Do you want to pair down your belongings? Do you wish you owned less things? Do you feel overwhelmed & stressed with the overstimulation of clutter? Maybe you deserve a good old fashion decluttering session. Bonnie of Beautiful Minimal Millenial made a post about a 31 Day Decluttering Challenge for the month of October. And I was like, YES this is perfect for myself & my followers to do together. So who’s with me?
I figured with a new season approaching it’s a great time to let go of some things around your homes & lifestyle. I know I personally love to do this right before the major holidays because around Thanksgiving and Christmas, you tend to accumulate tons of gifts & other items.
Remove one thing from your life per day.
Keep a list of the things you decluttered in October.
Tag BMM on Instagram and use the hashtag #goodbye31
Suggested items to remove:
. Ditch clothing you no longer wear
. Cancel the plans that would usually make you feel drained.
. Eliminate an expectation that you thought you needed to keep.
. Delete a toxic person from your phone contacts or social media.
. Unsubscribe from emails that no longer serve you.
I for one, am excited for this challenge. I love an excuse to declutter. And no matter how often I do it, there is always more to tweak. And to be honest, after reading her suggestion list, I never considered lifestyle changes to be considered decluttering. Great! I’m ready! If you want to be rid of even more things, consider decluttering the amount of items depending on the date! Day 31 would be a challenge for sure!
Look out for an update post on November 1st to find out how I managed to accomplish this challenge & my thoughts on the benefits of it. Let me know if you will be joining in on the challenge too don’t forget to tag me & Bonnie on IG with the #goodbye31.
The journey began in 2017, after losing a family member to Cancer.
A few months after their passing, we were clearing out their home filled with 30 plus years of memories. Memorabilia stacked on shelves, papers & trinkets spilling out of drawers, photographs hung on every inch of the walls. Possessions of all kinds being sold, donated or even trashed. It got me thinking, “If you can’t leave with any of your physical items, what makes them so important? You see, in my eyes I find the moments you share & relationships you have with others are far more valuable than any form of materialism.
Ok, now I’m not saying because I devalue materialism that I live in an empty apartment, sleep on the floor and not own a damn thing. On the contrary, I i enjoy many of my possessions. Ive just simply learned to live with less & have downplayed their importance.
See, the idea of minimalism to me is not necessarily living with x amount of items, or painting your walls white, & only wearing neutral colors. It’s more so living intentionally. You see, it’s time to prioritize your life. The idea of stuff can easily consume your life to the point of no return. And it’s not just those physical items that can bog you down too. Look at every aspect of your life – the things you own, your career path, the people you’re spending time with…all of which are important. Why spend your life with unnecessary possessions, a career that’s not going anywhere, or people you can’t stand.
Simplify your life.
“Make room for things that matter by removing everything that doesn’t” – Brian Gardner
After being on this journey for a few years now, I can say living with less has given me more clarity & helped me focus on moments instead of things. I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I used to feel when items ruled my life. I used to be an avid therapy shopper. Instead of dealing with my emotions or certain obstacles, I would mend those feelings by purchasing new clothing or makeup products [I can expand on that a bit later]. Bottom line is, going on this “less is more” journey has made me feel so much happier in my life. I live in the moment more. I have better relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. I have an overall sense of gratitude for life.
It used to take a lot to make me happy. And what I mean by this is, I was drawn to over stimulation & activity. The bigger the event the better. And each activity in the future had to top the next. It was a vicious cycle of high expectations & the unappreciation of the mundane.
Back in March, when the whole world shutdown did I realize I still had this mentality. The thought of not going to restaurants & cooking from home was a nightmare to me. I found happiness in trying out different restaurants or having the quick satisfaction of fast food. And to me, it was a social gathering in my eyes. It’s a way to visit people. I’ve always prefered meeting people out than having home cooked meals at home. It seemed less boring.
But during quarantine, I had to suck it up & learn to enjoy home cooked meals. And it’s not that I never enjoyed cooking, it just seemed less exciting. Plus, sometimes I can be lazy. It’s funny when you are forced in a situation like quarantine, you learn to live with the circumstance or even like it. It’s like we are so afraid of change because we obviously don’t know what the latter would look like. Now, I look forward to our next meal at home & grocery shopping. Sometimes I even prefer it. Except when I’m craving Chick fil A. I will always be hungry for nuggets.
The same mentality went for social gatherings too. I’d much rather meet people out somewhere then sit in a house & drink. But during quarantine I missed all forms of social interaction. I’d take anything. Even a quick conversation with a stranger at the grocery store was enough for me. So, now I appreciate the simpler get togethers even more. I realized in a quieter setting, you have better conversation & in turn build closer friendships.
