Thoughts after Major Clutter Purging

De-Clutter, De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

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My couch. Oh, how I love thee.

I’m coming off of my major de-cluttering high, and finally able to sit back and enjoy the hard work and results.

Over the last few months I’ve:

  • Got rid of carloads of wall art
  • Gave away baskets – this was a toughie because I’m a recovering basket hoarder
  • Donated an embarrassing amount of unused/ill fitting clothing

Giving away unused stuff has been exhilarating. I still am getting rid of stuff – it’s just not as intense as the beginning purges, mainly because I got rid of so much.

Going through this process has really put a lot of things and behaviors in perspective. Here are some thoughts that have come about:

  • No amount of stuff will make me happy
  • Chasing things put me in debt
  • My time is more important than my stuff
  • I hate cleaning up useless clutter, like, loathe
  • I’m tired of organizing: I just want it gone if it has no purpose
  • My home is a creative place and I want all our spaces used for things we love doing and making memories
  • Clutter causes me way too much anxiety and I’m tired of being stressed
  • I can change, if I want to

Those are just a few things that I’ve been focusing on.

Now, I have some extra space to enjoy the progress. I don’t have to be SO aggressive, only mindful with the remaining stuff.

My priorities are shifting and that drives me and makes me thrive. Although, I am sad that I’ve waited so long to change: it’s still never too late to start.

I’m going into this long weekend so, so thankful. It’s mine to enjoy – and I intend to!

Start Over & Rebuild

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity, Sugar-Free Recipes

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Life’s experiences, choices, and decisions all have a way of compacting over time. One decision leads to the next, and so forth. It can become really heavy with time if we do not let go of some of the past, so that way we may grow and adapt as we age.

Some choices in letting go may bring up a tinge of guilt; perhaps you feel obligated to hang on to a relationship or item just because you spent time or money on it at some point. But, if you are in a rut, or are feeling weighed down by life in general, it may be time to let it go.

If something or someone is holding you back and no longer serving you, it’s OK to start over and begin anew. That is the beauty of growing, adapting, and changing. It is totally natural to begin fresh.

If you have met your match and feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders, it may be time to shake it up a bit.

How to let go and start fresh

  1. Meditate: I’m not talking about sitting on a pillow with incense. I’m talking about getting some time to yourself to really inspect your insides and heart. You need to calm the outside world and internal noise long enough to really admit where you are and what you would like to change. This doesn’t have to happen in one day. As a matter of fact, it may take a really long time. But, if you are wanting the weight of the world lifted, you must put yourself first for a while and get clear on your mission.

2. Be Honest: Admit that you are not on the path you would like to be on. It’s OK, we all have been there a million times. Just because we are on one path doesn’t mean we have to stick with it if it’s no longer doing any good. Admitting that you are not happy with your current state is the best way to motivate change.

3. Dream: Having hopes and dreams can get lost in the chaos of a busy life. We get in that rut or that grind for so long taking care of families, jobs, chores, and children until we are buried under the dirt. It’s time to dig out and dig out fast. Give yourself permission to dream of where you want to be. It is reality that you can be that person if you begin dreaming again. Start a dream board, star gaze, focus on your desires with absolutely no guilt whatsoever for a change.

4. Start: Perhaps the scariest step of all, but when you get clear on the path you want to explore, and let go of extra baggage weighing you down – start. It doesn’t matter where you start because there is no perfect solution. Once you begin and have success, you may tackle the next obstacle.

5. Journey: Change doesn’t have to be drudgery. Plan to set yourself up for success. Start a blog or journal. Invite creative vibes and exploration in your journey. Call it an experiment. Write a book. You are free to change as many times as you wish. Welcome failure, that’s where you learn the most. And if you do fail (and probably will), keep going. Your only competition is YOU. The one looking back in the mirror. It’s not your friends, spouse, parents, or children competing with you. You owe it to yourself to have a little fun in life and be that person you want to be.

