5 Benefits of Minimalism

There’s no doubt that minimalism has been a huge topic in 2016, and 2017 seems to be another year of the minimalism trend. Hopefully, this doesn’t remain a “trend,” but more of a conscious way of living for others. For me, since I’ve adopted more minimalist concepts into my life, I’ve noticed benefits that outweigh unnecessary shopping trips, etc. Make sure to leave a comment if you want to know my secrets on how I stopped unnecessary shopping!

Today I’m sharing five benefits of minimalism. Granted, there are many more than five, but these benefits are what I call, “undeniable benefits.” No matter how much you incorporate minimalism into your life, you are guaranteed to feel these benefits!

1| More Time

Let me break it down for you. The less you own in your home, the less you have to clean. The less you have to clean, the more time you have. See how that works? It’s not complicated! Instead of dusting off five extra pieces of furniture that you don’t use or love, you could sell those items, free up more space, and free up your time! Plus if you’re selling your items that you don’t love, you can make a little money through the process.

2| I Appreciate What I Own (Even More)

Before I decided to take on this lifestyle, I had so many things that I didn’t love in my life (mostly clothing). Because of this, I didn’t appreciate the possessions I owned. Now that I decluttered my home, and drastically downsized my closet, I have a deeper appreciation for all the items in my own. Everything I own, I love. That has helped me so much in this journey.

3| More Money

With pursuing minimalism means that you become a more conscious shopper. I haven’t purchased anything that’s non-essential for the last few months, and that has been a wonderful feeling for my wallet. You won’t believe how much money you save by cutting back on what you own because then you’re more aware of your shopping habits. This means more money for travel, or saving of a different purchase!

4| Your Home Is Precious

Be a ruthless editor of what you bring into your home. The less you own the less than owns you. When you decide to take on this lifestyle, your home becomes a personal sanctuary. It becomes your peaceful place. It is a place that you find the most joy because there’s no clutter or excess items to distract you. It is only filled with items you love. That is how every home should feel, but that isn’t always the case until you decide to pursue minimalism,

5| Strong Focus 

Without clutter and items distracting you, you have more time and energy to focus on what you truly want to accomplish with your life. You have more clarity in your life to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” “What brings me the most bliss?” With less stuff, you have more space in your mind for achieving all your #GirlBoss Goals! Minimalism helps your clarity and helps you remove any mental clutter in your mind that could be affecting you from accomplishing what you truly wish to do.

What are other benefits of minimalism have you noticed in your lifestyle? What benefits have I missed? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 5

It’s crazy to think that this month has flown by so quickly. It seems like yesterday that Erin reached out to me to see if i was interested in collaborating with her on this challenge. After going through this month with focusing on self care, relaxation and more—I’ve learned so much from this process and experience. I want to thank Erin from A Welder’s Wife for joining me with these challenges and experience altogether. It has been wonderful to work with her and see how she has done each week during the challenges!

If it’s your first post catching up on the Mental Cleanse Challenge visit the posts below to catch up on the weekly challenges and posts below to see how Erin and I did each week!

My Posts:

1| Week 1: Introduction

2| Week 2: Self Care

3| Week 3: Diet & Exercise

4| Week 4: Digital Cleanse

Erin’s Posts:

1| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 1

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 3

4| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 4

Now keep reading below to see how I did last week on the positivity challenges:

Feb. 20: No complaint day.

I was a little nervous about this challenge because if I’m stressing out over a workout…I will complain. But, I’m happy to say that I made it through Insanity without a single complaint! A huge win for me personally, haha!

Feb 21: Write down 3 great things that happened today.

1. I had a productive day at work. 2. I worked hard on the blog after work. 3. I meal prepped for the entire week.

Feb 22: Spend 15 minutes in silence focusing on one positive attribute about yourself.

My positive attribute was focusing on my self-motivation and drive to keep going. The part I struggled with was only focusing on this one thought when there were other thoughts in my head.

Feb 23: Compliment a stranger.

This is never a difficult task since I’m around people most of the time. It is always nice to see someone light up after you give them a genuine compliment.

Feb 24: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique.

I thought I was going to have a difficult time with this one, but instead of writing a letter, I decided to do it as a list, which seemed less daunting and overwhelming for someone who feels uncomfortable talking about themselves.

Feb 25: Ask your friends to describe you in 3 words, write them down, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.

I decided to ask my co-workers it was the best decision of my life. They said: confident, outgoing and crazy (in a good way, haha). It makes me happy to see how they perceive me is in a positive way. It definitely made my day to think about this throughout the rest of the day.

Feb 26: Write out your challenge wins and treat yourself!

I’m so happy to say that I was able to complete all the challenges throughout this month. This challenge and teaming with up Erin taught me so much about practicing self care and focusing on time for myself, which was so important. I was most surprised about the diet and exercise challenges like going vegan and trying a new workout!


Overall, I’m sad to see that that challenge is over with, but I love knowing it’s something I can plan for another month down the road when I’m in need of some self care and relaxation. If you followed along with these challenges:

What was your favorite/least favorite week?

