Lately I've been hearing a lot about people who are either:
a) pregnant with baby #2
b) moving out of the city
c) both of the above
It's a bittersweet combo. I'm so happy for these people who are making The Great Transition into the next phase, whatever it may be. I'm (fleetingly) jealous of those little protruding baby bumps and the contented excitement that they bring. I'm sad (and maybe a little bitter!) that they are leaving a place where we have started to put some roots down. Although Brooklyn does have a neighborhood vibe, the quickly rising rents and property prices are understandably driving families out, causing the neighborhood to start feeling more transient. I long for a place where we really truly feel settled and secure, where we can be in it for the long haul (although I'd probably still have to redecorate a few times!)
I'm a big jumbled ball of confused emotions. I feel a tinge of envy when I hear of those moving Into the Great Wide Open. Space! The final frontier... Their babes and pups can frolic, running barefoot through the rolling grassy meadows of their 1/2 acre fenced in property in the 'burbs. Moms (and Dads!) can sip their coffees or mommy juices as they pour over the NYT and glance up at intervals just to make sure their littles haven't run into the cul de sac or set their swing set on fire.
I totally get it. Don't think we haven't thought about it - and still think about it - on a daily basis. There are times when I'll look around the petit a.p.t and feel like I'm in the depths of a fiery hell. I throw my hands up in disgust and exclaim "I can't take it anymore! There's shit everywhere!!!" I sound like a possessed madwoman. Ask Eric how many times he has heard this phrase and has often responded by hiding under the bed with Bear.
This "out of body" is usually followed up by a frantic, frenzied cleaning up and putting away of all items in sight, which often spirals into an organizational overhaul, trying to exorcise the demons. If you're an organizational enthusiast like me, I'm sure you've been there. But herein lies the problem. A few months (or days!) later, the piles are back, the items are out of place. The cleansing was temporary. The accumulation returns. The work is never complete.
Enter this beautiful, compact little bible:
I just finished reading, and I'm pretty sure that Marie Kondo is my spirit animal. (Actually it's a hummingbird, but you know what I mean. Find out what yours is by taking this quiz here.)
I didn't know about this book until one of my awesome clients recommended I check it out. You really have to read it for yourself, but the basic principal is as follows: "Keep only what sparks joy." This may sound unrealistic and almost bizarre, but I can tell you that we're halfway through the process at le petit a.p.t. and I'm already feeling lighter in so many ways.
Jess Lively, one of my favorite podcasters, created a condensed checklist which is basically the CliffsNotes version of the book. I'm happy to share it with you here. Definitely check out Jess's site and listen to her podcast. It's based largely on positivity, essentialism and living your life with intention.
So, what's your next phase? Baby #2? Moving? Staying put? Re-desiging a space? Regardless, I'm sure you have had some winter accumulation that is bogging you down and need to do some spring soul-cleansing. What better way to start than with something that is life changing? I'm hoping that this is the final cleanse and will lead me into my next phase, so I can spend less time on the frenzied clean up funk and more time on doing what makes me happy - like spending quality time with Miss Avery Etta, teaching her how to take a selfie while choosing the right paint color, natch.
After reading this book, I truly feel that as tiny space dwellers we no longer have reason to complain (okay, okay, we can still vent a little). It provides a tiny sliver of hope that by following this simple method we could potentially stay in our petit a.p.t. in Brooklyn even though baby #2's arrival (nothing in the oven just yet people!) I have no idea where our path will lead us, but I at least know that now whatever it is, I can handle it by living a minimal, simple, organized life surrounded by joy.
And if our newly organized life is going to look anything like my newly organized sock drawer, then we're off to a good start...