Tag Archives: declutter

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.

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April Resolutions — How Did I Do?

Happy May, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in April…

April Resolution #1. Spring clean my closets and drawers. 

I don’t know what it is but every Spring I get this terrible, insatiable urge to THROW EVERYTHING I OWN AWAY. Is that weird? Maybe it is something to do with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Hoarding everything away in a little nest during the Winter and then purging once the weather starts to get warmer. Whatever the case, my space starts to feel cluttered.

Instead of tossing stuff willy nilly, this year I evaluated what areas needed decluttering the most and focused my efforts. I hadn’t done a proper Kon Mari (ie. throw everything you own on your bed and go through it piece by piece) clothes clear out since moving to Florida and it was high time. So I definitely wanted to tackle my closet and dresser. Organizing my desk drawers has been on my To-do list foreeever, and so has our linen closet. So those went on the list too.

How did it go? Well, I Kon Mari’d the HECK out of my clothes and was able to rid my room of TWO TRASH BAGS full. (It still boggles my mind where this stuff comes from!) All the drawers are done…save for one pesky desk drawer that accumulates crap no matter what I do. (But doesn’t everyone have a crap drawer? Isn’t that like a law of LIVING?)

The linen closet still hasn’t happened. But there’s always this month!

 

Going forward: Declutter the dang linen closet! Oh, and actually transport those two trash bags that are in the trunk of my car to a donation location.

April Resolution #2. Examine spending habits through the lens of happiness. 

Recently, I signed up for a FREE Money + Happy Bootcamp through one of my fave blogs — Yes and Yes. The whole thing was chock-full of helpful advice about how to navigate spending habits while staying in tune with what brings you joy. (Sound helpful? You can sign up in the sidebar of the site.)

One exercise that really resonated with me asked us to take our bank statement and go at it with three highlighters. Pink, yellow, and green. The pink highlighter was for regrettable purchases. The yellow highlighter was for necessary purchases (like bills and groceries). And the green highlighter was for those purchases that brought about happiness.

Since taking the mini-course, I’ve kept up this highlighter rigmarole and have found the visual wildly helpful. And since I had data for the entire first quarter of the year, I thought April was the perfect time to crunch the numbers, evaluate how I did, and decide if there were changes I wanted to make going forward.

I pin-pointed a few trends. I got a clear picture of how much I’m spending and on what (as well as if the “what” brought me joy or regret).

 

Going forward: I will continue to go through my bank statements with highlighters every month and examine the results more thoroughly each quarter. I’ll try to get my pink purchases down and my green purchases as up as my bank account will allow. 😉

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in May!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Four months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

Top 10 Yard Sale Advertising Tips

yard sale e-book

Hi guys! Now that spring has sprung in the US, you may have noticed signs start to pop up around your neighborhood. You may have even gotten the itch to wake up before dawn on a Saturday morning and follow their bold arrows like a treasure map. Where did these signs lead you? Why, to everyone’s favorite example of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” of course! The Yard Sale.

But what if you want to cash-in on this warm weather fun for yourself? What if you have a whole bunch of extra stuff weighing you down or are looking to raise some funds for an upcoming adventure?

Today I’ve partnered with YardSales.net to bring you a few handy-dandy tips to make sure you have a steady stream of folks at your next yard sale. Not just a sad trickle of passersby.

Back when I lived in Bowling Green, my friends and I often marked the arrival of Summer with a yard sale. We were broke-as-a-joke college kids looking to unload a few possessions before we, inevitably, packed up and moved from one terrible rental to another. Oh, and did I mention we were poor? Any extra cash to pay the light bill and treat ourselves to a pizza and a pitcher of beer was a God-send.

all diamonds Here’s a snap of one such yard sale with my friends Maggie, Chad, and Katie (I believe my friend Ashley is behind the camera). We called this yard sale “All Diamonds, No Rough.” (Old vacuum cleaners, a sled, and stacks of t-shirts? DIAMONDS, PEOPLE. DIAMONDS!!!)

While we usually ended up with a little extra cash at the end of these (desperate) money-making attempts, they never made us as rich as we hoped.

Wanna know where we went wrong? Impulsivity. Met with a combination of bored, broke, and scheme-filled brains…we’d decide, “Hey! Let’s have a yard sale!” and then proceed to stay up all night pricing items and throw them out in the lawn the next day. No forethought, not a lot of planning, a few haphazard signs and Craigslist ads scattered about the day of.

