Tag Archives: minimalism

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 Once, when I was feeling weirdly attached to an outdated piece of technology, my husband asked, “Do you want to put it in a shadow box and display it on the wall?”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!

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Work Capsule Wardrobe: Spring Trends

I’m a big believer in the idea that finding ways to eliminate decision fatigue can increase your quality life, eliminate stress, and allow you to focus on the things that truly make you happy. One of my favorite hacks for cutting back on decision fatigue? The work capsule wardrobe. Did you know many of the most successful folk wear the same clothes over and over again. While you may not want to rock jeans and a turtleneck to the office every single day (a la Steve Jobs), reducing your wardrobe will make it a heck of a lot easier to answer “What am I gonna wear today?” every morning.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share a really simple method for putting together a seasonal capsule wardrobe for work! Since Spring is on the horizon, we’ll start there. Let’s go!

First, you want to establish your core pieces. These can change from season to season or remain the same all year long. Either way, these items create the base for your work capsule wardrobe.

Here’s an example —

You can adapt these to fit your own job (an office setting may require a blazer but a teacher may prefer a cozy cardigan instead) and your preferences (don’t like skirts? don’t include skirts!). But the equation will remain roughly the same —

2 tops +
2 bottoms +
1 dress +
1 outerwear +
2 shoes +
2 bags +
3 accessories =
Core Work Capsule

Next, you want to look for inspiration. Scour your favorite fashion mags, blogs, and Pinterest boards to get an idea of looks you might want to include in your capsule for the season. Identify about 5 trends. For Spring 2018, the fashion trends I’m loving are: FLORAL COATS, PASTEL MULES, PINK DRESSES, TIE BLOUSES, and WRAP SKIRTS.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces —

Finally, you want to gather trend items to build out your wardrobe. After you’ve found your favorite trends of the season, you’ll add wardrobe pieces to reflect them. Add 1-3 pieces for each trend (depending on how minimal you want to be). There are multiple ways to do this. Let’s use the trends listed above as an example. To incorporate your fave spring trends you might pull a wrap skirt and a tie blouse out of the “warm weather clothing” storage tucked in a bin under your bed, hit your local thrift shop to find a new-to-you pink dress, and splurge on a pair of pastel mules and a floral blazer. There’s no need to buy a ton of trendy items — find ways to incorporate the looks of the season without spending a fortune!

And there you have it! You can repeat this process each season to decrease decision fatigue while still lookin’ fly at work. 🙂

What other closet conundrums would be fun to combat with a capsule wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll consider creating a capsule for a future post!! ❤  

A 12 Item Wardrobe Inspired by February (For Warm & Cold Climates)

If you’ve been around these parts long enough, you’ll know I LOVE capsule wardrobes. I love looking at other people’s capsule wardrobes, I love creating them for myself, and I love researching new ways of whittling down a wardrobe. If you’re new, WELCOME. I’m Beth…and in case you hadn’t already figured it out — I’m really into capsule wardrobes. 🙂

Lately, I’ve been exploring the concept of a seasonal wardrobe that focuses on 10-12 core items and a limitless (but still minimal) collection of extras. The core items include tops, bottoms and dresses. The extras can include, well….everything else! I wanted to create a sample 12 Item Wardrobe inspired by February. For me, February is a warm month (every month is a warm month in South Florida). But for others it is still pretty chilly. So, I made one wardrobe for a warm climate and one for cold. Let’s check them out…

12 Item Wardrobe (somewhere warm)

6 Tops – jersey t-shirt, crepe blouse, sleeveless blouse,  girls support girls t-shirt, athletic-inspired top, and love first t-shirt.

4 Bottoms – stretch leggings, denim shorts, satin skirt, and skinny levi’s.

2 Dresses – silk mini dress and striped velvet dress.

Extras (somewhere warm)

Shoes – court heels, suede strappy heels, ankle-strap sandals, braided sandals, and leather trainers.

Accessories – logo cap, acetate sunglasses, and jersey scrunchies.

Special occasion wear – chiffon dress, beaded clutch, and slingback heels.

Active wear – racer back tank, black leggings, tennis shoes, compression bra, and gym shorts

Jewelry – 2 classic watches, gold necklace, tassel earrings, and statement earrings.

Basic tees – distressed t-shirt, striped tee, and long sleeved t-shirt.

Outerwear – utility jacket, cotton cardigan, and knitted cardigan.

Swimwear – printed swimsuit and printed bikini.

Bags – medium backpack, bucket bag, and funky clutch.

12 Item Wardrobe (somewhere cold)

6 Tops – feminist t-shirt, floral blouse, tie neck blouse, babe t-shirt, v-neck sweater, and over-sized jumper.

4 Bottoms – flared trousers, high waisted jeans, black skinny jeans, and faux leather pencil skirt.

2 Dresses – sweater dress and floral print midi dress.

Extras (somewhere cold)

Shoes – zip booties, point-toe flats, funky flats, high-heel boots, and leather sneakers.

