Treasure Hunting


Hi Friends!

September has been a month filled with treasure hunting here!  I’ve enjoyed early morning walks through our perennial gardens hunting for the prettiest blossoms to fill antique Mason jars and stoneware pitchers.  We have wandered through our favorite antique fair out in the country to find treasures. Yet the most important treasure hunting has happened right here, in our cozy, little bungalow. That’s where the real magic is happening…


In the Springtime, I was so inspired as I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  I couldn’t wait to follow her step-by-step plan to declutter our closets! The KonMari Method teaches us to discover the things in our home that truly ‘spark joy.’ Only these treasures should be saved. By the end of the Tidying Up celebration, a home will contain only those things that fill us with joy and happiness!

So, I marked my calendar to begin my own Tidying Up celebration in September, as the garden began to slow down. Rather than working room-by-room, KonMari teaches us to work category-by-category, beginning with clothing. It works like magic!


After gathering all of my clothing in one place, I held each item, to discover whether or not it still ‘sparked joy’ in my life. This required being truly present, so that I could actually feel physical sensations of joy. KonMari advises working in a quiet space, rather than playing your favorite music, which might interfere as you are being mindful of your physical reaction to each item. Instead of looking for things to give away, the focus is on saving the treasures in your home. The KonMari Method is truly working!

Thankfully, no one was around to hear the conversations I had with each item that I released! 🙂

If you had be there, you might have heard…

“Thank you for bringing me so much happiness as I wore you on the first day of school for several years!” (as I held up my favorite blue, floral dress, with the big pockets)

“I had so much fun dancing when I wore you to Makenna’s wedding, and I hope someone else will feel the same joy when they wear you for a special occasion!” (as I held up a long dress filled with the most beautiful, old-fashioned flowers)

“What fun it was to wear you to school on cold, winter days. Hopefully, the next person who wears you will hear the same compliments about how pretty they look in this sweater!”

and so it went, as I carefully folded the items of clothing that no longer sparked joy.

The more clothing that I folded to donate to charity, the happier I felt!


Bags quickly filled up and I felt so happy as I dropped them off at Goodwill.

(As the helpful worker unloaded my car, I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!) 🙂

Workout clothes in drawer, organized the KonMari way

My workout clothes are organized the KonMari way. Now it’s so easy to find what I need quickly!

The KonMari Method of organizing drawers is quite unique. Now I know a better way to fold socks! Folding clothing as she teaches, lets you see everything at a glance, prevents wrinkles, and respects your clothes for the work they do for you. It’s lovely! Sometimes I just open my drawers to take a peek… and smile!

Susan Branch book collection

Heartwarming treasures that truly ‘spark joy.’

Books were the next category to Tidy Up. Again it was necessary to hold each book, to determine if it still ‘sparked joy.’ When I held a Susan Branch book, a favorite gardening book, a Christmas book, a biography of Beatrix Potter, or a book filled with tea party traditions, I could feel the ‘joy’ warm my heart. These were the treasures that I would definitely save!

It was time to release many other books.

I knew they would be appreciated by other book lovers.

Once again, KonMari helped me practice the words I needed to say as I held each book…

“I loved reading this book, and now I hope another reader will enjoy it, too. If I want to read it again, I can find it at the library!”

“Thank you for the joy that my friend felt when they bought this book and wrapped it for me, and the joy I felt when I opened this gift. I was happy to read this book, and now I hope it will make someone else feel just as happy!”

“Someone recommended this book but it just wasn’t my ‘cup of tea,’ so I never finished it.  It’s time for someone else to enjoy this book now.”

and so it went as I made stacks and stacks of books to donate.

Stacking up books to donate

Stacking up books to donate

We took many big bags of books to our favorite used book store.

We decided to donate them to a place where avid readers might find them.

It felt really wonderful to give away so many books from our shelves!

