intentional living, Lifestyle

15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life for the New Year

It’s the start of a new year, which commonly stands for a fresh start. And one of the best & sure fire ways to see change is to simplify life. And from personal experience, I’ve discovered simplifying can be done in a multitude of categories. Last year, I shared 15 Ways to Simplify Your Life & it received so much praise that I wanted to share 15 more ways for this new year.

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Here are 15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life in 2023

1. Create a Vision Board

I find vision boards & collages to be a creative & visual representation of my goals & aspirations. It takes me back to the days where I would spend hours cutting out magazines & making collages that I would hang on my bedroom door or closet. Back then, it was usually photos of the Jonas Brothers or Zac Efron, but I digress. Whether it’s digitally on Pinterest or done the old fashion way, I think vision boards are a fun way to really ask yourself what you want to accomplish or strive for & the new year is one of the perfect times to do that.

2. Downsize Your Digital Footprint

We tend to focus on the physical clutter when we are simplifying our lives & tend to neglect our digital space. In the new year, look through your social media platforms & let go of the ones you aren’t using or ones that aren’t benefiting you. Go through your followers & mute or unfollow those who aren’t inspiring you or are providing a negative pool. I also recommend cleaning up your devices, desktops, files, photos etc to make space for new memories & projects in 2023. If you are looking for specific decluttering tips in the digital space, click here to read 15 Ways To Downsize Your Digital Space.

3. Let Go of Clothing You Don’t Love or Use

I love closet declutters! As we know by the countless blog posts I have about said topic like 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe I find it so refreshing to let go of clothing that doesn’t fit, is worn out, or has simply met it’s expiration date. Make space for new items, a fresh style & one that works with your lifestyle in the present moment.

4. Prioritize Relationships That Lift You Up

Life is too short to place your time & energy on people who don’t deserve it. Focus on the ones who lift you up, encourage & help you grow into the person you wish to be. When we waste time on those who bring us down, we are only hurting ourselves.

5. Let Go Of Habits You No Longer Want to Entertain

Every time I think about this point, I picture people rushing for that gym membership on January 1st. And then by March, they are back to their usual routines. My biggest suggestion with letting go of old habits & striving for new ones, is to be realistic. Take baby steps if possible in the direction you want to be in. Habits are better formed this way then going full force all at once. Whether it’s adding a few healthier options on the grocery list or carving out a few hours in your day being active – these small changes will keep the enjoyment alive.

6. Say No More Often

I talked about this concept in my 11 Things I Intentionally Say No To blog post & I’m reiterating this fact because saying no is so powerful. I used to be quite the people pleaser & thought I had to accept every invitation or request that was presented to me. News flash, saying yes to everything simply causes intense burn out. So, in the new year say no more often & put your self care & rest time above certain things. Pleasing people won’t give you more friends, it only hurts yourself.

7. Learn to Gift More Practically

Living a simple life means not allowing excess clutter to enter your home or someone else’s. I’ve learned to gift & shop more practically by choosing clutter free alternatives. During the holidays, I shared 50 Clutter Free Gift Ideas that can inspire any gift related holiday in the future. I’ve learned gifting practically saves you money & allows you to shop smarter.

8. Shop Smarter

When we feed into consumerism & trends of society, we tend to over shop which can become detrimental to our bank accounts. By living a more minimalist life, I’ve learned I can live without so many things society tells us we should have. I prioritize the essentials & even find cheaper & more efficient alternatives. Not to mention when we shop smarter, we are helping the environment as well [ especially if it’s sustainable alternatives]. Check out this blog post on sustainable alternatives & plastic free swaps here.

9. Slow Down Your Routines

Society makes us feel like we need to be busy all the time. We need to be doing more & productively become faster. This is not the case. It’s actually more productive when we slow down some & take our time. Allow ourselves those breaks so burn out doesn’t fester. One of my favorite things to do is have slow mornings on the weekend or whenever I can. I’ll make a warm beverage & just sit in silence for a few minutes before my day really starts. Instead of rushing through our tasks, we should learn to savor them.

10. Stop Keeping Up With The Trends

You don’t need the new Ugg ultra minis or flair leggings. You don’t need to the newest iPhone if yours is still working great. Only buy trends if you genuinely love it. Otherwise, you are wasting your money on items that will go out of style in a few months or you’ll just get tired of. Stick with classics & buy items that make you happy & fit your style. If certain trends do that for you, great!

11. Lessen Your Screen Time

Downsizing my social media & intentionally choosing other activities other than looking at my phone or laptop screen has helped me stay grounded & relax more often. As a blogger, it’s tough because I’m always in front of my laptop typing away. But I try& schedule in time for reading a good book or spending quality time with family & my husband. Getting lost in good conversation is one of my favorite things & sometimes we can forget that act of connection when we are starring at our phones all the time.

12. Get Outdoors

I want to take more walks in the new year & get outdoors more often. I love going on hikes or just walking through the neighborhood. It’s so healthy to get that fresh air & vitamin d. And I think it’s something we tend to forget. In the dark winters especially, I find short walks to be so relaxing & help me get through the season depression that tends to creep in when it gets darker earlier.