I realized simple was better.
Don’t get me wrong I still love the idea of big travels or going to fancy restaurants. But I appreciate those times more because I do it less. By not expecting those types of moments constantly, those memories become more special & less neutral.
I’ve become more fulfilled by both big events & the routines of life. My mom used to tell me, “your daily meals aren’t supposed to be parties in your mouth all the time”. And she’s right. It’s there to feed us & keep us nourished.
By focusing on the simple & being happy with boring, I am able to see life in a new light. I don’t want for much because I no longer have the urge to one up myself. I focus on goals that will help me BE a better person, instead of LOOKING LIKE a better person. Materialism won’t fix your personality.
And when I discovered this notion, I was done. I focus on building relationships & friendships. I ask how people are doing instead of telling them about myself. I take care of my body & try to be the healthiest person I can be. I work my ass off & thrive without having to brag about it. I no longer hide my emotions through things.
I’m catching up on a few blogger nominations today! Thank you Delicate & Brutal for nominating me for the Inspiring Blogger Award & thank you Soni’s Thoughts for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Let’s get started.
SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD:
1. What was your favorite childhood book?
Goodnight Moon. My mom would read this to me every night.
2. Who did you last have dinner with?
My boyfriend since we live together
3. What magazine did you like to read?
I used to collect Seventeen Magazine when I was a teenager. I haven’t purchased a magazine in years though.
4. Where do you buy your cup of coffee?
I hate coffee. I’m more of a tea person (I’m basic & will have to say Starbucks).
5. What do you think life will be like in 5 years?
Let’s hope we find a vaccine for this virus by then. In 5 years I’ll be 34 years old! AHHH! I hope to be married to Todd with at least one child & a golden retriever, living in a beautiful single family home with a nice yard.
6. Shower or bath?
7. How do you like your bread? whole wheat or white?
White. Even though it’s not the healthiest. When it comes to PB & J sandwiches, nothing beats white bread.
8. Which hotel is your favorite?
One year we went to NYC around Christmas time and stayed at the Lotte Palace Hotel. It is gorgeous & if you are a Gossip Girl fan, it was the home of Serena Vanderwooden.
9. Shop online or in store?
In store. I’m old school. I love seeing something in person or trying it on before I purchase it.
10. What is your favorite type of cuisine?
11. Which blog post in your blog do you like the most?
My favorite is still this one right here. I discuss the importance of not making your belongings define you as a person. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already & leave a commen
INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD
If you weren’t into blogging, what’s the one thing you would probably be doing instead?
Finding some creative hobby. Maybe painting? I’d want to write for a magazine or something of that sort.
2. What do you do when you feel unmotivated to write?
NAP. haha. or I watch a view videos, read or listen to podcasts to get some inspiration. I think stepping away, & letting yourself have a breather is helpful in writer’s block.
3. An inspiring quote you live by
“When you focus on the good, the good gets better.”
4. What is your favorite type of food?
Chick fil A nuggets
5. What inspiring message would you like to pass on to other people / bloggers?
Be true to yourself. It’s your life to live, no one else’s. Never get caught up in the battle of being better or just like someone just because they seem to have it all figured out. You don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. It’s important to always focus on your own goals & path & never feel like you are less than anyone else.
I’d like to change things up & nominate whoever comments on this post. Because I feel like everyone is an inspiration & deserves a bit of sunshine in their lives. So I welcome all bloggers to participate in either one of these tags / nominations.
Here I am doing a post I thought I’d never do. But in all seriousness, I still feel like a noob in the blogging world, so when people ask me for MY advice on blogging, I’m like BITCH WHAT? haha. When I look to advice I read posts from Olivia Blake or Pooja. I feel like I don’t deserve to make a post like this. You asked for it though & I’m here to serve. So here’s some advice from a beginner blogger.
If you are new to my page, Hi! Welcome to Mind.Beauty.Simplicity where we talk about all things minimalism, saving that coin & learning to live with less. I also dabble in other lifestyle topics such as makeup, fashion, home decor & apparently self help & advice. Hope you enjoy my perspective on things.
The reason I call myself a blogging noob is because I’ve only been in the game since the end of July. Granted I’ve had the idea in my head for years (but that’s another story). But in this short amount of time, I’ve definitely learned a lot. And I’m still learning to this day. So I want to make this post a discussion. Comment your blogging stories & your advice & let’s support our fellow bloggers. Let’s get started.