Currently, I am working to declutter paper files. It is a much slower process than going through clothing or books, and will take some time to complete. Again treasures have appeared, as I came across special photos, old letters from dear friends, and a few paper Euros for future travels. The photos will be saved for a scrapbooking project and the letters are filling a basket to read one more time with a cup of hot tea, before I bid them farewell. My reward for going through paperwork is the whirring sounds of our paper shredder and new, open space in our files!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Working category-by-category through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

There is still a lot of magic ahead of me. KonMari teaches how to go through Komono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental items throughout a home. As a sentimental girl, I know that will be the most difficult part of Tidying Up. I often remind myself that I’m looking for treasures to save, rather than thinking about items that will be discarded.

As a scrapbooker, I’m NOT planning to discard photos as KonMari suggests. My photo albums, scrapbooks, and framed photos are true treasures! My dear husband has been carefully scanning them to preserve our precious memories. I’m looking forward to using these photos to document our lives and tell our story. Our stories truly do matter and will always ‘spark joy’ in our family!

After the careful discarding of items concludes, the KonMari Method teaches us about storage. She cautions against buying more storage units, which just leads to keeping more unnecessary items. KonMari explains that clutter develops when things don’t have a designated ‘home.’ It will be interesting to try her storage suggestions!

The Internet has been all abuzz about Tidying Up for several months now. The audio book has made its way to You Tube. So many people are sharing their Tidying Up photos on social media. It’s fun to see others documenting their journeys because I know just how wonderful it feels. Although the Tidying Up process takes time, it does feel like a real celebration!

I’m so grateful that friends have been sharing their journeys with me. I feel so blessed that a small group of nearby friends are getting together to share our discoveries, challenges, surprises, and funny stories about the Tidying Up process! We will be there to encourage one another to keep the Tidying Up celebration going! Do let us know if you live nearby and want to join in! 🙂

In January 2016, an illustrated, companion book, Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo will be released. It’s good to know that continued, expert guidance is on the way. There is a very good chance that I will still be treasure hunting into the new year!

It’s a wonderful mindfulness practice.

It feels so good…

 Positive, happy, celebrations of new beginnings have always been just my ‘cup of tea!’ 🙂


Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?

Are you curious about the KonMari approach to decluttering?

If you are Tidying Up at your house, please let us know how it is going!

Choose joy!

♡ Dawn


40 thoughts on “Treasure Hunting

  1. Good for you, Dawn! It is so freeing to go through things we no longer need and give them away to new homes. I totally would never get rid of photos as you have mentioned! Thank you for sharing your process. Enjoy your newly organized drawers and closets! ♥

    • Thanks so much, Martha Ellen! It’s nice to make some big changes as the seasons change! Our closets still need more work, since I have only worked on the clothing. There are lots of miscellaneous items buried in the back of the closets that will have to come out when I reach that part of the process. It’s very different working by category (clothing, books, etc.). In the past, I would have tried to declutter the entire closet at once… and it never really lasted. So, it feels great to try the KonMari Method! Can you believe how quickly September has flown by? So happy that you stopped to visit, Martha Ellen! ♡

  2. I’m glad this is bringing so much joy. After reading your words, I realise that this whole evolution is a complete missed opportunity for me because it all sounds very similar to how I have operated for many years, I guess I just missed the boat on writing a book! ~~~ Sighs ~~~~ Wondering if her method of folding socks is also the same as mine?
    Like you, I disagree on discarding photos. They hold so many memories, and more besides. I look forward, in the hopes that you will one day share the scrapbook pages you are making? Why, you could almost do a companion journal just dedicated to that? Yes, I’m full of bright ideas this morning. ~~~Deb xoxo

    • Oh, thank you, Deb! The KonMari philosophy really spoke to me last Spring when I first read the book. It’s so different from other methods of organizing! It’s hard work, but feels like a celebration! I know that the hardest parts of Tidying Up, going through all of the sentimental items, will be a challenge. So, I’m happy that some close friends have also decided to Tidy Up. We can encourage one another and celebrate together! I always love hearing your ideas, Deb! ♡

  3. As I was reading I wondered what would happen when you got to photographs! As a scrapbooker I just can’t throw photos away and I was pretty sure you felt the same. Well if that’s all we hoard, we are doing great! The book does make you look at things in a new light and I enjoyed the read. I got so much done last spring after I read the book. Clothes were certainly the easiest things to purge….then it gets harder!
    Let us know how you are progressing.
    Chris….W TX