13. Focus on Experiences

Focusing on experiences over material items opens yourself up to making new memories, stepping outside your comfort zone & evolving as a person. I love spending money on experiences & trips over new clothing or makeup now a days. In my honeymoon blog post to Maui, I talked about how the best money to spend in with traveling. And it’s so true. When you let go of the notion to add more clutter into your home & instead venture out and see the world, you are expanding your horizons & getting a taste of what else is out there. And you aren’t creating physical baggage for yourself that will weigh you down.

14. Downsize Your Products

I love simple routines for the efficiency & the quickness. As someone who has rather sensitive skin, I rarely like to experiment with new products & have an array of items to choose from. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stands true with my lifestyle & my wallet also has thanked me. The concept of decision fatigue can really wear at us & so when we have less to choose from, it becomes easier for us to then focus on the parts of life that matter even more.

15. Live in the Moment

A habit I’m trying to enforce more in the new year is being more present & living in the moment. I think we all tend to live in the mindset of “what’s next?” when we really need to be focusing on the “right now.” How many times do you find yourself scrolling your phone mindlessly instead of engaging in heartfelt conversation? All of a sudden the voices around you sound like the adults in the Peanut specials & you missed every word someone said. Not only is that rude, but you are doing yourself a disservice of escaping from the present moment. Stop rushing your life & worrying about the future so hard. It’s good to plan & have goals, but I think we tend to forget that our future is based on what we do in the present.

How do you plan to simplify your life this year?

-B

blogtober, blogtober, Minimalism, Minimalism

My Fall Capsule Wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe exactly? Minimalists like to define it as a set number of clothing items to reduce the troubles of decision fatigue & allows us to understand the benefits behind owning less. Courtney Carver, the writer behind the book, Project 333 goes a step further & challenges those to have 33 items of clothing for 3 months. I attempted project 333 for myself during the pandemic & I did take note of the benefits. But overall, I don’t necessarily like to limit myself to a set number of clothing pieces. I simply ask myself how often I wear something? Does it fit the person I wish to be? And is it practical? Otherwise, I let it go. And over the course of the summer, I’ve downsized my wardrobe extremely to the point where 95% of my clothing is gone! As the new season approaches, I look forward to revamping my style & curating a capsule wardrobe that allows me to create classic outfits.

As I’ve decluttered over 10 bags of clothing in the past few months, I’ve also made a few replacements along the way. I’ve been in a style rut & wanted to enter my fall season with a bit more style. Summer tends to put myself in a style rut [ especially when it’s hot ] because all I wear are athletic shorts & basic tanks or tees. Fall fashion is elite. And I’m so excited to share the pieces I’ve bought & put together.

Denim Denim Denim

A classic pair of jeans is a staple in any wardrobe. As a millennial, I still find skinny jeans to be the most flattering at times, but I have been wanting to branch out to different styles. I purchased a pair of the viral 90’s straight leg relaxed fit jeans from Abrocrombie. And I totally understand the hype! I can’t wait to rock these with some sneakers & basic tees all fall season.

Business Beige

To jazz up your dressier occasions, why not swap or add a pair of beige slacks to your wardrobe along with the typical grey or black. I personally love incorporating lighter shades to my fall wardrobe to showcase a brighter look. No white after Labor Day, who? I also love adding knits to make your look a bit more casual.

Stick To The Basics

The majority of my closet is filled with basic tees & tanks. Lately – I’ve added a few fitted crop tops to my wardrobe. I love pairing tighter tops with baggier pants to create a bit of definition. I love layering these with flannels, cardigans or jackets to stay warm. I recommend you have a basic white, black & grey t-shirt & tank & then go from there. Stick to shades that are the most flattering to you. There’s no need to own the entire rainbow.

Sneakers

I’m trying to get away from just living in Uggs until March (although if you are from the East Coast, it’s pretty much inevitable). Last fall, I purchased this pair of Sam Edelman sneakers in this white & beige shade. I thought they would be a perfect minimalistic look to any pair of jeans or leggings.

Birkenstocks

It’s hilarious to me Birkenstock clogs are back in style. I wore these almost daily in high school. I haven’t yet purchased these, but am looking to add these to my capsule wardrobe soon to add variety to my shoe collection. I feel like they would be perfect paired with my A&F jeans.

Dainty Statement Jewelry

I strongly believe you can enhance an outfit by just adding a few statement jewelry pieces. I love pairing my rose gold B&T necklace with a crop top & jeans or adding a pair of gold hoops.

Oversized Sweaters & Cardigans

Of course, it’s not fall without that cozy sweater weather feeling. I love pairing them with black leggings, a warm beverage & a book in hand. They are like warm hugs! For the most part, I prefer neutral shades like beige, grey or black , but I also love wearing Halloween themed jumpers to be festive.

Water Proof Boots

On the east coast, I feel like it’s crucial to own boots that are weather resistant. Whether it’s walking through the pumpkin patch or the muddy Renaissance fair, I’m so glad to have boots that will be easy to clean. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I purchased a pair of black water proof ankle boots & I have a strong feeling I’ll be wearing these a lot this fall season!

