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Category: Family, Fun & Holidays

500 Things Decluttering Challenge: Day 1 (64 items decluttered!)

500 Things Challenge: I decluttered 64 items today!

It’s Day 1 of the 500 Things Decluttering Challenge!

Today’s project was to declutter at least 100 pieces of paper. This could be any kind of paper in any part of your house — paper scraps, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, etc.

I’m pretty much a fanatic about staying on top of paper piles (see my system for staying on top of paper clutter here), so I wasn’t sure if I’d come up with 100 pieces of paper to toss/recycle. Then, I remembered the junk drawer in my kids’ bedroom… There was more than paper in there to declutter — I found candy wrappers, jar lids, and even an empty medicine bottle.

Today’s total: 64 items decluttered (yes, I counted candy wrappers and all! Because I get to make the rules on what counts!! ;))

I’m going to keep a running total of all my items decluttered during this challenge as I thought it would be fun to not only do Daily Totals but also Overall Totals.

How many paper (or other!) items did YOU declutter today?? Leave a comment and let us know. 

P.S. You can read more about the Decluttering Course I’m going through here. If you’d like to join me in going through it in January and get the videos, information, and printables every day, you can go here to purchase to get it for just $5.99 right now!

How I’ve Simplified My Wardrobe

My Minimalist Wardrobe

When I first started blogging, I had a barebones minimalist wardrobe with just 6 tops and 6 bottoms, and that was it. For real.

I did a video on my minimalist wardrobe and people could not believe that that was possible. But I’m just such a simple person that it worked for me.

Yes, I re-wore many things over and over and over again. Yes, people saw me in the same outfits all the time, but I honestly didn’t care because it kept my life so simple.

It eliminated decision fatigue, it made it easy to keep my closet organized, and it freed up time and space in my life for things that were higher priorities to me than how I looked and dressed.

Over time, as I’ve done more speaking engagements, interviews, business meetings, TV, and video, I’ve realized I need to adjust and expand some from my long time “6 tops and 6 bottoms” wardrobe. (I quickly found that one dressier/business outfit just didn’t cut it — especially when I was on a 3 or 4-day business trip!)

My Minimalist Wardrobe

At first, this was really hard for me. I don’t like shopping. I don’t like messing with figuring out clothes and outfits. And it just felt stressful — especially when I would need to get something new because I’d be doing a video interview and they’d say I needed to wear a solid color top or dress that matched with this type of background and wasn’t in these colors.

I took some time to really evaluate and figure out what would work best for my current life season, allow me to have enough options to choose from for different occasions, and also not result in me having more than I need or use.

Instead of having a set wardrobe standard where I only have X number of outfits, I’ve arrived at a really great happy place with what a minimalist wardrobe looks like for me based upon principles, rather than specifics.

My Minimalist Wardrobe

These are the principles that have helped me embrace a minimalist wardrobe while also feeling great about myself.

{Keep in mind that this is what works for me, and different things work best for different people. I encourage you to take from this what you can, and then adopt it to fit your lifestyle and individual preferences.}

1. Know Your Colors

If you pay attention to what I wear, you’ll notice I only wear a couple of colors — mostly greens and blues, with a few other colors thrown in. I have found the colors that I absolutely love, that make me feel great, complement my skin, and make my eyes pop.

Knowing my colors has also helped simplify shopping for me! When I walk into a store, I don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the choices. I go straight to my favorite colors that I know will make me feel great.

I highly recommend the helpful book Color Me Beautiful to help guide you through the process of figuring out what your best colors are. I also found the book, Help Me Jesus I Have Nothing to Wear to be helpful, too.

My Minimalist Wardrobe

2. Know Your Style

There are different styles for different people, and there are different styles for different body types. The Dressing Your Truth course helped me figure out my style, completely changed the way I dressed, and made me feel much more confident about myself each day.

With the help of this course, I discovered that I like and look best in classic styles, tailored items, and straight lines (I’m a Type 4). Those beautiful, flow-y shirts that look SO gorgeous on some of my friends simply do not work on my body type. (Seriously, I look like I’m wearing a bag when I try on something like that. Plus, I just feel plain frumpy — despite how cute it looks on someone else!)

Parts of theDressing Your Truth course are a little “out there” and weird to me, but I found the core principles of this course to be truly life changing. You can read my review about it here.

Note: The course is a little bit pricey, so I recommend trying out the Dressing Your Truth eBook first to see if it’s really worth it for you. There are also a number of free videos online with more information that will give you a great peak into what the course is about. If you find these helpful, then you might want to try out the full Dressing Your Truth course.

3. Only Own What You Love

In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the author says it is important to constantly ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?” Take a look at your wardrobe piece by piece and ask yourself this question. Don’t hang on to anything you don’t like anymore, doesn’t fit you, is worn out, might be the wrong size, or that you don’t absolutely love wearing.

