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A Place for Almost Everything (And Joyfully Get Rid of Everything Else)

Jeni Ruisch

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Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has changed more than just the lives of the hopelessly cluttered. It has spurred small business owners into action to help those that mire in their piles of clutter. 

Michell Domke has always loved organizing (save for a foray into messiness as a teenager) and was in the process of starting a professional organizing business. But she found herself in a bit of an entrepreneurial slump, feeling like she didn’t know which direction to go in.

“I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which had been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for a couple of years. As I was reading it, I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want to do and this is exactly what I want to bring to my clients’.” 

“I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what sparks joy.”

Domke utilizes Kondo’s method, called KonMari, to help her clients pare down their lifestyle. The method purports to have ripples that spread out to all areas of the user’s life. And Domke lives her philosophy as she teaches it to others. She is quick to discard things she no longer wants, but she’s not above the ebb and flow of organization versus chaos. And she takes all the phases in stride.

“My house is an active space. I live in it and run my business from it, so it fluctuates between very clean and organized, and a total disaster. It is super joyful, though. It’s full of plants, art, joyful sentimental items, small pretty things; it’s comfortable and cozy. I’m an entrepreneur, so when it’s a mess, I’m definitely in a creative, or growth phase. I won’t allow myself to clean or organize it, because that’s my distraction from doing the hard thing that I really need to do to get to the next phase.”

The KonMari method is singular in its approach to organizing. It provides a therapeutic purging process that seeks to remedy the hangover of consumption. It is a mindful approach to surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and shedding the psychic weight of the things that are left hanging around.

“I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what sparks joy. The ideal lifestyle is the roadmap for the entire journey. Keep what sparks joy and let go of the rest.”

Domke finds joy in helping people sort themselves out of rough patches.

“I meet people where they are at, and typically that’s in some kind of pain. [This can be] because of disorganization, clutter, or maybe the loss of a loved one, or the addition of a new baby to the family which is very joyful but comes with a lot of stuff! I’m 100% supportive of people where they are in their current state and help them to tap into where they want to go.”

The best part seems to be the way the method changes not only the surroundings of the user, but their internal compass, as well. 

“Typically in our culture we don’t tap into our feelings about anything, so making decisions based on what makes us happy can be revolutionary. You hone your sensitivity to joy through each category so that by the time you get to sentimental items you can look at them differently. Many of us have items that we keep out of guilt or obligation. They take up space, cause stress and really we have permission to keep or let go of any sentimental item we have.”

Sure, you might say: This all sounds nice. But what about those of us with real messes? The ones that keep certain doors in our houses shut permanently, as mess colonizes entire rooms. Or the ones who feel like their basements and attics are more deep, dark secrets, than simple storage areas?

“No one is beyond organizing,” Domke offers, benevolently. “But if someone doesn’t want to organize you can’t make them and you can’t do it for them. I get calls all the time from people who want me to fix their spouse, kids, roommates. My advice is start with yourself. Take care of your own things and maybe it will rub off on them. It happens! I’ve had spouses tidy their own things after they see the results of their partner. No one is hopeless. And you don’t need to clean or organize things before I come over. I’m here to help in the current state.” 

You hear that, dear readers? There’s hope for us yet.

To put your house and life in order, visit michelldomke.com

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Things To Do

Throwback: 42nd anniversary of “Great Blizzard of 1978”

614now Staff

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It has been 42 years since the "Great Blizzard of 1978" that wrecked havoc through Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

The storm on January 26, 1978 dumped huge amounts of snow—up to 15 feet drifts in some places—and blew at near-hurricane strength, leaving nearly $210 million in damage.

On the eve of the storm, the temperature in Columbus rose to 41 degrees and .65 inches of rain fell. But then, a system of arctic air came through, producing some of the lowest pressure readings ever recorded in the United States mainland that were not associated with hurricanes, reports 10TV.

Wind gusts averaged 50 to 60 mph during the day as wind chills dropped down to about -50 degrees.

Visibility was near zero which stopped traffic, planes, and left thousands of people stranded.

In the end, the storm claimed 70 lives—51 of them from here in Ohio. This is still the strongest storm in Ohio history.