Accessories – floppy hat, cat eye sunglasses, earmuffs, and beanie with a pom pom.

Special occasion wear – slinky gown, cross-body bag, and pointed stilettos.

Active wear – pull over, fleece joggers, Nike Airs, high-rise leggings, and sportswear hoodie.

Jewelry – classic watch, Apple watch, stud earrings, gold hoops, and double choker.

Basic tees – pink t-shirt, cashmere base layer, v-neck tee.

Outerwear – over-sized blazer, furry coat, and fringe cardigan.

Cold weather extras – beanie/scarf/mittens set and scallop gloves.

Bags – mini messenger bag, small wristlet, and classic leather tote.

What do you think? Would you try the Twelve Item Wardrobe? Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Let us know below! I’d love to hear what methods you use to keep your clothes minimal. ❤ 

P.S. If you like any of the pieces above and are curious where they came from, I’d be happy to link you to them. 🙂 Just leave a comment!

A Decluttering Thought Exercise

I’ve been in a real decluttering mood as of late. I did a clothes clear out, went through a few drawers full of odds and ends, did a once over on my book collection, and even edited the kitchen by quite a lot (cooking gadgets and utensils are my ultimate hoarding weakness!). Perhaps it’s the promise of a new calendar year that has me wanting to clear out the old.

Whatever the reason, it’s certainly been a successful few weeks in the minimizing-my-home department.

So, I thought I’d share with you the little thought exercise I use when I’m feeling apprehensive about letting go of *stuff*. Maybe it will help you let go of the material goods or possessions in your own home that cause you to feel bogged down. Here’s what I do…

First, I think of my happiest memories. Then, I try and identify what made them so great. Was it the people I was with? The place? A certain time of year or a feeling of security? Most importantly, was it the STUFF? Usually, as I compose bullet points in my head about these wonderful moments in my life, the “things” involved in the memories – the clothes and the knick-knacks and the books and the KITCHEN GADGETS (lol!) – sink to the bottom. After all, they’re heavy and take up space. Conversely, the feelings are weightless.

And many times I find memories created through the absence of possessions pop up, too. Like when I lived abroad as a child and the absence of tons of toys meant my sister and I went outside to play more. Or when Chet and I first moved to Miami and the absence of lots of furniture meant we didn’t just sit but explored.

Think about your very favorite vacation.
Do you remember everything you packed?

Now I’m not saying I could be one of those people who pares down so fully that they can live with 100 or less possessions. I love watching the YouTube videos those people make but I’m not naive enough to think I can disassociate all feelings from certain possessions. I’ll always have too many books and a drawer of kitchen utensils that can barely close. But once a year, maybe twice, I can edit. And my happy memories thought exercise is how I do it.

Are you successful when it comes to decluttering or do you find it difficult to part with possessions? How do you manage to minimize your home? Let’s chat about it in the comments below! 

My Autumn 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Hi friends! I finally bit the bullet and put together a Project 333 capsule wardrobe this season. I’ve written about my All Season Capsule Wardrobe, as well as how to create a 10 Piece Starter Pack, but this capsule wardrobe is a little different. Following the Project 333 guidelines it is only for Autumn and consists of 33 items. I decided to include accessories and bags but not shoes.

First, I’ll share all the pieces I chose (10 of which I’d already selected for my personal starter pack), and then at the end of the post I’ll share how I’m choosing to keep clothes interesting (without spending a ton!) while still maintaining my capsule.

Let’s start with dresses!

Notes: I have dressier options on hand for special occasions. But since I would probably only wear those once (or not at all), they don’t have to be included. These are more go-to, everyday dresses.

Dresses

Little Black Dress
Target

Maxi Skirt (+Grey Tee)
Stitch Fix

Shirt Dress
Kohl’s

Outerwear

Outerwear. When you live in South Florida you can get away with a super small amount in this category. (And I won’t have to go any warmer than this in Winter either!)

Jean Jacket
Stitch Fix

Grey Cardigan
Target

Black Cardigan
T.J. Maxx

Vest
Stitch Fix

Striped Cardigan
Stitch Fix

Bottoms

Bottoms! I’ve never been someone who feels the need to own a bunch of pants. The unpictured pair of jeans is what I’m most often sporting. But I do love a good pair of dress pants. If you’re short, Kohl’s is where it’s at for slacks.

Black Shorts
Old Navy

Jeans
Old Navy
*Forgot to take a picture…because I was wearing them, lol*

Grey Jeans
Kohl’s

Grey Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Leggings
Target

Tops

This is probably the biggest category in any capsule. I tried to limit my picks to the items I most often gravitate to anyways…and then narrow down based on season, matching capability, and occasion versatility.

