Category Archives: How to’s

3 Things That Can Ruin Moving Day (If You Let Them!)

3 things that can ruin your moving day*This post may contain affiliate links.*

It’s a bittersweet feeling when something familiar comes to an end. The transition from elementary school to the challenges of junior high, the last episode of a long running TV show, and even the end of a really, really good book can all provoke powerful emotions in us.

Moving from an old home to a new one is no different. No matter how much you love the prospect of your new home and neighborhood, it’s normal to feel more than a little apprehensive.

As much as you might be looking forward to making memories in your new home, meeting your new neighbors or facing the challenges of your new job, it’s more than likely that you’ll experience a few jitters about moving day. I know I did when we moved from South Florida to Alabama earlier this Summer. 

After all, a lot can go wrong. (I’ve moved enough times to know that firsthand!) But if you face potential risks head on and take steps to counter them ahead of time, you can look forward to a stress free and exciting moving day…

Bad movers –

Quite possibly the biggest threat to a harmonious move are bad movers. Whether they steal your possessions and claim they got “lost in transit” or simply don’t take proper care with your beloved fine china, your precious collectibles or your beautifully varnished mahogany wardrobe — a bad mover can make the already stressful experience of moving nightmarish. Do your research. Check out mybekins.com as an example. You should look for a company that is well established with years of experience and offers a solution that’s tailored to your personal needs. 

The weather –

Weather can make an easy move harder and a hard move intolerable, so it’s vital that you take steps to prepare for all the possibilities:

  • Hot weather means that you’ll get tired faster as you lift, carry and move heavy items from your home to the truck and back again and may put you at risk of heat stroke if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Do your best to take breaks and always stay hydrated.
  • Cold weather on the other hand can tighten your muscles and increase your risk of pulled muscles, sprains, slips and trips. You may feel goofy but a quick warm-up routine can go a long way to keeping your body safe during a cold-weather move. 
  • Rain can lead to problems on the road, reduced visibility and water damage to your possessions. I don’t really have any specific advice here other than to BE CAREFUL and take it as slow as needed to stay safe. It seems like every single time I move it decides to rain!

Improper organization –

Finally, a lack of organization can make moving day into an exercise in pandemonium. If your move is to go smoothly a good deal of planning and prep work needs to be in place before you even load your first box into the back of your car. Measure doorways and furniture in advance, ensure your moving truck has proper access to your building and make sure that your items are packed safely and properly. Write up a schedule for the big day and don’t be afraid to come equipped with Plans B, C, and even D! Things are bound to go wrong but prior preparation prevents poor performance! 

I’m curious – Do you have a nightmare moving day story you’d like to share below? Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes!

P.S. After you move, here are 8 tips for settling into a new home!

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5 Ways to Find Delight This Weekend

Do you know that feeling you get when you FIND DELIGHT? That feeling when you marvel at the wonder and beauty and mystery of the world around you? That feeling you get when daily responsibilities and tasks and worries and annoyances fade away, and you realize the real magnitude and beauty of life.

You know the feeling we mean when you find it, right? But you might be struggling with where to look! Here are five activities to help you this weekend:

 

Astronomy

No matter who you are, looking into space and the night’s sky can fill you with a sense of awe and wonder. Thinking about the planets and stars and comets and black holes and dust clouds floating in space is a great way to FIND DELIGHT. Looking into space is looking into infinity, and that can lend your entire perspective a sense of the big picture. All of your worries begin to feel small, and all of your problems can seem to fade away. It’s healthy for your spirit to view the stars once in a while. This might be through the best telescopeobserver equipment, or by visiting your local planetarium.

 

Climb Up A Mountain

Sometimes you need to FIND DELIGHT by tackling a goal in the most literal way possible. What’s that you ask? Well, seeing a big mountain and climbing it. The raw effort of climbing a mountain or hill, be it an afternoon hike or a 10 day trek led by a guide, is a wonderful way to cultivate joy. Upon your success, you will find delight in the achievement but also through an excellent view.