See below for footage of the "Great Blizzard of 1978."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxy-sO-z_E4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5QNMhM1gbo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gqncQHOxZE
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Brick by Brick: Lego popup bar is the ultimate nostalgia trip

614now Staff

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With playsets encompassing everything from Harry Potter to Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Legos remain a go-to for kids of all ages. Now, the colorful little blocks are preparing for their greatest team-up of all—with booze, of course!

A new popup event called "The Brick Bar" is bringing the fun of Legos to a bar near you for an exclusive 2-day engagement this March.

Bringing over 1 million blocks to the party, the event organizers will transform The Kitchen at 231 E Livingston Ave. with unique lego sculptures, as well as an abundance of blocks for people to shape into their own creations. Prizes for the best builders, DJs, and a ping-pong table (built entirely from Lego bricks, of course) are also in the mix for your nostalgia-driven enjoyment.

For ticket information, dates, and more, visit The Brick Bar Eventbrite page or follow them on Facebook.

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Hit Your Peak: 3 worth-the-drive ski slopes near Columbus

Asa Herron

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The cursed Ohio Winter Monster has made its presence known to all with its 5pm sunsets, snow storms, and seasonal depression for all. How are you going to fight back against the gloom this year? It may seem like it’s impossible to do fun things with your friends or to stay active in the winter, but I’m here to tell you that not all hope is lost. Finding a new hobby is a great way to kick your winter woes to the curb and start the new decade on a good foot.

Skiing can be a great way to casually exercise with friends and resuscitate your serotonin levels. Here are three high quality places to ski within driving distance of Columbus for you to check out.

MAD RIVER MOUNTAIN

Located in Zanesfield, Mad River Mountain is about an hour's drive northwest of Columbus. They have the most reasonable prices of all the nearby ski resorts. Plus, their on-property bar, The Loft, has 12 taps of craft beers on rotation to add a little more fun to the night. Mad River is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays, too, so you’re getting a full Friday night of flurries.

Mad River is home to over 20 trails (spanning 3.9 miles) and four terrain parks making it the largest ski resort in Ohio. They also bolster ten ski lifts (the most in Ohio) and are tied with Snowtrails for the largest vertical drop in the state with their 300 foot slope. An added perk of Mad River is that they just built a new $6.2 million facility in 2016 to replace the space they lost to a fire in 2015. Plus, most of their trails are designated “easy” difficulty. Mad River has everything you need to have a relaxing, affordable day of skiing.

Details on hours and pricing can be found at www.skimadriver.com.

SNOWTRAILS

Founded in 1961, Snowtrails is Ohio’s oldest ski resort. It is located in Mansfield, so also about an hour drive north. This resort is only slightly more expensive, with lift rates starting at $31 for midweek evenings and $52 for all-day on the weekends, with skis, boots, and pole rentals are $37. If there’s one day this month that you visit Snowtrails, let it be January 25 for their mid-season party. Get ready for an outdoor DJ, a custom built snowbar, and a fireworks show 30 minutes after the slopes close for the night. Not into skiing? No problem! The party is free and open to the public, so let your expert friends hit the slopes while you hit the spirits at the snow bar.

Snowtrails is the second largest resort in the state with six ski lifts and 3.3 miles of trails. The majority of their trails are designated “intermediate” difficulty, so more experienced skiers will enjoy their time here.

More information can be found at www. snowtrails.com.

BOSTON MILLS & BRANDYWINE

Boston Mills & Brandywine is the farthest ski resort from Columbus on this list, but great for a full weekend away. This quaint resort is in Peninsula, OH is a two hour drive from Central Ohio. Their pricing is $40 after 3:30 p.m. and $45 for an all-day pass. Staying another night? Come back on Saturday for $5 Late Nights admission from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Boston Mill & Brandywine ski resort is known for being especially conducive to beginning skiers. They offer high quality lessons and will walk you through the process. This is the place to go if you have “stupid” questions about skiing, or just want to tube. However, they also appeal to veteran skiers as the majority of their 18 trails are designated “advanced”. Despite the high quantity of trails, this resort is much smaller than the other two, with only 1.2 miles of skiable trails, and their largest vertical drop being 264 feet. But for these prices? Could definitely be worth the trip.

Learn more about Boston Mills & Brandywine at www.bmbw.com.

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