Living smaller in 2017 – here’s how…

As some of you may already know, my goal for 2017 is to reduce my possessions by at least 50%.  I am biased, but I think everyone can benefit from understanding HOW that’s done – even I don’t know – but I know I’m on the right track…

I get passionate about ideas, that’s for sure. Maybe more passionate than I should at times (poor Mike), but I feel compelled to start taking account of what I’m “lifting” from my soul as I purge the material in my life. This journey began for me when Elle was born but escalated when we moved to our new home – now, it’s a goal that I am fiercely committed to. I am sick of being ruled by “things” – we’ve all been duped into this – let’s take back control!

Over the holidays I went through a lot of stuff. Here are a few areas I ransacked and you can take a look at in your house:

  1. Bathroom/Toiletries –
    • Do you have samples of products you haven’t used? Old makeup, chapstick, medicine – you can quickly and easily raid a medicine cabinet, put it in the box, donate what’s good and throw away the rest.
  2. Office –
    • You don’t need multiples of certain things – staplers, tape dispensers, cords, hundreds of pens. It may still be “good” but perhaps someone else can use it. You just need one of each. Do you even need a pencil holder?
    • Things saved for future use need to be truly needed/valuable and stored properly. I found colored pencils and markers for Elle that she’s not ready for yet. I sorted them and put them in baggies – one of each color – the rest I’m donating to the library.
    • Old electronics you’re keeping around? Get rid of them, recycle them, sell them. They’re bringing nothing to you. I found an energy stick, old mouse CD’s – please tell me who burns CD’s these days???
  3. Closet –
    • You know how I feel about this one. Be hard on yourself. Get rid of the guilt of what you paid for something – if you don’t feel good in it, it’s served it’s purpose – let someone else enjoy it. Chalk it up to bad decisions – you’ve made many in your life so far, then, don’t make more of them (when it comes to clothing). Before you buy, figure out the emotion that goes with actually feeling good in your clothes. Put on your favorite shirt to remember that feeling.
  4. Kitchen –
    • The first one here is easy – get rid of plastic containers (especially those that have BPAs in them).
    • You should actually USE everything in your kitchen – if you don’t, it’s gone. Simple and easy. I got rid of placemats, any extra plastic cups. If you have crazy mix-matched mugs that you don’t love, let them go.

These are just a few starting points… more to come. Pick a place where you don’t have emotions attached and begin there – that’s easiest. Hope this helps. Happy minimizing!

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Morality Over Coffee

So I haven’t blogged in a long time… and today the thought dawned on me that I’d like to do so with purpose.

I had a conversation with someone last night where we talked about having positive people in your life, surrounding yourself with those who respect you and choose to bring good things and happy thoughts your way instead of always talking about the negative.  Then, this morning I got into the car and while scanning the radio I stopped on someone talking about how stress surrounds us in life and a lot of times we get ourselves involved in situations that add to this when we don’t have to.  I sit down at my desk and something pops up on my newsfeed that talks about clearing your mind of clutter, saying what you mean and meaning what you say.  Um… hello… can we say epiphany!?

So I know this is common sense, and obviously, we all try to be good to others… but are we always conscience of that?  I find myself angry in the car while driving, upset about standing in line too long, tense about an email or conversation that really has no bearing in the big picture.  A lot of times, in situations like that, the person on the other end (driving in that other car, at the head of the line in the grocery store) has no inkling (or care) that we’re feeling stressed.  So who’s to blame for that unnecessary anger… us!

Therefore, I thought I’d start paying attention even more to the good that happens every day instead of the bad. Will it totally nix all stress, absolutely not, but it may help – and man, shouldn’t we take an active role in that?  So, this blog now will focus on the things in life that we may pass by during the day but perhaps we should pay attention to.  It’s so much easier to be angry and act like the world owes you something than to be happy even if you don’t feel like it.  So, this will be my “pay it forward” blog of ramblings… a reminder about the little good things, the bright spots that keep all of us from chaos…. even if we don’t always open our eyes and recognize them all around us.

-K