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Why Minimalism is Refreshing

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on September 18, 2017

Have you ever thought about how many things you own? Think about it. Let’s not even go  talk about every room in the your home. Let’s just talk about YOUR stuff: clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, accessories, coats, etc.

You probably have a lot. Way more than you think. Probably even more than you could ever use.

So why do you have so much stuff? Why do we feel this intense need to have more stuff even though we already have so much stuff? We have a closet full of clothes we only wear 40 percent of, a rack of shoes we wear 25 percent of, and a cabinet of jewelry we wear 10 percent of. We don’t even use what we have yet we continue to buy more. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?

It seemed crazy to me, too. I was a person who owned SO. MUCH. STUFF. I owned so much jewelry that was never worn and I had a closet PACKED with clothes that I hated and didn’t love or find useful. I wore the same things yet I constantly wanted to get more, buy new, and everything in between.

Back when I began this journey of minimalism, I thought it would only go as far as decluttering my closet. I didn’t think anything life-changing would come from wanting to get rid of old clothes.

Except, it did.

Related: Decluttering Challenge for Beginners

Minimalism was the most refreshing concept to me because it allowed me to be okay with having things I only loved and got use of. It didn’t force me to go shopping every season for an entirely new wardrobe. It didn’t make me feel like I needed to spend half my paycheck on things and stuff when I was completely happy with what I already had. Minimalism is refreshing and it’s something I haven’t been able to really explain until now.

The other day, I decided to go through my entire closet and dresser and count how many clothing items I had. I counted shirts, dresses, seasonal wear, shoes, jackets, and everything in between. The only thing I left out were socks, bras, etc. I was shocked at how high this number was despite the fact that it was EVERYTHING I owned.

230. From tops to bottoms to bathing suits to dresses to sleepwear to workout clothes to formal wear. I owned 230 pieces of clothing.

And I’m sure you’re saying, “Wow, she’s DEFINITELY not a minimalist.” To be fair, I do call myself an unconventional minimalist for a reason! 😉 Also, I don’t think you need to ONLY own 30 pieces in your closet to identify with this lifestyle. I also don’t think we can really judge someone’s interpretation of this lifestyle solely based on how many items are in their closet.

To be honest, I wasn’t happy with that number at first. Until I remembered how much I had before this journey began. I used to own more than 19 pairs of jeans, 37 cardigans, 10 pairs of shorts, and 40 dresses. Now, I own 4 pairs of jeans, 8 cardigans, 2 pairs of shorts, 16 dresses. 

I don’t know about you, but the difference in those numbers are pretty substantial. That alone is 76 things less than what I had before, and that’s only a small part of my closet. I also forget that I work in an industry where I need quite a bit of professional clothing for meetings, events, networking, etc. I also workout often, so yoga pants and workout tops are essential.

Minimalism is refreshing because it’s refreshing to see how much you truly don’t need to live a blissful life. I’m still constantly getting rid of things in my closet (I filled a bag the other day with about 15 things) because I know 230 is still a large number. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that I had more than 600 clothing items at one point in my life. Looking back, if you counted jewelry, shoes, clothes, accessories, I would have been close to the 800 mark or more. But I got rid of a lot, I sold a lot, and I only kept what I loved. Have I purchased some new things? Definitely. But, I’ve learned that it’s better to invest in staples that will last for years rather than items you’ll only wear for a few seasons.

Minimalism is refreshing because it helps you practice contentment rather than spend money and shop unnecessarily. It’s refreshing to know that debt won’t be in my future when I’m happy with what I have and I only shop and buy when I know I truly need something or love something.

Even if you’re not set on the idea of minimalism altogether maybe you’ll consider going through your closet to see how much you have. Maybe it’s 800, maybe it’s 50. But, I’m sure the number will surprise you either way.

