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Wellness

A Case for Simplifying Slowly

Be More With Less - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 05:00

It took me years to declutter and downsize, pay off debt and start saving and giving, and even longer to leave my job and grow a business doing work I truly love. There were other things I did to live a healthier, simpler life, but none of them happened overnight. My transformation was an inch by inch, month by month, one at a time, year after year of consistent, slow change.

My progress was slow but each change inspired the next. The best thing about my slow pace is that it was low stress. And, since eliminating stress was my focus, it seemed silly to do it any other way. Why make myself sick and exhausted making changes at an unsustainable pace trying to be healthier and happier?

We’ve all tried the fast and furious, strive for immediate gratification kind of habit change and it never works. We always end up trying to make the same change over and over again. Or, we give up on the change all together even though the change was never the problem. It was our approach to change.

A case for simplifying slowly

Ironically, it took me a really long time to figure out that simplifying slowly works faster than simplifying fast. I will always choose slow and steady over fast and furious because:

  • Simplifying slowly sticks.
  • Simplifying slowly lowers stress.
  • Simplifying slowly allows time to learn and grow.
  • Simplifying slowly actually works.
A Simple Year

I created the year-long program, A Simple Year based on the way I changed my life. One change at a time, slow and steady, with lots of love and fun along the way. After five years of working with thousands of people from around the world, 2019 will be the last year of this guided simplicity program. To celebrate the last year, I’ve decided to make it the best year ever with new contributors and topics, monthly sessions with me, a bonus module on busyness to help you slow down even more to help you navigate these 12 months of simplicity and more surprises throughout the year.

If you are curious about what topics we are covering, who our wonderful contributors are or what it will look like to simplify your life for a whole year with your own support team, head over to simpleyear.co.  Watch a video and read about what’s included, what current members have to say about the program and check out our FAQ section. Everything you need to consider the program is there and here are a few things that may be of interest …

  • We offer a 30-day refund policy.
  • If you sign up before November 13th, the registration is discounted by $100.
  • At the end of the year, you’ll get lifetime access to the course material.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns, we are happy to chat with you and help.

Early registration will be open thru November 13th. You don’t need this program to take a slow and steady approach to simplifying your life, but if you are interested in 12-months of guided simplicity with a supportive, motivational team consisting of me, 14 contributors, a dedicated customer service team and a community of like-hearted people simplifying their lives too, learn more here.

The post A Case for Simplifying Slowly appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

How to Declutter Your Life (the very best place to start)

Be More With Less - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:23

The most popular question about decluttering or simplifying is, “What’s the best way to start?” The next most popular question is, “How long will it take?” These are the questions we want answers to about everything we do, especially when starting something new. What’s the best way to …

  • declutter my life?
  • clean out my closet?
  • pay off my debt?
  • quit my job?
  • travel lightly?
  • feel healthier?

And what do we want to know right after that … How long will it take?

One thing I’ve noticed though, both getting asked these questions and asking them one million times myself is we don’t really want to know how to or how long, we want to know how to get through this with the least amount of pain and struggle as possible. I get it. There is enough pain and struggle out there. We should be able to declutter a junk drawer, pay off our debt, and find a good place to donate our stuff without completely depleting ourselves. And there is a way. So many ways. Some will work for you, and some will not work for you. Not even a little bit.

The best way is the way that works best for you. Because we each learn differently, approach change in our own way and have unique methods to our madness, we have to find what works best for us when it comes to finding the best way to start anything. Following are ten ways to declutter your life. One may sound like the best way for you. If so, start there. One of them may sound like almost the best way. If so, adjust it and start there. They might all sound horrible. If they do, read this.

Ten Ways to Declutter Your Life (find your best way)

1. Create a minimalist sanctuary or a slow space.
Choose a corner in your home, a countertop in the kitchen or the table beside your bed (if you have one). Clear the clutter from that one small area and only keep things that make you calm and happy in that space. That might mean you include a candle, or a book or nothing at all. Perhaps the space itself makes you calm and happy. Use the space you create as inspiration and momentum for the next slow space.

2. Declutter your morning. 
When you become more intentional about how you start your day, things begin to shift on the inside and the outside. You’ll feel less scattered and more focused all day long when you give yourself time first. Here’s how to start a morning routine. It’s a good first step in decluttering your life.

3. Discard the duplicates. 
Why not make the start of decluttering your life something super simple and easy? Grab a box and fill it with duplicate items that you don’t need or use. Measuring cups, coffee cups, picture frames, vases, decorative items, extra clothing and other things that don’t really serve a purpose but you have “just in case.” If you are up to it, donate the box immediately. If not, hide the box for 60 days. If you can’t remember what’s in the box and you don’t miss the stuff, let it go.

4. Try a decluttering burst. 
Let go of 100 things in an hour with this fun challenge.

5. Unplug. 
Information isn’t bad, but too much becomes clutter instead of the inspiration, education, or entertainment it’s meant to be. Instead, the constant stream of information just turns into noise. Delete apps from your phone that you only use to fill space and time and give your life room for boredom, curiosity and quiet. Declare certain areas of your home and life off-limits when it comes to consuming information like your car, bedroom, or another space that deserves to be distraction free.

