the most progress on recently published books.  Perhaps because when I created this list I already had many of them on my e-reader?  Perhaps I should download some of those nonfiction as well as the push I need?


I bought books.

In 2014, I put myself on a book purchasing moratorium.  (Sort of.)  I could buy them as gifts for other people, for the kids, or use any bookstore gift cards given to me, but I could not buy them for me.  (I’d like to save a bunch of money, but I’m positive I just spent it on yarn instead).

But today, I was running around Target picking up a few things for Valentine’s Day and it dawned on me. It is no longer 2014.  The self-imposed sacrifice of reading material is OVER.  I whipped my cart around, practically ran to the book section, and picked up three.  I almost bought two for me and one for each other kids but then I decided I spent all of 2014 buying THEM books so I put them back and bought myself another one.

It felt wonderful.  And honestly, it was perfect timing because any of my more involved knitting projects are starting to make me a little crazy and I just want to quit knitting all together.

Also, I needed a reason to procrastinate cleaning the house today.

What Abram's Reading Now (Or Having Read to Him)

I know I often share the books that I’m reading for myself, but with two kids who are developing a reading love that rivals my own, I thought it might be nice to share their reads as well. Here are the books that Abram has been having me read (and reread) daily.

Caps for Sale (A calls this “Hubcaps for Sale”) | Press Here | I Took The Moon for a Walk | This is Not My Hat | The Pigeon Wants a Puppy | The Day the Crayons Quit | Extra Yarn | The Peace Book | The Jolly Postman