 

Meditation Retreat

Heading on a meditation retreat can give you the space necessary to connect to your own mind. Often we are so filled with thoughts about our lives, our day to day responsibilities and our families that we can become quite stressed. Our minds are literally so full that there’s no room to FIND DELIGHT! The simple act of meditating can help you feel refreshed, positive and ready to approach life in search of delight once again. If a full retreat isn’t in the cards for you this weekend. Consider downloading an app and committing to a meditation practice.

 

Childhood

Children have a way of FINDING DELIGHT in the every day, don’t you think? This is why connecting to your inner youth can be so important. For this, you need to get silly. Consider starting a massive painting project where you create on impulse. Head to an indoor climbing frame or trampoline studio for adults (yes, they do exist!) You could watch movies that you cherished as a child, or live vicariously through your own children, making a fantastic weekend that celebrates the things they delight in. If you want to find delight through the creativity, innocence and beauty of childhood, spend some time tapping into your kid-self this weekend. You’ll thank yourself for the effort.

 

Head To A Floating Lab

Floating isolation tanks have become all the rage lately, and for good reason. Suspended in a tank filled with salt water, the pool is heated to body temperature and the salt suspends you above the top. The Epsom salt is good for your skin, so this makes for a good soak. However, when suspended in one of these tanks in complete darkness, you can be sure to experience something very interesting. As you float there, you’ll realize that you cannot feel your body in the least. You will feel weightless and without senses, leaving you only with your thoughts. The DELIGHT must be FOUND within. Repeated floats can even gift you a long-term sense of patience and empathy, similar to what is experienced by those who have followed Yoga for a long time.

 

How do you plan on FINDING DELIGHT this weekend? Share below! xoxo
*This post contains affiliate links.*

A Pocket Letter Inspired by Children’s Book Illustrations

Wanna see my latest pocket letter? I recently joined a pen-pal group on Facebook and knew I had to send out this creation! (The group isn’t specifically for PL’s but I think they make the sweetest happy mail so I couldn’t resist!) I used some cut out vintage children’s book illustrations as my jumping off point and I’m so happy with the results! I love the purple and browns and pinks and yellows! (Plus those sweet little girlfriends walking arm and arm are just too adorable for words.)

I decided to include a “Mail Tag” since this is a new-to-me pal. She can respond to these questions if she decides to write me back.

Here’s a look at the goodies tucked in the back of each pocket. I included things like stickers, die-cuts, tags, felt, and washi samples. The little card that says TALLY is actually a vintage score card for playing Bridge. Totally random (and I doubt this pen pal plays Bridge) but I thought it fit the theme perfectly!

How cute is she??? If you’re into paper crafts (pocket letters, scrapbooking, flip books, collages, etc), vintage children’s books are such a fun element to incorporate! Just flip through some kid books when you’re at a Goodwill or a garage sale and see if there are any illustrations that you like. You can usually nab used picture books for less than a dollar! (And you may even have some in your own collection that you’d be willing to repurpose for the sake of craftin’!)

These little trios are totally #SquadGoals, amirite? But also low key #OutfitGoals, too. Ha!

And I can’t with this rocket ship! Obsessed. Hope my pen pal loves receiving this pocket letter as much as I loved making it!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, guys! Are any of you into paper crafting (pocket letters or otherwise)? What sort of crafts // DIY do you enjoy? 

5 Ways to Simplify this Summer!

Hi friends! Summer is right around the corner and, I don’t know about you, but I love slowing down and simplifying whenever this time of year rolls around. Maybe this is a holdover from childhood? When summer offered a break from school and extracurriculars and life just went with the flow for a few months.

Unfortunately, adult-life is a little different than kid-life (boooo!). But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a page from your kid-self book this summer season and set a few intentions to help you simplify. Here are a few of my favorite ways…

Clean out your closet.

Have you ever gone through your closet and realized how many items you’re holding on to that you haven’t worn in AGES?? *sheepishly raises hand* Our impending move has offered me a great excuse to really go through my wardrobe with a fine tooth comb. I encourage you to take a peek in your own closet, too!

