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Be Clutter Free: Clear out the clutter inside and out

Be More With Less - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 11:59

I remember going through my kitchen drawers and cabinets, pulling out appliances and thinking, “but what if I need that (rice cooker/dehydrator/coffee grinder) someday?” even though I had only used it once or twice years ago. I felt a little silly when I remembered how much I thought I really needed that item.

Letting go of shoes that gave me blisters and made me walk funny was paralyzing because I had paid so much for them. I felt the shame of spending money I didn’t have to buy shoes I didn’t wear. I felt that shame each time I tried to wear the shoes, and every month when the credit card bills rolled in.

When I finally went through my sentimental items including years of memory boxes, report cards from elementary school, concert ticket stubs, love letters, my daughter’s first bathing suit and countless photographs I felt guilty for not honoring those memories. Why were they stuck in boxes in the garage?

It’s usually not until we begin to clear clutter that we realize how connected to it we are. We don’t understand how much power our stuff has over us until we let it go.

I felt silliness, shame, or guilt around my clutter before I let it go, but the stuff itself distracted me from connecting the dots. I didn’t understand that I felt bad on the inside because of the stuff on the outside. If I felt too bad, I’d just buy more stuff to feel better. And then I’d hold on again … with my time, attention, money and emotions. When I finally let go of the stuff, I felt the feelings attached one last time and then let them go too. Now I have more space on the outside and the inside.

When people ask me where to start simplifying, I usually say, “Start anywhere, you can’t start in the wrong place” but if I had to pick a place to start, I’d recommend starting with the stuff. Declutter your home. Create space for how you want to live. Francine Jay, Author of The Joy of Less says, “Your home is living space not storage space.”

In A Simple Year, the year-long course beginning January 2nd we start with clutter too. It’s how we make space to look at the other topics because we aren’t just making space on the outside, but the inside too. Simplicity author, Brooke McAlary teaches us how to clear clutter in the first module. She offers room-by-room checklists and downloadable labels too for the boxes you’ll be filling as you clear clutter from your home and your heart.

Many members continue to work on their clutter throughout the year, but they create a solid foundation in that first month to look at each topic with more clarity. From there we move on to simplifying busyness, digital clutter, cooking, travel, mindfulness, money, self-care, relationships, eating, gifts, and gratitude. With 12 months of guided simplicity, you can decide how best to invest your time.

Someone recently asked for feedback on this Facebook Post from current Simple Year members to see if they thought the course was worth the investment. I blocked their names here, but this is what they had to say:

Live Q & A Webinar:

If you aren’t sure if this course is right for you, join me November 2nd for a Q & A webinar and program overview. This won’t be a high-pressure sales-y webinar where I try to convince you to join the course (because that’s yucky). Instead, I’ll tell you what to expect, answer any questions you have and let you decide if this is right for you. If you can’t make the live show, feel free to comment here or respond via email and I’ll answer your questions and send you the recording. Please sign up for the webinar here to attend and/or to receive a recording.

The post Be Clutter Free: Clear out the clutter inside and out appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Streamline Wardrobe Decisions with these 3 Simple Shifts

Be More With Less - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 05:00

Think about all the time and energy we spend deciding what to wear. We spend time in the morning (or the night before) deciding on what’s best for the day, often sifting through item by item thinking about what fits well or not, and what looks good or not. We may think about how we spent too much on some things, and never wear others. We spend our mental energy during the day wondering if we chose the right clothes, comparing to what others are wearing or worrying about what other people think about what we are wearing.

And sometimes we think about our wardrobe when we get emails with special offers, or noticing trend alerts while flipping through a magazine or scrolling through social media. It’s different for each of us, but other triggers to think about our clothes include changing seasons, moods, and upcoming events.

Whatever our different triggers and thoughts are, I’m sure we can all agree that we spend too much time thinking about what we wear.

Streamline wardrobe decisions with these 3 simple shifts

1. Dress with less.
Limit your decision-making with fewer choices. Store or donate items that don’t fit your body or your lifestyle and only choose from your favorites each day. If you need help with closet chaos, try finally cleaning out your closet for good.