Think, “Am I wearing this because it looks cute on someone else? Or is it because I really love it?” As with everything in life, comparison steals joy. Focus on what works for you, and what makes you feel amazing when you put it on.

Get rid of anything that does not make you feel great every time you put it on.

My Minimalist Wardrobe

4. Shop Your Closet First

It’s so easy to feel discontent and think that you need more clothes or “don’t have anything to wear”. But when you feel like that, instead of running to the mall or to shop online, start by looking at what you already have in your closet.

It’s possible that you have a closet full of clothes that you aren’t wearing. Start there.

Go through what you already have and ask yourself, “Do I love this? Have I worn this recently? Could I pair this with something I already have to make a ‘new’ outfit?

Just by going through what you already have, you might discover some items you completely forgot about, put together some new looks, and realize you don’t even need to go shopping at all!

5. Only Buy What You Absolutely Love

This goes hand-in-hand with only owning what you love. There is no point in buying something that you don’t absolutely love.

When you’re in the dressing room, make sure you are 100% convinced that this item you are thinking of buying is your style and color, that it fits well, and that it pairs well with other pieces and accessories you already own.

If not, don’t buy it. Just don’t.

Otherwise, there’s a good chance you won’t wear it. You’ll keep it in your closet for the day when you find “the perfect shoes to match” or “the right pants to go with it” or for when you get back down to a size 8 again.

Save yourself the trouble, the clutter, and the money and just don’t buy it in the first place. I don’t care how good of a deal it is, it’s not a good deal for you if you don’t love it and aren’t going to wear it regularly!

My Minimalist Wardrobe

6. Aim For Versatility

People usually think I have more clothes in my closet than I do, because most of my clothes are quite versatile. I aim to have most items in my closet be things I can mix & match and use to put together different looks and outfits.

For instance, I recently got three dresses from Stitch Fix (see my completely honest review of Stitch Fix here). I kept them not only because they fit so well, but also because I instantly realized I could wear them during both the summer or winter months. In the summer months, I can wear them as a sun dress with sandals. In the colder months, I can add leggings, a cardigan, and a scarf for a completely different look.

Note: Putting Me Together is an amazing blog that gives moms very practical and doable ideas for mix and matching clothing pieces to come up with an almost endless number of different cute and simple looks. I highly recommend checking it out!

What are your favorite tips, tricks, and resources for simplifying your wardrobe? Tell us in the comments!

The Beauty of Motherhood

Seeing the Beauty in Motherhood

I came downstairs after finishing my morning Periscope show to find this waiting for me.

Silas looked up from his schoolwork and said really sweetly, “I made that fruit for you, Mom!”

In that moment, I wasn’t noticing the spilled milk or the laundry that still needed to be finished or the yogurt container that someone had forgotten to put away or the mess in the middle of the living room. Instead, I saw a bowl of beautiful, nourishing fruit that my son had taken initiative to make to bless his mommy.

Today as moms, let’s look past the spilled milk and messes and laundry piles and see the beauty and the gifts all around us. A grateful, cheerful attitude is one of the best gifts we can give to our family!

I Used to Be So Organized (part 3)

I Used to Be So Organized

So I’m a little behind in getting my Book Club posts up this week on the book we’re reading. (I guess that might be because I’m still working on getting more organized. ;))

I do have good news to report and that is that I’ve been faithfully sticking with my commitment to not check email before 12:30 p.m. each day. It’s made SUCH a difference in my mornings! I’ve found that email was taking up so much brain space and energy… because once I checked it, then I would start composing responses, thinking through issues, and problem-solving — even for a long time after I had left my computer.

I’ve also been doing a much better job getting places on time and being ready on time for my daily Periscopes. Not perfect, mind you, but much better. And that makes me so happy!

Two quotes that I loved from the last two sections of the book were:

“At any moment, giving full attention to the one thing at hand is a hallmark of high performance.” -David Allen

That’s how I want to live. Fully present exactly where I am. Embracing the moment. Being 100% all there — instead of constantly feeling torn in five different directions. Making the change with my email this week has definitely helped with this big time and I’m excited to see how that plays out long-term.

“No matter how many times you’ve tried to get organized before, know that today is a brand-new day. Leave behind your past failures and weaknesses, You are the only one who places limits on your ability or disqualifies you because on your past.” (page 215)

Isn’t this such a great reminder?? Don’t stress over what you haven’t done or how you’ve failed in the past. Just get up and take the first babystep in the first direction. Right now, right here. Today is a new day!

How are YOU doing on the small habits you committed to wanting to stick with this week? I’d love to hear!

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Next week, we’ll be going through Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong. I’m so excited about reading this book as I’ve read all three other books by Brene Brown and my life will never be the same as a result of reading them.

So I can’t wait to dive into this one! I’ll be blogging and scoping through it beginning on Monday. Let me know if you’re joining us!