Get rid of clutter.

Material possessions that you’re no longer putting to use may bring joy to someone else! Pass things along when you can or donate to a charity. Whenever I do this I find that it actually ADDS value to the items I DO cherish and use.

Clear out your fridge.

You never know what you might find in there! 😉

Clear out your email inbox.

Have you ever done this? I’m kind of an email hoarder if I’m being honest. Thankfully, a well-organized Gmail folder system lets me hang on to my emails without a cluttered inbox. However, I’ll never forget the time my friend Adam “helped me” clean up my email account by deleting everything that was over 2 years old and I about had an anxiety attack.

Simplify your diet.

Obviously you should do this in whatever way feels fitting for you and YOUR body. But the way I like to simplify my diet is by reducing the amount of dairy, gluten, and sugar I consume. Summer brings about so much beautiful produce. Why not let it be the star of the show at meal time?!

That’s it for today, y’all. Happy simplifying!!

P.S. The top de-cluttering mistakes you might be making.

The 13 Life Skills Every Adult Should Know

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

T-Minus two weeks until we move to Huntsville, you guys. And you know what? Nothing puts your adult-ing skills to the test like a move.

There was a time not too long ago when I moved nearly every year; from one cheap, college-town rental property to the next. I would wait ’til the very last possible moment to throw all my smaller belongings into larger belongings (Boxes? Who needs boxes?!), cross my fingers that I’d get my deposit back (so I could afford the next deposit), and take as many trips across town as it took…sometimes working through the night to get it all done in a 24 hour period.

I now realize there is a much more responsible way to tackle moving. One that involves a bit more of a plan (and WAY more boxes). This got me thinking about the other adult-ing skills I’ve picked up over the years, largely through trial and error, that I think are important for everyone. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but these are the skills I continue to work on for maximum adult-ing…

Adult-ing Skill #1:
Basic first aid 

There is only one place to begin, and this is with first aid. Sign up for a class that teaches basic life support certification. There are many reasons why you should take a course in first aid. Of course, the most obvious reason is that you never know when an accident can happen and it’s always best to be prepared! But more than that, if something happens, you can’t always look for the adult in the room to come forward and fix things — you ARE the adult. 

Adult-ing Skill #2:
How to have difficult conversations

Being an adult means sometimes having difficult conversation. This conversation could be about anything that has a large impact on your life — your relationship, health, finances, etc. Learning how to have a difficult conversation can ensure a successful outcome and less heartache down the line.

Adult-ing Skill #3:
Self-care

We get so wrapped up in caring for other people that we often forget to care about number one. You need to make sure you take the time to care for yourself. This means prioritizing your hygiene, as well as sleep. A lot of people underestimate the importance of getting a restful night sleep. However, a lack of sleep creates irritability, as well as health issues down the road. On top of good hygiene and lots of sleep, taking time to pamper yourself every now and again is important, too!

Adult-ing Skill #4:
Nutrition

Living a healthy life is not something that comes naturally. It is something you need to learn about. A good place to start is learning how to read labels on food packages. Knowing exactly what you are consuming and how it impacts your body can go a long way.

Adult-ing Skill #5:
Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is quite the buzzword these days. And for good reason! It’s important to understand how your actions and words impact other people, as well as  the emotions that other people feel and the position this puts them in. Emotional intelligence is a quality that all the best leaders exhibit because it helps them pinpoint ways to interact with people that will harvest the greatest results.

Adult-ing Skill #6:
How to communicate effectively

Another skill that people need to learn is how to communicate effectively. No one makes it through this world alone. So, if you are to get where you want to be in life you need to know how to communicate with others. You need to master the art of both written and spoken communication. It is through communication that we form meaningful friendships and relationships, not only in our social life but in the workplace as well.

Adult-ing Skill #7:
Technology

You cannot just bury your head in the sand when it comes to technology. It is no exaggeration to say that technology has changed everything. It’s changed the way we work, the way we interact with people, the way we go about our daily lives, and even the way we think. Technology can be a useful and powerful tool that can enrich your life and simplify it. So let go of the fear that you will break something or that it will be too complicated, and embrace technology!

