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How to Clear Space for the New Year

The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the feeling of knowing a new leaf is turning, new opportunities are on their way. It also gives me a place to begin a new chapter and to clear out what’s lingering from the past year. 

Physically

  1. Go through stuff at the house.

    1. Donate things that do not serve purpose in your life anymore. I have been collecting boxes of things to go to Goodwill and to sell all year, it’s time to get them out of the house! Take some down time to go through things in your home. Ask yourself, “is it going to bring value to your New Year?” If the answer is yes, then put it away in an organized place; if no, then add it to the donate pile.
    2. Go through clothes and accessories. I like to do this a few times a year but this is a great time to really power through your clothes and accessories. What image do you want to project in the New Year? Does this piece fit that image? Check out Power Tips for an Awesome Closet Clean Out for more tips and ideas.
    3. Go through paperwork and files. I am notorious for collecting information and being a bit old school, I tend to print out everything and take lots of notes so I end up with lots of piles and files full of paperwork. (I’m working on this – Evernote is a great resource for keeping digital notebooks instead of lots of paperfiles). Sit down and go through all your paperwork, what is dire to keep? What can be put into digital form? Take what you decide to keep and organize into a binder or notebook and tuck safely on an organized shelf.
    4. Clean out car. Grab a trash bag and clean out the water bottles that have piled up. Clean out the console that’s been collecting gadgets and stuff. Give your car a good wipe down and hit a car wash so it’s shiny and clean for the New Year!
    5. Go through make-up and beauty products. Check expiration dates, a good rule of thumb for make-up is that if it’s over three months old, it’s time to toss it. Clean your make-up brushes to remove any dirt and bacteria and toss the colors you’ve never used (you can donate if it’s never been opened). Go through your hair products too – what are using, what have you not touched in six months? 
  2. Clean out digital.

    1. Clean out inbox. Go through all the emails you’ve been hanging onto – either complete the task or more the email into a folder for reference later. Unsubscribe to the emails that aren’t serving purpose or the places you don’t shop. I have found unroll.me very helpful in managing my emails. Check out How to Keep Control of Your Inbox for more tips.
    2. Go through social media accounts. Go through your accounts, who are you following just to follow? Clear out Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to only include people and accounts that are bringing your valuable information, information and inspiration that fits your goals and your path. Unfollow negativity.
    3. Clean out computer files. Clean out duplicates of photos, delete documents that are no longer relevant. Organize documents into proper files. 

Mentally

  1. Lingering thoughts and emotions.

    1. Journaling. Take some time to yourself and write it all out. What are you still holding onto from the past year? Journaling has proven to help us work through lingering emotions and feelings so that we can work through the process of letting them go. 
    2. Meditation. I find that adding some deep meditation sessions to my schedule at the end of the year is a good way for me to work through the experiences left on my mind from the year. It helps me separate the lessons learned from emotions of the experiences.
  2. Set goals and intentions for the New Year.

    1. Goal Planning. What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Separate your goals into categories – personal growth & development, tasks, business goals,etc. I start with a full list and then I will work them into categories and build steps to reach those goals. Break your goals into monthly goals and set deadlines to reach them. This helps you build a solid plan to reach those goals.
    2. Setting up my Planner and Calendars. My favorite part of the New Year! Use some of the breakthrough work you completed in your goal planning to build your planner and calendars for the new years. What adventures and experiences do you want to set on your calendar? What habits and routines do you need to build into your planner to help you reach your goals? I’m looking at the Commit30 Planner or The Desire Map Planner for this upcoming year. 

Every year we get another opportunity to work towards building the life we dream of and become more of who we want to be! Set yourself up for a successful New Year by clearing the space you need to grow into everything you dream of! Check out these other great resources for your New Year’s Planning:

Tidying Up for a New Year

New Year Planning & Making Goals – Planners, Notebooks, and Accessories to Set Up Your Planner

5 Top Goals to Get Focused on Self-Improvement

 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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My Minimalism Challenges: Getting Started & Making Progress

Minimalism is a way of life that I look up to. I love the freedom that comes with the simpler lifestyle but changing my lifestyle comes with a set of challenges. I’ve been working towards minimalism going on almost a year now and maybe I tried to take on too much change at one time. Learning not to expect too much from myself at one time has been a process. I have to recognize where I am in my life right now, my current environment and make adequate steps into the right direction, not expect it to all happen at one time. 

I’ve decided to start with three challenges:

Challenge #1 – Clothes.

