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minimalism

5 Ways to Practice Minimalism [That Doesn’t Involve Decluttering]

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 16, 2017

I know what you’re thinking…

You think that minimalism is ALL about decluttering. Decluttering your closets, decluttering your kitchen, decluttering your basement. It’s all about getting rid of things you don’t use. I’m here to drop a major truth bomb.

Minimalism isn’t ONLY about decluttering.

Sure, is it a huge focus that you see all over Pinterest and YouTube? Yes, it definitely is. But I want people to understand that there are so many other ways to practice this lifestyle that doesn’t involve you going through your entire house and purging every other day. Although I definitely believe decluttering is extremely helpful in this process, it isn’t the only component of living more minimally. So, I’m here to share five other ways you can practice living a minimalist lifestyle, that has nothing to do with decluttering.

1| Focus on your buying habits.

You can declutter all you want, but if you’re going right back to the store—then you’re not doing yourself any good. The purpose of minimalism is that you’re removing the non-essential to make more room for what is essential. It’s about only having what you need rather than a new trend you may want temporarily. This could be a long post by itself, but you can also focus on shopping consciously at second-hand shops and thrifting for items to help with budgeting and ethical shopping. P.S. Have you checked out the true cost? It’s absolutely life-changing.

2| Go green + DIY.

Another area where you can simplify and minimize your life is with cleaning and beauty products. I’ve been focusing on streamlining my beauty routine and researching more on DIY scrubs, and natural products for my skin like coconut oil and homemade coffee scrubs. You can also clean a lot of of your home using vinegar and essential oils. There are tons of bloggers out there who are helpful should you decide to learn more about natural, green products for cleaning and beauty.

3| Rethink your food.

I have to give my brother and sister a shoutout here because I admire how they garden. They grow their own vegetables, fruit and herbs—and you can tell they enjoy the process and work behind it. Minimalism deals with consumption, which includes the food you eat. I’ve been trying hard to stay away from processed foods and enjoy a mix of fruits, vegetables, and protein. When we move into our home, I hope to do a little more with planting herbs and gardening in hopes that it will help me choose more plants and healthy, whole foods rather than snacks and junk food.

4| Practice what you preach. 

If you’re practicing minimalism, how do you show others? When the holidays roll around, are you giving nieces and nephews more clothes they don’t need, and toys they may only use for a short time? If yes, you’re not being faithful in your practices. Although not everyone practices this lifestyle, it’s important to remember that practicing what you preach is essential. If people see you giving unnecessary things, people will give YOU unnecessary things YOU don’t need or want. You’re only hurting yourself in the long run. Instead, give your niece and nephew day passes to the local zoo, aquarium, museum, or park they love. Give your sibling a date night with their spouse to a trampoline park or a new brewery. Give experiences or things they need or are useful.

5|  How are your goals?

Let’s say you’ve been working on this how minimalism business for awhile now, and you’ve purged your entire house from top to bottom. You went from spending an hour every day cleaning to two hours a week cleaning. You now have TONS of time on your hands because you aren’t cleaning and cooking for hours every single day. So what are you spending your time on? If you’re filling up your time with Netflix and social media—stop immediately. Get our your vision board and see what you want to accomplish. Now, make more time to actually work on those goals. Minimalism is about making time and space for the goals and life you want to live. Now, go do it.

You all know I love a good decluttering session, but there are other aspects of minimalism that will bring bliss to your life. Once you’re done decluttering, look to some of the other examples above like growing your own food, focusing on your goals and dreams, and overhauling your shopping habits.

What area of minimalism do you think would be the easiest and hardest for your to apply to your life? What area of minimalism do you think you’ll tackle next? Or, are you still working on the decluttering stages of your journey? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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10 Questions to Help Declutter Your Closet

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on October 4, 2017

Are you ready to tackle your closet?

Don’t be overwhelmed. You got this, girl! Today I’m sharing some of the questions I ask myself when I’m decluttering my closet and what I find to be the most helpful. All it will take is a little time and patience to work through your closet and ask yourself the following questions.

1| Do I need it?

Be real with yourself! If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. It’s seems simple to say, “Of course I need this.” But dig deeper. Why do you need it? Are there other reasons why you want to keep it? Do you truly need it? Be honest about your answers. Then decide if you need it.

2| Do I love it?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept something even when I don’t truly love the item. This is no bueno and you shouldn’t do this. Make sure you’re only keeping items you truly love and that bring you happiness to wear. You’ll love getting dressed when you have a closet of clothes you love.