Tell me, whether you’re a minimalist or not, what’s the most refreshing idea about minimalism to you? Do you know how many items you own in your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things All Minimalists Hear

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 21, 2017

There are many reasons I don’t enjoy labeling myself as a minimalist. But, the main reason is because there are a lot of questions and comments thrown at you at any given time. Most of the time, I’m more than okay with answering questions because I’m an unconventional minimalist. So, my answers definitely differ than other minimalists out there. It’s surprising, though, that people judge your life decisions and how you choose to live especially when it doesn’t impact them in any way.

Today I’m sharing five questions and comments minimalists have definitely been asked, or they’re been asked something quite similar. I hope you get a kick out of this post as I’ve enjoyed writing it since many of these have come up A TON in the last month. Make sure to leave a comment below telling me the comments and questions you get if you’re a minimalist. Or, if you’re not, feel free to leave your own questions below. Don’t forget to check out my posts on five tips if you’re interested in minimalism because I know a ton of people loved that post!

1|Can you fit all your clothes in one suitcase?

No. Definitely not. Not even close. See, although I go rid of more than 60 percent of my wardrobe, I still have quite a bit of clothes. But, I wear Every. Single. Item in my closet and there’s nothing that I don’t love and wear or use regularly. If I find that I’m not wearing something anymore is when I decide if that item should go. I get a laugh out of this question because that’s when people say, “Well, you’re not a minimalist unless you have only 35 items in your closet.”

No, y’all, that’s not a thing either. You can be a minimalist and still have the wardrobe you want to have because minimalism is not a one size fits all concept.

2| Are you judging my car/home/closet/office/desk?

Judging isn’t the right word. This doesn’t have to do with minimalism for me as it has to do with my anxiety and OCD. Cluttered spaces make me anxious and uncomfortable, which is why minimalism simply works for me and my life. The less I own, the less than owns me. I’ve seen only positive benefits from downsizing my wardrobe, makeup collection, and everything else because it keeps my OCD and anxiety under control. If you’re happy with the way your desk/office/home/closet is, that’s fine. But if you’re looking to declutter—call me first to help!

3| Do you live in a tiny home? 

Nope. I live in a townhouse that perfectly fits everything we need. Josh and I have no interest in owning a tiny house, but we are beginning the home-buying process. I’m thankful to know that when the time does come to move—we will be able to fit everything we own in the house we decide to buy. One of the perks of minimalism is that you only have what you need, so we won’t be stressed about packing up our house to move somewhere else.

4| I could NEVER be a minimalist.

I said the same thing. I never wanted to be one either. I was the girl who had 23 pairs of jeans, 37 cardigans (not kidding) and about 30 handbags on top of mountains of jewelry I didn’t love or wear and other things that I never wore either. Believe me, I was the definition of a maximalist. Everything changed once I moved because I realized I had too many things I didn’t like. I didn’t want my home to be a storage space; I wanted it to be a warm, inviting, space where I would enjoy relaxing and living. I was able to do that by removing pieces from my closet, room and house altogether.

5| When you buy a house, you won’t be a minimalist anymore.

What does the even mean?

Sure, will we have more stuff than we have now? Definitely. But are we going to go out and buy things we don’t need or like just to have art on the wall or have a chair? Definitely NOT! That’s not who we are as people and it’s not in line with our values. Josh and I are (thankfully) similar that way because we both understand that buying a house is expensive, so why would we put ourselves in debt and buy a home we can’t afford? Then, on top of that, buy MORE STUFF to fill that home we can’t afford? For us, that doesn’t make sense, so we plan to buy a home that will fit our needs without going overboard. We have no intention on losing that minimalist mindset simple because we’re buying a house.


Fellow minimalists, what are some questions and comments you have heard recently? And non-minimalists, what are some questions you have about this lifestyle? Make sure to share all your thoughts in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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8 Small Improvements to Live a Blissful Life

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on June 14, 2017

Whether you’re about to graduate college or you’re making a career change after 10 years in a field, we can all agree that we’re all striving to live a life of bliss. Regardless of what stage in life you’re at, it’s important to focus on living a healthy, happy life. Today I’m sharing eight small improvements that will help you live a more blissful life. If you’re into feel-good posts that will help you create your best life, keep reading!