Adult-ing Skill #8:
Listening

The importance of learning how to communicate effectively goes hand in hand with listening to others. If you find you are someone that only ever listens so that you have the opportunity to speak, then you need to find a new approach. Listening is all about really hearing what the other person saying. People’s stories matter!

Adult-ing Skill #9:
How to vote

You can’t moan about the state of the current political climate and the issues that plague the country if you are not prepared to go out there and cast a vote. You may feel like your voice is insignificant and doesn’t matter, but if everyone felt this way, what would happen? It is important to learn about how to cast a vote so that you can express your opinion and make a change. 

Adult-ing Skill #10:
How to have a sense of humor

If there is one thing you need to learn in your life, then this is it. Learning to have a sense of humor can get you further than you may realize. Humor can help you to deal with problems , as well as relieve stress and pain. While it cannot eradicate underlying issues that cause us stress and heartache, it can give us a little bit of relief. Learning to laugh during the tough times can be challenging, but once you have found this skill, it will help you to live a happier life, I promise.

Adult-ing Skill #11:
How to focus

Learning how to focus is something that everyone can benefit from. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most difficult things to do. This is especially the case in today’s society when it seems that there are so many distractions. Moreover, learning to focus does not only relate to learning to focus on a specific task that you are doing, but it also relates to focusing on your goals, your actions, and your directions. We waste so much time on activities that do not get us to where we want to be in life. By focusing our goals and our efforts, we can ensure that we live a more valuable and fulfilling existence.

Adult-ing Skill #12:
Money management

Personal finance isn’t often taught in school. So when we start earning money and we have matters such as credit cards, investing, saving for retirement, and bills to deal with, it can be overwhelming. This is why it is important to take the time to master the art of money management so that you do not end up making a financial error that stays with you for many years to come. To begin with, learn how to put together an effective budget. A simple budget is an easy skill to learn, but it is something that will help you throughout the entirety of your life. It will ensure that you do not end up living beyond your means, as well as giving you full clarity over the money that you have coming in and going out every month so that you can use it to full effect.

Adult-ing Skill #13:
Car maintenance

Whether you drive a Ford Fiesta or a Ferrari, you need to learn how to maintain your vehicle effectively. If you don’t, you could end up wasting a lot of money in the form of repair bills. Maintaining your vehicle properly will prolong the life of your car while also ensuring that any issues are picked up quickly before they become bigger and more expensive problems. 

Ok, gotta get back to my moving schedule! #adulting

What adult-ing skills would you add to this list? 

My Recipe for Self-Love

What you’ll need:

  1. SOLITUDE – Spending quality time alone is one of the number one ways we get to know ourselves. And you gotta know yourself before you can even think about loving yourself. When you’re away from the “busy” of everyday life and the external influences that shape you, you can express yourself however you like. So get creative!
  2. AFFIRMATION – When we repeat positive, encouraging messages to ourselves it can change the way that we feel. Toxic thoughts are bound to crop up — no matter who you are! So why not actively try to negate some of that negativity?
  3. INTENTION SETTING – If we never set a target, who is to blame when we miss the mark? Write down your intention for tomorrow, speak your intentions out loud, share your goals with loved ones. Clarifying what we want to achieve not only sets us up for success, but honors our path as something that is important and achievable.

 

And how it all comes together:

-Schedule some time for SOLITUDE. Spend this time getting to know yourself by brainstorming what you love about yourself in the present and what you’d like to improve on or accomplish in the future. You may want to write in a journal or meditate during this process.

-Begin a regular AFFIRMATION practice. Need help getting in the swing of things? Try a daily mirror affirmation for the next 7 days or check out my 30 day mantra challenge. Remember those things you love about yourself in the present? Start telling yourself.