I wanted to talk about this because I have attempted change a million times in the past and failed. Then I let guilt get to me. I felt like I was letting everyone down. But, with a little grace and practice mixed with some perseverance and humor, change can be welcomed and fun. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious.

So, if you were wanting to make a change today – you know, that little voice that is saying disappointing things in  your ear all day every day? Tell it to hush and get to work.

It’s a new day, today. Seize it. And you know what? Tomorrow will be a fresh start too. That is the biggest gift of sunrise. A new day to change, make a difference, to love, and to enjoy. And when you lie down at night, take a breath, let it all go and start again tomorrow.

Multi-Season Capsule Wardrobe: A Clean Slate

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Sometimes along our journey we have what I like to call a good problem to have. Those are the best types of problems even though they require a little finagling to work around.

You see, I’ve been living with less since the beginning of the year. Slowly but surely, I am weeding out the unnecessary so that I may enjoy the best of the best.  Three of my simplifying focuses have collided and require attention:

  • Weight Loss
  • Capsule Wardrobe
  • Spending less

The good news is that I have lost 40 pounds! The bad is that all of my clothing in my current summer capsule no longer fit. I’ve been donating my clothing throughout this last year: got down to the bare bones, created a capsule and now, I have worn them as long as I can. In an effort to spend less, I have been enjoying my clothes and wearing them as long as possible. But it got to the point where I was overall frumpy. My capsule wasn’t cohesive enough to be practical, and my clothes were swallowing me whole.

Since my solution is not to gain the weight back, I had to dip into my ‘spending less’ focus.

This is a good problem and I handled it the best way possible by getting rid of the majority of my current too-big frumpy clothes, starting over, and most of all:

buying second-hand.

This has allowed me to stay in line with all that I am trying to accomplish.

I spent $80.00 total and now have a complete, cohesive, workable, multi-season capsule wardrobe.

I present to you my new multi-season capsule wardrobe! I plan on this carrying over into fall by adding a few pieces here and there to battle the cooler weather in the near future.

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I am really excited about this capsule. It shows my personality along with a palette that is a neutral, with just enough detail and color to not be so monotone and boring. It is also easily functional throughout most of the seasons; only needing to add warmer pieces when needed.

Last night I felt so free letting go of the old me. I was able to rid myself of the clothing that no longer served me with absolutely no hesitation. I kept a few pieces that I love and added new second-hand pieces giving those thrifted items a new and fabulous second life!

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation and rules. It is about functionality and loving what you have. It’s also about spending wisely and being your best self. It’s OK to edit your life – clothing, relationships, hobbies, careers – as a matter of fact, it’s imperative because human beings are ever-changing.

What’s important is knowing that it’s OK to let go to the past. You have no obligation to keep everything you have ever acquired.

Welcome a clean slate.

You have permission to start over however many times you wish so that you may fully live, enjoy, and love all that was meant for pure joy.

You Have Permission

Clarity, Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

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As human beings we want to connect to others and use words to describe how we feel.

This is hard for me sometimes, because some things that I feel inside my heart are so profound that I can’t find the right words to bring it to life.

It doesn’t seem right to say that I’m just:

  • De-cluttering
  • Simplifying
  • Becoming minimalist
  • Going natural
  • Making room for priorities
  • Spending less
  • Saving more
  • Getting out of debt

and most of all

Living daily for who and what is most important in my life.

I found the word that describes my journey and I want to share because perhaps you feel it gyrating deep in your bones too.

METANOIA

We don’t have to be who we were yesterday. We don’t have to live on auto-pilot anymore. You have permission to let go, spread your wings, and be who your heart is telling you to be.

How-To and What to Expect with No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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We all have done experiments and changed our behaviors at some point or another. So, we know we can do it, it’s just a matter of doing it.

I’ve changed my behavior approximately 9,000,000,000 times in the last thirty-something years. Some of my changes stick, other’s don’t. We all change minute to minute throughout our lives, and that’s totally OK.

