My Minimalism Journey [So Far]

2016 was a huge year for me in terms of discovering what material items I felt were no longer important or essential for me. I have grown so much from this journey so far, especially because I moved out of my parent’s home and into my own home. I didn’t want to have a cluttered or disorganized home; I wanted my home to be a space that was calming, relaxing, and simple.

Why I chose Minimalism:

1| I felt less anxious

For those who don’t know, I have struggled with anxiety and OCD for several years. When I removed unnecessary clutter and items from my life, I felt my anxiety decrease significantly. The fewer items I owned, the less I had to clean, wash, sort and organize. Needless to say, it has helped me SO much!

2| It brought me joy

I went into this minimalism journey with one concept it mind: if the item didn’t bring me happiness, there was no need to keep it in my life. More than 90 percent of the things I got rid of were simply because they were things I didn’t love. This is the best mindset to have when beginning your journey.

3| It gave me perspective

It can be difficult to focus on the bigger things in life, but minimalism helped me to understand there is more to life than owning an article of clothing in every color. Or, making sure you’re saving a handbag or belt for an occasion that may never come up again. There’s more to life than things. Life should be about adventure and experiences.


With these concepts in mind, I knew minimalism was something that would help me achieve the lifestyle and space I craved. So, I began with my own items in my room. I sat in a mountain of clothes taller than my nightstand, and felt the negative impact of having stuff I didn’t love. But I also knew that getting rid of things was going to be difficult, so I promised myself to take the process slow. There was no need to rush.

Over the course of a month, I removed more than 60 percent of my clothes, jewelry, accessories and shoes. I felt incredibly relieved—but I was itching to keep getting rid of things. Here is how I was able to declutter my closet.

There becomes a point in your minimalism journey where you become addicted to the process. Every week, I would find myself going through my closet to find another item (or 10) to donate, sell or toss.  By summer, I truly felt blissful with where I was in my minimalism journey.

Throughout summer and fall, I craved a desire for adopting minimalism and simplicity even further in my life. I began to simplify my routine and practice mindfulness more and more. I began practicing conscious shopping and truly monitored my shopping habits to become more aware of what was necessary and unnecessary. I also focused on my daily routine and leading a minimalist lifestyle.

Now, I am almost a year into my minimalism journey, and although I am still learning throughout the process, I am very satisfied with where I am with my journey right now. I think it’s important to appreciate every step in the journey. I know 2017 will be another year filled with progressing on my minimalism journey, and I hope to document more of this journey along the way!

If you’re new to minimalism, what has been the best part of your journey so far? If you’re a veteran minimalist, what tips would you share with those who are new to the process or considering becoming a minimalist? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

Other places you can find me:
facebook bloglovin twitter pinterest linkedin instagram

Decluttering Challenge For Beginners

 

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

 

 

Other places you can find me:
facebook bloglovin twitter pinterest linkedin instagram

The Hygge Hype & Tips to Incorporate it in Your Life

Now, before we get into all the questions and the weird looks—let me begin by saying that you will want and need more Hygge in your life by the end of this post. And the great thing is that you probably do a lot of these things already, so you’re probably a Hygge expert and you might not even know it.

Do you love a cozy night in with fuzzy socks, a huge blanket, and candles all in your home while reading a book and sipping tea at night? Well, you’re practicing hygge. See? I told you that you would already know more about it than you realize! And I’m sure there are more ways you’re secretly indulging in this term other than a cozy, relaxing night at home.

What is Hygge?

Well, there’s no direct translation into English, but it’s basically the combination of coziness, charm, comfort, security and simplicity in your life. It’s all about taking these components and creating a calm sanctuary in your home. This word and lifestyle is essential in the Danish way of living, and it’s something we can all use a little more of in our lives due to the winter ahead of us.

In essence, hygge is all about creating an inviting and welcoming atmosphere that you find enjoyable when you can practice relaxing and activities you enjoy. Although this seems straightforward, you still need to put in effort to create a positive, warm, friendly environment, especially in winter. Hygge is at its height in winter when seasonal depression can take a toll on your health. So as winter continues, it’s important to stay positive, happy and healthy. Hygge can definitely help with your overall health and happiness during this time. So, if you’re all about being happy and health, be sure to keep reading to learn how you can add a little more hygge in your life.