3| Does it look good on me?

We all that one top that doesn’t fit right or a dress that doesn’t flatter our figure. But you don’t want to donate/sell it because you feel like you’re wasting the item. Remove the idea of waste from your mind. If you’re keeping an item in your closet and not wearing it—you’re wasting it. So, grab your BFF, husband, or mom and get a second opinion from someone else who won’t steer you wrong.

4| Does it fit my style?

Y’all, I know you have some clothes that don’t reflect your personal style lying around in your closet. And you know you’re not going to wear them anymore because your personal style has changed drastically since high school. This was also me. I held onto clothes I LOVED in high school but they simply weren’t my style anymore. “But I LOVED it back then,” I told myself. Well, you don’t now and you won’t wear it. So get rid of it.

5| Can I pair it with 5 other pieces in my wardrobe?

There’s nothing worse that having a piece of clothing that you can’t ever wear because you have nothing to wear it WITH! AKA, several skirts with awkward colors and patterns that truly didn’t look good (even with neutral tops). Yet, I held onto those skirts for years without wearing them because I felt guilty. So they collected dust before I finally decided that it wasn’t worth keeping them anymore. I know they probably have found a better home now.

6| Do I wear it regularly?

There are some articles out there that can break down how often you wear an item to see if you’re truly getting enough value out of an item based on what you’ve spent and how often you wear it. But, you know if you’re getting the wear and use out of an item. If it’s past its prime, or damaged—toss it. If you wear it a few times a year, note it as a special occasion item. Remember to consider your lifestyle when you’re asking yourself these questions.

7| Am I keeping this out of guilt?

Because you don’t want to get rid of your bridesmaid dress from your cousins wedding from seven years ago even though you’ll never wear it again because it doesn’t fit. Don’t keep something out of guilt. Donate to a good cause like a Prom Dress Drive or a similar charity. Someone will be able to use it and love it. That reason alone should be enough for you to donate it!

8| Have I worn it in the last year?

To keep myself in check on this, I set all my hangers facing the opposite way of how I would hang them. Once I wear something, I make sure to turn the hanger the right way. It works as a check mark saying, yes I wear this piece. After six months or a year, see what items are still facing the opposite way. Do you love these pieces? (I mean…clearly you don’t.) Run through the other questions and see if it’s an item you can donate or give to a friend.

9| Am I saving this “just in case?”

But let’s be real for a minute. Saving it just in case of what? You might find that after three years of not wearing the sweater, you might fall in love with again if you keep holding onto it? It doesn’t work that way, girlfriend. Donate or sell those items, and you won’t have to worry about keeping anything “just in case” ever again. #amiright

10| Why do I feel like I can’t get rid of it?

Sometimes, I’ve been stuck after asking myself the above questions. And I find that I always come back to one of the above answers: feeling guilty about getting rid of it, keeping an item “just in case,” etc. You’re only human. This is why I will sometimes default to the 3-month box. I’ll keep a small pile of items I’m not sure about and if I try to go looking for that piece, then I know it’s time to get rid of that item. But make sure you don’t keep adding pieces to that box and not doing anything with them later.

When is the last time you took time to declutter your closet? What questions would you find the most challenging? What other questions would you ask yourself if you were decluttering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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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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Pursuing Slow Living & Why It’s Important

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 6, 2017

What’s important to you?

Be honest with yourself. What is really important to you?

 

Are you looking to have a family with two kids and two dogs? Do you want to travel the world and explore new cities and countries several times a year? Are you hoping to begin your own business?

Whatever life goals you have for yourself is wonderful. But, the problem the may be holding you back is busyness. Busyness is something we’ve turned into a new normal, and it’s not how I want to live my life. It’s something that doesn’t make me feel blissful because busy doesn’t always mean we’re working toward that life we so desperately want.

Busyness can mean you’ve put too much time and energy toward work projects and you’ve tacked on an additional 10 hours unpaid for your time, energy and money. You could have spent that time relaxing, recharging, spending quality time with friends, family or yourself.

I don’t want my life to become so busy that I forget what it’s like to have free time. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have a day off because I’m used to having my day planned with zero time to relax.

