Home is Where Your Soul Lives

De-Cluttering, Minimalism

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Pinterest has been the death of me. When it first launched I pinned no less than 9 billion pins on how I could re-do my living space. After so many attempts of DIY, failed crafts, and thousands of dollars – I gave up.

Sometimes giving up is the absolute best things we can do for our health and sanity; whether it’s bad habits, home decor, or trying to be someone we’re really not.

I’m no longer ashamed of giving up. As a matter of fact, I am proud to give up things that no longer serve me. There was a time that wasn’t the case at all. Loyal to a fault. But no more.

One of the things that de-cluttering my living space has taught me, is that it is vital for me to have my home cater to my needs and desires. Home is supposed to be a place of peace, creativity, and growth.

No matter how much we collect, or how much we obsess over the perfect ‘look’ what we are really trying to get is our desired feelings and a feeling is not a knickknack.

So, last week I decided to transform the dining room.

My family doesn’t dine at the dining room table: we eat in the living room making messes and hanging out. It works and that’s the way we like it. I don’t suspect we will start eating in the dining room surrounded by awkward conversations and manners; and I’m totally cool with that.

Instead, it’s now a place for me to practice my yoga. It’s a place for the girls to create, draw, and flip. My husband can use this area for his hobbies as well. It’s now deemed a fun-zone, instead of an everyone stay out of this little area for no good reason zone. Because, that doesn’t serve anyone.

Before, the table just sat there lonely. It was a catch-all for ebay sales, dirty clothes, and clutter:

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Then I moved some things around and just took away the fake notion that this was an eating space, when it really wasn’t.

It’s not fancy, Pinterest worthy, or expensive. It’s really not much different at all. But what’s changed is that it is inviting my family to just be in this little nook. It can be messy, quiet, creative, or left alone. It doesn’t matter, actually. What matters is that it isn’t off limits.

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My home is not a place that is off limits. It is  a place where our souls can mend, heal, and grow. Each space is an open invitation to live. All family members are different and we all mesh and clash in a messy beauty.

And when it gets too messy, we will clean it up – or maybe we won’t.

The thing is, striving for perfection isn’t happening anytime soon. What is happening is this moment, right now, the present: all day long, every day.

That’s where I want to live. That’s where I want my family to live. Everything else is unnecessary.

Our home is where our soul lives. It’s inside of us and we carry it every where we go. No amount of control, cleaning, scrubbing, or staging can change that. It’s time to get dirty, explore, and grow. It’s time to actually serve and live.

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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.

5 Questions I Ask When De-Cluttering

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go

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I dropped off another 2 car loads of clutter yesterday. It feels so amazing having all of this stuff gone and out of my life.

My de-cluttering process is simple:

1. If it hasn’t been used in 1 year, it’s gone.

2. If it doesn’t spark any joy, it’s gone.

3. If it is a duplicate, it’s gone.

4. If it brings me negative energy, it’s gone.

5. If I was to pack up and move and wouldn’t take the item with me, it’s gone.

Using this 5 step process has been a major success. I am coming to find out that the vast majority of my stuff is useless. The more I donate and get rid of, the happier I feel. My home is opening up and getting clean. It’s a new slate for my home to be a place of peace and calm.

My home is going to be a place that fits our needs for today. Not a place to store items of the past or items ‘we hope to get around to using.’ It will only house things that are useful or beautiful or both. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth it!

A De-Cluttering Past

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

I stumbled across the idea of minimalism when I found the website zenhabits.net in 2007. That’s a long time ago. It was prior to Pinterest and prior to the big ‘buzz’ of the unconventional lifestyle mainstream. I remember being intrigued by the notion of how small habit changes daily, can change your life! From there, I attempted to make changes. I was young, fresh out of college, unmarried, and pretty dang hopeful.

From there, I spent years on and off of the simple life. I would declutter and be excited, then feel lost and go on a shopping binge. Just like any other addiction, really.

Then there was marriage and combining stuff and moving a few times and major life shifts.

You know, the usual.

This binging and purging of stuff and debt over the years has left me mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.

