The Ultimate Disney Staycation

(Note: This blog was posted a year after the actual event. We may not be in total quarantine anymore, but you can always plan a Disney staycation even if travel restrictions are lifted! Hope this is helpful to those who are looking for some Disney magic and inspiration to spruce up your summer!)

Okay, brace yourself. This is going to be a long one. This staycation was weeks of planning on my part and a good chunk of change, but compared to an actual Disney Vacation, it was a huge savings with lots of magic and tons of fun!

Read More

Creativity and Productivity: Establishing an Efficient Work Space

Guest Post Written by: Alice Robertson,

Working from home isn’t always the idyllic arrangement it seems. Distractions and space that’s ill-suited for work can make your home an obstacle to productivity, especially a small home with limited office space options. The key is to establish a dedicated work area that’s separate from everyday household activities and large enough to accommodate all the elements of an efficient workspace. It may take some creativity and experimentation, but you can make it work even in a home that’s short on square footage.

Read More

Everything You Need to Know about Double Strollers

I’ll start this post on a positive note. All children are precious gifts from God and it is truly a blessing to be gifted with not one, but three sweet girls.

However, every time we add another child to our family, our simple, zippy little life becomes a bit more…frumpy. Does anyone feel me on this?

Read More

Tidying Up: My Personal Review

If you are a Netflix lover like myself, you have probably seen promotions for the new show, Tidying Up, with Marie Kondo. The show demonstrates principles from Marie’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing . Just like her book, the show is quickly gaining traction and has everyone looking to purge their unused and unwanted items from their home, and leave it tidy and organized. Being an organizer and lover of clean homes myself, I thought I would give you my honest reviews of the show…

My Thoughts…

Of course, I always love to see people getting organized in their homes. It honestly makes me breathe easier when I see them let go of all their excess things throughout the course of the show. If you are newer to The Mom By Design, you may not know that I created my own organizing course last fall, right before our second daughter was born. Yes, a lot of my ambition for this course came from my crazy amounts of nesting energy. But, it was literally the cleanest our house had ever been and that purge set us up so nicely for those infant months of not being able to do much other than survive and sleep. 

I remember Marie’s book being pretty popular around the time I was making my course. I never read the book because I always loved to organize and never really had an issue with getting rid of things I no longer used. I certainly appreciated that someone wrote a book about tidying up and understood why so many people were intrigued by it, but because I didn’t need to learn about it myself, it wasn’t on my must-read list. 

Now having watched a few episodes of her show, I can’t help but see a bit of myself in Marie and a bit of Marie in my course. We have a lot of similar principles, though we articulate them a bit differently. I do not take the time to “greet the house” before I organize it, or tell my clothes “thank you” before I put them in a bag to donate or throw away. Times like this usually spark an eye-roll or a chuckle from me while watching. However, there’s a part of me that is touched by this action, of acknowledging what we have and how it has helped us in our daily lives. Our home does so much for us that we take for granted, and I appreciate that Marie makes us stop to give thanks to our home for all it has done for us in protecting us and our families.

Comparing “Tidying Up” to “Organize It”

Marie divides up her organizing process into 5 sections: clothing, books, paper, Kimono (which is your kitchen, bathroom, garage, and miscellaneous), and finally, sentimental items. I divided up my course, Organize It by rooms- but they were similar to Marie’s categories: closets, kitchen, office, playroom, garage, and laundry room.

I went through the course last night to see the similarities and I thought this one section from the “Closets” module sounded very “Marie-like.” You guys, I was 9 MONTHS PREGNANT when I filmed this course! Was I nuts??? I can’t help but chuckle when I look at that belly and how winded I am in some of the clips. But I’m also totally proud of all the work and nesting energy I was able to put into this course this far along in my pregnancy.

Closet Organization: Organize It

Keeping a Tidy House with Kids

A lot of people ask Marie about how she manages a tidy house with two young children. She admits that it is difficult, but she tries to include them in tidying up as much as she can. The main reason my house gets messy in the first place is BECAUSE of my kids. I literally can’t believe how much of my day is spent picking up and putting away. It’s basically a never-ending process. But like Marie, I do try to involve them as much as possible when I can, and when they are able. Last night as I was putting Logan down, I asked Riley to clean up her room a bit (it was a disaster). After rocking Logan to sleep for about 10 minutes or so, I went into Riley’s room fully expecting to help her clean the rest of the way. It was SPOTLESS. I’m not kidding. I almost cried. And she was soooo proud of herself when I made the fuss that I did. The Playroom Organization module reminds me a lot of Marie in encouraging your kids to be a part of the organization and tidying up process.

Playroom Organization: Organize It

So basically, I’m a fan of the show. Admittedly, it gives me a bit of a boost with how well I did in my Organize It Course. And I’m grateful I don’t have the heaps of belongings her clients have in the show. Feeling like you need your “stuff” can be a pretty intense feeling sometimes. But once you start letting go, it all becomes a lot easier.