In recent posts I talked about my no/lo poo journey. This clearly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does to me. It’s something worth experimenting because:

  • I want to save money instead of wasting it on beauty products
  • I want to spend less time primping in the mornings
  • I want to be OK with my natural, authentic self

That’s really the main motives behind this.

A lot of other’s are experimenting with the switch to no/lo poo as well. This is why if your interest is peaked and you go to research, there is so much information available that, quite honestly, makes it seem intimidating.

That’s because what works for one person, doesn’t for another. One person has xyz result and not the other.

So you are kind of frozen not knowing where to start because you simply don’t know what to do and are afraid of the outcome.

What I personally didn’t read a lot of was the honest-to-God truth about what to expect when doing the switch. It made me very leery at first because I know good and dang well that not everyone who does it has that much success, right?

I mean, I have lived long enough to just know better.

And so have you, which is why you may be scared to even try it.

How to start and what to expect:

Decision: You have to want to do this. It’s different from what you’ve always done. Years worth of sudsing up with commercial shampoo has created an exhilarating showering experience every, single day of your life for as long as you have known. If you go no ‘poo – you will not have this experience. You won’t be using shampoo so there won’t be any sudsing or bottled scents wafting in the shower any more.

If you decide to plunge, can you handle it? I mean, it sounds silly but seriously? Can you handle it?

If you are stuck in your decision process and just can’t make up your mind but still want to try it, there’s only one thing to do at this point:

Say eff-it and do it.

Get in the shower and don’t wash your hair.

Expectations: Please don’t expect to fall in love with your hair on this day. It’s going to feel grimy and oily and unmanageable. That’s because you aren’t used to having hair unwashed. Your hair is in shock because it’s actually being left alone for the first time in your life. It’s wanting to run free and roam the meadows.

Let it.

Just like any other change, getting used to unwashed hair takes time. It’s going to feel weird like you ‘forgot something’ and it’s not going to feel the same. You may feel self conscious because you are rocking some unwashed locks.

Don’t expect to style it the same way. At first, it would be wise to have a plan B on styling that day. For me, I twist it back with some bobby pins and go about my business.

After a few days of not washing your hair, don’t be surprised if you realize that you have never gotten to know your hair at all. It’s like a strangers head of hair and you will not know how to deal with it. Again, have a plan B until you figure it out – and you will, and I will too.

For some people, the unwashed hair stays oily for a week and for others months. You will not know how your hair will do until you try it.

Don’t be surprised if no one else on Earth even notices that you aren’t washing your hair. That will be a lightbulb moment when you realize you have been stressing over getting ‘perfect hair’ and no one else has ever cared but you.

Get excited that you will feel free and rebellious like a child that isn’t minding over-bearing adults. It’s like you are getting away with something you aren’t supposed to do. Because, after all, doesn’t everybody over-wash their hair? Doesn’t everybody continue to make commercial shampoo companies super rich while we spend hours a week primping in front of a mirror and spending oodles of our hard earned money unnecessarily?

No. Not everybody.

Don’t be surprised that after not washing your hair for several days that you start to love your natural self and question why you have ever put that kind of time in effort into your hair. You may question why you’ve been manipulating circumstances so much that you have totally ruined a perfectly good set of hair by constantly messing with it.

You may even realize that you are wild and free at heart and it’s not your problem if other people have an issue with what you do with your hair.

Best of all, you may just learn to love your beautiful, primal, loving, gorgeous, authentic self and just be happy with the way things are un-controlled.

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And sometimes, having crazy hair – don’t care is the best way to have it after all. Wild and free. Rebellious and empowered. Loved and loving.

Don’t Stress: No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Minimalist, Natural Beauty, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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I was really reluctant to ‘go there’ today with a no ‘poo post, but I do want to talk about it, so here I am.

Several months ago I toyed around with the no ‘poo buzz.

I updated my journey when I started this blog explaining the benefits of ditching commercial shampoo. After doing it for a while, I had to adjust to the transition because my hair would take a life of it’s on every, single day. Between the smell of hair – yep, it doesn’t stink, but hair smells like hair – and my fight with heated tools, I gave in and started washing my hair every day.