Find Your Niche:
What is it you want to write about & share with other people? What are YOU interested in? Figure out your initial direction of your blog. You can always tweak it & try other avenues later. But determining what you want to write about will help lead you to the audience you want & fuel your passion even more. And when you are figuring out the topics you want to cover, always listen to yourself & not what others think you should do. It’s your blog anyway. You are the writer, editor & business person to this platform so what you say goes.
Now, I’m no marketing guru. But I do know one thing. Whether it’s creating a unique name for your blog, making thumbnails for your posts or logos for your social media platforms, you MUST design it in a way that fits your personality & what you want to portray on your site. This allows people to spot you out of the crowd of other blogs & place an aesthetic to a face & name.
Take Advice With a Grain of Salt
I’m not talking about constructive criticism. This type of advice is helpful. I’m talking about when people give you topic suggestions or directions that are different from your purpose. Never feel obligated to write about a topic you were requested. If it doesn’t interest you, you shouldn’t waste your precious time writing it. It’s so easy to get in the habits of pleasing your entire audience. And you never will. So write what you want to write about & the loyal audience will keep coming back.
Gain Traffic Through Multiple Platforms
I started off merely focusing on WordPress & other pages. After about a month, I realized I needed to expand to other social media if I wanted to reach a bigger audience. So, I joined Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest to share my writing. I also post some on LinkedIn & Facebook occasionally. My main focus is Instagram though as I love adding visual effects to my blog posts. I also add my challenges like 31 Days of Declutter on my highlighted stories. Pinterest is something I am still figuring out. And Twitter is so useful as you can tweet numerous times a day with hashtags such as #writerslift & #selfpromo(day of the week).
Network With Other Bloggers & Brands
Blogging is a two way street. If you want other people to read your stuff, you have to read to their stuff too. Supporting other bloggers & engaging in genuine conversation is the reason I have the following I do. You want to have a circle of bloggers who have your back, can give you advice & cheer you on. And you should do the same. I love shouting out different bloggers & their pages. I want them to gain the recognition they deserve.
Don’t Spam Comment
In the beginning of my blogging journey, I was guilty of this. I thought the only way to get people to read my page was to link my posts on numerous comments. It wasn’t until I read some blogging advice posts when I got really embarrassed & realized what I was doing was annoying. Now, I don’t see harm in linking your information in comments if you do it in the right way. If you genuinely read someone’s post & comment something nice & relevant, you can easily end your comment with your links. But never force people to click your links. That won’t really work for the long haul.
Guest Post & Collaborate:
I did this early in the game & it honestly really helped me become one with this community quickly. I think it’s a great way to support multiple writers & expand your audience. Choose people with the same interests as you as well. This will help you build solid networking relationships. My favorite collaboration so far has been 3 M’s For An Intentional Life [Collab with TheGrowthStory]. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a read & follow TheGrowthStory.
Never try to be like anyone else. There’s a difference between inspiration & completely copying someone. I think the reason I am successful (& I say that loosely because defining success is arbitrary) is for my authenticity & realness. On Instagram for instance, I may create a theme to my page or post highlights of my life, but I’m never afraid to share the reality of my life as well. The same goes with my writing. I’ve learned being somewhat personable or vulnerable in a post actually helps readers relate to you more. The key is to be yourself. Followers will eventually see through the fakeness.
Don’t Worry About Follower Count:
These milestones are accomplishments for sure & setting goals are important. But never base your talent & self worth on number of followers. It can be easy to get down on yourself about this, but I’ve learned if you stay true to yourself, the following will come. You just can’t let it rule your life.
I don’t care if it’s once a week, once a month or once every hour (ok…maybe not the last one) but having a schedule to my blogs has created structure for myself. I personally post MWF but at any point I need to cutback, I will. It all depends on my stress levels & my other obligations. When you have schedule, your audience will learn when to look forward to your posts. I hate when I read a blog post & they haven’t written anything new for 6 months. It’s like, “hellooo I love your work, I need more from you!”
Have Fun With It
The sole reason I created this blog was for my own entertainment. Everything else is just bonus. I needed a creative outlet for myself & love writing THAT much. And for those who don’t think blogging is a job…BOY ARE YOU WRONG. There is so much work that goes into a single post. It’s the aftermath of posting that really is the kicker. SEO I still don’t understand you! But never get yourself so stressed out over the blogging world. Keep working hard, be creative & be patient.
I hope what I shared here was helpful to you. In the comments, share your blogging story & a few tips you’d like to share.