Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bible Journaling Kit Unboxing (October)

I'm so excited for the October kit! It looks so adorable and very me! Let's get unboxing!

Monday, September 26, 2016

What do Minimalists spend their money on?

One of the key ideas of minimalism is consuming less. When you buy less, you have less and, logically, less money is going out the door. So what do minimalists spend their money on if not on stuff?

1.  Saving, Paying off Debt and Investing

The average American is carrying a pile of consumer debt on top of student loans, mortgages and car loans. Instead of buying new stuff, you can use your money to pay for things you've already bought! In fact, financial downsizing leads quite a few people to minimalism when they realize how much money they waste on junk every year!

If you've got debt under control, there's always building an emergency fund and saving for retirement.

2. Experiences

Many minimalists love to travel and spend money on other experiences. Even if you can't pack up your belongings in a back pack and travel Europe (though that would be lovely!), you can put your extra funds towards travel and experiences.

I'm a fan of experiences as gifts too if you are thinking ahead to a minimalist Christmas. Why not do a fun activity with a loved one or take the family away for a weekend instead of trying to find gizmos and gadgets for everyone on Black Friday? Those memories you'll make are priceless and, bonus, take up no space.

3. Higher Quality Items

When you buy less, you can afford to purchase better. Personally, I only buy jeans from one company and purses from another. I know that I can count on their quality and design. I'd rather have one nice purse from my preferred brand that will last for years than a whole pile of crappy purses that will need to be tossed at the end of the season.

You might also want to upgrade other areas of your life like eating healthier or picking up a new hobby.

4. Having a Better Work Life Balance

Instead of spending that extra money, some minimalists choose to downsize their income to fit their new set of needs. I've seen people start their own businesses, volunteer, be able to take a part time job or quit a job they hate because they no longer need the extra income. Even though this leap may seem like going the wrong direction, these have traded money for more time, more freedom, more passion and more rewarding opportunities.

Even if you don't leave your job, minimalism can give you the boldness to set better work life boundaries because more money for more stuff is no longer the end goal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Open Letter to Vintage

This post was inspired by Courtney of Be More with Less. She did a decluttering challenge on her Facebook page over the summer and one of the day's tasks was to write a breakup letter to your stuff. I decided to write my breakup letter to a certain category of stuff that has been a huge part of my life but now I'm ready to let it go.

Dear Vintage,

Thank you for being such a huge part of my life over the last six years. You have helped me to grow so much. You made me fee beautiful, helped me find friends and become more out going. You helped me learn new things and challenged me to do things I never thought I could do.

But it is time to let go. You have become a costume and an obligation instead of a joy. You make me feel young, immature and out of place. I have grown out of you. You are still beautiful and I may use you from time to time but it is time to remove you from my everyday life. It is time to let go.

I'm trading you in for more time, more energy and more comfort. I want the freedom of owning less, making less and consuming less. I want to be more approachable and more authentic. I need the freedom to move on to other things that I am more interested in.

My house is not a museum. You are not my responsibility. I am letting you go.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Will Konmari make you a Minimalist?

Isn’t that a question! Well, before I can even attempt to answer it, I want to set out what I mean by “Konmari” and “minimalist”.

Konmari is a Japanese decluttering method created by Mari Kondo and outlined in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Possessions are subdivided into categories. For each category of items, you round up all of those items from around your home and pile them in one massive pile on the floor. Then you touch each item and ask if it “sparks joy”. If so, keep it. If not, it goes. Once you’ve worked your way through each category, you’ll have touch each object in your home and then you can organize what’s left.

I’ve been through the decluttering process once and am currently working through it again and I can say from personal experience that you will jettison a lot of stuff during this process! It truly is life changing!!

What a minimalist is a bit harder to tie down. Typically, you think of bare white walls and a mostly empty home. Konmari will not turn you into this kind of minimalist unless almost nothing in your home sparks joy. A more general definition would be a person who strives to live with a minimal amount of things. (The exact amount of items will depend on the person and their life.)
Using this definition, Konmari will not make you a minimalist. Sparking joy and having a minimal amount of items aren’t mutually exclusive but also don’t go hand in hand. For most of us, many, many items will spark joy so we’ll end up with a decluttered home full of things we love after Konmari rather than with a minimalist home.

My personal favorite definition of a minimalist, however, is a person who is intentional about the things in their life. This resonates with the Konmari ideas of keeping only what sparks joy (intention in choosing objects) and by the end of the process, you will have gone through each item in your home and they will now “intentionally” be there. Where Konmari fails this definition of a minimalist is that there is no mention of changing the inflow of items to the home only increasing the outflow. Also, most minimalists would agree that sparking joy is not a good enough bench mark for whether an item stays or goes.

In my own experience with Konmari, I found that while I had hit my spark joy click point, I still felt like I had too much stuff! That’s one of the reasons I decided to do Konmari again. Minimalism really changes your relationship with things and goes beyond the bounds of Konmari decluttering. It’s really on a whole different level.

So, the real answer is no, Konmari will not make you a minimalist.

Having said that, I do recommend the Konmari process. It is a great way to declutter your home-wannabe minimalist or not. If you are looking to start a minimalism journey, it’s a perfect jumping off point. While there are plenty of other decluttering methods out there, Konmari really shines is in going by category rather than room so you really have to face how much of each type of item you really do own, in the idea of spark joy as a requirement (why do we keep so much stuff we don’t even like??) and in the organization of categories from easiest to hardest so you don’t get bogged down with the hard stuff at the beginning.

If you are looking for a well-organized, rapid process for decluttering your home, Konmari is for you. If you are seeking a minimalist life, you’ll have to continue to dig a bit deeper to find your “enough” below all the stuff that “sparks joy”.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Project Pan 2016: Update #1

I know that I just announced my project pan for 2016 a few weeks ago but being the type a person that I am, I wanted to get my updates on some kind of regular schedule and posting them at the beginning/end of the month seemed to be a good place to do it. If you missed my intro video (which was actually my Konmari round 2 of makeup as well), I'll recap here. I genuinely like all of the products that I currently have and don't want to pitch any more. The problem is that I also want to get some new products but I don't want to grow my makeup stash that much. The solution: pan some stuff!

I decided to pan a few things that I wanted to replace with new products. I'm hoping to use some of them up completely and hit pan on a few others. The products are as follows: Benefit POREfessional deluxe sample, Garnier BB Cream, Red Apple Lipstick in Coral Crush and the Tarte Be Matte-nificent palette. This is my first panning challenge so I didn't want to overload myself. If I finish any of the full sized products, I'll probably throw something else in.

Let's see how I did!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit Unboxing (September)

I'm so excited to unbox September's Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit! Yay! The past few months have featured very fine artsy artists but this month is very simple and graphic. One of the things that I love about these kits is that they challenge me to try different styles or color combinations that I wouldn't normally try. It's so fun!

Speaking of fun, I really enjoyed working through the I am Strong devotional from August. I decided to journal in the devotional booklet and then carry that idea into my bible or praise book the next day if I felt really inspired. My bible is getting really full and that allowed me to create outside of my bible and also to spend more time thinking about each devotional.

Ok, on to the pretties!

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