1| Declutter your life

One of the best decisions I’ve made was to go through all of my possessions and declutter everything in my home from my closet to my car. If you’re looking for a decluttering challenge for beginners, I posted one on the blog earlier this year that will definitely help you begin this journey. Decluttering is essential for living a blissful life because it repairs the spaces in your home that cause the most stress. Whether it’s the junk drawer that’s always overflowing with miscellaneous items or your basement, if there’s a space that irritates you every day—it’s worth taking care of so you can feel calm and productive in your home.

2| Make time for family and friends every week

Surrounding yourself with people who you enjoy spending time with is the best kind of therapy. I LOVE Sundays because it means heading over to Josh’s parents house at 3 for an afternoon walk and enjoying family dinner; or when the girls from work get together for sushi Fridays. Regardless of how you incorporate time for friends and family, make sure to do it consistently. Being with people who lift you up will always be a positive source of love and encouragement. (AKA bliss, #amiright?)

3| Spend time outside

I feel like a broken record with this but I simply swear by it. I grew up next to a lake all my life and loved being by the water. Watching the sunset, or sitting outside on the patio for dinner are opportunities to get yourself immersed in nature even if it’s for a few minutes. Nature itself is a special form of therapy, so take time to sit outside on a nice day for lunch with your coworkers or take your reading outdoors on your porch for an hour. You’ll soon see the benefits of what spending more time outside will do.

4| Develop a solid morning and night routine

Begin the day right by removing this one habit from your morning routine, and focusing on developing a good routine that will help you enjoy your mornings, and will help you want to get up and be productive. Creating a morning routine that you love is important. For your night routine, make sure that you’re giving yourself time to prepare for the next day to remove any stress from your morning like making sure your meals are packed, your clothes are out, and your bag is at the door so there won’t be any room for problems. Beginning and ending your day stress free are essential for living a blissful life.

5| Do something active

I know. I know. You’re sick of everyone and everything telling you the importance of working out and you don’t want to run on a treadmill for an hour. Well, you don’t have to do that.  The important part of working out for healthy living is finding workouts that you actually enjoy. No one has time to do something they hate. I promise there is a workout out there for you that you will love. Be open to trying different classes at your gym or YouTube videos. The options are endless, so find something that works for you and your schedule. Working out will help remove any stress from your day and that itself is enough to incorporate this in your routine for blissful living.

6| Rethink your to-do list

To-do lists can be overwhelming on a Monday morning when we have 14 tasks to cross off before noon. They can be counterproductive when we are given last-minutes tasks and it pushes us off track for the day. Rethink how your to-do list is laid out by allowing yourself more flexibility with finishing tasks. If you have a report due at the end of the week that you’re working on, but your boss says, “I need a data analysis by the end of the day;” you need to reschedule your tasks to get that analysis done first. Instead of making a concrete list for the entire day filled with work from 9 to 5, leave blocks of time for wiggle room for last-minute requests or for overflow of work for enough time. Don’t stress, but make sure you give yourself the time and flexibility to get everything done. Always remember to take the day with one task at a time instead of worrying about the next project you have to think about. These reminders will make your office life blissful when you’re not stressing every hour of the day.

7| Schedule “me time”

You should ALWAYS treat yourself to self care and a little extra time for yourself. Why? Because we are living in a world where it’s becoming normal to work ourselves into the ground, and that’s not okay AND you won’t feel any sense of bliss in your life by doing that. Taking a break or time off from work, and scheduling time where you can do something you love is important whether it’s reading, working out, watching Netflix, or coloring. You’ll feel good knowing you’re giving yourself time to unwind and spend it doing something you enjoy.

8| Balance saying yes and no

I recently wrote about saying yes and taking risks on the blog, and it was a difficult post to share because I was reminded that I stopped taking risks and felt lost because of it. The truth is, it’s important to say no but it’s equally important to say yes when a good opportunity arises. It’s okay to be afraid, but you can’t say no ONLY because you’re afraid. Saying yes to an opportunity can bring you to a wonderful adventure, so don’t let fear control your decisions in life. This tip goes without saying that you’ll be gifted with nothing but bliss from incorporating this in your life.