2. Create uniforms.
Eliminate decisions by creating uniforms. For instance, wear the same outfit when you travel. Choose one or two looks for date night, community meetings or other repeat events and occasions. For example, I wear a t-shirt, leggings, sweater and scarf when I travel and I wore the same black dress to every formal event for years saving a bunch of time, money and energy.

3. Shift your focus.
Notice your thoughts around what you wear. Shift your focus when you think any of the following:

  • I have nothing to wear.
  • I’m bored with my wardrobe.
  • I deserve something new.
  • Everyone will notice I’m wearing this again.

Instead remind yourself that you have enough and that you have more important things to focus on, Remember that shopping for new clothes won’t cure boredom (curiosity does that), that you deserve way more than something new to wear AND no one cares what you wearing.

These 3 shifts will help you streamline wardrobe decisions so you can devote your time and attention to what really matters to you.

P.S. A few quick reminders …

I’m planning a Soulful Simplicity book tour for Jan/Feb 2018. If you live in any of the following cities, please vote for your city in this 3 question survey.

Join A Simple Year, 12 months of guided simplicity to streamline all areas of your life.

Hope to see you this Wednesday, October 11th in Des Moines, IA or November 16 in Boise, ID for the Tiny Wardrobe Tour. Tickets here.

The post Streamline Wardrobe Decisions with these 3 Simple Shifts appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

ALS Registry 6th Anniversary

CDC Features - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:00
Be counted. Help scientists learn more about ALS.

Simplicity One Day at a Time (for change that sticks)

Be More With Less - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:00

I didn’t simplify my life overnight. My transformation from overworked, under-inspired, sick and tired to debt-free, clutter-free, low stress, healthy and happy wasn’t quick, sexy or glamorous. There were days I wanted to toss everything in a dumpster, quit my job and run away from stress, debt, clutter, and the messy stuff but I didn’t.

Instead, I turned things around one slow change at a time. Some changes took a few days and others took years. With each change, I felt a little lighter and more motivated to keep going. Consistency was more important than intensity. Instead of overnight or fast and furious, my simplicity has happened inch-by-inch, thing-by-thing, dollar-by-dollar, one day at a time.

The benefits of simplicity one day at a time …

While not sexy or glamorous, there are benefits to simplicity one day at a time. Because the change has time to become a habit, it lasts. Here are a few other benefits:

Less stress
I started simplifying in response to a devastating diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. When I found out stress exacerbates MS symptoms, I realized how stress negatively impacts other physical, mental, and emotional health conditions too. From a simple headache to something more serious like an anxiety disorder, stress makes things worse. Making change to reduce stress in a way that caused more stress to me and my family didn’t make sense. A slower, more thoughtful approach took longer but felt better. Gentle change isn’t stressful.

More flexibility
When we try to change things quickly, we don’t allow for how things may unfold in life. Slower change leaves room for more flexibility, with less focus on the final outcome and more joy along the way. We can shift as we learn more about ourselves and the changes we are making when we take our time.

Less regret
Fast and furious change doesn’t give us a chance to fully appreciate why we want to change in the first place. We often slide back to our old ways when we approach change with a lack of purpose. Instead of being curious about how to approach things differently, it’s easier to beat ourselves up and regret our failed attempt to change.

With a more deliberate approach and a meaningful reason to change, we can continually remind ourselves why we are dedicated to something new and different even when things get tough.

More joy
Simplifying shouldn’t cause fear of suffering and sacrifice. I’m not interested in comparing or competing for the life I want to live. The changes we make should add joy, love, and happiness to our lives. It’s up to us to approach change in a way that encourages joy, love and happiness. We don’t have to wait until we change and fix everything to enjoy the goodness. Finding ways to appreciate the good stuff now will ensure even more positive change in the future.

