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5 Ways to Simplify During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 13, 2017

I genuinely feel horrible for the people who can’t bring themselves to enjoy the holiday season because they only associate this time of year with stress. Leave a comment below if you’re one of those people who doesn’t look forward to the holidays because I’m curious as to why you feel that way!

PSA: I’m here to help you DESTRESS during the holiday season because you deserve to enjoy this time of year without feeling overwhelmed. Here are 5 ways to simplify during the holiday season.

1| Make a game plan

Get an overview of all the things you want to get done during the next two months. The truth is that we say that we want to have weekends filled with all the holiday activities, but that’s not always realistic. Get an idea of what weekends you’ll have a ton going on, and make sure to plan a few days where there is a little less activity to balance everything out so you’re no completely overwhelmed.

2| Just begin

You can make a game plan and feel as organized as ever, but where people fail and get behind during the holiday season is they simple refuse to begin. They wait until mid-December to actually being holiday shopping, or they wait until the week before to wrap every single gift. Needless to say, your holiday season will be less stressful if you get started early and odn’t procrastinate on your entire to-do list.

3| Define what’s necessary

Do you have to do everything on that winter bucket list you found on Pinterest? Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything at all, but go through all the tasks and outline what it truly necessary for you. Do you need to have six separate days dedicated to shopping with all different people? Do you need to watch a holiday movie every single night? Find a balance of what matters most to you and what’s essential.

4| Schedule down time

See point one. It’s just as important to schedule down time during the next two months as it is important to write down and schedule all your plans as well. If you’re in non-stop Christmas mode where you’re always working on shopping, baking, cleaning, going to parties, gift-wrapping and all the other traditions—you’re going to get stressed. Plan several days of down time for reading, relaxing, pampering and watching all those holiday movies with some hot cocoa.

5| Forget Perfect

One of the root issues people have with the holiday season is that it isn’t that Hallmark-picture-perfect-movie that we all think it’s going to be. Sometimes, you burn a tray of cookies, you break an ornament decorating the tree, and plans fall through last minute. To put it simply, that’s life, and it’s okay. Instead of looking for everything to go “perfectly,” just enjoy the moment without pressuring yourself to have these unrealistic expectations. Go with the flow, and enjoy the holidays. It will all work out.

Do you stress out during the holidays, or not look forward to the holidays because of everything that needs to get done in a short amount of time? What is the most stressful part of the holiday season for you? Make sure to share in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

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The Ultimate Gift Guide For Minimalists

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 20, 2017

Yes, I know that you maybe thinking that it’s way too early for Christmas. 

Well, let me tell you that it’s NEVER too early to get ready for the holidays. Plus, planning ahead of time is what decreases stress and increases bliss before the craziness of the holidays come in full force. So, if you’re looking for a little bliss, and looking to prepare in advance for some holiday shopping, keep reading. I’m collaborating with my wonderful blogging friend, Erin from A Welder’s Wife to bring you some gift ideas for the minimalist friends in your life. So, make sure to read her post on the same topic! Erin is a talented writer, and her blog posts on minimalism are always inspirational.

Keep in mind while reading this post that the gift ideas are meant to simply someone’s life. They aren’t things that your aunt or sister would expect unless they are living a minimalist, simple lifestyle. So, while these gifts might not seems like the right type of gifts that would appeal to everyone—they will definitely work well for the minimalist friend on your list who you know will appreciate a gift that simplifies their life.

1| Reusable Bags

One of the top items I use and love is a reusable bag for grocery shopping, and it has decrease our need for gathering plastic bags from Target. Instead of holding onto plastic, your friend will help the planet by using a bag for all of their shopping. Plus, they can use these for traveling or errands. For the reusable bag, you can include other gifts inside that you know your friend would love like a book on their wish list, their favorite candle, or a tin of Christmas cookies. Make sure to include a note that explains her favorite things in the bag and that the bag that holds everything is reusable and can help make any farmer’s market trip stress-free and easy!

2| Cleaning Cloths 

I’ve been taking steps to reduce the amount of unnecessary products like napkins, paper towels and similar items. So, I’ve been using more green-friendly products that make cleaning simple and easy like these cleaning cloths. Any busy mom, or environmentally-conscious friend would love these. Not only can they be washed easily, but they also replace up the 15 rolls of paper towels. You can feel good about helping the environment and giving a gift you know your friend will be using every single day. You can create a gift with items that are made from recycled materials, or gifts that give back to charities to help the environment. This is especially the perfect gift for your minimalist friend who doesn’t want extra things in their home when they can get everything done with one item.

3| Coconut Oil

You’re probably wondering what friend would want coconut oil. Well, fear not because you don’t have to give your friend a jar of coconut oil and call it a day. Coconut oil can be used not only for cooking or cleaning, but also for beauty items as well. It’s the perfect, multi-purpose item that your minimalist, simple-living friend and use all-year long. Coconut oil can be use as a moisturizer, cuticle treatment, deep conditioner for your hair and more. So, you can create a relaxing, pampering basket that includes: coconut oil, a face mask, essential oil, and you can even create a DIY scrub that uses coconut oil in it!

4| Gift Cards

While you have a ton of options with this one, you have to keep in mind that you want to think about where you’re buying the gift card for? Is it a store that will promote unnecessary shopping? If yes, then it might not be the best gift for your minimalist friend. Instead, treat your friend to a gift certificate for a local market, an all-natural, beauty shop, or a place where they can get anything they need (hello, Target)! Make sure you’re intentional about the gift cards you choose. If you know they’re working on home projects, buy a gift card from Lowe’s or Home Depot to help them out. Keep in mind what your friend loves, and they will be sure to appreciate the thought.

5|  Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Another gift where you’re probably thinking, girl, no one wants cleaning products for Christmas. And while I agree with you, I also think that you can make anything personal and useful to a minimalist. Minimalists love gifts that make their life simple, and a multi-purpose cleaner is definitely a great way to reduce the amount of products you’re using with chemicals. Another basket idea you can make can include home essentials like the multi-purpose cleaner, essential oils for a relaxing space, the cleaning cloth mentioned above, mason jars (to store food, prep meals, or store other home items), and other things you know your friend or family member would find useful. Remember, it’s all about gifting items that will simplify their life, and that will be used in their home.

6| All-In-One Planner

If your friend is a die-hard fan of using a traditional planner, an all-in-one planner is the way to go! Choose one that not only keeps their daily schedule in track, but it can track meal planning, the amount of much water they drink, workouts, daily to-do lists, positive mantras, and more. Finding a planner that can help organize all these items will be sure to simplify your friend’s life. You can also introduce your friend to a bullet journal and get a few colors pens to get them started. Maybe it’s a project you both and begin together to help simplify your lives. Take the day together to start planning your monthly, weekly trackers and lay out your new bullet journals together.

Whatever you decide to purchase for your minimalist friend, keep in mind one question: “What will help simplify their life and make their life easier?” Whether you put together an at-home spa basket, or a bag or home essentials, you can be certain that she will love the gifts that are simple and what will improve their life. Don’t forget to check out Erin’s post where she shares even MORE gift ideas for the minimalist friends on your holiday gift list. Be sure to stop back next week where we collaborate on another holiday-related post for you!

What gifts have you given to a minimalist friend in the past? What are some minimalist gift ideas that YOU have been given that you have loved? P.S. what is one thing on your wish list for the holidays? Make sure to share everything in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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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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