Making Over My Mornings

Making Over My Mornings - click over to join the challenge

I want to start this post by saying I am not a morning person.  I like to sleep in and always have, just ask my mom!

What I do like, though, is having some me time before my kiddos wake up.  When my kiddos wake me up I feel behind all. day. long.  I feel like I can’t ever catch up and I hate to say it, that makes me cranky!  In the words of Kat Lee, I want to wake up FOR my kids, not TO my kids.

Developing a simple life is more than just decluttering my physical possessions.  It’s about decluttering my time as well.  It’s about looking at the things on my to-do list and deciding if there are things I can remove and cut back on.  On the flip side, it’s also about adding things to my day that do bring joy and happiness.  And that is where I think a morning routine comes into play.

Making Over My Mornings

I have decided that I am going to take matters into my own hands and try to improve (or lets be real, develop) my morning routine.  One of the tools I am using to do this is Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings ecourse.  In all honesty I purchased this course when it came out, ahem, in 2015.  I did go through a couple of lessons, but I didn’t make it very far, unfortunately.  At the time I had a kiddo who didn’t sleep that well so I needed the extra sleep in the mornings!

Of course there are always exceptions, but I feel like I am at a place where I can start getting up before my kiddos, even if it’s only 15 minutes to sip on coffee, jot down my “frogs” for the day and read a chapter from a good book.

I plan to take the next couple of weeks to go through the course and every few days I will share how I am applying the lessons in my own life.  I am hoping the accountability will be the push I need to develop a morning routine that sticks!

Making over my mornings - click over to join me on this challenge

Would you like to join me on this journey?

I definitely don’t want to add more to an already packed to do list, but research shows when you develop a habit the new activity eventually becomes part of your routine.  In other words, the new activity becomes almost autopilot.  In my mind if I don’t have to think about doing something my life is already simpler.

You can read some honest reviews of the course here, here and here.  You can also try the first day for FREE here (scroll all the way to the bottom) or jump right in and sign up for the course here.

The course is 14 days long with a short video, written lesson and project for each day.  It’s all designed to be completed in about 15 minutes per day.  I think that is doable!

Click the banner below for more details and to sign up to join me!

I am also working on putting together a list of articles, books and videos to help you make over your mornings and develop that optimal morning routine.  I hope to share that soon!

Do you have a morning routine?

What works for you?  What doesn’t work?  Share in the comments below!

Click below for the other posts in the series

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.


Quotes to Inspire Simple Living

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

I love scrolling through Pinterest or Facebook and coming across a beautiful quote image. If I am looking for inspiration I will often take a look at my Pinterest Board for simple living quotes that I have pinned!

I also like to look at the pretty handwriting and scenic backgrounds that people use.  I am trying to teach myself how to hand letter, but for now there are plenty of pretty fonts that I can use.

Today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes on living a simpler life. You are welcome to share on your own social media channels or print and hang on your fridge. 😃

I just hope that they inspire you to start making little changes to live a simpler life today.

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

Click over to see the inspirational quotes to live a simple life. Feel free to share on your social media!

For even more inspiration follow my Simple Living Quotes board on Pinterest!

How about you?

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you to live a simpler life?  Share in the comments below!

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Category: Simplify


How the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Can Help You Live a Simpler Life

Click over to learn about how the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2017 can help you live a simpler life

*the links in this post are affiliate links. 

I definitely don’t want to get all salesy here.  That’s not why I started this blog.

I started this blog to share my family’s journey to living a simpler life.  I like to share things like before and after pictures of rooms we have decluttered as well as tools like books and e-courses that I have found helpful along the way.

So, with that being said, I am going to share about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (UHB), but only from the perspective of living a simpler life.

I am going to just jump right in!  The whole bundle is $29.97 – 2 summits, 21 eCourses, 51 eBooks, 1 membership site, 2 videos, 2 audios, 14 printables, and 13 workbooks.

The bundle covers a TON of topics, including creativity, finances, recipes, organization, motherhood, and more.  This post will only cover a few of the resources that I believe will help you to live a more simple life.  I strongly encourage you to check out the site to review all the products before you make a decision to purchase your own bundle.

This year the bundle offers several tools I am excited to use myself and a few that I already purchased separately on my own.  Most of these items were wants, not necessarily needs.  So when the bundle grouped them all together at a great price I am more willing to invest the money to further my education.

6 tools in the bundle I am excited about

Cozy Minimalist Decorating Class by Myquillyn Smith ($39.00)

I am excited about this e-course because I am terrible at decorating.  I had previously completed the Cozy Minimalist Mom ecourse and I adore the instructor.  She is very down to earth and makes you feel like you’re listening to a friend!  I am hoping to take away quite a few lessons on creating a cozy home without a ton of decorations.

