Slow down and simplify

For me, right now: July 2018

For me, right now: July 2008 | Our kitchen and the joy sparking stools

Our kitchen and the joy sparking stools

“Does it spark joy?” For devotees of the KonMari method this is THE defining question as to what you should keep in your home and what you should ditch. I’m not a KonMari devotee – some aspects of her method appeal to me, others, not so much.

What I like about the whole sparking joy thing is the acknowledgement that our attachment to stuff isn’t purely rational. What I don’t like is some of the practices I’ve seen it lead to – what I categorise as rampant updatism. Like getting rid of all your towels, which, until yesterday, were perfectly functional, but now no longer spark joy and must be immediately updated to something more joy sparking.

Well, this month I did some updating of my own and it sparked a ridiculous amount of joy. We have new bar stools and every time I glimpse them I smile. I’m now considering updating something else. Is this the beginning of the end?

I think not. Sure, the old stools were hand-me-downs that didn’t suit the room and were dust and fingerprint magnets. But that’s not why we updated them. We bought the new stools to solve a specific problem.

We needed a family dining space for winter. Seemingly overnight, Mr 5 grew out of the little table he’d been using and the dining table in the sunroom is off limits on colder nights. While balancing our dinners on our laps one evening, the idea of eating around the kitchen island struck. The only issue was the stools. Mr 5 couldn’t get up and down from them by himself and prone to toppling. But, with new stools maybe it could work?

After a bit of internet research, we found the perfect stools – solid, stable, stylish and dead ringers for the ones in my old school science labs! We are loving eating around the kitchen island. It’s transformed what was a clutter hotspot into a really functional space – a total win. I’ve now got my eye out for any other strategic updates that might spark similar joy.

What I’ve been:

  • Reading– Escapism – with a full work schedule, I’ve been reading a lot to relax. That was helped by getting my hands on two good thrillers The Perfect Mother and The Woman in the Window.
  • Listening toBreak the Twitch – I’ve followed the Break the Twitch blog for years now. Anthony and his wife Amy have recently started a podcast about minimalism, habits and creativity. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.
  • Making– Dishcloths – my first attempt at a crochet dishcloth – I need practice!

    My first dishcloth – I’ve since been googling how to crochet straight edges!

  • Thinking about– Trying the FLYlady method for housework. Since increasing my working hours, I’ve yet to find a rhythm for housework. The idea of having a pre-set structure to follow appeals. If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear how you found it, or any other similar methods that you use.

How was July for you? Have you made any changes in your home recently that spark joy?


  • Cath
    August 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    The FlyLadyPlus method is awesome. I’ve been using it for more than 15 years. The routines bring so much sanity and peace for me.
    I love your new kitchen stools.
    Also you just need to block your crocheted cloth then it will look great. Gently wash it, squeeze out the water then pin it out with striaght edges until dry on a towel or mattress. Blocking does wonders.

    • Amy @ More Time Than Money
      August 4, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      I’m not sure blocking can save this one, but it will help!
      15 years is a great endorsement. It’s the routine of it that really appeals. Plus the idea you do get to everything eventually, but you don’t have to tackle the whole house all at once.


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