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30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 1

For January, I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work. So, I hope that this challenge will help me appreciate the things and also recognize the things that I don’t need. Each week, I will post pictures of the items that I will be getting rid of in my home.

For the most part, the items that I discard are going to be recycled or sold. However, it’s important to note that when you are doing to this type of challenge, that it is also a mindful practice. Please remember that there are many options to get healthily rid of your stuff. You may have a friend who needs a sweater or a homeless person who needs shoes. You may want to sell your favorite dress that you paid way too much money, and you can’t seem to part with it. Maybe the dress will be sold to someone who wants to look good for their big day. It is a much better use of the item rather than sitting in your closet.

So, remember to repurpose, donate, sell or recycle your items. The worse thing to do is throw them out because they will end up in a landfill and then it becomes everyone’s problem.

Finally, try to have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

The first week was pretty easy for me. Generally, I know the stuff I need to get rid of that has been sitting around my home.

Below are the items that I am getting rid for the first week of the challenge, most of these items are going to be donated or sold. The coat with my going to the NYCares Coat organization.


Day One


Day Two


Day Three


Day Four


Day Five


Day Six


Day Seven


So, that is it for the week. What items can you get rid of in your home? Are you happy with what you have in your home? Please let me know if you are doing something similar or are interested in the challenge. Just leave a comment below, follow or like this post.

Cheers!

#minimalist #minimalistic #minimalista #minimalistics #minimaliststyle #minimalistdesign #minimalistart #minimaliste #minimalistwallet #minimalistphotography #minimalists #minimalistzen #minimalisticdesign #minimalistlifestyle #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #30daychallenge #home #staystrong #family #step1 #2019 #30daychallenge #30daychallengeabs #30daychallenges #30daychallenge #30daydeclutterchallenge
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Paying Down Debt in 2019

So, my last post for 2018 was one of the hardest things to think about or comprehend constructively. It is that lovely taboo topic called money management and debt.

When I quit my job, I quickly realized how much spending I was doing on a daily basis. The two significant factors were mindlessly spending on little things and just giving my money away because it felt good to help.

Starting my own business made me much more careful about how I was spending my money. So, I am not an expert in finances, and I will never claim to be because there is SO much more I need to learn.

However, in 2018, I did accomplish some goals as I became mindful with my relationship with money. The most significant accomplishment was paying off almost $10,000 in debt. I still have $31,000 left to pay off, but it does feel good to know my debt is going down rather than up. My debt really isn’t on any significant spending but rather a big student loan and medical bills.

For 2019, I am going to try to pay off at least $12,000 in it. I want to finish paying this off because I need to start spending more time with my loved ones. I miss having the ability to take my daughter out. I miss just having time. So, being mindful of my time and spending has hopefully help me with the ability to accomplish these goals.

Here are some approaches that I used in 2018 to help me reduce my working time and also to have the ability to pay things off. I hope to use these same skills to improve my outlook for 2019.

The biggest habit that I acquired in 2018 is making more intentional choices on how I spend my money. I also realized that I have people that I can ask for help whether that was with actual money or with time. I didn’t understand how closed off I had made myself until I needed help on the one thing I prided myself in doing.

The first thing I realized is that easy shopping was not my friend. These small purchases were too often and collectively impacting my life. There was a lot of mindless spending on a daily basis that indeed was inhibiting me from paying off my debt. I took for granted my “fixed” income and my “fixed” payments and used the rest of my money without overthinking on its impact.

I would tell myself that I wanted to save $200 at the end of the month, but when the month ended, I had zero money in my bank account. It didn’t take long for me to see that that was not a sustainable way of living. I wasn’t reaching any of my goals. I wasn’t happy with my spending habits.

I started embracing my reality and intention that I still was avoiding. It was easy for me to donate or sell my belongings, but it was harder not to replace them. I started to do small shopping bans like staying off of Amazon or only spending what I had in my wallet for a day, week or month. These little gestures really helped to have enough money to pay my bills.

For 2019, I really want to align my finance actions with my real value. This starts with having a conversation and writing about my intentions. My husband knows my plans and having someone who is understanding to your needs is excellent. I have no problem asking questions about money and researching about how to save. I thank him for that gift.

After realizing how I was spending and being comfortable with the idea of money. I started to take stock of the big money picture. I think that’s one of the scariest parts of personal finance and it has taken me a while to comprehend. I still continue to struggle with acknowledging the state of my money flow without judgment. I just know you have to start and I do see that I am getting better with paying attention to my spending and income. It only takes time and understanding that it’s not going to be perfect and it will never be perfect.

