organization, Self Growth

5 Reasons Letting Go Is So Damn Difficult!

Wanting a more simple life starts with letting go of what no longer serves us. Easier said than done am I right? I feel like I say this, but always end up saving tons of questionable items. Why is it so hard to let go in the first place? I wish I could just turn my feelings off for one second.

Recently, I helped my husband downsize his childhood belongings from six large storage containers to only one. It was quite the project but one we both knew was something to tackle. It got me thinking about why we hold onto certain things & also why it can be so hard to finally let go. It’s almost like the longer you own something, you start to believe whatever that something is, must be special & worth holding onto. And we discovered even though he forgot most of what was in these containers, the memories started flooding back. And this is why sentimental item can be the MOST difficult to let go. But any type of belongings, if we place too much meaning on said item can become difficult to throw away. Here are 5 reasons why letting go can be so damn difficult.

You Are Still Living in the Past

Nostalgia can be a precious thing. Whether it’s a smell, an object or even a single thought , these things tie us to what we once were. We almost hold onto things for the sole purpose of trying to preserve our memories.

Especially with physical objects, we almost keep these things with the fear of forgetting. We must remember the most powerful aspect of our memories are ourselves. We must let go of said fear & trust we will remember things in our minds. Again, don’t let your objects hold so much credit. You are far more than what you own.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but sentimental items are very difficult for me to declutter. I have been biting the bullet though & challenging myself to go through these items brutally. And through this process, I’ve learned a lot about myself & the things I hold near & dear to my heart. In my 5 Things To Keep In Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items, I pinpointed key factors that helped me downsize my keepsakes in half!

I felt like I was holding onto too many past memories that ultimately made me feel stuck & less likely to move forward in my life. Although I still have plenty of sentimental items to look back on & cherish, I allowed myself to be rid of the pointless emotional baggage that was taking up space in my home. You need to remember life is constantly moving & you will have far more memories & keepsakes ahead. Make room for the future by narrowing down your past.

You Feel Guilty Giving It Up

Maybe you have a pit in your stomach for purchasing something so expensive you never use. Or perhaps you were gifted something & although the gesture is always sweet, you just don’t use it. These feelings of guilt should not become a burden to your mind.

If you feel guilty over whether you should get rid of something, you should always be rid of that item. That mental turmoil will only make matters worse. I always believe it is better to let go of something you don’t use so it can be treasured by someone else.

And if you are having difficulty letting go an item because it was either passed down to you by a family member or given to you as a gift, ideally the person shouldn’t be upset if you no longer want something. Either return it to the sender or give it to someone who would better appreciate it. Material items should rarely have such pressures of value. And if they do hold lots of value, finds ways to use it or display it. Otherwise, let it go.

Fear of Needing it in the Future

This concept reminds me of everyone buying tons of toilet paper in the beginning of the pandemic. Fear & consumerism when tied together, create chaos. You can’t go walking around with the mindset of the world is ending or “I’ll never be able to find this again.” That’s when hoarding develops. And we really don’t want that. In today’s world, it is rather easy to find certain items online. If at any point you are missing an item or need it again, you can always repurchase it later.

This is why when shopping I don’t purchase just incase items or bulk items. To me, it just seems like a waste of space, money & product. Save some for the rest of us please. I think a lot of people have this notion that if you hold onto something for those just in case moments, it saves them money in the long run. I have noticed this is a wrong way of thinking.

Rarely do I feel grateful for having kept certain things for those just in case items. For example, I’ve had this Christmas sweater I wore one time but have held onto it JUST IN CASE we have an ugly christmas sweater party to go to. The future is always questionable & who truly new we wouldn’t be having large get togethers with friends for a year. By the time we actually have a party, I’m going to want a brand new outfit!

What Will People Think?

Repeat after me, stop caring what people think of you! If a person truly cares if you get rid of something, maybe you should gift it to them. This is your life to live so if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, don’t waste anymore time.

I’ll be honest, I probably still own plenty of things other people told us we HAD to have when owning a home. But slowly I will even downsize these items because most MUST HAVE items are useless in my opinion. And if there comes a time we truly need something, we will buy it. Simple as that.

It Hints You Were Wrong

Whatever it may be, it’s ok to admit it wasn’t right & it’s healthy to finally let it go. Life is too short to be living with things & people that don’t serve you. And if anything else, these wrongdoings can be seen as lessons leading us to our correct path.

