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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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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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How Minimalism Helps Me Achieve My Goals

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 23, 2017

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s impossible to achieve your goals with the help of minimalism. And, I completely get it because I was in your position a year ago. I never thought a particular lifestyle could help me achieve my goals.

But IT DID, which is why I’m so excited for today’s post because I want you to achieve your goals, and live a life of bliss. I want you to live your best, happiest life. And I know you have a ton of goals you want to accomplish. So, if you’re interested in hearing how a minimalist lifestyle can help you achieve your goals, then keep reading.

How minimalism helps me achieve my goals:

1| Fewer Distractions

You know the saying, “cluttered room, cluttered mind?” That couldn’t be more accurate. When you have a ton of stuff, you have a ton of stuff going on in your mind. Therefore, you are too focused on cleaning your room, reorganizing your closet for the tenth time this week, and worried about dusting, dishes and everything else. With minimalism, you remove those distractions from your mind, so you can focus on what you’re truly passionate about whether that’s writing a book, starting a blog, or advancing your career.

2| Less Stress

When you’re surrounded by stuff, it’s stressful. See point one for reference. But seriously, your mind not be able to accomplish everything on your to-do list because you’re so caught up in all the stress from all the stuff you have in your life. Too much stress means you’re probably exhausted and too mentally drained to even think about starting that book you’ve always wanted to write. Remove the clutter and the crap you don’t want or love. And you’ll find stress immediately sweep away from your mind. Now you have energy to focus and stay on top of the goals you have.

3| More Time

Want to know what takes up a ton of time? Cleaning and cooking and organizing. Want to know what helps cut down on cleaning and cooking and organizing? Minimalism! Less stuff in your home means less time spent cleaning that stuff in your house. Which means more time for the things you’re passionate about and things you want to achieve.

4| Intentional Living

For example, spending time more wisely. Now that you have all this wonderful time added to your day, you have time to live an intentional life because you’re not going to be bogged down by clutter, stress, debt and everything in between. You have room in your schedule and your life to live the way that will bring you absolute bliss. And if that’s not making you want to pursue minimalism, I don’t know what will! Unless money is your motivation…

5| More Money

Because you won’t be spending money on things you don’t need or love, you’ll have a lot more money saved. More money means more money to go toward your passion projects like publishing a book, taking courses to help your skills in social media or an dart class. More money will also help you down the road for retirement, so you’re not living paycheck to paycheck—you can finally spend money on necessities and fun things like traveling! Whatever your goals are, you might have to spend money in some way, and minimalism helps you save money so you can spend it where you truly want to spend.

So, what goals are you trying to accomplish? Do you think that minimalism can help you achieve your goals? Make sure to leave your comments share your stories 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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