When I was young, I dreamed of being a fashion designer and of owning a clothing store, I love clothes. I prefer not to wear the same outfit twice…this department is a toughie for me but I’m working on it! I go through my clothes at the beginning of every season now and focus on thinning out each time and only purchasing items that are classics or that I’m in love with. This past weekend, I bit the grit and posted items that I haven’t worn or rarely wear onto Poshmark (want to sell your own stuff – visit Poshmark to sign up and use referral code @gingergoose – I made $100 this weekend!). So here’s my thought process – some of the clothes I listed are still hanging in my closet – like the J Crew jean jacket I had to have two years ago and still have yet to wear – if they sell then they’re gone, if I wear it and decide to keep it then I pull it down from Poshmark. This helps push me into a ‘let it go’ thought process. 

 Challenge #2 – Building minimalist thought patterns and slowing down to focus on one thing at a time.

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of minimalist thinking folks around me so the influence is limited for me. It is up to me to change my thought patterns to see the world from a less materialistic point of view. I spent much of my life with the ideas that paying more for convenience was the daily norm and that having a gadget for all your needs was the way to go but I yearn for a simpler life. I find that I think and function better in a less cluttered space. I have the passion and desire to live a ‘less stuff’ lifestyle but I find myself challenged in how to go about it. I challenge myself to become more educated about the beliefs and the practices of minimalism. I challenge myself to listen to Podcasts weekly. I also challenge myself to sit and watch The Minimalist documentary without multitasking.

Challenge #3 – Focus on adding more experiences and less stuff to my life.

It has become a habit to spend money every day. I want to break this habit. The next couple of months I want to focus on highlighting experiences and less on stuff. I want to go to an event without coming home with souvenirs and learn to choose to take a walk instead of buying something online…habit change.

Physical Goals for the Month:

  1. De-clutter one area per week.
  2. Dispose of or donate at least five items that I don’t use per week.
  3. Listen to at least one minimalism podcast or read one minimalism article/post per week.

 

Thinking about minimalism for yourself? This is a great post to get started: What is Minimalism?

 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate or referral links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.
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Power Tips For An Awesome Closet Clean Out

 

So as I journey towards Minimalism, I find myself in a constant battle over my wardrobe. I love clothes and style, after all I had a focus in Fashion Design & Merchandising for part of my schooling. Moving to a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (even though I do think they are a wonderful idea!) is just not something that is a realistic goal for me right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t slender my wardrobe down. Each season, I make time for a good closet clean-out and overhaul.

Minimalism isn’t about only owning the less stuff you possibly can, it’s about only holding onto things that bring joy and value to your life so some thoughts to keep in mind when you’re going through your clothes (really think hard into these questions too!):

1.) Does it fit well?

2.) Do I feel confident and fabulous in it? Does it add value to my day?

3.) Have I worn it or do I see myself wearing it in the near future (in season – within the next month; out of season – within the next 3-6 months depending on the piece of clothing)?

The Tedious Process of the Closet Clean-Out (but oh so necessary!!!):

1.) Take everything out of your closet.

2.) Hang back up the things you wear routinely or absolutely love and can’t live without.

*Organize by either type of clothing (i.e. work, play, going out wear) or by color.

3.) Start three piles:

First Pile – Donate

Second Pile – Try On/Keep if fits well

Third Pile – Sell

And a trash bag

4.) Start going through everything. Go through each piece of clothing and separate into each  pile, tossing anything that is mega worn, has holes or tears and doesn’t have any life left in it.

5.) Try on the clothes that are in that pile. Hang up what you have decided to keep. Quick Tip: Put your out-of season clothes in the back of your closet and then switch out when the season changes. The clothes you’ve decided not to keep, split up in the other piles accordingly (donate/sell).

6.) Pack up clothes for donation. After they’re all packed up, put them by the door or in the car so that you take them next time you go out. The key is to getting them out of the house as soon as possible so they don’t end up sneaking back into your closet! One of my favorite places to donate is Soles4Souls – they even hooked up with Zappos now and you can get free shipping labels to send your stuff in. They take both clothes and shoes!

7.) Take out the trash bag! 

8.) Prepare/Pack up clothes to sell. There are tons of places to sell your clothes nowadays. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ebay – The process to set up a listing on Ebay has become much easier than it used to be. The downside is that I’ve found I don’t sell my items for very much money here but it’s a great place to get items sold quickly.

Swap.com – I am loving this site! I pack up my stuff and ship it in and they take care of the rest – photos, listing on their site, pricing and shipping to the buyer. This is a newer site for me so I’m still waiting to see how I profit out of it but I really love the ease of it. You have three options to ship your clothes to them – Print a prepaid label and ship in your own box (which is a decent size box, up to 17 x 17 x 20 and up to 50 lbs.), request a label to be mailed to you, or request a shipping bag with prepaid label. They take the shipping cost out of your profits so there’s no upfront cost. I also like that they will take all seasons of clothing (of course, it may not sell as well if it’s out of season but still so nice to have the option to be able to ship it all out at once!) and they take women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing.