Once you limit the amount of information and streamline when and where it’s coming from, schedule blocks of information-free time. A few hours a day, and a full day a week to unplug gives your mind a chance to recover and reset.

6. Write a break-up letter to your stuff. 
You can’t write this letter wrong, but if you’d like some guidelines, this is what I recommend.

7. Delay.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to an impulse purchase. Delay your next purchase for 30 days and see if you are still as passionate about the purchase as you were initially. Stop the inflow.

8. Take a victory lap.
My friend Sarah has a beautiful strategy for letting go of meaningful items. She says …

“Like everyone else in the world, there are many, many things in my home that I’m struggling to part with because they’re steeped in sentimental value. My grandmother’s vintage dresses, my mom’s fondue pot, the scarf I bought while teaching English in Brazil – all these things are filled in meaning, but that’s about it. My grandma’s dresses are too cinched and fitted for my 2015 style sensibilities, the fondue pot is too thin to be of much use, and that scarf doesn’t match anything.

After much thought, I created a process I call the ‘victory lap.’ I give each item one last intentional, loving use. I wear my grandmother’s dress to Thanksgiving dinner and my aunts ooh and ahh over it. I ask my mom for her favorite cheese fondue recipe and then I invite friends over for a party in honor of melted cheese. I take my scarf on a tour of the art museum and out into the crisp fall air.

Then I mentally thank that item for the role it played in my life, remind myself that an object is not a relationship and tuck it lovingly into the ever-present Goodwill donation bag in my front closet. It’s a bit woo-woo, but I find it’s a sweet way to honor the people who gave me these things while also honoring my own desire for a simpler, more pared-down life.”

9. Take me to your closet.
I’m ready when you are, so grab your computer, phone or whatever device you happen to be reading this article on, and take me to your closet.

10. Ask for help. 
Sometimes, we are so attached to our stuff that it’s hard to know when to hold on and when to let go. Ask a friend or family member to help you. Let this person vote “yes” or “no” on clothing, decorative pieces, and other items. Even better, swap services, and agree to go to your friend’s home next to reciprocate. Bring snacks and good music.

I don’t know which way will be best for you and the only way to find out is to be open and curious and get started. Even if you don’t pick the very best way at first, you’ll make progress and you will learn something about yourself. You’ll know when you’ve found the best way because you’ll make progress with less struggle, and more ease, less pain, and more relief.

And to answer your second question, I don’t know how long it will take either. It might take days or months or years, but it will be worth it.

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).⠀

The post How to Declutter Your Life (the very best place to start) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Permission to Enjoy Goodness and Beauty Anytime You Want

Be More With Less - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 13:07

Today, I just wanted to get some flowers into your day.

Sometimes we need a break to simply look at something beautiful and remember that beauty and goodness is always happening.

Sometimes we need a reminder to pause and notice beauty and goodness, especially when we are caught up in our own busyness, suffering, drama, or the latest news cycle.

Sometimes we just need to share good, easy things with each other even when (or especially when) we don’t feel well mentally or physically. Maybe today we don’t need another recommendation on how to feel better or tips to declutter the kitchen. Today, we may only need something good and easy.

Sometimes we need permission to enjoy the good stuff even if other things in our lives or the world are stressful, hard, scary or otherwise crappy. Things can be stressful AND joyful, hard AND heart-warming, scary AND funny, crappy AND cozy. We get to enjoy the good in the midst of the not so good. We get to enjoy the good stuff anytime we want.

If you need a break, or a reminder, something good and easy, or permission to enjoy goodness and beauty anytime you want, here are some flowers for you.

P.S. I share pretty pictures on Instagram from my hikes in Utah, sunsets from my balcony, and from hanging out with my favorite Doodle. If you need more goodness in your social feeds, follow me here

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).⠀

The post Permission to Enjoy Goodness and Beauty Anytime You Want appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Dress with Less for a Life of More (of the good stuff) with Project 333

Be More With Less - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 14:05

When you hear about Minimalist Fashion Challenge Project 333, the first thing you might think about is what you are giving up. Dressing with 33 items or less might sound daunting. Maybe you think, “Why would give up my clothes, jewelry, accessories and shoes?” or “Why would I give up shopping?” or “Why would I give up all of the options my closet has to offer each morning?”

Here’s why. You want to try Project 333 because …
  • other things matter more to you
  • you are tired of making decisions
  • you want time to enjoy your coffee in the morning
  • you want to spend less money
  • you want to understand what enough means
  • you are curious about what you might learn about yourself
  • you can’t resist a good challenge (after all, it’s only three months)
  • you want more out of your closet and your life

And … any or all of those things outweigh your other fears or concerns. If that’s true, and this resonates with you, and you do want more of the good stuff like time, space, money, freedom, creativity and confidence, I’d like to invite you to join me for three months of dressing with less.

Learn more about the challenge rules (what counts and what doesn’t) by reading more about it here or by watching this video (note: the video is a little choppy in the beginning but improves quickly):

Other helpful Project 333 resources:

I’m writing a book about Project 333 that will be available in 2020 and I need your help. Tell me about your experience in dressing with less. If you are participating in the next season for the first time, or returning for another season, please answer a few questions on this survey.

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).⠀

The post Dress with Less for a Life of More (of the good stuff) with Project 333 appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

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