Editing, simplifying, paring down…that is what has been on my mind these days. I have always been attracted to the idea of living minimally and editing my stuff so that everything I own is something I either love or need. Everything has a purpose and a place. It is a neat and tidy way to live, one which my organized-obsessed mindLOVES the idea of.
With the thought of having one more human living in our small home, I get slightly anxious thinking about all the extra “things” that will include. I know that the baby industry is out of control these days with cute and seemingly necessary items, I sometimes get caught up in the cuteness and think that I NEED a certain item. But the truth is, no, I do not need the baby change table (a simple dresser and change pad should suffice), the cute $100+ diaper bags (I have lots of purses or backpacks that need a new lease on life), or the dozen pairs of newborn shoes (yes they’re cute, but they don’t walk yet, one or two should be enough). I am feeling the need to mentally reign myself in, and have asked Ryan to reign me in when needed as well, so we can continue living simply and mentally clearer. I know this will be an ongoing struggle having kids (with lots of family members and friends who love buying things for them), one that we will take one day at a time and try not to get overwhelmed by.
With only 4 or 5 months to prepare before the arrival or our new ‘roommate’, I can’t help but think about ways I can de-clutter our home and simplify our lives. The reason why this is so important to me is because I feel free and happy and the ultimate mental clarity when we have fewer things. When I see clutter in my home I get this heavy feeling inside that makes me want to run away from it.
I have been inspired by lots of blogs lately that talk about simplifying and organizing. Its funny because we have only been living at our new house for 6 months, but its crazy what we have already accumulated. When we left for our big trip at the start of 2014 and pared down drastically, there were still many unnecessary things I kept (especially in the clothes department). I found a jem of an idea the other day on this website talking all about curating a Capsule Wardrobe. The idea is to edit your wardrobe (by season) to include under 40 items (this includes, shoes, tops, dresses, skirts, pants), the author kept it to 37 items per season. I love this idea because it can save me loads of time when getting dressed in the morning if I only have fewer than 40 items in my closet (all of which I love), rather than loads of items I sort of like. I’ve always loved travelling wardrobes for this reason, because all I have is the dozen-or-so items I’ve packed in my backpack and I just have to make them work. No hesitations, no doubts and it takes less than a minute to get dressed! So in limiting my wardrobe to fewer items that I love, I will be reducing stress out of my life and will feel great in any outfit I choose.
Another major area I am getting ready to improve upon is meal-planning. I LOVE planning (in case you didn’t already know), so while I have a little extra time on this trip to do research and make plans for when we get home, I have been compiling a list of our favorite meals, along with new inspirations for quick, easy and tasty meals. This idea was inspired by my friend Corinne, who has a new baby yet still always seems to cook delicious meals for her family in a seemingly stress-free way. I know that I get overwhelmed with cooking meals when it’s just Ryan and I, so I asked her how she managed. The meal plan seems to be the key! It takes some planning (yay fun!) every week, but leaves the daily meal prep stress-free, reduces the amount of food that gets thrown out, and saves you money in the end (less eating out when there’s a plan for every meal). I have compiled a list of our favorite meals (including ingredients needed and cooking directions) broken down into: breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, crock pot/one-pot dinners, freezable dinners. Every week I can choose meals from the master list and try to “double-up” items as much as possible (ex: if we’re having a dinner with chicken breast, cook extra chicken breast to add to a Cesar salad the next day for lunch). Also making at least 1 massive crock-pot meal (chili, soup, etc) per week and freezing single portions of them for days we don’t feel like cooking or want something quick. After I’ve made the weekly meal plan, I will look at the ingredients I already have at home and add any I need to a grocery list. This will idealistically mean I only need to go to the grocery store once a week, and will just buy what we need.
These attempts at simplifying are small changes to my life, but will help increase time to do what I love, reduce unnecessary stress (especially when we have a baby) and ultimately increase my happiness levels, and the added bonus of feeling organized.
Some day, Ryan and I will take it to the next level and would love to live in a tiny house. We’ve watched some documentary’s lately on this popular new trend and have both fallen in love with the idea of having just enough space for our family and the things we need, everything has it’s place, and everything looks neat and tidy. Here are a couple small spaces that inspire me, and as you can see there is absolutely no need to compromise on design.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading, I’ll let you know how it all goes ?