    • Chris, I’m so glad to hear that you have worked through the KonMari method already! 🙂 Clothing and books went so quickly for me, but paperwork takes more time. So, I can see that the entire process of Tidying Up may take a bit longer than I planned. Kindreds, for sure! Photographs have always been my most treasured things! I really appreciate your thoughts and your experience of Tidying Up. It’s so encouraging! Thank you so much, dear Chris! ♡

    • Jodi, I think you would love the book, too! I can tell that we are both busy, creative people with so many interests. We are also both sentimental types! 🙂 If you read the book, I would love to know if it inspires you in the same way. Tidying Up does feel like a celebration! KonMari writes that it is a once-in-a-lifetime process, if done carefully. Since reading the book, I am very, very careful about only bringing home things that truly ‘spark joy.’ It feels so good to edit our lives! Let us know if you read the book, Jodi. We can all encourage one another along the way! ♡

  4. I have not heard of that book and will have to put it on my list to look for. We go through decluttering here periodically. My husband is not a saver at all. When I switch the closet to fall/winter clothes I’ll “talk” to the summer clothes and let some go as you describe.

    • Marcia, it’s a true gem of a book! It reads almost like poetry. The KonMari method is completely different from any other organizing book I’ve ever read. My husband is a minimalist, too. KonMari is so helpful for sentimental types, like me! I just loved ‘thanking’ all of the things that I was donating. 🙂 In our retirement, we don’t need as many things.So, it’s the perfect season in our lives to Tidy Up! After you read the book, please share your thoughts with us, Marcia! ♡

  5. Dawn,
    Congratulations! I too have been tidying up since early this year. I’m surprised sometimes at how much joy the process has brought me. I didn’t buy her book, but used the tips other bloggers have shared and I also follow the minimalist blog. I am more mindful when I buy new items and still have lots of joy-giving treasures around.
    I may have to read the book to learn more about how to set up drawers. 🙂

    • Congratulations, Karen! I know you have been very busy Tidying Up. I think this is the perfect season in our lives to downsize. I’m so delighted with my newly organized drawers! I was in the habit of hanging up everything, so my drawers were filled with other things. I have also become very mindful of new additions. Now I do the ‘spark joy’ test on things in antique shops and perennials at the garden center! 🙂 I love it! Marie Kondo’s new book, due in January, will include lots of pictures. So, I’m sure that I will read that book, as well! If you decide to read the book, we would love to hear your thoughts, Karen! Thanks so much for stopping to visit today! ♡

  6. Good for you, Dawn. You have inspired me this morning as I’ve started to tackle the clothes in the walk-in closet and I really, really need to get this done. While I have not purchased or checked out “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, you are quite right about it being a buzz. I especially appreciate your own words of “treasures to save, rather than thinking about items that will be discarded.” How freeing that is.
    Some days, especially lately, my “to do” list is so long I sometimes ignore it and start a “what I did” list. 🙂

    • Oh, Penny! I do think of it as a treasure hunt ~ looking for things to save, and letting the rest go! KonMari’s words are teaching me how to let things go that I love for sentimental reasons, but that no longer ‘spark joy’ in my life. So many things hold the connection to my wonderful teaching career! As soon as I retired, I tried to edit things, but only donated a few things. KonMari’s words have been so empowering for me! Best wishes as you Tidy Up your closet today. KonMari would ask you to gather all of your clothes from throughout the house, put them all together, hold each item in your hand, and be mindful of your physical reaction to each item. When you are holding something that ‘sparks joy,’ you will be able to feel it! Those are the items to save. She shares such a lovely philosophy… and it really works! Let us know how you do, dear Penny! ♡

  7. What a lovely post. I had to send it off to a couple of friends who I think would not only enjoy it, but NEED it!
    And I’m in love with the birdhouse. Kinda thinking that would be a nice home to live in when I decide to downsize.