Admitting you were wrong about something can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s also extremely human & liberating. Maybe you were wrong about a certain style of clothing working for you. Or in a more deep sense, maybe a certain person in your life is wrong for you. These mistakes & lessons are normal & a part of life.

I truly hope these tips help you have more clarity with the idea of having a clutter free life. Comment down below what holds you back from letting go.

-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

Lifestyle

August WrapUp: Birthdays, Books & Getting My Life Together

I can’t believe we are wrapping up another month. I’m another year older, having turned 31 on the 9th & I’ve been trying my best to live more in the moment & enjoy the simpler things. This summer has been a time of healing & rest due to the sudden burst of grief after my wedding. Planning a wedding right after my dad passed away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They say not to do anything huge the first year of grief, but I went a head & went full force into wedding planning mode. So, now I’ve been playing catch up & focusing on my own wellbeing these last few months. But I’ve also managed to incorporate tons of fun before the summer comes to a close. I want to thank LifeWithDeanna for inspiring me to write this blog post & start my own version of monthly wrap ups. If you haven’t checked out her content / blog please give her posts a read! She’s been one of my favorite bloggers at the moment!

What’s Been Fun This Month…

Towards the end of July, Todd & I went to a lantern festival in the city. Although it’s not an August highlight – I wanted to mention it because it was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend. When you arrive – you are given your own lantern to decorate. You are encouraged to draw any future wishes, past remembrances or anything that defines you. Once the sun went down – hundreds of us let our lit lanterns go into the water & watch them float. Be sure to check out my reel on the lantern festival here for a more in-depth look.

For my birthday, Todd & I ventured to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore the weekend before & ate lunch by the water. It was a rather hot one thanks to the continuous heat wave, but we cooled down by walking through some of the town shops & I took a slice of Smith Island cake to go.

And on my actual birthday, we met up with my mom & brother for dinner at Glory Days [ they have the best burger sliders ] & I got a free ice cream sundae. It was a much needed low key celebration & I was so glad we could all celebrate together as a family. Although, I’ve been spending lots of “me time” this summer for healing – I’ve chosen to lean on these two for most of my support along with my husband of course. I’ve learned it’s better to have a small group of supporters instead of tons.

On a separate note, if you are interested – I can share my thoughts on grief & how the process has been from my personal experience in a blog post.

My favorite birthday gift hands down were these custom book jackets from the brand Nerdy Ink. We all know how much I love the A Court of Thorns & Roses series! And these new covers are so beautiful on my new bookshelf.

For those who aren’t familiar with the state of Maryland – we are known for our steamed crabs [ especially during the summer ]. We enjoyed a weekend pool party / crab feast. It was fun because we literally knew one person [ but were able to meet tons of new people ]. We all sat around a long table, picked crabs & told the funniest stories. We ended the evening with a bonfire & roasting marshmallows.

Towards the end of the month, we celebrated my brother’s birthday in Annapolis. I surprised him with a Better Call Saul law school sweatshirt. All three of us – my husband, my brother & I are huge fans of that show & are so sad season 6 was their final season. Have you watched it?

find this on etsy

What I’ve Been Loving…

It’s been a long time coming but my books are no longer stored on the floor of my office. I finally have a proper bookshelf & I’m obsessed with it! Here it is >> my bookshelf . It’s already filled with tons of books [ many that still need to be read ]. I’m especially looking forward to starting the Throne of Glass series soon! * update – I have started Throne of Glass & am 20 chapters in! – fantasy is officially my favorite genre *

I’ve been creating more of a capsule wardrobe & decluttering / replacing a few clothing pieces. I updated my shorts with a few pairs of Levi 501’s & they are the best fitting shorts I’ve ever owned. I bought two pairs of blue denim as well as a white pair. If you are interested in seeing my fall capsule wardrobe in a blog post, let me know in the comments.

What I’ve Been Reading…

After finishing ACOTAR at the end of July – I was in a bit of a reading slump until I discovered a series my husband recommended which is the Red Rising trilogy. I talked about the first book in my July reading wrap up.

