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

organization

10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today

In this next detox series post, I wanted to take our decluttering session to the kitchen. This kitchen is an area of the home that obtains a lot of foot traffic. With eating multiple times a day & some of us working from home indefinitely now – it’s a place that gets dirty & unorganized pretty easily. Since that’s the case, it’s important to keep this area clutter free & downsized as much as possible. Here are 10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today:

Excess Gadgets & Appliances

The easiest way to have a simple & easy to clean kitchen space is to have clear or semi-cleared countertops. The biggest culprit to clutter is huge appliances taking up precious food prep space. Minimize this issue by only keeping out the appliances you use regularly & store the rest.

Worn Out Dish Towels

We keep a few dish towels in a drawer & one over the stove for decor purposes. Be sure that any towels, especially ones on display aren’t damaged, worn out or stained. You can purchase a pack of these from Target for only $3, so they are relatively easy to replace when necessary. Another tip is to purchase dish towels or rags of darker shades so stains aren’t as easy to see.

Expired Foods

This might seem like an obvious one but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the back of the fridge or pantry & found some very questionable items. So, make sure you are cleaning through these areas regularly. This is another reason why I don’t like to over purchase or purchase items in bulk. Chances are they will sit in the pantry collecting dust.

Take Out Menus You Never Use

Now a days, you can find everything online, but I still like keeping around a few take out menus like our favorite local Chinese place. If there are any menus you never reach for, take this time to recycle those.

Cook Books

For some reason I love the ideas of cookbooks but realistically never really use since most things can be found online. Plus, they are rather bulky items. If you have no way to decoratively display them or never look through, maybe it’s time to finally donate them to someone else.

Mugs

For not being a coffee person, I sure do own quite a few mugs. I managed to let go of a few that had cheesy inspirational quotes on them or sayings. I’m leaning towards more solid colored mugs because I’m such a plain Jane now & I’m less likely to get sick of those styles.

Take Out Sauces Packets

In some ways, I can see how someone would find hoarding these packets useful [ especially Chick fil A sauce] but honestly – I’ve found they mostly just sit untouched & we eventually accumulate even more. Use them up or throw them away.

Coasters

We own 20 coasters. How this happened, I have no idea. I guess they are the quintessential house warming gift or something. But I managed to choose a small set that were are favorites & let go of the rest.

Excess Pots & Pans & Other Cooking Essentials

In general, you want to look through your collection of cooking tools & choose the favorites out of the bunch. You don’t need 10 different pots & skillets. We actually only own a full set – 5 items & it works for us. Granted it’s only a house hold of two at the moment, but still. Cutting back on these items will surely diminish excess clutter.

Manuals

All those wonderful gadgets you purchase all come with their own instructional manual. News flash, you actually don’t need to own these at all. Most manuals are found online anyway. So save some space by letting go of this paper clutter.

I hope this list gives you some inspiration when decluttering your own kitchens. What are some other things we all could declutter from our kitchens. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

-B

Beauty

My Minimalist Makeup Collection

I used to be a makeup hoarder of sorts. Youtube beauty gurus circa 2010 fueled that inspiration.Hard to believe, I too wanted drawers filled to the brim of products & wanted to drain my savings towards Sephora or Ulta sales. It took me a long time to realize half ( if not more ) of said collection was barely used. Products kept expiring. And I found myself always craving more. It’s funny how I told myself I needed every shade of eyeshadow ( even the shades that were unflattering) & every palette or collaboration ( regardless of the price) was sought after. Things are a bit different now. I still love & admire my makeup routine & the artistry of it all. I just don’t have the desire to own an array of brands or shades And thanks to the pandemic, there are somedays I don’t where a drop of makeup. I’ve condensed my collection to what works & I rarely shop for new products. I wait until the product is empty or if I receive it as a gift. The process of decision fatigue is no more & my routine is quick & simple.

Here is what I’ve kept & love…

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation:

I purchased this foundation for my wedding week & have loved it ever since. It has wonderful coverage without making my skin look cakey. I don’t wear foundation every single day anymore, but when I do – I always seem to reach for this one.