    • Oh, Shelley! Heartfelt thanks! ❤ I'm having fun sharing my Tidying Up celebration. The KonMari philosophy is lovely! It is focused on finding things to save that ‘spark joy’ in our lives, and releasing the rest. (I love her focus on the positive!) The little birdhouse makes me think of our happy, little home. It ‘sparks joy’ every day in the center of my herb garden, the heart of my garden! So happy that you stopped to visit today, Shelley! ♡

  8. Rabbit, rabbit! Have been waiting months to time that correctly! I, too, read the KonMari book on your recommendation. Though I tend to be an organizer and purge drawers and closets, I was AMAZED at the resulting bags of things for charity this method produced. The people at Goodwill know me by name now which in Los Angeles is a near miracle. Thank you Dawn!

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, dear Anne! 🙂 Wishing you much good luck in October, too! I’m so happy to hear that you tried the KonMari approach and had such amazing success! Great work, my friend! I’m feeling that same sense of joy as I am Tidying Up here! The real test will be if everything stays organized. For the first time ever, I believe it will. KonMari says that once everything has a designated, convenient ‘home’ and is put back into place each time, clutter shouldn’t happen again! At the moment, I’m shredding old papers, but can’t wait to move on to Komono (miscellaneous items) next! I love your Goodwill story, Anne! At our Goodwill they smile when I tell them, “I’ll be back soon!” Thank you so much for sharing your success!! It’s very encouraging! Big hugs! ♡

  9. What a great post Dawn, I can definitely relate. Recently (about 3 years ago), my husband and I decided to downsize our home and get rid of a lot of clutter. We filled bags and bags of every item imaginable and donated it to charity. We even got rid of one of our cars as we now live in the city, and did not need 2 cars. Our home is pretty minimalist now and we make every attempt to go through clutter every few months to stay on top of it all. You have given some great tips and tricks, I’ll have to get my hands on that book you mention. By the way, it does say I’m following your blog, but for some reason, it did not show up in my Reader. I’ll have to look into that.

    • Oh, thank you so much, Loretta! Downsizing for such a big move must have been an incredible undertaking! In the end, it must have felt so good to downsize both your home and garden. Now it must be much easier for you to getaway for your travels! This feels like the perfect ‘season’ of my life to go through the KonMari Tidying Up process. It will be so lovely to have only those things in our cozy, little home that ‘spark joy.’ The book is a wonderful step-by-step guide and it’s really working for me! I’m delighted that you stopped to visit today, Loretta! My stats show that you have been following for 16 days, via WordPress. I wonder what’s going on? I only publish about once a week. Hope it will work out! Happy October days! ♡

  10. My youngest daughter mentioned this book. She’s using it to go through her stuff. She’s 29 almost 30 but has accumulated a bunch of it, some is still in boxes in our attic. I told her it sounded familiar and then I remembered your post.

    Also thanks for the head’s up about Card making Day. Did just that yesterday too while listening to NPR.

    • Hi, Marcia! So happy to hear that your daughter is having success with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The KonMari method is really wonderful! It’s such a great practice for your daughter to begin at a young age. Be sure to let her know about the companion book, Spark Joy, that will be published in January!

      I can just imagine you in your Craft Loft making cards… and smiling! I felt the same way, Marcia! It was such fun to set aside a whole day for card making this weekend! Wishing you a happy week! ♡

  11. Wow! This sounds like a great adventure, Dawn. Next time I clean out my closets, I am going to try this method. I wonder what I’ll say to some of my outfits! Good luck as you continue to declutter, and let us know how it all turns out in the end 🙂 Have a wonderful week ❤

    • Hi, Chris! So true! Using the KonMari method makes it so much easier to let go of things that hold special memories. It’s the perfect ‘season’ in my life to downsize, saving only the things that ‘spark joy’ in my life! Clothing and books were easy to Tidy Up. I love having extra space in my closets and on my bookshelves. Little by little, I’m working through the whole house. It’s definitely an adventure! Wishing you a great week, Chris! ♡

  12. I could have sworn I left comments here, but I’m glad to come back and read again. I love that you are looking at this as treasure hunting. What a terrific way to approach this project. It looks like you’ve made a lot of progress, too.

