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KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

As a writer, I tend to read a lot, which means I own a ton of books. However, as I continue in my KonMari journey, I wanted to use my bookshelf in my office to not only house books but display items that bring me joy as well. And, my project binders.

Several years ago, I was all about accumulating as many interesting books as I could, to one day have a dedicated library in my house. I envisioned myself drinking tea beside a huge window, surrounded by floor to ceiling books. However, every time I moved, there were more and more super heavy boxes of books that no one – including the movers – wanted to lift. The more books I had, the more bookshelves I needed. It was an endless cycle.

A couple of moves ago, I decided not to take three bookshelves with me to my new home. I donated over 500 books to the library, followed by another 200 once I settled into my new place. Some books I read. Some I would never read. Almost all of them nonfiction.

Basically, what was left is what I now have, and it’s still too much. In fact, at times I have forgotten I own a particular book and buy a second or third copy. It’s frustrating that there are so many books on the shelves that I can’t get to the ones I want. It’s time to purge!

I also wanted to bring some light and air to my bookshelf, which sits behind my desk in my office. When I walk into my office, I want to be inspired and happy to look at the bookshelf, not be distracted or annoyed by the mess.

Marie Kondo, in her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingsays to put all your books in one pile and purge from there. I couldn’t do that. I had to take it shelf by shelf, which was organized by topic. Even cleaning through my books that way I’ve had stacks on the floor for several days while I decide on the new layout for my bookshelf. It would have been a nightmare with all of them on the floor at the same time!

As I touched each book, I determined if it deserved a place in my home. If so, it went into Pile A. If not, Pile B, whereupon I noted all the pertinent information (title, author, ISBN, price) onto a handy dandy spreadsheet. I always keep track of books I donate or sell. That way, I won’t buy them again – hopefully. Then, I checked Amazon to see if they were worth selling. Most were not. So, they were put into a box and packed into my car to deliver to the library.

However, there were some that didn’t fit into either category. They didn’t deserve to stay, but I really wanted to read them before I sent them on their way. I know, Kondo says to just give them away, but I truly believe I will make it through this pile. Alas, Pile C needed a home.

As I worked through the shelves, I had to decide what I wanted where. So, I did my usual – I drew a quick sketch of the bookshelf on a piece of paper, identified what I knew and listed the book categories that still needed a home. (I use this same method for kitchen cupboards, bedroom closets/furniture and anything else that can be put on a grid. It helps me to think things through.)

I’m about halfway done, and it’s been a challenge. I cannot believe how many books I can squeeze onto a shelf! (These are really deep.) I’ve always been good at organizing things, I guess to the point where I have far more than I need of some items.  

So far, I’ve donated about another 100 books, added about as many into Pile C, with many more books to go. However, what I’ve done I’m thrilled with! I just love walking into my office and seeing the clean shelves, lights and words of inspiration.

Here are some tips for cleaning through your books:

  1. Bit by bit. If you have a lot of books, take it a bit at a time. It gets too confusing when you have books all over the place. When you want to put them back on a shelf, you won’t be able to find it. If your books bring you joy, there’s no reason to toss them, but be realistic.
  2. Decide on the use. Do you just want to pile your books on your bookshelves, or do you want to use the shelves for other things as well, such as display items, awards, photos, or office items. You have to make that decision before you start to put things back.
  3. Make a grid. I find it’s best for me to make a list of all the categories I need to put into a particular space, make a grid, then decide where they go. Sometimes it’s decided on the grid. Other times I put the item away then note it on the grid and cross it off the list. It just helps to keep you organized so you don’t forget anything crucial.
  4. Clean it! Once the shelves are empty, do a good beeswax dusting and let it sit overnight before you put anything back. Let the beeswax do its job. It’s not often the shelves are completely empty, so take advantage while you can.
  5. Feel the energy. I’ve changed the layout of some of the shelves several times, until I felt it was right. I even changed the location of two or three categories because, while they looked good on my grid, I didn’t like the way it felt on the shelf. 
  6. Light it up! I’ve had so much fun using the inexpensive LED fairy lights on timers to light up my bookshelves. I’ve even used flameless pillar candles and lighted candle bases. It’s so exciting to walk into my office and see everything lit up. It increases my energy immediately.

I’ll do a final blog post once I’ve finished, and post photos on Instagram, but I thought I’d share what I’ve done so far. This is such a tough category for me, particularly if you’re an avid reader like I am. And, I keep my cookbooks and art books in other rooms. So, more mess to make!