After checking out the e-book The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Yard Sale, I now know where our hustle fell short. So, let’s all learn from my well-intentioned haphazard sales of the past! In case you’re planning a yard sale of your own, here are some tips from the book about HOW TO ADVERTISE

  1. RESEARCH. Before you start hanging up signs, do a little research about ordinances in your town or city which may prohibit you from doing so. Find out if a yard sale permit is necessary in your area.
  2. PROVIDE INFO. Create some signs with the following info — Type of sale, date and time, address and/or cross-streets. Remember: Most folks will be reading your signs as they drive by in a car so keep them concise and legible.
  3. CONSISTENCY. Every sign should be the same color and design so as not to confuse potential customers.
  4. ADD FLAIR! Attract eyes to your signs by adding balloons, pinwheels, arrows, etc.
  5. COMMUNITY BOARDS. Create a few 8.5″ x 11″ sale signs to hang on community boards at libraries, grocery stores, cafes, etc. (Here’s a helpful template.)
  6. GRAB ATTENTION. Write an attention-grabbing advertisement that you can post around the web. “Multi-Family” or “Moving Sale” are sure to attract some extra attention!
  7. DETAILS. Along with pertinent information; like times, dates, and location, your online ad should include details. List your big ticket items and any collectibles. If you’re selling clothes, include brands and sizes. And don’t forget to attach some photos!
  8. NETWORK. There are lots of websites you can advertise your yard sale for FREE. Check out Craigslist, YardSales.net, and GarageSaleFinder.com. (Just to name a few!)
  9. GET SOCIAL! Don’t forget to post about your yard sale on your personal social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  10. IN BLACK AND WHITE. Finally, if you have the funds for it you may want to consider taking out an ad in your local newspaper. These can run anywhere between $25-$200 depending on the reach of the paper.

yard sale amazon banner

For more tips on having your most successful yard sale yet, go grab a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Yard Sale! YardSales.net is offering FREE DOWNLOADS of this e-book THIS WEEK (May 23 – May 27). Go grab one! You’ll be de-cluttered and raking in the dough in no time.

Maybe you’ll even decide to treat yourself to a pizza and a pitcher of beer! Enjoy!

(This post is in collaboration with YardSales.net. All opinions are my own.)

 

Why I love tiny homes and a new challenge.

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Some of the happiest times in my life have been those periods when I was most unencumbered with STUFF. Living abroad, attending camp, traveling. Does anyone else feel this way? Any excuse to whittle down the daily necessities to the bare minimum just feels so reassuring to me. Decision making causes me a lot of anxiety. So, there’s immense comfort in knowing the less possessions you have the fewer decisions you have to make. If you only have one set of coffee cups, you use those coffee cups. Just 2 pairs of shoes? Guess what, it’s a coin toss. I think this is especially true for children. Kids get stressed too and I really believe that bombarding them with a bunch of toys causes just that–stress. In fact, I can strongly remember feeling tangible, physical relief when, at 10, my family moved to Vienna, Austria for the year and I just had…less. And my sister, who was 5, has mentioned feeling similarly. We were happy to have less so that we could live more. A philosophy I’ve tried, since drawing this connection time and time again, to actively adhere to.

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A strong sense of calm comes over me when I can see all of someone’s belongings in one place, unobstructed. And it’s not just tiny homes. Many of my internet obsessions center around this idea of “less is more.” Capsule wardrobes, backpacking, ex-patriating. I’ve literally googled “a list of everything I own”…probably multiple times.

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I fantasize about paring down my possessions to accommodate the tiny home lifestyle. I know I probably will never part with enough to live in a 8×10 home on wheels. But I hope I can continue on a simple living path. To waste less and buy used. To approach my purchases mindfully and treat the whole outdoors as my backyard. You can’t put a white picket fence around all of that. You CAN have an American Dream that involves having less. I love tiny homes because I can live vicariously through these people I see online who’ve achieved this version of the American Dream. I can ogle their homes and limited STUFF and vow to at least take lessons from the tiny home lifestyle.

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For the next month, I will be putting a very simple simple-living rule into practice and letting y’all know how it goes.

One in. One out.

Meaning, for every thing I buy new I will give away or donate a similar item that I already have. If I buy a shirt, I must part with one. If I buy a book, I’ll pass one along to a friend I know would enjoy reading it more than I enjoy having shit on a shelf. I’m hoping this concrete rule will encourage considerate consumerism while allowing for some healthy decluttering. Yesterday I kicked off this challenge when I bought a drink dispenser (like this one. It’s for storing the spoils of my new adventures in cold brewing coffee at home…but more on that later) and a DOZEN mason jars. So, I got rid of a pitcher and a dozen cups…and then ended up throwing in 4 margarita glasses. Because who doesn’t want to have their margaritas in a mason jar? Heathens, that’s who!!!

I’ll keep you updated as things progress this month. Have you ever done a challenge like this? Would you? Let me know in the comments below! And follow me on Instagram @BBerg1012 for future “One in. One out.” documentation. Accountability, y’all. Let’s do this!

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(Tiny home photos via Apartment Therapy, Curbly, Tiny House Talk, and Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens. All fantastic resources if you, like me, want to waste hours looking at tiny homes on the internet.)