Partly because in my heart I am a simple girl. I want the simple life. I don’t want the excess and mess – but somehow society creeps in and tells me that I just have to have it to be successful.

So, I try that and in the end feel worse than I did before.

I’ve done massive, MASSIVE decluttering stunts in the past. And, I always feel better afterward. But then, I want to do DIY Pinterest crafts…so I go to the thrift store, load up, repaint and refurb, and then store the junk. Then I feel guilty.

Endless!

My last major declutter was last year after I was laid off from work. I was able to stay home for a while and thought it was a good time to get rid of some stuff.

Well…I did.

But, then I just kept it ALL down in the garage in case I needed it.

Somewhere, between then and now ALL of that junk made it’s way back upstairs and in my living space.

Now, I am decluttering the same stuff and then some again!

I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty insane to me.

This time, I have a serious, serious rule.

What I donate and do not need gets loaded into my car and taken to the donation center right then.

It’s been working like a charm.

I’m different this time. I am focused this time. My life is slowly changing for the better.

This is where I want to be.

Let Go of Who You are Not

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Sometimes when we dig through our stuff, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional – we find out a lot about our true selves.

I came to a major revelation when doing another de-cluttering haul this weekend:

I have a LOT of stuff that I’ve bought in hopes to be a person I’d like to be; not the person I actually am.

For instance: the necklaces pictured above. I think they are adorbs on some people. I thought that I would love them on me too. A great way to accessorize and mix up an outfit. The truth is though, I hate necklaces and I always have. They make me hot and sticky and they just bug during the day. But, I bought them anyways knowing that I hate necklaces.

So, they have been hanging on display in my bedroom never worn. Not even once because I lothe them but secretly hope that one day I will love them.

Well…nope. I don’t. I’m not going to wear them because I just don’t want to.

Now they have been donated and I don’t have to look at them every day wondering when I will actually wear them and dress like someone I am not.

There are a lot of things I have purchased and held on to for that reason. Also, there are a lot of crafty things I have in ‘hopes’ that I will be a Pinterest Queen. But, I’ve tried that and it didn’t work out, so…

Another carload went to the donation center this weekend. My home is finally…FINALLY becoming a little more manageable. There may just be light at the end of the tunnel afterall.

Next thing to leave my house…

My sewing machine.

Because I hate sewing.

I want to live to my true self. I want to have the things around me that I actually like to do. And if I try something and don’t like it – I will let it go too.

Currently, I need space, cleanliness, an uncluttered view in my home. And a huge space smack dab in the center of my living room to do my yoga and roll around with my daughter.

THAT IS WHO I AM. THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO.

My Schedule: Why I Crave a Simpler Life

Minimalism, Simplicity

I spoke about my current stress level yesterday. It’s turned into a health problem. There are a lot of emotional issues I need resolved and a lot of dreams I want to do. One of the themes that is pretty much across the board for people who are searching for a simple life is that we all want to create more time to do the things we love. My daily schedule is spread too thin with all my responsibilities so I am working hard on making the space I need to enjoy life again.

I know so many of us are busy and some are busyer than others. My current daily grind is too much for me. It goes like this:

5:45 – Wake up, take shower get ready for work.

6:45 – Wake husband and baby and get baby ready to go.

7:00 – Drive and drop baby off for the day.

7:15-8:00 – Commute to work

See, right here. I’m exhausted and haven’t even got to my job yet.

8:00 – 4:30 – Full-time job.

4:30 – 6:00 – Pick up baby and get home.

6:00-7:00 – Cook dinner and feed baby.

7:30-8:30 – Clean up kitchen.

8:30 – 9:00 – Bathe baby.

9:00 – 9:30 – Play with baby and have a few mins of family bonding time.

9:30-10:00 – Put baby to bed.

10:00-10:15 – Sit down for the first time all day and take a breath.

10:15 – 11:00 – Yoga to relive stress and work on health.

11:00-11:20 – Take quick shower and get ready for bed.

11:20 – 12am – Wind down, bond with husband and try to go to sleep.

Repeat.