    That little bird house is charming. Did you print the quote or is that added digitally? Either way it’s charming.

    • Hi, Alys! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up continues to make a real impact on me! Clothing and books were the perfect categories to begin with. It makes a difference when you focus on the things you want to save, rather than looking for things to give away. The KonMari method has also taught me to be sure that new items pass the ‘spark joy’ test at the store, before I make a purchase. The process of Tidying Up is a long one, but I look forward to downsizing and simplifying as I work through miscellaneous items and sentimental items. (Those categories are sure to be more challenging to declutter, but I am confident that I can do it!) The book leads you, step-by-step, through the whole process.

      The little birdhouse is in the center of our white, picket fence Herb and Tea Garden. It has always reminded me of our cozy, little ‘Home Sweet Home.’ I just added the quote digitally. Thanks so much for stopping to visit, Alys! Your comments are always so kind and encouraging! Wishing you a nice week ahead! ♡

  13. Hello again, Dawn. I’m back to read more of your posts on the KonMari Method. I have experienced the same thing while shopping! I’ve already not bought things I would have brought home with me. This will save me the trouble of returning things, which has been my old method. There have been so many times I’ve brought something home and realized, once it’s here I don’t love it. I’m predicting that once the millions who have bought this book have finished their tidying up the economy is going to experience a downturn because so many of us will quit buying “unnecessary” items. I say unnecessary because if it doesn’t bring me joy I’m not buying it. I love her suggestion that we thank the items that are necessary but don’t spark joy. We will imbue joy into them that way. I, too, will open my dresser drawer just to look at my neatly folded clothes! As I wrote before, I haven’t tackled papers so I can’t say this about my desk and file drawers yet…..or my craft room. Thanks again for your inspiring post. I will refer to it again when I get back to my tidying up project.

    • Oh, thank you, Cathy! The first moment that I read Marie Kondo’s philosophy, I knew that it was very special. Organizing and decluttering by category really works! However, working through the Tidying Up celebration by category does create temporary, big messes along the way. So, although I have taken some breaks as I work through the process, I feel certain that I will be able to complete the entire Tidying Up process. KonMari offers so many tips and suggestions that continue to guide and inspire me. Springtime also brings a fresh burst of energy and inspiration! Wishing you continued success, too! Let us know how your Tidying Up celebration progresses, Cathy! Thanks so much for stopping by to visit and joining the conversation. Happy first day of Spring! ♡

      • Dawn, I meant to tell you how much I love how you positioned the quote on the little watering can in your first photo. I’m inspired to try that with my photos whenever I can. 😊 I love how Marie asks us first what LIFESTYLE we envision for ourselves. It has really helped me focus more. I tend to spread myself too thin because there are SO many things to be interested in. I love the seasons, so I’m thinking I will write a manifesto for myself, divvied up between the seasons, of how I want to spend my time within the year. Marie is helping me organize my thoughts as well!

      • Heartfelt thanks, Cathy! We both have so many interests and enjoy learning and growing. Thinking in terms of seasons sounds like a good way to plan.

        Have you ever tried ‘One Little Word’ for the year? This is my fifth year of choosing one word to focus on. It has really made a positive impact on my life in so many ways! My ‘One Little Word’ for 2016 is blossom. I am working hard to blossom in many new, creative ways. I can feel so many exciting changes happening already! You might enjoy reading these posts: and to read more about it!

        Thanks for being a part of the conversation here, Cathy. I love hearing your thoughts. Have a lovely week ahead! ♡

      • Dawn, I have heard about choosing one word and in a way I have done that in the past few years unintentionally–only, I need more than one word to say what I mean! What usually happens is a theme FINDS ME. This year’s is “More or Less.” I have a monthly post that touches on this theme this year. I love how you “illustrated” your word for the year, Blossom. ❤️

      • Thanks for all of your kind words, Cathy! It’s the best when a special word chooses you! I guess it ‘sparks joy,’ too! 🙂 I will come visit to read more about your theme for the year. Enjoy the first day of Spring! ♡

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.