What other improvements can you think of that help YOU live a blissful life? What tip from this list do you need to work on in your own life? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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8 Tips to Master Your Closet

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on March 15, 2017

It’s that time of year where we declutter old items that no longer fit our style or lifestyle; and take control of our closet space as we transition from winter to spring. Decluttering your closet can be a huge undertaking, especially if you haven’t gone through your wardrobe in over a year or longer. Regardless if it’s your first time decluttering or your tenth time decluttering, I’m here to share 8 tips to help you master your closet. Keep reading if you’re looking to add a little bliss to your space as we move into spring.

1| Make A Plan

Don’t just go into your closet and start throwing things out and putting clothes in a donation bin. Sit down and set aside five minutes to plan out when and how long you’ll need to go through your closet and clothes altogether. Will it take a day or a few hours? Scheduled adequate time to go through your clothes so you don’t run out of time or feel rushed to get it done in an hour.

2| Take It All Out

Yes, take it all out and put it on your bed or floor. Literally everything from tops to seasonal items to shoes. You will be surprised with how much you truly have in your closet. This will help so much because you can see what the damage it and see how much you can donate, sell, toss, etc.

3| Try It All On

Does it fit? Does it look flattering on you? Does it fit your style? It is damaged at all? Is it versatile? Do you feel good when you wear that item? Ask yourself all these questions (and more) when you’re trying on different pieces in your closet. Don’t keep something unless your truly love it and it fits your personal style. If it doesn’t fit/if it’s damaged or you simply don’t love it—out it goes. Read 10 things to remove from your closet right now for help!

4| Create A “6-Month Box”

If you’re not too sure about some items, put them away in a box and store them in your basement, spare closet, or attic for six months. If you don’t find yourself looking for any of those items over the six months, or even thinking about them—you should definitely donate or sell those items once the period is up. it’s a sure way of knowing you didn’t love or need those pieces in your life.

5| Don’t Be Sentimental

You still have your bridesmaid dress from your friend’s wedding from five years ago. It doesn’t fit and you know you will never wear it again. You have scarves from Europe that are damaged and you can’t even wear anymore, yet they’re taking up space in your closet. Why keep those things if you want wear them? Try to remove the sentimental memories from those pieces and stay practical.

6| Be Honest With Yourself

No pair of shoes are worthy of keeping if you can’t wear them for 30 minutes without screaming in pain. Get rid of things that don’t make sense to keep. Why keep a pair of jeans from high school that you probably won’t fit into when you can appreciate the jeans you have now that also fit your body? Don’t hold onto things you don’t need or can’t wear.

7| Organization is Key

Find an organization system that works well for you. If you love to organize your closet by color and sleeve length, perfect! If you prefer to organize the Kon Marie way, that’s great, too! It’s all about what works best for you and what you love. Everyone will have a different preference and that’s okay! Take time to see what is visually appealing to you and what will help you keep your closet organized.

8| Maintain Consistently

Your closet will be easy to maintain if you find an organization system you love (see #7). Also make sure you set aside time every season to review your closet again and see what you can remove, donate, sell, etc. After your initial declutter, it will be much easier to see what you love and don’t love in terms of fashion, style, etc. As long as you dedicate 30 minutes to go through your closet, you will be able to maintain your hard work.

Are you ready to tackle your own closet? When is the last time you decluttered? What other tips do you have for mastering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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Decluttering Challenge For Beginners

Posted in Lifestyle
on January 16, 2017

 

I believe that decluttering can have a positive and powerful impact on our lives. One day, I decided to declutter my closet, which lead me to pursue a more minimalist lifestyle. Now, almost a year later, I can confidently say that taking that initial leap and decluttering my space set the tempo for my decision to continue to a more simple and more minimal life.

It’s the first month of a new year, which is the perfect time to set aside a day where you can tackle some spaces in your home and make a difference in your mindset, outlook and more! There are so many benefits to taking on a more minimalist lifestyle, and it all begins with the decision to try.