That’s a long day y’all and doesn’t leave enough time for me to dream, think, rest, enjoy. Because, for me to get into bed before midnight is near impossible. During my day I am wide open leaving no time for creativity or hobbies.

Have you thought about what all you cram into your day? It probably looks like me and could be a whole lot worse. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed like I do, it may be time to make a change.

My changes are gong to take some time before my schedule will be where it needs to, but I’m not giving up.

What does your day look like? What do you need more of? Isn’t it time we took some action?

Marital Convo

De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Simplicity

Husband- The house looks naked now.

Me- Thank GOD!

As you can see, I am no marital expert on how to ‘do’ minimalism when one person is uber-focused on simplifying and the other could care less.

This happens a lot with couples and I’m not mad about it at all. The fact is, I HAVE to get rid of the clutter right now. I am smothering in my on home and I have so much going on that I can’t keep it up. It has to be my haven and it’s been far from it. It’s been a burden. A place that drains my energy before I even walk inside. That’s not a home. That’s a problem.

My husband and I didn’t marry and then purchase our things together. We both had our own lives before. This meant that we combined his life pre-me and my life pre-him.

That’s a lot of junk y’all.

Then, we had housewarming parties and moved a couple of times. He likes to hang on to stuff and I like to get rid of it.

And that’s totally fine.

I am only decluttering my stuff. Which, by the way, is like 90% of everything. His man cave is the garage where he has free reign. But the functional decor and most of the day-to-day is mine, things that I bought either before marriage or during. So, I am tired of it. I want it gone. A lot of it comes from a negative energy source and it is just entirely TOO MUCH.

My twenties were spent trying to find myself, create my home, then create a marital home with a baby. That’s a lot to figure out.

Now that I am in my 30’s, I am in a different place. I want family time. I want to simplify so we can spend time together, go on ventures, and be calm. I want the children to grow in a place where there is space to be creative.

I wish I knew the best way to collectively be on the same page with a husband or wife when one is trying to simplify. I don’t. However, I am thankful he is supportive (although unsure of my ability to just toss and go). It’s a martial learning curve for sure.

Marriage is a compromise. The main thing is supporting each other, trying to understand, and come to a middle ground where everyone is comfy and happy.

Create Space for New Possibilities

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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This bookshelf has been bothering me for years now. I purchased it when I moved to an apartment with my bestie. It housed books and knicknacks. Then, I moved in with my fiance. The bookshelf and all the stuff from the shelves moved with me. We marry, I get pregnant and then we move again into the home where we currently reside. The shelf and everything it displayed came with us.

As of yesterday, the shelf housed baskets full of random stuff and craft supplies. It also housed my daughters books. In my past, I had an obsession with collecting cute baskets to store my stuff. Well, I recently realized that the only purpose this shelf serves is to display stuff I really don’t even need or use. Also, it’s terrible quality and rickety due to the amount of moves it’s been through. My daughter likes to dig into stuff on the shelf and I am always on edge it will tip over. Not to mention that little hallway is tiny in real life and it’s hard to shoulder-through to the bathroom. I have spent numerous brain cells trying to come up with the best look of shelving design, plus I have moved it from room to room to find the best place for it for years.

The simple fact: Nothing that has ever been on this shelf mattered.

DVDs: My family does not watch DVDs because we have Dish on Demand and Netflix.

Craft Supplies: I am no longer into Pinteresty crafty ventures. It does not bring me joy, only frustration these days. I am working on other ventures now so it’s time to let go. I am keeping a needle and thread, hot glue gun, scissors, and some jute string; I’m just not going to display it on a shelf. It is neatly stored in a closet now should I need it.

Books: I have an e-reader for most of the books I read and the books that I buy physically are given away because I never read a book twice. My daughters books are now downsized and in her bedroom.

Odds and Ends: Schoolwork, misc. pictures, paper, etc. do not need to be housed on a bookshelf. I am going to come up with a better way to keep the necessities – just not on display.

That’s pretty much what was being displayed in my cramped hallway. The baskets that were on the shelves took up so much room themselves. They are gone now. I don’t need baskets to store the unnecessary because that’s silly.

