3 Pieces of Advice I Wish I Could Give My 23-Year-Old Self


Guest post from Angela of Setting My Intention

If you told my 23-year-old self that, 20 years in the future, I would be writing a blog about decluttering, I would have laughed.

When I was 23 years old, I had just graduated from college and traveled across the country (with only one large suitcase) to serve in an inner city ministry.

How did I get from one large suitcase to a house full of things that need to be decluttered?

I moved into an apartment…

got married…

had kids…

moved into a home…

In other words, life happened.

If I could give my 23-year-old self advice, here is what I would tell her:

1. Invest in Experiences, Not Things.

You will be tempted to “nest” many times: when you get a new apartment, move into your first home, have children. Along with that temptation, you will want to buy many things. Try to resist that temptation.

Experiences and time are the best gifts to give and receive.

Instead of making a wish list of things you’d like as gifts, try making a wish list of experiences that you’d like to give and get on your birthday and/or holidays.

When you do decorate your new spaces, only keep and purchase things that you love.

Invest in a few lovely pieces. Use your local thrift stores — they are often goldmines if you look carefully. Keep open spaces in your home.

2. Be a Thoughtful Consumer.

Wait to purchase things until you know what you need and will use.

When my husband and I were getting married, I naturally assumed we should have a wedding registry. However, we were clueless as to what we would actually use and need. We registered for many items that “we might be able to use” because we had that nifty handheld scanner that made it so easy!

The same thing happened to us when we were having our first baby. We registered for the things listed in the baby books that told us what we absolutely must have.

Can I just give you a heads up? You will NOT need a diaper genie. Wrapping them up tight, or plastic bags work just fine. You might even consider cloth diapering.

Again, wait to purchase things until you know what you need. It will save you the time later when you end up donating or consigning the pieces off of your registry!

Another tip: kids’ consignment sales have great, barely used items for a fraction of the price.

3. Don’t Get Emotionally Attached.

What your priorities or life circumstances change, don’t be afraid to get rid of the things that are no longer relevant or important to you.

Here are some areas to consider and declutter on a regular basis:

  • Clothing/purses/shoes
  • Books
  • Papers/yearbooks
  • Photos

The memories have been made, the mementos can be let go of.

If you are in your twenties, what advice has been most helpful to you? If you older, like me, what advice would you give your 20-something-aged self? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Angela blogs at Setting My Intention. She is a wife and mom to three boys. She works part time outside the home, and full time inside the home. She loves to spend time outside with her family, read, write, and most recently, run. She writes about simplifying life and developing healthy habits.

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HUGE List of FREE Homeschool Curriculum & Resources

This is the weekly list of Free Homeschool Curriculum and Resources compiled by Jamerrill from FreeHomeschoolDeals.com. If you aren’t a homeschooler, but you’re a parent, teacher, babysitter, or nanny, you’ll probably find at least a few useful freebies in this list. You may also want to go through the Educational Deals and Freebies from earlier this week for more.

It’s a time of year when change is in the air. If you have been homeschooling all summer you may be ready to start fresh into the new year. If you took the summer off you are probably gearing up to start the year.

See what a Day in the Life of Our Homeschool August 2015 looks like. Learn How to Homeschool with American Girl. Decide if Teaching Cursive Handwriting is Still Important?

Then, Make Over Your Morning: First Day Class Free. Finally, here are FREE Bilingual Attendance Record Printables so you can stay organized.

How to Homeschool with American Girl

Preschool and Early Elementary

This FREE SCHOOL THEMED PREWRITING PACK (Instant Download) is the perfect way to easy your preschooler into school. Then have some fun with these FREE Color with Sudoku for Preschoolers.

Here are Free Basic Scissors Skills Printables, and a FREE Frog Printables Pack.

What preschooler doesn’t love the farm? So grab this FREE Farm Unit Study. Of course let’s not forget our letter learning with these FREE ABC Letter Printables.

If your child already has a year of school behind them, then try this FREE Kindergarten Handwriting Pack.


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Add to ten with FREE Adding to 10 Fall Printables. Then continue addition practice with FREE Hands on Number Bonds Math Lesson.

Review numbers 9-12 with a FREE Romping and Roaring 9-12 Review Pack.

Random Homeschool Goodness

FREE Brain Break Cards

Take a much needed break from learning with these FREE Brain Break Cards.

Here are FREE August Color By Number Worksheets.

Head back to school with FREE First Day of School Printable Cards and FREE Printable Back to School Sudoku Puzzles.

Then help your child discover things about themselves with a FREE All About Me Unit Study.


Make a FREE Reference Lapbook. Then “visit” the zoo with this FREE We’re Going to the Zoo Lapbook.

Reading and Literature

Here are FREE Hansel and Gretel Printables to teach the story and other important lessons.

Grab these FREE Set of 4 Princess Emergent Readers for your princess lover.

Use these FREE Word Family Bookmarks and Printables to practice reading.


FREE Animal Grouping Worksheets

Jump into science with FREE Animal Groupings Science Worksheets and FREE Days of Creation Printable Pack.

Planning Resources

Plan your year at school and home with these FREE 2016 Planner Printables.

History and Geography

“Travel” to the US parks with this FREE U.S. National Parks & Historic Places Board Game.

Don’t spend time planning history! Instead use these FREE Planning Pages of Mystery of History Vol. 1.

Calendars and Calendar Learning Resources

Don’t miss one (or more!) of these calendar and calendar learning resource:


Here are FREE Bible Verse Printables.

Click here thousands of homeschool freebies!

*Don’t forget! If you are looking for additional free homeschool resources please check the huge growing list of free homeschool curriculum and resourceson MoneySavingMom.com!

Jamerrill is the homeschooling mother of a large and growing family. After seasons of spending $50 or less annually to homeschool her children, she started Free Homeschool Deals in 2012 to help all families afford the homeschool life. You can follow the homeschool goodness on Pinterest and Facebook.

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48-Hour Giveaway: $50 Mixbook Credit (5 winners)

Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Mixbook

I’m not a scrapbooker… but I love the idea of having physical records of our memories over the years. And that’s why I LOVE photo books!

They are so much easier, less messy, and less time-consuming to create. I also love that you can order more than one if you want to give them as gifts to grandparents or to have to give to your kids some day. Plus, there are often great deals and sales available for them.


Mixbook is giving away 5 $50 gift certificates to my readers this weekend. You can use this to create any of the photo products they offer on their site so that you can capture your memories, too.


They are also offering 50% off any purchase from their site when you use coupon code AGST15 at checkout. This coupon code is valid through August 31, 2015.

Would you like to win a $50 off gift certificate from Mixbook? Click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. 5 winners will be chosen and posted next week. Giveaway ends Monday, August 31, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway


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