-Now set yourself up for future successes, and new areas to affirm, by SETTING INTENTIONS. Start writing out a daily intention for the following day before you go to sleep at night. Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll start prioritizing based on your own needs and dreams. Self-love (with a dash of productivity) at it’s finest!

Want to go even bigger? Identify 3 intentions for the year to come. Write them out and post somewhere you’ll see every day. A constant reminder that your goals matter and are possible.

Do you utilize SOLITUDE, AFFIRMATIONS, or INTENTIONS to facilitate self-love? What does YOUR self-love recipe look like? Share the ingredients below! 

P.S. Interested in learning more about the power of positive affirmations? Check out my 4-part series on MANTRAS! 

 

A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

I think this was one of my very favorite pocket letters to create. I wanted to make a spring-themed letter with lots of pinks and blues and florals. I made it as a birthday present (way more fun than a card, if I do say so myself!) and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?

I kept the top row minimal so all the focus would be on this adorable SPRING banner.

In case you’re curious, the supplies came from –
Dollar Tree – paper clips, baker’s twine, polka dot washi, mini clothes pin, silver alpha stickers
Target – scrapbook paper, craft paper alpha stickers, gold stickers
Cocoa Daisy – floral washi, stickers
Oui Fresh – green alpha stickers, banner die-cut
and goodies from pocket letters I receive – striped page flags

And those are pretty much my mainstays for ALL my pocket letter/paper crafting supplies.

Most of those places are super affordable, especially because I keep an eye out for sales. But I also try to find ways to incorporate free elements, too! The circles above were cut out of paint chip samples and “Take Note” was stamped on a piece of cardboard packaging.

Here’s a peek at  what I included in the back! If you’re stuck for ideas about goodies to include with your outgoing pocket letters, consider —
die-cuts
icon stickers
sticky notes
page flags
stickers
tea
journal cards
tags
folder tabs
sequins
washi samples
gift cards

And most importantly — don’t forget the actual letter! 

I also threw in a couple of note cards, another journal card, a magnet, fun paper clip, stencil, a couple book plates, and a bookmark I made with some leftover materials.

All ready to get tucked in an envelope! Bon Voyage, my little lovely! Time to brighten someone’s day. xoxo

What pocket letter theme should I tackle next? Leave your ideas below and I’ll be sure to post about any that I end up making! Wanna swap??? Let’s set it up! 

P.S. Looking for more PL inspiration? Check out A Pocket Letter How-To and How To Make a Pocket Letter with Cocoa Daisy!

Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan

Have a poke around Pinterest or a scroll through YouTube and you’ll soon find that there are a million and a half ways to meal plan.

Today, I’d like to talk about just one of them. This rather minimalist approach to meal planning involves selecting “default meals” for each dinner of the week. That way, when the 5 o’clock, “I’m too tired to think about what’s for dinner rolls around,” you’re already sorted. And because rotating through JUST seven dinners can feel a bit limiting for some, I thought it might be fun to explore the possibilities of a TWO-WEEK minimalist meal plan.

A few breakfast, snack, and lunch options for each week. 14 dinners. Sounds easy enough right? There are plenty of opportunities for substitutions and mild modifications to keep things interesting. And the best part? If you’re out for the night and won’t be preparing dinner — just skip that night’s dinner. You can pick it back up the next time the day rolls around.

Here’s what I came up with…

Week One –

Breakfast

At home (think-weekends): Greek yogurt bowls with banana, berries, and granola

On the run (think-week days): Green smoothies or toast with nut butter and fruit

 

Lunch

At home: Black bean quesadillas with avocado and fruit

Packed: Salad in a jar with whole wheat crackers

 

Snacks

Ants on a log, veggies with hummus, and “energy” date balls

 

Dinner

Monday: Chili and cornbread

Tuesday: Deconstructed cabbage rolls and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Roast chicken (or rotisserie) and root veggies

Thursday: Pasta and salad

Friday: Tacos (or taco bowl) and corn (or corn chips with guac)

Saturday: Soup and garlic bread and salad

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: Banana “nice” cream

 

Week Two-

Breakfast

At home: Pancakes

On the run: Egg cups with fruit or apple cinnamon steel cut oats

 

Lunch

At home: Chicken salad over greens with fruit

Packed: Leftovers

 

Snacks

Fruit, roasted chickpeas, air-popped popcorn

 

Dinner

Monday: Thai food

Tuesday: Hummus tuna melt and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Buffalo chicken nuggets and sweet potato tots

Thursday: Steak and roasted potatoes

Friday: Black bean burgers and fries and kale salad

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday: Shop the pantry/fridge and throw something together!