That’s why I’m choosing to live life a little more slowly. I’m focusing on something that’s essential for my well-being, and you should, too. There’s a beautiful saying in Italian that truly resonates with me and this lifestyle: dolce far niente, which means the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians are masters of enjoying the small moments of everyday life without worrying about being busy and rushing to the next task or meeting. They are wonderful with enjoying these simple moments in life, and practicing slow living.

Why slow living is important:

1| Perspective

Perspective is something I talk about a lot here on the blog because I think it’s important to gain new insight and learn a different way of looking at life and how we live it. For me, living more slowly and intentionally will give a new perspective on what I truly find valuable to me. It’s how I’ll know what’s worth spending time and energy on.

2| More 

More time. More energy to devote to what you’re truly passionate about. More money because you’re not in a rush to go, go, go and get your drive-through breakfast and coffee every day. There’s more of everything in your life that’s good when we decide to slow down and live the life you want to live. More time to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. Dolce far niente.

3| Fulfillment 

I feel fulfilled when I know I’ve had a productive day at work, but I can go home and live my life without worrying about work. I do ever want to bring work home with me, and I don’t plan to. Home is where I can dedicate time to myself and to those important to me. It’s where I can relax, enjoy reading, workout, cook, blog, or anything in between. I feel fulfilled knowing I don’t need to check off 10 things off the ever-growing to-do list. Stress and busyness are created from ourselves, so it’s important to recognize who is responsible creating for the chaos and who is also responsible for removing the chaos. Both answers include you. It’s up to you which life you decide to live.

How can you work on living slowly?

Disconnect from social media and from your phone to actually enjoy time in a cafe with your bestie. Don’t feel the need to rush through Sunday dinner with your family. Instead, savor the meal, talk about your week and the week ahead. Make time to be present in the current moment you’re in rather than rush to the next part of your day. Be content with what you’re doing. Dolce far niente. The sweetness of doing nothing.

Living slowly and practicing this concept can mean that you wake up 30 minutes earlier to actually wake up, make breakfast and enjoy your coffee in your home before beginning the day. It’s about removing the rush and chaos from your day-to-day life. It’s about enjoying your day without feeling like busyness has taken over what you love most.

For me, instead of talking and enjoying the moment I’m spending with Josh and his family for dinner, I’m thinking about my week ahead, new ideas for my blog, book topics to write in the future, and so much more. My mind can’t fully shut off because of my internal need to keep going and keep feeling busy. Instead, I plan to put my phone away, shut off those work-mode thoughts and enjoy Sundays.

So how will you live more slowly? How will you practice the sweetness of doing nothing? Do you have any tips on this lifestyle? What busyness and chaos do you want to remove from your life? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: September

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 4, 2017

Is it fall yet?

Kidding. Well sort of. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for the change in season. It’s something I look forward to every single year when summer comes to an end. Let me know what you’re looking forward to now that it’s September because I can tell you that I have a lot to be happy about

1| Goals on Goals

I have a lot of goals to finish out the remainder of the third quarter, and I’m determined to get things done. I’ve been able to get rid of more things from my closet, which I didn’t know was possible. And I’m learning more about appreciating the simple things that make life enjoyable. My goals may not necessarily be the standard or conventional goals I’ve shared, but I am excited to accomplish these goals this month.

2| Passion Projects

I’m finally working on some passion projects that have been manifesting in my mind and in my dreams for years. Although I can’t quite share these yet (stay tuned!) I am excited to dive in on projects that I love and truly enjoy. One of the amazing things about minimalism is that it allows me more time in my day to focus on what I’m passionate about. I cannot wait to share this passion with you all soon.

3| A Change in Season

Fall isn’t here, but it will be soon. I know there are so many bloggers out there who love fall, and you all know I’m right there with you. I think I feel more productive during this change in the year because I’m still in that back-to-school mindset even though I’m no loner a student. My productivity naturally spikes back in September.

4| My Vision Board Coming to Life

Did you happen to see what’s on my vision board for the next three years? Well, let’s just say that several of those things on my vision board will be happening within three months of me sharing my goals with you. Yes, really. I am incredibly thankful for all the blessings in my life, and being able to reach these goals was not planned for 2017. But I am a big believer in what’s meant to be, will be.

5| Slow Living

Life moves so quickly. And it’s very easy to get lost in the busyness of our day-to-day lives. This month, I plan to focus on the art of slow living. With a busy season at work ahead, I’m determined to focus on work-life balance and living more slowly. I’ll have more on this topic coming on the blog later this month, however if you have any posts or videos you love on this topic—please leave a link below!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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