Graphic Tees

During my recent declutter, I let go of a ton of old graphic t-shirts that were faded or had holds in them. I still believe we don’t need to own an entire drawer filled with graphic tees, but I do think it’s fun to own a few to make an outfit more unique. One of my favorites is my zodiac sign flower t-shirt.

Even More Inspiration

Pinterest is my favorite site for finding fashion inspiration. Here are a few photos that depict the style I’m going for lately…

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What clothing styles / pieces are you looking forward to wear this season?

-B

Fashion

95% of My Clothing Gone?! But I’m Still Decluttering! | Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

When you think of a minimalist wardrobe, what do you consider it to look like? For some, it’s an x amount of items, usually sticking to smaller numbers. Or maybe, it’s an aesthetic filled with all neutral shades. In some cases, people swap out their clothing seasonally, also sticking to a strict number of items. One of the queens of capsule wardrobes, Courtney Carver – the creator of Project 333, allows 33 items within a 3 month span. I personally, live like Lizzie McQuire – an outfit repeater. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong to the minimalist lifestyle. All of these definitions are options. You just simply need to choose what works best for you & your lifestyle.

My Personal Journey

Something to keep in mind with my own personal wardrobe is I stick to an all year round style closet. The weather can be pretty all over the place where I live. One day I could be in shorts & a tank top, when a few days later I could be rocking leggings & a sweatshirt. It’s easier to keep every season together in one area. The only pieces that aren’t stored in my closet are my ski / snow gear or holiday attire like Christmas sweaters [ which, yes – I still own ]. Not all minimalists are cookie cutter neutral lovers. Over the last few years, I’ve downsized my closet immensely – roughly 200 items worth. I’ve donated 10 bags of clothing to local shelters or The GoodWill & I’ve even sold a few items for some money back.

You May Also Like: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

After a year of wedding planning & our wedding in May, I returned from our honeymoon with an itch to declutter my wardrobe [ & entire home] once again. It’s amazing & a little bit frustrating how clutter just seemed to accumulate all of a sudden. I’ve also changed a lot personally, so I’ve been looking to “let go of the old & bring in the new.” Not only this, but the grieving process has caused me to evaluate my entire existence & shed what is no longer serving me.

Let It Go

The first point of action is to thin your wardrobe as much as possible. Marie Kondo suggests taking everything out & laying it on the floor or your bed to showcase the immense overflow. And I agree with this method. There’s something so eye opening to seeing your belongings in a mountainous pile. I’ve shared countless posts about decluttering your wardrobe, so if you are wondering what types of items you should let go of, venture over to one of or both of these blog posts: 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe & Listen Up: You Don’t Need These Things in Your Closet . By decluttering your wardrobe first, you will have a much easier time organizing said clothing in a way that is functional for your routines. In my most recent decluttering session, I went through my formal dresses & donated ten! I had so many dresses pushing 5 or even 10 years old & they just didn’t fit or look as nice as when I first purchased them. It was time to finally say goodbye & make space for some updated pieces that fit my current body & style.

Holding Onto The Past

There is something practical about keeping an item of clothing for 5 or even 10 years. You definitely have braggers rights that you’ve gotten your money’s worth. To this day, I hold so much sentimental value to clothing pieces. And I seriously need to quit it! I’ve had this red dress for nearly 15 years now because I remember feeling so confident in it at the age of 18. Although it still fits, the style is not as flattering & I feel like nobody really wears body con dresses anymore. I’ve had the hardest time letter that dress go. I would place it with all the donations, but it would miraculously end up in our spare closet. Plus, I haven’t worn it out in 5 years. It is literally collecting dust in my closet. I’m trying to be brutal & rip the bandaid “so to speak” & finally let these types of items go!

You May Also Like: 5 Things To Keep in Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items

Needing To Shop

Here I go again with NEEDING things! But here me out. I sometimes feel like I hold onto items of clothing because I’m too lazy to find replacements. For example, I finally donated a pair of black ankle boots from 2017 that my mom would call my “witch shoes.” I would keep them because finding the perfect pair of ankle boots can be a job & in my mind, I found it easier to keep wearing said witch shoes instead of finding a more flattering pair. Another area I need replacements for are my shorts. I’ve had the same American Eagle denim shorts since 2012? And they just aren’t flattering anymore. I need to make a mental note to be on the look out for new ones. I bring up the need for shopping because I feel like when we declutter, we forget the importance of updating our wardrobes & styles. We aren’t meant to remain the same, so why should our clothing be? It’s a true balance of getting proper use out of a piece of clothing & not letting the same items keep you stuck.

As I write this, I’m still in the process of decluttering. I hope to transform my wardrobe to the person I am today & can’t wait to share a full look into each piece. If you’d be interested in seeing an inside look of my capsule wardrobe this fall, let me know in the comments. And until then, let me know if you’d consider a capsule wardrobe yourself? Is there any piece of clothing you need to declutter?

-B