I’d love to hear your comments on how you’re using KonMari to sort through your books. Leave your comments below!

Next up, Books Part 2. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

My Dream for Michigan Central Station

My Dream for Michigan Central Station

Today my heart is both heavy and happy. Heavy with building lust and opportunity lost. Happy that a most beautiful, iconic structure has a savior.

For the past several hours, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole of the #fordetroit posts, absorbing every essence that is the future of Michigan Central Station (MCS) thanks to Ford Motor Company.

I grew up in Detroit, and I remember the first time I drove by that glorious building. My heart leapt with joy. How could something so beautiful be so unloved?

Certainly, I’m not the only person who asked this question. It’s been debated for decades. But once I laid eyes on MCS, my brain began developing a plan that has morphed a bit over time due to technology and the economy, but hasn’t strayed much from my initial vision.

At the time of my first sighting, I was traveling extensively for business. I had to put my idea on the backburner. It sat there and simmered, popped up again occasionally, but I didn’t have the experience to try to pull something like my vision together at the time.

I tracked articles and news stories about MCS, but it didn’t fully come back into my life until I started to write my novel series, The Diana Diaries. Book two – Destiny Dollars – introduces MCS into the discussion and book three (under development) – Destiny Detroit – takes the story to Detroit to pursue the main character’s vision.

The setup scenario in Destiny Detroit is fictional, but the development of the MCS project is all real in my world. My writing is influenced by my interests, and MCS, which took hold of my heart from the first moment I saw it, is part of that. I had hoped to bring it to life, at least through my book, at best through a finalized business plan accompanied by building lovers with deep pockets.

However, the last few years I was a full time caregiver to my mother, and aside from the moments to write here and there, I couldn’t spend a lot of time on my business plan. I had done some research, put together some spreadsheets to support my premise, but my focus was on my Mom. MCS had sat empty for so long I figured I had another year or so to jump in full force. First, finish the book, then present my plan to potential investors. Alas, that won’t happen. But Destiny Detroit will still contain my vision.

Joy Mangano, the HSN power lady and author of Inventing Joy, learned the lesson of not acting quickly enough on her idea for a reflective flea collar. We all know who beat her to market with that product. But, she learned and went on to invent numerous other products that serve millions of people. As I read her book, I kept getting pangs of guilt that I had not fully immersed myself in my MCS project. And now, there is none.

Would my idea have generated as much income as what Ford is doing? Probably not. But it would have helped to grow another local industry and provide much fun and flair to the neighborhood. Still, I applaud Ford for stepping up to save MCS and give it life once again. I can’t wait to see the fully restored beauty. And, should they encounter some snags along the way and need an out – I have a great idea waiting in the wings.

What am I talking about? You’ll just have to wait to read the book. Fingers crossed it will be out by the end of the year, written through tears of joy and happiness – with a touch of regret.

In the meantime, you can read the first two books – Destiny Drop and Destiny Dollars – to catch up on the characters. And, I’ll even send a copy to Bill Ford for his reading pleasure once the third book is complete.

Be sure to join my mailing list so you can be the first to know about the official release date of Destiny Detroit.

Cindi

My Writing Life – February 2017

My Writing Life – February 2017

So many people ask me what it’s like to be a writer and, honestly, the journey is different for everyone. A writer, like any other business owner, has to balance both business and personal expectations while feeding that all-important muse! So, I’ve decided at least for this year, I will aim to provide monthly updates to give you more insight into my business.

Everyone’s situation is different and, as I take care of my Mom full time, I never know what the day will bring when the sun comes up. Some months are extremely productive business-wise, while others I hardly achieve a thing. Still, as long as I continue to move forward, I’m happy.

Sometime over the last year or so, I saw a band’s website where they listed their top 100 goals to success and identified key milestones along the way, sharing their celebrations of each. I love that idea, but I have more than 100 goals on that list so I’ll just take it a little at a time. I’ll let you know when I’m celebrating a milestone!

Without further ado, here is my recap for February 2017.

Business

Social media. My goal this year is to blog three times a week, along with Instagram posts as I see fit and hopefully YouTube somewhere down the road. In February, I was only able to blog twice the entire month! Mom needed a lot of attention and there just wasn’t the time to focus on my blog. I’ll try to up the numbers in March, but Mom still needs a lot of help. I also want to get to the point where I have a backlog of unpublished posts so I can maintain consistency when my time is limited.