Graphic Tee
Studio Nico

Floral Blouse
Thrifted

Black Tee
Target

Striped Shirt
Stitch Fix

Navy Silk Blouse
Stitch Fix

Patterned Silk Blouse
Kohl’s

Plaid Shirt
Forever 21

Pink Ruffle Top
Target

Navy Polka Dot Top
Gordman’s

Bags

Honestly, I have about a gajillion other bags but I rarely crack them out. These are my bare bones bag options and I really think they’re all I need.

Black Cross-Body
Tom Bihn

Backpack
Tom Bihn

Accessories

My favorite pieces for dressing up a boring outfit! Of course, jewelry is tiny and easy to access so it’s not the end of the world if I branch outside the capsule every now and again.

Watch
Thrifted

Statement Earrings
Thrifted

Statement Necklace
Forever 21

Pearl Earrings
Gifted

Everyday Necklace
H&M

Ok, so if you’ve been keeping count you’ll know we’re at 30 pieces. Which leaves us with 3 more spaces to be filled! These 3 spaces are how I keep things interesting while still maintaining my capsule. Because they are filled with an ever rotating cast of closet characters thanks to Le Tote. I signed up for Le Tote a few months ago and I absolutely LOVE IT! They send you 3-5 items (depending on the subscription you sign up for), you wear them as much as you want, send them back…and they send you more!

So last week I had a beautiful 3/4 length sleeve dress, a t-shirt with embroidered birds on the front, and a mustard yellow cross-body bag. This week? A cardigan cut like a blazer, a black turtleneck, and a dainty necklace. Mixed and matched with my capsule the outfit possibilities are endless!!!

If you’d like to try Le Tote, you can get $25 off your first month by CLICKING HERE and using promo code SHOPLT.

P.S. 7 YouTube channels you should check out for inspiration!

7 YouTube Channels to Check Out For Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration

capsule wardrobe youtube channels

Thinking of starting a capsule wardrobe? Might be a fun weekend activity if you’re in the spring-cleaning mood or have recently been bit by the minimalism bug. These YouTube channels have videos which may provide some inspiration…

1. My Green Closet – Capsule Wardrobes | Project 333 playlist

2. Mademoiselle – The Minimal Wardrobe playlist

3. The Anna Edit – Style/Capsule Wardrobe playlist

4. Light by Coco – Capsule Wardrobe playlist

5. Miss Louie – Lookbooks playlist

6. Jenn Rogers – My Capsule Collection playlist

7. Bookish & Belle – Fashion & Style playlist

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Thinking of starting one? Where do you find minimalist fashion inspiration? I’d love to know!!

P.S. My 50 Piece All-Season Capsule Wardrobe.

What’s in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect

tom bihn synapse 19 side effect

Hi guys! Last week was a lesson in rolling with it when plans change unexpectedly. Chet and I were planning on spending a few days in his hometown in Louisiana (I could almost taste the poboys and frozen daiquiris) before he presented at a conference at the local university. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare (and even bought new books at the airport bookstore for our journey!) But after delays at the gate, delays on the tarmac, and delays on the phone as we tried to figure out if there was any possible way we could get to Louisiana…we ended up in a Lyft headed back to our apartment. *DOH!*

Even though we didn’t make it to our destination, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my travel bags anyways. I felt like my one-bag packing mojo was pretty spot-on this time around and I’d kinda like to have a post to reference the next time I’m traveling for 2-3 days by plane. And maybe it will be useful to you as well!

[CLICK HERE TO HAVE MY ONE BAG TRAVEL CHEAT SHEET SENT TO YOUR INBOX!!]

tom bihn bags

As always, I’m a forever devotee of my Tom Bihn Synapse 19. The newest member of my packing accouterments entourage is the Tom Bihn Side Effect, an awesome place to store all the little things you might need access to without having to sling a backpack off your back (See also: purse). It’s a great, little companion for my Synapse. 🙂

So without further ado, here’s what I packed for a 2-day (+travel days) trip to Louisiana by plane…

In my Tom Bihn Side Effect 

Large Compartment

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Small notebook
  • Headphones
  • Plane Tickets

Front Compartment

  • Keys
  • Pen
  • Chapstick

In my Tom Bihn Synapse 19

* click HERE for a break-down of the Synapse 19 pockets *

Main Compartment

Deep Center Pocket 

  • Liquids bag –
    • body wash
    • perfume
    • face wash
    • toothpaste
    • and BB cream
  • Deodorant

Shallow Center Pocket

  • Lara Bar x2
  • Kindle charger
  • Advil

Bottom Compartment

  • Sandals

Left Pocket

  • A ziploc bag full of trail-mix
  • Phone charger
  • Pen, Sharpie pen, Sharpie

Right Pocket

  • Tom Bihn stuff sack
    • feminine products
    • tweezers
    • razor
    • and hair ties + bobby pins
  • tooth brush
  • and a ziploc bag with 4 face wipes

Now that you know my travel essentials for a weekend away by plane, maybe it’s time for you to start planning a trip of your own!! If you’ve got something in the works, or are just feeling especially wanderlust-y, go ahead and CLICK HERE! I’ll send you a little cheat sheet of the info above (a bit more generalized, of course) so you can keep your bag light without forgetting a thing. Print it off whenever you need to take to the skies, and cross off the items as they get tucked in your pack. Happy travels!