This month I read:

Golden Son by Pierce Brown: the second book to the Red Rising trilogy. This one is my favorite because of the epic ending! Wow – I couldn’t stop reading this fast paced sci fi action novel. Highly recommend.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown: the final book to the Red Rising trilogy. Epic action just like the other two, great character building & a shocking ending.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: I have a bit of an unpopular opinion about this book. I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of this author. Although I did enjoy People We Meet on Vacation as a lighthearted summer read – I just don’t enjoy her writing & find the story lines to be a bit cheesy. Sorry not sorry.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: if she writes it, I’m going to read it. I loved this summer read based in one of my favorite places – Malibu, California. It tells the story of the Riva Family & the past POV of their parents. I loved following the character growth between each kid, their backstories & how the past & present can repeat itself. This has gotten me excited to read TJR’s newest release, Carrie Soto Is Back which is dropping this month.
Flock by Kate Stewart: I’ve seen the Ravenhood series all over social media & I basically went in blind. I had no idea what this story even was about & quite honestly – I’m still a little confused. But I’ve heard the second book Exodus is way better. This is a nice summer filler read with tons of spice. 🌶🌶🌶🌶 So, I’m not mad about that at all. If you are into morally grey love triangles, this book is for you.
The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: I’ve had this book on my shelves for months & I was in the mood for a thriller since fall is approaching. And honestly, this was an extreme let down for me. It started out strong but immediately became anticlimactic & predictable. And the ending just fell flat. I’m wondering if some of their other books are better?

What I’ve Been Watching…

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: I’ve actually never seen Pretty Little Liars before this spin off [ don’t come for me ]. But I’m loving this spooky mystery that airs every Thursday on HBO Max.

Love Island UK: My husband & I loved watching the newest season of Love Island UK. I was a huge Ekin Su fan. The US has their own version, but the accents and “banter” of this version drew us in. So entertaining! Hulu has all the seasons available. Which past season should we watch next? Because after following these couples for 60 episodes, I’m missing them like crazy!

A Discovery of Witches: I believe this series is based on a book trilogy. We decided to watch this after doing a bit of research on Reddit & I’m obsessed with it! Any show that has witches, vampires & demons- I’m all for it! And I felt like it would be perfect with spooky season approaching.

What I’ve Accomplished…

Mind Beauty Simplicity’s views have skyrocketed this month after publishing a collaboration with a few other minimalist creators in the community. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, click here. In this collaboration, content creators who live the less is more lifestyle shared their reason for living this way. It’s a fascinating read & hope it inspires more people to downsize their lives a little more. I’m excited to announce this post was mentioned in Courtney Carver’s weekend favorites series on her blog. Be sure to check that post out here.

I’ve also been into creating reels on Instagram. As we know, the algorithm on this platform is rather finicky at times. But I’ve managed to reach almost 50k views on some of them! I’ve been trying to change up my mindset with this platform & just having fun with it connecting with other creators. All in all, I don’t expect tons of growth with this platform, but it’s something I want to maintain to built friendships with other minimalists & creative souls in the community.

What I Want To Work On…

I want to work on being more present & limit my screen time even more than I already do. I’ve been reading a lot more to combat that screen time which I share in this blog post here. My husband & I both will spend a few hours every evening reading together. We turn on a vibey screen saver on Youtube [ like rain or a cozy cabin ] & just enjoy each other’s company. I also hope to read a few more books in the months ahead with the weather getting colder.

I also want to practice having more gratitude & not let other people’s opinions affect my behavior. I’ve been embracing the power of my alone time & enjoying my own company. It’s been the best form of healing during this phase in my life. Although I enjoy time with others – I also need time to recharge & prioritize myself. In the past – I would always put other people’s needs before my own & I want to change that some moving forward.

What I’m Looking Forward To…

I’m obviously looking forward to the Halloween season & honestly – the cooler weather! I’m so tired of this heat. I’ve purchased a few fall decor items already & can’t wait to decorate our house soon!

We do plan to go to the beach for one more weekend [ Labor Day weekend ] before the summer ends to celebrate our 8 year dating anniversary. We’ve only been to our local beach town once this summer [ which is quite different for us ]. And with this heat, the only place to really go to cool off is the beach in my opinion!

We also have a few weddings to attend this fall which is exciting – one in Virginia & another in Pennsylvania. 2022 has been the year for weddings! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my wedding series.

I hope you had an amazing month in August. Feel free to share what you’ve been up to & what you’ve been loving lately in the comments. Here’s to a new month of possibilities! Let me know if you enjoyed this style of blog post & if I should continue it.

-B