Although I felt it necessary to clean my hair everyday, I have continued using all natural shampoo and conditioner (store bought). In my dreams I would be using the baking soda and ACV rinse but I’m not there yet.

So, I’ve been doing that in the meantime until this past weekend.

It’s been 4 days since I have washed my hair, at all. Not even water, people! (I feel like I have to add here that I have bathed my body with soap).

It wasn’t intentional. I was swimming, playing with my daughter, lounging around, designing on my etsy shop, and shooting guns at the hunting club to bond with my Boo.

I figured that since I was so free-spirited that I wouldn’t worry with my hair.

Lo and behold:

It is not oily. It is not dry. It is not nasty.

I’m thinking that it has finally transitioned over time by using all natural shampoo and conditioner.

So, this post isn’t a how-to guide, it’s to inspire!

If my crazy hair can eventually transition, anyone’s can. Everyone’s hair is different and there are so many ways to no/lo poo. It’s about sticking with it, not stressing, and focusing on something else in the meantime.

As of now, I’m just gonna rock along until I have to wash it. It also helps I have a new self-imposed work uniform hair style. Until then:

No poo it is…again!

I’m Wearing Black Because it Makes Sense

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

There’s a lot of talk among aspiring minimalists and oodles of Pinterest examples of the Capsule Wardrobe. I’ve read up on it and have been inspired for a really long time to make my own capsules and ditch the excess.

It’s been a really positive experience so far, and even when I think I have my capsule perfect, something else sparks my interest and that’s OK, too.

Earlier this week, I got super excited and inspired by a post called Why I Wear the Same Thing Every Day and it’s like everything just clicked in my mind as far as my wardrobe goes.

It’s true, most of our well-known famous world-changers wear the same thing every day. They have their ‘signature look’ and keep their look simple and streamlined so that they can focus on important stuff, instead of wasting energy on the not-so-important daily decisions such as what they will be wearing that day.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s safe to say that our clothes is not all that important, huh?

If you had of asked me last year if I would have felt this way this year I would have looked at you like you had 6 heads.

I’m a girl that has always kept up with fashion, and have been proud that I dress a little different or outside the lines a bit. I don’t know why, really but I have a hunch that society and highschool may have planted some type of seed that our clothes are more important than anything.

So, many years and much debt and unhappiness in shopping and wasting money on clothing later:

I’ve adopted a capsule and a self-imposed work uniform.

Drumroll please….

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Yep, that’s a dark pair of jeans and a black shirt.

I showed how I broke up my capsule into work and weekend the other day.

It just so happens that I had (3) black shirts in my capsule/closet anyway so it makes sense to me that I’ll be wearing black mostly with my one pair of jeans. What? One pair? Yes.

And I have a few other shirts that I might rotate in. But then again, maybe not because just a simple black shirt seems pretty dang flawless to me. Black and dark colors are slimming and it’s classic. They don’t show dirt and smudges or nasty pit stains. It’s solid so there’s no question does this print go with that print. I mean, can this even be messed up or go wrong? I can’t imagine so.

Also, I figured I would have a work uniform hair do’ too, because why not? It’s just pinned back with bobby pins so I no longer will have to use heated products to style or fight humidity in this hellish Alabama summer heat.

This hairstyle is pretty much the easiest thing ever.

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After 3 days of wearing a black shirt and the same pair of dark jeans not one person in my sphere has commented. That tells me that even the closest of loved ones could care less about what I’m wearing.

They say to dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.

Well, my friends:

A Bachelor’s Degree in Business and 10 years of career hunting and climbing ladders and layoffs and playing office politics later, I can say without question that dressing for the job you want is paramount.

Which is why I am dressing simply and in jeans. Because if my job requires me to use my clothing as my leverage in life, then that’s no job I want at all.

That’s playing games and I don’t have time for that.

I’ve been there done that and thank God out of those situations.

My current job is a good one and I can dress like this if I want to.

And I do.