For me taking stock means logging into all of my accounts and writing down what the balances, both the positive or negative. The big picture is not about feeling good or bad about your situation. It’s especially hard if it’s a negative experience to log in and seeing all the negatives and zero numbers, but it’s not about just looking at the numbers. It’s looking at all the different accounts that you have and making peace with your current situation.

You just have to review it. When I took stock of all the accounts that I have, the next thing I thought of is what can I get rid of to save money. It’s not just about paying off debt right away, but how many accounts or subscriptions do you have that you don’t even use.

I try to have as few accounts as possible. I’m all for whatever works for you, but I think it’s easier to have fewer accounts. It makes my life more straightforward in my budgeting process. It’s just fewer things to track or to manage. It makes sense for me and my time and to not get overwhelmed by so much information that I am just trying to comprehend for the first time.

One of the biggest mistakes I make and guilty of so many times this year is mindlessly spending without keeping track of where my dollars are going. I know that this isn’t the most fun topic or the most fun task to think about but tracking my spending is essential. Not only does it open my eyes to my behavior with money but it gives me a small moment to check in to see if it aligns with my intention.

I do weekly check-ins. I look at all of the numbers and ask myself does it align with my goals and my value. If not, I ask what I can do for next week and really understand why I didn’t meet these goals. Keep things simple when doing this type of check-in and have it fit your daily flow. I do it Monday morning. I make coffee, I sit down, and I log into all of my accounts. I track my spending and then I double check all the balances on my accounts.

There are things you can do if you’re unhappy with what is happening to your accounts and cash flow. It helps me stay focus by taking small steps and trying to figure out what my goal is for the following week. I find I am slowly changing my mindset from I am “ok” to know precisely what I need to know about my finance and it feels good to see the progress that aligns with what I really want.

One of my favorite things about personal finance is that it’s personalized to you, so everyone’s numbers and decisions are going to look different. There is no judgment in that it’s just figuring out what makes you happiest what you’re okay with spending money on and then getting rid of everything else.

The things I spend money on I try to make sure those expenditures align with my values. The biggest question I ask myself and my final tip is before you make a purchase or pay off a bill, ask when or not it is worth your time to invest. After my basic needs are met, time is the most valuable resource.

I keep this question as a fundamental practice when making any decisions of spending. “Do I actually want to spend money on this item and it is worth my time to pay it off? “

I hope this makes some kind of sense to you. Again, I am new to understanding money, so if you have any advice, please share. I would love for all of us to pay down debt and live a more fruitful life in 2019.

Happy New Years!

#budget #debt #debtfreecommunity #finance #financialfreedom #help #livingsimple #minimalism #Money #moneyhacks #money savings #moneytips #personalfinance

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7 Tips to Tidy Mindfully and Create Space

As this year quickly becomes a memory, I thought I would share some tips that I adapted throughout 2018 as there was a need to keep my place organized. I live in a small studio apartment in Brooklyn, so my space is limited. Before I lived in New Jersey, I had a pretty good job and had a pretty modest sized apartment. I lived there for about two years when everything changed.

Now, I own a studio, a business and I am an independent contractor. I have had a lot of change in my life this year. I was pretty overwhelmed by everything. I tried so hard to stick to a schedule that I could not master. I knew I couldn’t learn it, but I did it anyway…this was a significant failure. I put to much pressure on myself to be this great person of success. So, I thought of a way to compartmentalize my life to keep things organize and to expel the right amount of energy for each part of my life. I call them capsules, but you can call them whatever works for you.

One capsule that I began to put together in 2018 was creating “a quick clean capsule” to help keep myself sane and focus. Today, I am going to share some tips and hacks I learned to keep my tidiness in check.

First, let me say I am not a clean person. I love clutter. I feel that my creativity comes out when I study the little mess in my corner. However, I do not live by myself, and it started to become a problem because I had almost no time to clean. The tiny little clutter space that I cherish quickly became unorganized and in multiple areas. Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to deal with it.

So, for 2019, I thought why not share these little hacks that have helped this messy person stay a little bit organized and tidy in the home. They generally help keep my life with a little less stress. Hopefully, you will find them useful and can start to use them in your daily routine.

Quick Ways to Stay Tidy

1. Taking Off Your Shoes
This hack has been in my life for quite some time, but I find it very important. Not only does it help to keep your floors a little cleaner but you are not attracting dirt and diseases from the outside.