It Cosmetic CC cream:

I’ve used this cc cream for years. I usually wear this in the summer ( but it works well for all seasons ). It has wonderful coverage & has even helped clear my skin for its ingredients.

Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil:

I’ve used many brands of eyebrow pencils and pomades in the past, but this one for $5 is amazing & has lasted me for so long. I don’t fill in my brows as dramatically as I once did, but this is great for those sparse areas.

Maybelline Eyeliner in Brown

I only own one eyeliner in a more natural shade – brown. I find black eyeliner to be too harsh. And surprisingly – I no longer wear liquid eyeliner. The winged liner look for me is out! If I do want a bit of dramatics, I will simply use the eyeliner pencil or an eyeshadow.

L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara

I only own one mascara at a time. And this one from L’Oréal is a great product at a great price. I no longer find high end mascaras to be worth the price since it’s smart to replace mascara every 3 months.

Benefit Rocketaur Box Powder

This is my favorite blush of all time. It provides the most flattering bronze peach glow to my skin that looks almost sun kissed.

Nars Blush in Orgasm

A cult favorite in the beauty world. I’ve been trying to hit pan on this blush for years. Maybe this year will be it. It’s a perfect pink shade for nights out.

Charlotte Tilbury Peachgasm Liquid Blush

I love a liquid blush & this acts as the perfect highlight. I no longer wear highlighter ( which was quite popular a few years ago). This gives a much more natural glow.

NARS laguna bronzer

This tone of bronzer is my favorite & is the most flattering. In the future, I would like to find a more cruelty free bronzer alternative. But for the time being, I will try & use this up.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

This is a great drugstore bronzer option. I love the formula & tone. I also use this product as eyeshadow as the brown tone is the perfect light shade for my lids. A great tip is to find multiple uses for your powder products

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick & Liner

I decided to purchase the travel sized version to test out this hyped product. And this is my most worn lipstick lately. I completely understand the hype. I definitely plan to purchase a full size once this one is used up.

Kylie Jenner Liquid Lipstick & Liner in Sweater Weather

This is my go to fall / winter shade. It’s reddish tone is perfect for those occasions I want a bolder look. And it lasts all day.

Mac Lipstick in Velvet Teddy

My favorite lipstick of all time. If I could only own one lipstick – this would be it. It’s perfect for all occasions & any season.

Mac Lipstick in Angel

This shade is one I wear during the spring and summer as it gives a nice bright look to my face.

Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

I purchased a travel size of this product because it takes me so long to finish this type of powder. I don’t necessarily bake my face like a Kardashian but this product is essential for setting my concealer.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Speaking of concealer, I only own one. I was a huge fan of the Tarte Shape tape for the longest time. But I found it to look too heavy under my eyes. So I’ve moved onto a lighter formula at a better price point.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Eyeshadow Palette

One of the biggest changes I’ve made with my makeup collection is preferring smaller palettes to larger ones. They are easier to travel with & I longer take time wondering which shades to use. The formulation of these eyeshadows are really nice.

Jeffree Star x Shane Dawson Conspiracy Pallette

My favorite item in my collection – this palette is my baby. I love both YouTube creators so much & had to buy their collaboration pallette. It has the most pigmented shades with mostly neutrals with a touch of fun shades.

Jaclyn Hill Palette

Eyeshadow palettes used to be my weekness & although I’ve decluttered plenty – I’d rather keep the ones I have & try & hit pan on the shadows. This neutral palette is beautiful but I personally find large palettes like these to be too cumbersome. Rarely do I wear all the shades anyway.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

To complete my look & make sure it stays on all day, I like spraying my face with this setting spray. Who knows if setting spray is really necessary but I find it very refreshing.

Conclusion

To some, this still may seem like a lot of makeup. And others may agree this is rather minimal. Compared to my past self, this is very condensed. And I plan to try & hit pan & use up even more ( especially the eyeshadows). I love that I can store all my products in my desk drawer where everything is tucked away & out of sight. I also own a small set of makeup brushes: one foundation brush, a blush brush, an angled bronzer brush, 3 eyeshadow brushes & a beauty sponge.

What is your favorite brand of makeup? Do you have a small collection or a large one?

-B