I love Marie Kondo and her advice for decluttering your life. The guiding principle of the KonMari Method is to only keep things that bring you joy. I really don't consider myself a packrat or hoarder, but after reading through her website and looking around my cabinets and closets, I saw how much stuff I actually have.
I decided to deploy a few of her ideas and spend the weekend decluttering. It took all of Saturday just to go through my clothes closet. I don't want to make this blog about the KonMari method, but I will just tell you that after pulling out all the clothes I "hope" to fit into again someday and all of the shoes that I never wear but couldn't bear to part with in the past, I had four 32 gallon trash bags full of items that I'll be dropping off at Goodwill this week.
Sunday was spent opening cabinets and wandering from room to room trying to figure out if any of my "stuff" brought me joy. The idea of gadgets and gizmos bringing me joy was actually quite silly to me. But, when I really thought about it, it really wasn't silly at all.
Take my Instant Pot for example. I get so much ... okay, I'll say it ... joy out of cooking an awesome dinner in a fraction of the time that it used to. I brag about my ribs being fall off the bone tender after just an hour or so, and smile from ear to ear when my chocolate cheesecake comes out perfectly.
As it turns out, I have quite a few items in my home that bring me joy. Below is a list of my 10 favorites. Maybe after reading this you'll look around your house and see how much you have in your life (beyond the all-important people and pets of course) that makes you happy in ways you didn't even realize.
Of course, this had to be on here. I am obsessed with cooking in the instant pot. I have so many favorite recipes, including Mississippi Pot Roast, Chicken Adobo, Southwestern Mac & Cheese, and Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowls.
My newest obsession, matched only by my obsession with the Instant Pot. I got this lid about three weeks ago and have already cooked chicken wings, fries, onion rings, zucchini, pork chops, and air fried pickles. All turned out awesome. This lid also broils, dehydrates, roasts, and bakes. I'm in love all over again! My dream is to never have to turn on my oven in summer in Georgia again!
I've owned a Kindle since they first came on the market in 2007. Given that I'm a voracious reader, it was a no-brainer that I'd order a device that would let me carry hundreds (if not thousands) of books in my purse. In those 12 or so years, I've only had to buy two kindles. The only reason I replaced my first one is because I wanted the even lighter, slightly smaller version. My original Kindle still works though and I keep it as a backup. My husband has the fire version and I personally didn't like reading with an illuminated background. It was rubbish for reading outside in the sunshine and it fatigued my eyes much quicker. I definitely recommend the paperwhite or glare free versions if your looking to read it any where, in any light, including bright sunlight. The best part is the battery lasts for days not hours.
What can I say, I love gadgets. I have a google home mini in just about every room of my house, but in my kitchen I needed to take it up a notch, and so I keep the google home on the counter. Beyond getting the morning news and weather reports, listening to my favorite podcasts, and having a rundown of my appointments for the day like all of the google devices can do, the screen is awesome for getting the more detailed information that I need in the kitchen. I can say "Hey google! Show me how to make rice pudding in the Instant Pot," and voila, my google assistant pulls up the recipe, and then reads the ingredient list and the step-by-step instructions. I can also broadcast "Dinner's ready" across all of the google minis in the house so the family hears me without me having to screech up the stairs.
This is a comfort item in the literal sense of the word. I had heard a lot about weighted blankets and how they can help with various issues like insomnia, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, and others. What interested me was the claims that it could help with restless leg syndrome. If you suffer from RLS like I do, you'll know how frustrating this condition is when it's time to settle down for the night. I ordered one of these just before Christmas and I haven't slept without it yet. I use a 15 lb. blanket and I've not had the RLS symptoms that I'd lived with for years. YAY!
I hated dicing vegetables almost as much as I hated peeling potatoes and doing laundry. But I love cooking with and eating diced vegetables. So what's a girl to do? Luckily I found this awesome Veggie Dicer. It's simple and inexpensive but it certainly does the job! I have the dicing kit to go with my KitchenAid Food Processor, but I don't always want to pull out the big guns, especially if I only want to dice like one bell pepper. This is one of my favorite kitchen tools, and one that I use almost every day.
I'm a bulk cooking fan. Have I mentioned that? When I know that my work schedule is going to be especially busy or if I need to travel out of town, I'll often spend a day or two cooking enough meals for a week, and sometimes, even a month. Call me old fashioned, but I hate the idea of my family eating junk when I'm not around and so cooking in bulk lets me do two things that I love most. Taking care of my family and cooking. Freezing multiple meals requires amazing food storage solutions and these BPA free containers from Fullstar fit the bill. They are leakproof, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe!
This is one of my most favorite things in the history of ever. I have a medication that I take twice a day, every day, and I can't tell you how many times I simply couldn't remember if I'd taken it. That is, until this awesome pill bottle came into my life. I simply put my meds into this bottle and I never have to guess if I've taken my daily doses. I can set one or two alarms, or simply check the "Last Opened" window and it tells me the day and time that the bottle was, well, last opened:) Truly a life saver!
If you read any of my other posts, you'll know I have a deep love for my album collection. I have an amazing cabinet in my living room that houses my pricier stereo, but when I wanted to have a turntable in my office as well, I didn't want a large piece of furniture or expensive equipment. I have the one pictured here in white (it also comes in a number of other colors) and it's exactly what I wanted. The sound is perfect, and it's compact and light. Now I can hear my music the way I like it, scratches, static and all!
Speaking of record players and album collections, not everyone in my house necessarily likes all of my music choices. But I like to listen to my albums while I'm reading, or cleaning, or painting or doing pretty much anything and so I needed to find a way to listen at the volume I wanted without disturbing everyone. My stereo receiver has bluetooth so you'd think, as I did, that I can just pair my bluetooth headphones to my receiver. The problem is, stereo receivers with bluetooth only work in one direction. I can pair it with my phone or tablet and broadcast a playlist to the receiver and speakers but they can't transmit the sound from a turntable or radio station to headphones. To be able to listen to my records using my wireless headphones, I'd need either a plug in bluetooth adapter, or use a radio frequency headphone system. I opted for the RF headphones since I didn't have to pair it every time I wanted to use it, it's always paired with the transmitter/charging hub. Now I can roam freely around the house listening to my favorite artists all the time! It also works with your TV.
Talk a look in your closets, cabinets, nooks, and crannies and find those things that make your life happier, or smarter, or easier, or more fun and soon you'll realize that you can find joy in even the simplest of things. I know that a happier me makes me appreciate everything, and everyone in my life, just a little bit more. Joy begets Joy.