I created a simple, decluttering challenge for beginners who are looking to free up more space in their homes, simplify their life and potentially look into pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle. The challenge is simple: you have 30 days to go through and complete the challenges. You can take several days to complete one challenge, and you can do as much or as little as you’d like. The purpose is to keep the challenges open-ended for each individual to interpret and make those decisions for themselves.

1| Remove everything from your closet you haven’t worn in over a year.

We all know there are a ton of things in your closet right now that you probably haven’t worn for several years, so why keep them? Go through your closet and carefully edit your wardrobe. Does it fit your personal style? Does it fit? Do you love it? If you answered no to any of those questions, then out it goes.

2| Recycle/donate old magazines and books you won’t read or reference.

Unless you know you’re going to reread the book or reference the magazine or textbook, there’s no need to keep it in your home. I have several books that I love and plan to keep for years to come. But if it’s a book that can be donated, make sure to donate as much as you can. You won’t believe the space you’ll save.

3| Sort your mail, bills, etc. Toss what you no longer need and file important documents.

Make sure you go through mail anytime you receive it to keep from paper clutter catching up to you in your home. Pay your bills as soon as possible, sort any files you know you’ll need for long-term, etc. If it’s trash, or direct mail marketing, toss it unless you plan to use it within the next week.

4| Clean out all other closet spaces in the house. Donate old/outgrown items.

Go through your spare closets, guest bedroom closets, and coat closets, and organize when appropriate. Do you need to keep the coats you haven’t worn in years? Donate them to a charitable cause like a coat collection for local homeless shelters in your community. Do the same with boots, winter scarves, hats, and anything else lingering in those spaces.

5| Donate all kitchen/dining room items you don’t use or need including: old tupperware, utensils, mugs, plates, gadgets, appliances, etc.

No matter what you say, you don’t need 15 mugs when there are only two people living in one home. The same can be said for excess utensils, dishes, tupperware, and anything else in these rooms that you feel you won’t need. Do you really need five tablecloths even though you only use one of them twice a year? Be ruthless when it comes to these spaces in your home.

6| Go through beauty products, makeup, etc. and toss expired items.

Similar to the unnecessary mug collection, you can get rid of a lot of things from your beauty closet, makeup collection, and bathroom storage areas. Go through your linen closet and toss anything that’s old and expired or you know you won’t use. Then organize the remaining items into baskets putting similar products together.

7| Organize your office space and digital space. Unsubscribe from emails, delete old contacts, unfollow people on social media, sort through emails. Shred old files you no longer need.

Create an organized filing system for any important documents at your desk. Keep your desk area minimal with only the essentials on your desk. Organize your digital files into folders. Sort through emails until you have none in your inbox. Unfollow people that don’t inspire you on social media, unsubscribe from any email marketing, go through your contacts and delete those acquaintances from high school you haven’t heard from in five years.

8| Toss expired food from your fridge or pantry.

Remember those small jars of mustard from your Hickory Farms gift from two Christmases ago that you said you were going to use, but never did? Yep, toss those whether you had promise yourself to eat it or not. Do the same with anything in the pantry or fridge that may be expired.

9| Miscellaneous items throughout your house in the garage and basement.

The garage and basement can be huge targets for keeping old items that you don’t use or want. Whether it’s old furniture or home decor items you’ve never used, or equipment you know you will never use ever again. Donate/toss or sell anything miscellaneous from these specific spaces.

10| Get rid of anything that makes you unhappy or stressed.

Are you one of those people who has kept clothing in storage for when you lose those final 10 (or 20) pounds? Donate it and remind yourself that if you ever do lose the weight, you can treat yourself to a new wardrobe. Don’t old on to items that can trigger stress and unnecessary expectations. If it brings you stress or sadness, get rid of it.

With the beginning of a new years comes an exciting time of new opportunities for yourself and a time of self improvement. With this challenge, you’ll be able to take the first step in decluttering your home, and simplify your life for 2017.

Do you think you can complete this challenge? What have you been decluttering lately? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

 

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