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: chocolate chip cookies

The above is an example of a Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan that would work for me and my family. To create your own, think about the types of dinners you turn to time and time again. Which do you enjoy cooking? Which ones taste delicious at the end of a busy day? Happy meal planning!

Do any of you meal plan? Would you consider this minimalist approach?

Acting Like You Know What You’re Doing!

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No matter what you’re up to in life, no one wants to feel like they don’t have things together. At work you want to come across as a professional with plenty of experience…even if you can’t get that printer to work. Within your family you want outsiders to see you as the head of the household…even though deep down inside, you still consider yourself a kid. And that hobby you picked up a couple years ago? You want to be the best at it…even though you can only commit an hour or two here and there.

Adults juggle many responsibilities. It’s impossible to know what we’re doing 100% of the time. So let’s all let out a collective sigh now that we’ve got that weird and impossible burden off the table. And instead, let’s talk about the ol’ adage — FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT. How do we create the careful balance between having our shit together and not caring when we don’t? I believe that looking like you know what’s up (aka fakin’ it til you make it) can go a long way. Let’s break down how to achieve this —

Sounding Like You Know

Sounding like you know what you’re talking about when you, well, don’t, isn’t always easy. But if there’s one thing over a decade of competitive speech & debate taught me, it’s how to string together some bullshit. Here are my top tips:

1) Charisma is key. A charming personality with a positive attitude can create a sense of know-how pretty quick. Be nice to those around you, crack a joke or two, and remain confident.
2) Remove verbal filler. Work towards flowing sentences without the ugh’s and um’s. This will take practice, sure. But what are you doing on your commute that’s more important? Instead of screaming obscenities at fellow drivers, choose a topic and start talking (out loud) to yourself.
3) The wonder of word economy. Ever notice how the people who babble the most sound like they know the least? Adding a bunch of filler when you’re fakin’ it ain’t gonna fool no one. Stick to what you do know (or believably “know”) and skip the rest.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t know how your presentation skills impact leadership success, then it’s time to brush up on your public speaking.

When you think of “PUBLIC SPEAKING” you might imagine standing at a podium addressing a crowd. Which might not be your reality in the slightest. In fact, you might break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it. But the same tips & tricks used by the top speakers in the world can benefit you in a simple day-to-day conversation.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of active listening in this point. React to other speakers, nod where you’re supposed to, and let other people dominate a topic if you’re not sure about it. Active listening ensures others will still remember you as part of the conversation even if you didn’t have much to say.

Looking Like You Know

In competitive speech & debate we absolutely faked it ’til we made it in the looks department. Heck, I was wearing business suits before I fully understood ANY business concepts. Why? Because a blazer can give you confidence…and when you’re a 15 year old braceface standing in front of a room full of strangers you need all the confidence you can get!

If you look like you have confidence, even when you’re churning up inside, people start to look at you with a lot more respect. So how do we fake this confidence?

1) Hold your head high and draw your shoulders back. Take strong steps so it looks like you’re walking with purpose and pride.
2) Control your face. Your facial expressions are something you might need to work on. A lot of the time we aren’t aware of what our faces are up to when in conversation, as reactions are involuntary. So when you’ve got a few spare minutes, practice reactions to possible scenarios in the mirror. If you’ve got an important client you’re meeting tomorrow, it’s time to make sure your face is friendly, with plenty of eye contact.
3) How the outfit makes you feel. When dressing for confidence, consider how the outfit makes you feel instead of how it looks. Does it make you feel like the best version of yourself? Will it help you create the person you’re trying to be? I don’t think clothes have to be expensive or even necessarily “stylish” to accomplish this. 