Poshmark – This is an app based site so you’ll have to download the app to your phone but it’s pretty simple to use. You can take pictures of your clothing within the app which makes it a pretty seamless process. Poshmark is more of a social selling platform in which members follow your “closet” and share your listings to their followers. I’ve been a Poshmark member for few years and I’ve made some sales here and there. Be ready to reply to comments and questions on your items, I’ve found it’s definitely more a conversational sale. They also have the opportunity for members to make an offer on your items and you can bargain back and forth for the sale a little bit.

Brick & Mortar Consignment Shops – These can be nice because they’re local but I find them to be more time consuming. Typically you’ll bring your items in for review, wait while they review them, and then they will review what they are going to take and what they will be pricing at them with you. You’ll have to head back to pick up any unsold items and they usually mail you a check for your commission. If you go this route, I recommend trying to find a shop that will offer you cash on the spot for the items they accept – it saves you some trips!

Yeah, I know the big, awesome closet clean-out can be a good day’s work but that aahhh feeling you have afterwards is so worth it and it pays off in the long run. Keeping a clean, organized closet helps relieve stress in the morning when you’re getting ready, helps ensure you have clothes that make you feel your best each day, and saves you money by keeping you up to date on what you already have (so you don’t end up with duplicates) and keeping basics on key for each season.

Get rid of the closet clutter! 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page.

How to Tidy Up for a New Year

Christmas has come and is now on it’s way out…our thoughts turn to entering the New Year, the big 2017. Seen by many as a fresh start, a new chapter beginning. I find myself evaluating where I am in life and where I want to go in the upcoming year, what I need to do to get there, and of thoughts of kicking off with a fresh, new start. I start looking for ways to get things in order for the New Year.

I reached out to my pal Ilka for some tips on preparing for the New Year. She spoke of all the things we accumulate in a year’s time. Though we may not intend to, with our busy everyday lives things get stacked, pushed to the back, and collected. I take a moment just to look around and even though I am one that tries to do a clean-out each month, I can see the stacks of “go-through” stuff still sitting, the box of make-up I’ve been meaning to purge, and knick-knacks and books that have made their way into already filled shelves, so I’m off with Ilka’s tips in hand to do a quick New Year’s tidy-up this week…making room for my Christmas Gifts and new adventures and memories in the upcoming year. 

Here is Ilka’s end-of-the-year tidy up task list for getting ready for the New Year! 

Decluttering At The End Of The Year:

I like my home to be neat and clutter free. But over a year even my house piles up some stuff I actually don’t need in my life or things that are nearly used up. So for a fresh start in a new year, I like to use up and sort out all the thing I don’t need any more and begin the new year with a bare surface.

In these blog post, I share with you, my top tips and categories to declutter for the new year.

Beauty and skin- care

As we all know, beauty and skin-care products are most times only durable for a year or two. So we should have a good sort out and use up every once in awhile. I personally like to check my bathroom staples twice a year. The first time is at the beginning of summer and the second time is just at the end of the year. I make sure nothing broke, dirty or unloved stays with me any longer.

I also use the time to stock up my inventory. Toothpaste, body butter, shower gel etc.

Home

My home is quite minimalistic but over a year I collect a few thing which are not meant to be in my home. For example, stacks of magazines, cloth (that either are not in season anymore or which I don’t like any longer), or bits and bobs around the house.

I also have a look in my kitchen cabinets and use up stockings, which otherwise will go bad soon or sort out goods nobody eats.

Online

Oh yes. A huge part! At the end of every year, I go through my laptop and phone and file images, documents and everything else. I also ‘tidy up’ my social media:

Sometimes I delete a few images or Tweets

Adjust new bio texts and update my profile pictures

I clear the wall on my personal facebook account (I like it to be tidy)

And this year, for the first time, I will also declutter my WordPress. Yes! There are a few posts I really not enjoy and my media center is full of pictures I never used in blog posts. So I’ll clear it out.

Life

And by life, I mean my calendar. I love planning. This year, for the first time ever, I tried to function without an actual agenda and just use the calendar on my phone and laptop. Let me tell you, it did not work for me. I need to write things down, like actually write them down, with a pencil, on paper. Haha.

So at the end of every year, I buy a planner and start to map out my year. Some things I know for sure (like birthdays, anniversary’s, holiday’s … ).

Much love, Ilka x

All About Ilka:

She is a 25-year-old with an obsession for all things related to home and self-care. On her blog, http://ilkaeliseb.com/, she also publishes articles respective to her interests in style and design. IEB is kind of a lifestyle magazine for the everyday girl. Please be sure to check her out, her blog is beautiful and incredibly inspiring! 

Follow Ilka:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ilkaeliseb/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ilkaeliseb

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ilkaeliseb/

Pinterest – https://de.pinterest.com/IlkaEliseB/

2017 is going to be a magical year, I can just feel it!