31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses: Less Stress, More Savings by Kalyn Brooke ($7.39)

I purchased this ebook on my own when it was on sale on Amazon.  It has a ton of simple ideas on saving money and cutting costs.  I think by living a simpler life you will realize some of these on your own.  But the ebook does include a few outside the box ideas that will help if you are trying to get out of debt.

Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking. Discover New Habits. Free Your Home. by Joshua Becker ($5.99)

I had been wanting to read this short ebook for a while now.  I have two young kiddos so I am always trying to learn how to best handle simple living with them.  They are kids so with that comes toys, clothes, and games, right?  Maybe not! I am excited to dig into this ebook.

Minimize the Mess: A Mother’s Guide to Simplifying the Home by Rachel Kratz ($2.99)

This is another short ebook that talks about how to simplify your life.  The main topics include the benefits of minimalism, why we hold on to things, how to actually purge, and then how to sustain a clutter-free lifestyle.

Adore Your Wardrobe 14-Day “From Frustrating to Functional” Closet Makeover  by Kelly Snyder ($69.00)

This e-course looks very interesting to me!  After I decluttered so many clothes I thought I was left with the items I loved the most.  But I still find myself frustrated with my clothes!  If she can get me to functional I’d be happy. 🙂

30 Days to a Simpler Life eCourse by Brian Gardner ($15.00)

I purchased this e-course about a year ago and went through it myself.  I highly recommend this one! You receive one email per day for 30 days.  Each email covers one topic and has actions to take if you wish and further reading.  There is also a Facebook group where you can share your experience with the material.  This is a winner for me.

To learn more about these products and the rest of the bundle click the button below.  The rest of the post goes into more detail on the steps to purchase.

The nitty gritty

Besides being so incredibly helpful, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering it for a short time only, they’re able to give you access to over $1980 worth of amazing products for a whopping 97% off!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click the “Get my copy now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus offers.
  3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the topic you want to tackle first and start your stress-less homemaking journey!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just six days! After Monday night, May 1st, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

Learn more or get your bundle HERE.


Clutter-Free Ideas for Your Kid’s Easter Basket

Easter is just around the corner and if you are anything like me you don’t have a single thing for your kid’s Easter basket yet! In the past I would have just gone to the store and picked up anything that caught my eye. Think cheap Easter bunny trinkets, lots of candy and toys that my kiddos just didn’t need.

Clutter free Easter basket

Now that we are trying to simplify our home by decluttering the items that are not useful or beautiful, I don’t want to fill it back up with those trinkets and toys that I used to buy last minute.

On top of the physical clutter, my kiddo turns into a different (read: more hyper) version of himself after consuming too much sugar. I am sure I’m not the only one in this boat!

So this year I have decided to take a different approach to our Easter baskets. While I do want the items to be useful and beautiful, I don’t want to spend a lot. So the items I am offering here are useful and beautiful to our family and also won’t break the bank.

Of course your list of useful and beautiful items might be different, but hopefully this gives you some ideas to think outside the traditional Easter basket.

*some of the links in this post are affiliate links. 

Consumables


Bubbles – This is a great gift for the spring time when kiddos (and parents) want to get outside!


Sidewalk Chalk – This is another great gift that gets used up *FAST* around our home.  My kiddo loves to have us trace his whole body all over the sidewalk.  And who doesn’t love playing hopscotch??


Coloring books, crayons, stickers – Are we the only ones that go through tons of crayons?  I feel like we always need crayons because we either leave them places or they break.

Things they need anyways

Shoes/Sandals – my son’s birthday is in the spring so by this time he usually needs a new pair of tennis shoes and the sandals from last year most likely don’t fit anymore either.  This is a good time to gift something that I would buy him anyways!

Underpants/socks – need I say more?

Pajamas – same thing as the shoes, by this time of the year my son needs bigger pajamas and a lighter weight style that is more appropriate for the summer.


Water bottles – I like to have a couple water bottles for my son.  He actually really likes to drink water and I think having his own water bottles helps!

Books about Easter or spring

I use the same books every year. I will put them away at the end of the season and pull them back out at Easter. The kids forget about the books and it’s a fun tradition to read them again. And bonus you only have to spend money once! Here are some of our faves.

Activity gifts

Puzzles or games – my son loves puzzles and games.  I try to rotate our collection to keep things fresh.

Gardening stuff – think shovels, buckets, gloves, and seeds. This could be fun all summer to watch the plants grow.