I will be glad when this dangerous bookshelf is gone and I no longer have to worry that it will collapse on top of my daughter and also give us a little more room as we pass by in the hallway.

Also, should we ever move again (hopefully!) I don’t have the concern or worry on what I will put on the shelf and where this bookshelf will go at a new location. Just thinking about loading it up, unloading it, and placing all the unnecessary stuff back on it exhausts me.

Dreamer

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity

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It’s all too common to fall asleep thinking of the never ending to-do list. You run over in your mind what all you still had to accomplish that day, but didn’t. Defeat takes over. Regret. Anxiety. Not to mention you have to get up in several hours to go to work – to a job that you aren’t all too happy in because you are a slave to debt.

Now you can’t sleep.

Grr.

Maybe in your past you made mistakes. Perhaps you are a slave to consumerism: constantly buying stuff to fill the void. Perhaps your schedule is so busy that there isn’t room to take care of what matters most to you.

I feel like this a whole lot.

That’s my motivation for simplifying my life. I am actively trying to remove those things that weigh me down and take my attention off my dreams.

I’m slowly giving up the soul sucking energy and behaviors. 

1. De-Cluttering my Home: I am getting rid of the things that don’t matter, that I don’t love. Those possessions that are attached to negative energy and memories. They must go.

2. No to Consumerism: I am no longer shopping for fun, instead, I only buy what is vital so I can pay of my credit card debt.

3. Dreamer: Somewhere along the way in busyness and being a ‘grown-up,’ I forgot what it’s like to dream. With debt, a home, family, and kids, my dreams went by the wayside. I still have hopes and dreams deep down. I am slowly allowing those dreams to surface so I may soon take action.

4. Social Media: Facebook had become a negative in my life. I couldn’t help but to look and scroll the newsfeed, but it always left me feeling a little depressed: people on my nerves, feeling like my life wasn’t as happy as someone elses, other people commenting on my activity. I’m on hiatus. I may not ever go back.

5. Diet: I am using food as my energy source instead of entertainment. I eat when I am hungry. When I do eat, it’s minimal sugar and lots of veggies.

6. Yoga: This is a new passion. It helps relieve anxiety and also gets me in shape and tones muscles.

By getting rid of a lot of negatives and adding more positives, I feel more clear. I feel like I can make better decisions.

So, by the end of the day when I am snuggled up in my bed, I will allow my hopes and dreams to come forward. I will rest in peace knowing that my choices today affect tomorrow. I am getting control of my life back and it feels so nice.

Give Up What Disturbs Peace: Wall Art

De-Cluttering, Simplicity

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Yesterday was a major – and I mean MAJOR – decluttering day for me. It felt amazing, but left me exhausted.

I am on an intense mission to get rid of the bad energy in my life, no matter what that energy may be. It’s a task, I tell you.

Short of saging every nook in my home to clear the suffocating vibes, I went on a ‘getting rid of clutter’ spree.

The task at hand was wall art.

This doesn’t sound like a mountain to climb, but it was like Mt. Everest. I took two car loads to the donation drop-off. TWO CAR LOADS of wall art.

How is that even possible to have 2 car loads of wall art? I don’t know. But it is.

My living space is small and the dark, cluttered walls keep feeling like they are closing in on me. Not to mention a lot of the art was over-sized picture frames that I re-did as a Pinterest project. But, they never felt right. I always felt like I was falling short and all those frames have been a daily reminder. I mean, not lumponthefloor feeling like a failure…just stagnant energy.

So, it was easy to decide what to keep. I was only going to keep what I love and my mission was to have pieces that compliment my room and the energy I want to feel when I walk in there.

My living room started out with 17 pieces of art/pictures/mirrors. Now I have 6. Six carefully selected pieces.

My bathroom had 8 pieces of art, now it has 2 selected pieces.

My daughters room had 8 pieces, now it has 2.

It feels so amazing to have so much clutter off my walls. And what is sad is that it took 2 full car trips to the donation bin. Imagine moving that to a new location. That is only for art. Whew.