A study led by researchers at the University of Houston has shown that 26.4% of shoes carry Clostridium difficile, while a 2015 study claimed that 40% of shoes carry Listeria monocytogenes, these are two things you do not want in your house or on your child’s hands. It’s best to keep the shoes in an area that doesn’t affect your home.

2. Clean As You Go – The One Minute Rule
Clean as you go when you are doing things around your home. It really can be applied to many things. For example, you are in the kitchen, and you’re cooking. You’ve got a bunch of ingredients and dishes out on your kitchen table. As you use the ingredients and dishes, try to put them away when you are finished using them. You may cut down your cleaning time and have more time to enjoy your meal.

Usually, when you are doing things as you go, it takes about a minute to a couple of minutes to get them done. An example if this is picking up a pile of paper to recycle when it’s been sitting there for a while. It doesn’t take much effort to move it to the bin. Mostly if a task takes you a minute or less then do it.

Doing these small tasks can help set the tone for the day. I find that it helps create a clean, organized environment. I am not thinking about it anymore, because it’s done. I find it frees up a whole bunch of mental space.

3. Have A Spot For Everything
To have a spot for everything means having a proper space to hold your items, whether its a basket, drawer or even a glass container. For me, this is a great way to keep my area tidy and organized. It also allows me to know where things are because I always keep them there.

For example, I always keep my dog supplies in the same specific drawer so that I never forget where the item is when I need it.

4.You Bring In an Item / You Take an Item Out
This tip means what it states, if you buy an item, you have to discard an item. I use this to be mindful of what I buy, which in turn helps me financially. If I don’t have an item in my home that I am willing to part with, then maybe I can wait or not get it.

It is also useful to practice because you become aware of what you are bringing into your space. You consciously know which things you can then get rid of or donate or sell or whatever it may be to make sure that you are not accumulating more things.

5. Setup a Cleaning Schedule
Have a specified cleaning day of the week. A schedule can vary by the person so you may want to clean your home once a week or you may choose to have a scheduled time or day to clean each room. It’s what fits your schedule.

Having a particular day where you know that it is your tidying day can help to keep you organized and on track. One thing I like to do during a tidy day is setting a timer. If I give myself 10 minutes to wash the floors, it gives me the incentivization to keep going. It pushes me to clean because I have a specific time and I know that I am not going to be doing
this for the next few hours.

6. Assess Your Stuff and Start a Donation Bag
Before you start to donate you need to assess your belongings and this often applies to anything. Regularly evaluating the things that you have by going through your living area once a week or once a month and seeing what you can throw out or donate.

If you have a donation bag or bin handy, it helps to keep you mindful of the stuff you assessed but also the things you may notice while you are going about your day. You may put on a pair of jeans that you don’t like anymore or a book you are finished reading. I find that if I don’t have a bag handy that I’m much more likely to shove it back in my closet or not deal with it.

Having a place to discard your items will encourage you to recycle rather than throwing it away or keeping it. What I like to do is schedule a day to drop everything off at GoodWill or maybe try to sell it. Either way, I am making use of the item until it is out of my hands and into someone else’s hands who can appreciate it.

7. Unsubscribe to Unwanted Emails
In my last blog, I wrote about cleaning out your inbox. I find this important to me because I get a lot of emails and most of it I don’t read or even care about the company or topic.

I am bombarded with emails all the time. In 2018 I start the habit to delete them or unsubscribe to emails that I don’t read. If there is an email that I want to get to I will keep it for a week and if I have not addressed it and seems not essential, in the trash can it goes. It does feel so good not to be overwhelmed by a messy inbox. I have nine email addresses, so this particular trick was a massive help in 2018.

It will take time to clean, especially if you have thousands of emails but take your time. You may find that it is such a relief to be organized and coherent to what your email account holds. Finally, it isn’t just freeing your mind but your electronic memory. Emails take up a lot of space on your computer or phone. You will be surprised at how much memory is recovered by deleting those emails.

So, these are the tips I learned in 2018. I hope they are helpful to you in 2019. I am still working on my tidy organizational skills, but I am a lot better than I was a year ago. I hope that you learned a thing or two.

If you currently follow any of these types of tips or if there are any of these tips that you want to implement in 2019, please share your comment. I would love to know what you do to help keep your space clean and tidy.

Some more article that may help you with your tidying journey:
Is it Healthier to Remove Your Shoes at Home? https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-healthier-to-remove-your-shoes-at-home-1491649200

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/

25 Housecleaning Tips to Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Year-Round https://www.mydomaine.com/house-cleaning-schedule/slide6

#howto #tidyup #organizationaltip #cleaninghacks #cleaninnngtip #LIFEHACKS