My favorite week was the self care week because it had mix of everything from walking to pampering sessions and everything in between. My least favorite week was probably the diet and exercise because it was a little more challenging even though it was worth it!

What challenges were you most surprised that you were able to accomplish?

No complaint day during the positivity week and trying a new workout during the diet and exercise week. Both were two that I was worried about, but was happy and proud for accomplishing them.

What challenges were your favorite or most difficult to complete?

I loved all the positivity challenges even though they were also the most difficult challenges to complete for me personally. When I was able to cross the daily challenge off my list for each day, it was so satisfying.

Is this something you’d like to try again down the road?

YES! I definitely want to plan this for summertime when I’ll need another pick-me-up-month and need to focus on self care, relaxation and refreshing my mind altogether.

Want a review of all the challenges?

 

I hope you enjoyed following along on these challenges throughout the month of February with Erin and I. It was so fun and refreshing to have a month filled with challenges that focused on self care, relaxation and everything in between to focus on mental health. Make sure to leave comments below asking the reflection questions and any other comments you have from participating in the challenges!

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 3

Another week has already come and gone! I feel that these challenges are coming and going so quickly and that February is flying by. It doesn’t help that this month has been very busy at work, which makes the days seem very short.

If this is your first post catching up on my 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge with Erin, stop and go back to the beginning. Read the first post in this challenge series about the collaboration for creating self-care challenges and a review of my first week of the Mental Cleanse Challenge!

Are you caught up to speed? Good, now we can move on to reviewing last week’s challenges and where I struggled!

Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

I knew this would be challenging for me because I’ve done a lot of different workouts. But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not cheat, so I tried a cardio ab workout I found online.

Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

This isn’t ever an issue for breakfast or dinner, but lunch at the office is filled with social media browsing. Instead, I got my coworkers on board to keep their phones away for lunch.

Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles TLC.

I needed this. I have been going hard on the leg and cardio workouts, so some yoga was exactly what I needed this day. I only did a 15-minute, but it’s better than nothing, right?!

Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

I typically don’t have an issue with this because I love to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and salads to begin with. I had a huge salad for lunch and a veggie pasta for dinner.

Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

I was able to do in this in the office. I was feeling overwhelmed and took the opportunity to calm myself with breathing and relaxing for 10 minutes. Breathing works wonders for stress, friends.

Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes! 

We were happy to see a little warm weather this day, so I took a walk outside for 15 minutes. It’s still winter here in PA, so we didn’t want to go overboard with the outdoors.

Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What was I thinking with this challenge? Not having eggs, cheese or any other animal products was challenging, but achievable. I ate lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and rice with veggies throughout the day.

How did you do with these challenges? Make sure to share your wins and losses from this week! Don’t be shy, it’s okay if you had a slip-up or two!


The Third Week of Challenges: Digital Cleanse

  • Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.
  • Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!
  • Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.
  • Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.
  • Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps, old notes, contacts, etc.
  • Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!
  • Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

How have you been loving the challenges so far? What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week two? What challenges for the third week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 1

 

Remember in 2016 when I said I really wanted to collaborate with other bloggers on posts? After months of not reaching this goal, I opened up about how my anxiety was getting in the way of my desire to work and collaborate with bloggers.

At the end of 2016, I decided that I wanted to overcome this side of my anxiety. I wanted to say yes to more opportunities and take more risks on my blog. It was shortly after that Erin from, “A Welder’s Wife” reached out over Twitter to talk about a collaborative challenge for February.

Y’all,  I was so excited. I said yes without overthinking things; and I kept reminding myself that it was going to be an amazing opportunity. So, we came up with 30 different challenges categorized in a four different themes set out for each week. This will be unique compared to the decluttering posts and challenges you may have participated in on the blog. These challenges will help you achieve mental balance and clarity in the new year. Below are a list of the challenges beginning today.

 

This challenge is perfect for you if you are:

1| Looking to cleanse your mind.

2| Focus on calmness and self care.

3| Enjoy the simple moments in life.

4| Explore new mental-based challenges every day.

 

Every Monday throughout the month, Erin and I will be posting and discussing the challenges and achievements from the previous week; and talking about the new set of challenges for that current week. Needless to say, I’m excited to see where this month of challenges will take me! Make sure to follow along as I share my posts and content on Instagram (@kiaracatanzaro) and Twitter (@BlissBrunette). You can also check out Erin’s Instagram and Twitter.

So, if you’re interested in trying to create a little extra bliss for the month of February, I hope you’ll take on these challenges; and join Erin and me as we go through this journey ourselves. Be sure to stop in next Monday to see how we did with our first week of challenges!

The first week of challenges: Self Care

  • Jan. 30: Set two goals you would like to achieve during this challenge
  • Jan. 31: Treat your face to a special pampering facial
  • Feb. 1: Go for a walk
  • Feb. 2: Journal for 15 minutes
  • Feb. 3: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal
  • Feb. 4: Make a Gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life
  • Feb. 5: Take a long bubble bath

I hope you all find that this month is challenging yet motivating to focus on self care, cleansing your mind, and bliss. Have you ever participated in a 20-day mental cleanse before? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

 

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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

 

 

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