Favorite non-candy snacks

Animal crackers, fruit snacks, juice box – it’s  fun to have some of my son’s favorite snacks that are not necessarily candy.

clutter free easter basket

What about you? Do you make Easter baskets for your kids? What do you normally put in them?


Before and After: Decluttering Media Collection

Before and After Media Collection

When I first started learning about simple living and decluttering my home I loved to read stories from people who were at the same place as me. It made me feel more confident that I could do this too.

I would often pore over the archives of more established bloggers to read about the start of their journey. These stories resonated with me during the early stages of my own simplicity journey.

I want to share some of my own before and after photos of our decluttering progress. Not to toot my own horn, but to share some of our ups and downs and be real about the effort it takes to simplify our home.

First up is media, including books, magazines and movies/DVDs/VHSs. This is an area that can quickly get out of hand if you are a reader or have old DVDs and VHS tapes around your home. But it’s also fairly quick to declutter and once you are done you have a great decluttering win under your belt. This strengthens your decluttering muscle to be able to tackle more difficult areas like sentimental items later on.

Before and after media collection

Before: we had books all over the place!

I came across a quote by William Morris that is my new mantra for simplifying my home:

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” 

I used this phrase and asked myself these two questions as I decluttered our media collection:

  • Is the item useful?
  • Is the item beautiful?

Books

I walked around my house and found all the places books tend to live. I was surprised at how many places we keep books! Once the books are decluttered maybe my next goal will be to simplify where we store books. 😃

I did not touch my husband’s work book since these would fall under the category of “useful.”  I trust he will pass the book on if it’s no longer useful for him.

The rest of the books were pulled into one area and I went through each book asking the above two questions. I was able to fill up THREE grocery bags full of books that I have had forever and either have read or will not read in the next 6-12 months. If I end up wanting to read one of the books I am donating then I can either go to the library or borrow from a friend.

I did notice that some of the books I decluttered were classics that I do want to read someday, but the version I had was extremely small print and difficult for me to read. I think I would do better with a kindle version or a hardback version from the library!

Examples of books I consider useful: textbooks, cook books I cook from, books I plan to read this year.

Examples of books I consider beautiful: coffee table books with beautiful pictures, books I made on Shutterfly, books we read over and over.

Your list will be different but hopefully this helps get you started!

For more help on the steps to declutter see this post.

before and after media collection - magazines

Magazines

We do a pretty good job at keeping magazine clutter to a minimum. A few years ago this would have been a different story but I have spent time getting our magazine collection to a manageable amount.

These are some of the things that have helped us:

  • Cancel any subscriptions we don’t currently want and/or don’t currently read.
  • Do not have a magazine rack in our home. I once had 2 years worth of Real Simple Magazines sitting in the rack collecting dust!
  • Take pictures of pages I want to refer back to and store digitally in Evernote. 99 times out of 100 I will not refer to the note, but just knowing that I can access the page later makes me feel better about recycling the magazine.
  • Only keep the current month’s issue around. If I didn’t read last month’s issue then I really consider canceling the subscription.
  • Highlights Magazine – this can easily get out of control since kids don’t have a grasp of timing and when the next issue will come. So it’s up to me to make sure my kiddo is reading the magazines and getting value out of them.

During this decluttering session I did get rid of a small stack of magazines that had accumulated.  Not bad!

before and after media collection

After: 3 bags full of decluttered books

Movies

We don’t have any DVD’s or VHS’s sitting on shelves or in cupboards. We have embraced the digital trend in watching movies via online tools like Netflix and Amazon. This has really cut down on the clutter from this category! We do have a box in the basement with a few old CDs and DVDs that we want to keep for now.

For those of you that DO have and use DVDs or CDs, answer the above two questions while going through your collection. For any movies or music that you want to keep consider digitizing them so they don’t take up any physical space.

To minimize CD’s you can import the songs into iTunes and the music will be available for you to listen to from your mobile device.  For more help on how to do this see this post from Apple support.

For DVD’s I learned about a couple of tools from the free e-course from Simplify Days.  She goes through several different topics on digitizing your life, including how to digitize your DVD collection.  There is a paid tool (iSkySoft iMedia Converter Deluxe) that will make an exact copy of your DVD.  There is also a free online tool (HandBreak) that allows you to make a compressed version of the DVD to be used on your mobile device.  I have not used either of these tools but Barbara from Simplify Days highly recommends using them to minimize DVD clutter.

What to do with decluttered media

Here are a few examples of places to take your media that no longer serve you:

  • Books – library, nursing home, schools if children’s books, online
  • Magazines – recycle, some libraries, use for crafts
  • Movies – library, goodwill, nursing homes

What about you?

Have you decluttered your media collection? What worked for you? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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Category: Declutter