How to incorporate Hygge in your life:

It’s simple! Find ways to bring in that sense of coziness and comfort into your daily life. Here are several ways to practice Hygge regularly:

1| Light some candles, grab a blanket and read a book.

2| Have hot chocolate, warm socks and enjoy a phone-free night at home.

3| Enjoy a family/friend night in with board games, good food and good conversations.

4| Be present in the activity whether it’s baking a new recipe, or enjoying company without distractions

5| Create a “Hygge Corner” complete with soft blankets and lighting, candles, and your comfiest clothes.

6| Try to spend time on creative, crafty activities and hobbies.

7|  Rethink your home space by bringing nature indoors, and add touches of coziness with soft lighting and candles throughout your entire space.

With a long winter ahead, it’s important to put your happiness and health first. With the addition of a little hygge in your life, it won’t be hard to see the benefits by practicing it regularly. Remember the keywords: comfort, coziness, and charm! This can mean anything from a warm cup of tea, to snuggling under a blanket with a good book.

So what do you think about Hygge? Have you heard of this trend? Do you think you’ll incorporate it in your routine for winter? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

Other places you can find me:
facebook bloglovin twitter pinterest linkedin instagram

Things I Want to Treat Myself to in 2017

I am a firm believer in treating yourself regularly, but I don’t mean with an occasional glass of wine or your favorite chocolate. Granted, it’s perfectly fine if you want to treat yourself to those things because wine and chocolate make everything better—amiright?

Instead, I want to share important things I want to treat myself to now that a new year is upon us.

1| Frequent Self Care

There are some months where I practice self care regularly, and there are other periods of time where I go months without proper self care. For 2017, I want to make self care a main priority because it’s important to keeping yourself sane, happy and healthy. Spend a Saturday at home reading, drawing, or with your closest friends or family. Spend time on activities and hobbies you enjoy. And don’t feel guilty about doing so. You deserve it.

2| A Spontaneous Adventure

In 2016, I was able to take rather spontaneous trips: one to Albany and one to Texas. Both were incredible and definitely were highlights because I got to visit two college friends that I don’t see as often now that we have all graduated and live in different places. in 2017, I want to treat myself to an unexpected adventure or trip. I don’t know what it will be, but I can’t wait to find out!

3| Invest in Quality Items

Since I have been practicing minimalism more throughout 2016, I want to continue those habits and focus on this lifestyle more in 2017 as well. One of the main lessons I’ve taken away from minimalism is that I have changed my spending habits and what items I bring into my home whether it’s an article of clothing, or something for my home. In 2017, I want to treat myself to high-quality items for myself, but only if I truly need them. Quality over quantity is very important to me with this lifestyle in mind.

4| Breaks & Time Off

I work hard, and I know that I deserve time off. I also know that I deserve to spend my days off not thinking about work. For 2017, I want make sure that my days off are truly spent taking time away from work and focusing on other things. I don’t want to be the person who checks their email or takes business calls on their vacation or on a Sunday. I’m treating myself to a life outside of work that I truly love because work should never control your life in that way.

5| Time for Myself

Everyone deserves time for themselves. Time to read, relax, workout, have a coffee date with yourself or treat yourself to your favorite sushi. I want 2017 to be a year where I consistently treat myself to time where I can go alone to my favorite sushi restaurant and not feel awkward, or spend a weekend alone and find complete comfort knowing that I don’t need to make plans to have a fun weekend. I want to focus on independence and time for myself.

What are you treating yourself to in 2017? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

Other places you can find me:
facebook bloglovin twitter pinterest linkedin instagram

2016 Review & 2017 Goals

 

 

I am very much in denial that 2016 is over and a new year is here. 2016 was an incredible year for me, and I am happy to say it was one of my best years so far. I want to share some highlights from this year before sharing what my 2017 goals are.

Highlights from 2016:

1| Graduating with my Master’s Degree at 21: I am extremely proud of myself for this because there were a lot of people who doubted this could be done when I first began school. Four years later, I graduated with my M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications, my B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Spanish. This was a huge accomplishment for me, and was definitely my best moment of 2016.