Acting like you know what you’re doing is a blip on your journey because, before you know it…you’ll know what you’re doing. The “fake it” only exists to proceed the “make it,” right?

So project confidence, with your posture on point and a smile on your face, and you’re halfway to becoming the person you’ll be in the end anyways. You got this!

Do you have any fun FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT stories? How did you act, sound, or look like you knew what you were doing? What happened in the end??? SHARE BELOW! 

Can’t Seem to Stop the Clutter?

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Do you feel like you’re drowning in clutter? Do you give yourself a set time and day to start de-cluttering, yet a few days or weeks later, the same problem creeps back? It is incredibly frustrating, and when you’re in the thick of your de-cluttering journey it can be tough to recognize where you are going wrong. So, let’s take a look at some common de-cluttering mistakes you might be making…

You don’t simplify things when you de-clutter – In order for your home to stay clutter-free, you need to make sure that your house flows in a logical way. So, what does this mean? Well, check out top simplifying tips online for inspiration. But here’s the gist – Things in your home are always easy to take out. If you want something or need it to complete a task, you’ll get the item out. However, putting those items back can prove a bit more difficult. For example, if you need a pan for a recipe you’ll dig to the very back corner of your cupboard to fetch it out. (Especially if you have a craving for whatever that recipe is!) But once you’ve done the washing up, it might sit in the drying rack for DAYS before it makes it’s way back to the difficult to reach spot in the cupboard. This is where clutter starts to build up. Instead, make sure that everything has a logical place, with most-used items in the most accessible locations. 

You get emotionally attached to everything – Many folks have a stuffed animal that they’ve held onto since their childhood and they want to keep it to pass on to their children or maybe just because it means a lot to them. There is sentimental value. And there’s nothing wrong with this. But, when you are holding onto, say, ten different stuffed animals, it becomes a bit of a problem. Once, when I was feeling weirdly attached to an outdated piece of technology, my husband asked, “Do you want to put it in a shadow box and display it on the wall?” (Not in a sarcastic way but genuinely trying to problem solve.) This felt a little ridiculous and putting it in perspective this way made it easy to part with. If you’re still feeling reservations, take a picture of the item. 

You don’t consider what makes you truly happy – Think about your happiest memories  and identify what made them so great. Was it the people you were with? The place? A certain time of year or a feeling of security? Most importantly, was it the STUFF? Chances are, the “things” involved in your memories – the clothes and the knick-knacks and the books and the home decor – don’t factor high up in this ranking. Consider a de-cluttering thought exercise that will help you part with possessions.

You don’t follow the one in, one out rule – Whenever you buy something new, do you remove something old from your house? If not, then this could be a huge contributing factor as to why you can’t keep on top of your clutter. Once you have fully down-sized, your house will feel serene and tidy. So, whenever you bring something new into the mix, you need to make sure you accommodate it by getting rid of something else. 

You haven’t got your partner on board – Perhaps your partner is letting down the team? If so, you need to have a conversation and get them on board. Related: Here’s an awesome article about why couples should split emotional labor

Not tidying up after yourself – This can be one of the most difficult changes to make if you are a naturally messy person. However, repetition breeds habit and no-brainer systems help create repetition. Whenever you use something, make sure you put it back in the right spot. Put systems in place that help you do this. Yes, this isn’t fun, but once you get used to it, you will start doing it naturally, and your house will be cleaner and more enjoyable as a result!

Hopefully, this helped you pin-point where you might be going wrong in your de-cluttering journey, and you’ll be well on your way to living clutter-free. Commit yourself to this advice and you’ll start to notice a significant difference within your home. Good luck!

Where do you go wrong when it comes to de-cluttering? Have any tips for going clutter-free? I’d love to hear. ❤ As I mentioned in this post, I’m still a work in progress myself! 

P.S. I love this post from A Beautiful Mess about de-cluttering a book collection. Definitely an area I struggle with!