[CLICK HERE TO HAVE MY ONE BAG TRAVEL CHEAT SHEET SENT TO YOUR INBOX!!]

Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

washi-closeup

Little kids always seem to be working on some collection or another. When I was young I had all sorts–everything from rocks to beanie babies to dolls that lived on a shelf and weren’t meant for play. And kids these days are keeping up the habit. (Recently, I had a lovely chat with a little one about all her Tsum Tsums.)

But I’d love to know, what do you collect as an adult? Dishes in a specific pattern? Harry Potter paraphernalia? Miniature buildings to add to an ever-expanding Christmas village?

The nice thing about having a loud-and-proud collection is that it makes gift giving much easier. There’s always that one friend in a group who LOVES a certain Disney Princess or anything with roses on it. So you always think of them when you’re in a store and stumble upon an item that’s “on theme.” Convenient for the gift giver…and also kind of nice for the collector. Wouldn’t you feel sorta special knowing that people are thinking of you each time they spot an item with stars on it? Or used a fountain pen? Or interacted with whatever it is you squirrel away?

Yet, with the quest for minimalism being such a popular feature as of late (shout out to Marie Kondo and all those capsule wardrobe YouTubers) I wonder if some have let their little stockpiles wither away. Even when that little stockpile brought them joy. How do we balance that fad-driven need to cull our belongings with our own happiness?

Whatever your answer might be, I’m curious about what it means for adult collections. Personally, I’m loving my ever-growing collection of washi tape. (See photos for some of my favorite rolls.) This collection feels like the perfect marriage of minimalism dreams and hoarding realities. Haha! Washi is so, so cute with so many patterns to choose from. But it’s also cheap, technically a consumable (because I use it to make pocket letters and for other paper crafting and planning), and doesn’t take up much space. For now, washi collecting feels right. (And who knows! Maybe someday I’ll lift my embargo on rock purchases…but probably not on Ty products.) Bottom line: I don’t want to resist something that I know makes me happy. And washi tape makes me happy!

pulling-washi-2

What did you collect as a child? What about now? Does your collection bring you joy or does it make you feel guilty? I’d love to hear! 

P.S. Other questions for you to weigh in on — What were your favorite childhood TV shows? and What’s your favorite mug? 

mid-week round-up

bursting flower

What are you up to this week, loves? Chet and I are back in Miami after a wonderful few days in Gainesville, FL with the Western Kentucky University Forensics Team. We were able to spend some time with dear friends, watch amazing and intelligent performances, and attend a super lively awards ceremony where the team was named NATIONAL RUNNER’S UP!!! Huge congratulations to the nicest group of college students I’ve ever met…you blew me away every step of the way. ❤ Dear people not involved in speech & debate, if you ever get the opportunity to attend and observe a national tournament, DO IT! You will be moved and challenged in ways you never thought possible. Sending a hug to everyone on this Wednesday, and here are some links for you to click and ENJOY…

This van dweller offers a peek into his minimalist life.

Whoopi Goldberg says it’s high time we do something about menstrual cramps.

Made me giggle.

“We hear a lot about how social media lets us present our glossy, perfect selves, but use social media enough and it will put you directly in touch with your own mistakes.”

Applauding Amelia Earhart’s adventurous spirit and style.

Late sleepers are made to feel like losers.

The superior social skills of bilingual individuals.

These beach towels are gorgeous works of art.

Biology student by day, writer of Wikipedia articles about lady scientists by night!

Transylvania’s underground amusement park.

A quiche to keep your brunch game strong.

Time-saving tips for busy folks.

Creating My Capsule -Sweater

CMC sweater 1

IMG_2063

IMG_2065

I thought it might be fun to show you guys the pieces I buy, and pull from my existing stash, on the road to my 50 Piece All-Season Capsule Wardrobe. I picked up this charcoal gray sweater at Target a couple months back and think it’s a perfect addition to my closet. I love the waffle knit! So cozy. Originally priced at $25, it was already a bargain. But I also snagged a 30% discount because I live in South Florida and winter-wear is always getting marked down! Unfortunately, living in South Florida ALSO means opportunity to wear this sweater is few and far between. It’s definitely coming with me up to Kentucky this weekend though!