Books. I finally sent Destiny Drop off to the printer. Yay!!! I’ve ordered copies and will post on Instagram when they arrive. I made some edits to the print book, so now we’re tweaking the ebook so the two match. I hope to complete that within the week. I also sent the sequel, Destiny Dollars, off for print layout. It’s a longer book which will require even more reading to double check everything. It’s a brand-new book, never before released, so we’re starting with a clean slate. I expect it will be available late March or early April, followed by the ebook release. Stay tuned!

Online Image. I’m still aiming to at least start this in March. I purchased the WordPress template and SSL certificates. I also ordered the print copies of my first novel, so I can begin taking some photos. As I said last month, this will be a time-consuming process.

Writing. My goal is to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words each day. I didn’t even come close this month. Mom is my number one priority, so I just take it day by day. My plan was to complete the text of a new novel by the end of March, but we’ll see. It’s about 50 percent done. I have a feeling it will be a tossup between redoing my website versus finishing the book. I’ll update you next month.

Self-Care

Steps. I only hit my step goal 10/28 days in February. Not happy, but I’ll work harder in March.

Sleep. Surprisingly, in spite of the crazy month, I managed to hit my sleep goal of seven hours a night on seven nights! I haven’t done that in a long time. Mom’s schedule changed, so I’ve been able to get more complete sleep at night and I catch a nap whenever possible. I’m not sure what her schedule will be like in March.

Goals for March

I really want to focus on my books and blogging as much as possible. I will aim to average twice a week on my blog, post to Instagram weekly, finalize the Destiny Drop ebook, finalize the Destiny Dollars print book and make some headway on the new novel. If I’m up to it, I will lovingly focus on updating my website and opening my online store. This has been on my mind for a while, but it took me a long time to decide how I wanted things to look. Now I know so I can move forward. I also have operations items that I want to address. Those haven’t gone away! We’ll see how the month goes. Mom is priority number one!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Enjoy!

Cindi

My Writing Life – January 2017

My Writing Life – January 2017

So many people ask me what it’s like to be a writer and, honestly, the journey is different for everyone. A writer, like any other business owner, has to balance both business and personal expectations while feeding that all-important muse! So, I’ve decided at least for this year, I will aim to provide monthly updates to give you more insight into my business.

Everyone’s situation is different and, as I take care of my Mom full time, I never know what the day will bring when the sun comes up. Some months are extremely productive business-wise, while others I hardly achieve a thing. Still, as long as I continue to move forward, I’m happy.

Sometime over the last year or so, I saw a band’s website where they listed their top 100 goals to success and identified key milestones along the ways, sharing their celebrations of each. I love that idea, but I have more than 100 goals on that list so I’ll just take it a little at a time. I’ll let you know when I’m celebrating a milestone!

Without further ado, here is my recap for January 2017.

Business

Social media. My goal this year is to blog three times a week, along with Instagram posts as I see fit and hopefully YouTube somewhere down the road. In january, I was consistent with blogging twice a week. I’m OK with that for now.

Books. When I released this last batch of books, it seemed the engine was on ebooks. The idea of publishing in print was considered no longer relevant. Since then, the tables have turned and more and more people are telling me that although they do read ebooks, they still enjoy touching the paper. In fact, I have met several folks who refuse to read ebooks. So, I’ve set about getting the layout done on my books for print. My goal was to have four of them completed this month. Well…the first one is done but i’m still doing a final read-through. Every time you make a change in format, it’s important to do a complete read-through lest things get missed.

Online Image. January for me was to be a complete redo of my online image. However, I want to have print copies of my books for photos, so at this rate, it looks like it will be March or so before I’ll be able to do it. I’ve selected the new template for my website and online store, and pretty much know exactly what I want. It will just be a time-consuming process.

Writing. My goal is to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words each day. Well, if I add up all the blog posts and notes I’ve written, I’m not too far off. However, if I look simply at credible output on a new book, it was just over a few thousand. With plans to release a new book around the end of March, I’d better get writing!

Self-Care

Steps. This month, I hit or exceeded my step goal 26/31 days. I’m happy!

Sleep. My goal is seven hours a night, but since I take care of my Mom, it works out to be about six hours of broken sleep plus an occasional nap. Still working on this.

Goals for February

As we’re already into the month, I can say that Mom has needed a lot of extra care so far, and will continue for at least a few more weeks. That being said, I plan to get one book to the printer, start the layout on the second, blog an average of twice a week and work on my March book. There are some items regarding operations and my websites that I’d also like to accomplish. We’ll see how the month goes. Mom is priority number one!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Enjoy!

Cindi