2| Being more spontaneous: This was a huge goal of mine throughout 2016 because as you can imagine, I thrive off of planning every little detail. I wanted to remind myself that it’s okay to not always have a plan. Sometimes, the best memories are created when you don’t plan much at all. So, I took some trips: one to Albany in March to visit one of my best friends from college, and another trip in May to visit my other best friend from college in Texas. Both trips were amazing and got my travel bug in full swing, which caused me to book a trip to Boston for April 2017!

3| Getting my first job: Can we just say that 2016 was the year that I became a full-blown adult? I got my first full-time job in the marketing field, and I am in love with my job. There’s nothing more wonderful than knowing I get to wake up every day and go to a job I truly love. I know many people are stuck in a job they hate, and I am blessed to be in a position I love.

4| Moving out of state and buying my first place with Josh: I didn’t move too far away from home; but I did move from NY to PA back in April when I got my job. After over two years of being long distance, Josh and I got our first place together, and we couldn’t be happier! We love our home, and we love that we were able to make our relationship a priority and bring our lives together.

5| Putting my health first: 2016 was the year that I got back on track as far as my overall health. From all the stress of finishing my Master’s brought on poor eating, lack of exercise, and other unhealthy habits. Once I moved to PA, Josh and I got in the habit of running three miles two or three times a week, eating healthy, and taking more time for self care. I feel great, and hope to keep this up for 2017, too!


Goals for 2017:

Personal Goals:

1| Read (8-10 books throughout 2017)

I did not do well in the reading category for 2016, so I’m hoping to turn this around for 2017. I created a huge wish list of books for Christmas, so I’m hoping I’ll be gifted some content to achieve this goal!

2| Plan 2-3 trips for 2017

We do have our trip to Boston scheduled, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I’m hoping to plan another trip to Pittsburgh and potentially a third trip in 2017 as well. You could say I definitely have the travel bug.

3| Achieve my career goals for 2017

In my mind, I have so many different career-oriented goals for 2017 that I want to accomplish. Although I know work-related goals should be its own category, I’m listed it under personal because there are too many topics to cover for this section!

4| Focus on my vision board

I’ve been working on my vision board A TON recently. If you’d like to see a blog post on my vision board and how I created mine, make sure to leave a comment below!

Blogging Goals:

1| Focus on my blog direction

I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I want Blissfully Brunette to go in. And while you can expect an entire post on it, I want to at least let you know there might be some changes coming to the blog for 2017.

2| Increase blog social media engagement by 20 percent

I know so many people who focus on specific stats and numbers. For me, it’s not just about numbers. I care a lot about engagement, interaction and genuine connections via social media.

3| Take more risks

Sometimes, anxiety can hold me back, but I don’t want it to hold my blog back from its full potential. 2017 will be the year that I take more risks and try new things here on the blog.

Financial Goals:

1| Put an extra $8-10,000 into savings

This is a huge goal of mine. I’ve created an in-depth plan on how I plan to achieve it. Let’s just say it’s going to take a ton of spending freezes (I’m starting one for the first quarter) I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on this goal, too!

2| Track my spending regularly

I mentioned that Josh keeps a very specific excel sheet on what he spends every. single. day. I admire his commitment because I see that he’s able to achieve his savings goals, so I’m hoping to adopt this and do the same!

Health Goals:

1| Increase my weekly running distance

We aren’t currently in running season, but we are still training all winter long for when running season does pick up again. My goal is to increase my weekly running distance to 10 miles.

2| Don’t focus on numbers

I don’t want my weight or size in general to affect my overall happiness and perception of my heath and fitness endeavors. I feel like numbers takes a negative toll on your mental health, so I don’t want this to take priority for me.

3| Focus on workouts I enjoy

I spent a lot of time when I was younger doing workouts that I didn’t enjoy. Let me tell you that you shouldn’t spend time doing A N Y T H I N G  you don’t enjoy. Find something you love and enjoy, and practice it daily!

I hope you enjoyed reading my goals for 2017. How did you do on your goals for 2016? What are some of your goals for 2017? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Ki Signature

 

 

Other places you can find me:
facebook bloglovin twitter pinterest linkedin instagram