Take a Chance, Make a Change

Capsule Wardrobes, Clarity, De-Cluttering, Debt, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simple Life, Simplicity, Yoga

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We have a chance to make numerous choices every, single day. There comes a point though, when maybe our auto-pilot life becomes comfortable. Boring, stagnant, and comfortable. We realize beneath it all something is lacking. Our joy has been squelched due to the day-to-day demands that we dictate to ourselves. We measure our worth based on checking off the to-do-list and then beating ourselves up when we simply can’t accomplish it all.

That’s a rut. It’s a tough one to admit to, and a stickler to dig out of.

That’s where I was just a few short months ago. I started running – not walking – in the opposite direction.

It was time to take a risk: I have to change and take some risks, here. 

This realization and admittance that I am in fact, not Super Woman was a little hard to come to grips with, but there was truth beneath the surface.

I don’t want to be Super Woman.

I don’t want to be living in chaos. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety. I want peace and joy.

The contrast between the two are pretty drastic.

That means I have to open my mind and try different solutions to my struggle.

Day by day, my slow changes are really easing my anxiety and happiness is finally creeping in. I do things a little differently now by:

  1. Getting rid of excess and clutter for clarity and less wasted time on organizing and picking up.
  2. Removing social media from my life so I can focus on myself and what’s important.
  3. Thinking positively by meditating and appreciating what I have and where I’m going.
  4. Letting go of other people’s behavior and my past.
  5. Changing daily chores: I hang clothes to dry, use less dishes and hand-wash when done, put things back where they belong, and let it go when I want to do something else.
  6. Eating well helps me feel energized and lose excess pounds.
  7. Paying off debt by getting my finances in order and stop useless spending.
  8. Daily Yoga helps my body stretch and tone as well as a great way to integrate balance in my life.
  9. Being conscious of my beauty routine where less is definitely more.
  10. Creating a capsule wardrobe so my style is consistent and less stressful when getting ready and wasting money filling the gaps for sake of fashion.

These 10 changes have taken time. I began slowly and deliberately and have really tried to understand myself and my past along the way. It’s been my saving grace in the stickabilty to a major life change like this one.

Knowing you need to make a change and then taking the plunge can be scary. But there is nothing to fear. You can always go back to the way things were before. I mean, what’s there to lose?

Throw Pillows Be Gone

De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Recently Updated

It’s official.

I have had a seriously, unhealthy relationship with throw pillows over the years.

These pillows have multiplied. I’ve sewn some, bought some, and moved them to every house I’ve ever lived in.

And somehow, they always end up getting on my last nerve.

I mean, yes they are super adorable sometimes. But, we don’t actually use them.

Pretty much the only use for them is for ME to constantly pick up from the floor where they have been discarded several times a day.

To think, I have done this for years now.

I remember the last three times I have moved, I had to pack up several contractor garbage bags full of throw pillows alone. Why?

So, a last tribute to my throw pillows in the montage above.

I only have 4 now.

Two are on my couch and the other two serve as a “back” on my daughter’s rocking chair.

And these four are actually used and serve a purpose.

I’m excited to finally quit the title: The House Pillow Picker-Upper.

Now I can do something else worth while.

De-Cluttering: Jewelry

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

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Getting real about our clutter isn’t always easy. Sometimes our belongings have sat around unused so long that we don’t even realize it’s there.

I do things differently now when de-cluttering.

The answer is really simple:

I’m getting real about what I actually use regularly.

This allows me to get rid of the mightusesomeday or ikindasortalikeit dilemmas.

Above is a pic of my current jewelry after a massive de-clutter. What you see are the pieces I actually have worn in the last year.

That’s all that made the cut. Everything else was donated.

There is no humongous box housing unwanted pieces, there is no massive wall display like I used to have showing off jewelry that was never worn. This is it.

And it works perfectly now, a few of my favorite earrings and 2 necklaces.

I can find everything so easy instead of digging through the clutter.

When we remove the excess and the unwanted or unused items, we can truly see the value in our favorite things. All the sudden, their beauty and worth begins to shine as all the noise is removed.