Simple Year 2018 – 12 months of guided simplicity

If you are ready for slow, steady and supported change, consider A Simple Year. For the 5th year, A Simple Year returns inviting you to join in for 12 months of guided simplicity with our wise and thoughtful contributors. They’ve been through what they are teaching each month. They walk the walk. They’ve made mistakes, slipped and started over. They’ve learned what works and how to approach change and they are excited to share what they know with you. What I love most about our contributors is they care. They truly care about their work and your journey.

You can find a full description of the 2018 monthly contributors and topics at, but here’s a quick glimpse of what to expect.

Each month we’ll cover a single topic so you can focus on one change at a time. The content will include written articles, audio and video recordings and live Q & A webinars. Topics include clutter, busyness, digital, cooking, travel, mindfulness, money, self-care, relationships, cooking, gifts and gratitude.

Because we know that a year may only be the beginning of the big, beautiful changes you want to make, you’ll have life-time access to the course. At the end of the year we’ll send you a PDF with all of the lessons and recordings so you can revisit topics and dig deeper when the time is right for you.

A Simple Year + Soulful Simplicity

During the early registration period (today – Nov. 14), if you pre-order my new book, Soulful Simplicity, you’ll get $20 off of your Simple Year membership.

Here’s how to get your discount code:

1. Pre-order the book.

2. Forward your book receipt to

3. You’ll automatically receive the discount code for $20 off via email (may take up to an hour). Enter that code when ordering Simple Year 2018 and receive $20 off your purchase.

For more information check out

The post Simplicity One Day at a Time (for change that sticks) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Soulful Simplicity: a book from my heart to yours

Be More With Less - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:35

I’ve imagined writing about this for months. While I’ve dropped hints that the book was coming, this is the first major announcement that my new book, Soulful Simplicity is ready for you. It’s not “in your mailbox” ready, but the writing and editing are complete and it’s available for pre-order right now!

The book will be shipped on December 26th and because that may seem like a long time to wait, I’ve created a few things that will help you in the meantime. Pick and choose what works best for you.

A. Weekly Facebook Live: Today kicks off a weekly Facebook Live Series I’ll be offering to chat about how we can move through the rest of the year with more love and intention. Join me on the Be More with Less Facebook page on 9/26 at 6pm Eastern (NYC Time) and 10/3 at 6pm Eastern. Recordings will remain on the Facebook page if you can’t make the live sessions.

B. Simplicity Challenge: Every day on Facebook, I’m offering short simplicity challenges. You can accomplish these tasks in less than 30 minutes, and usually in less than 10. Join the fun here, or you can find a list of the challenges on the new Daily Simplicity Challenge Page.

The next 4 bonuses are available when you pre-order the book. You can find them all right here.

C. Soulful Space: 10 Ways to create more space in your home and your heart (+ a bonus meditation practice). This is a PDF you can download and read right away.

D. Simply Said: This digital quote kit will remind you to keep things simple. Find screen savers for all of your devices to inspire your soulful simplicity.

E. Virtual Book Club. Because I believe in experiences over stuff, I’ll be offering a virtual book club for you and your friends. When you order 5 books (1 for you plus gifts for 4 friends), you’ll get an invitation to the 3-series virtual book club plus gift tags with invitations for your friends.

F. $20 Coupon to apply towards A Simple Year 2018 (early registration opens October 3rd). Here’s how to get your coupon:

1. Forward your book receipt to 2. You’ll automatically receive the coupon code for $20 off via email (may take up to an hour) 3. Simply enter that code when ordering Simple Year 2018 and receive $20 off your purchase.

More about the book …

In Soulful Simplicity I share bits and pieces of my life I’ve never shared on the blog along with recommendations to create your own soulful simplicity. The book is divided into 4 sections, Making Me, Making Space, Making Time, and Making Love. At the end of each section, there’s a chapter called, “Put Your Hands on Your Heart.” It’s an invitation to listen to what your heart wants. I’ll guide you through my heart practice and offer a bunch of different ways to put each section of the book into action in your life.

Soulful Simplicity will give you practical tips and inspire you to give yourself all the space, time, and love to remember who you are.

If this sounds good to you, and you’d like to dig in to some of the goodies mentioned above right now, please visit the book page to get started.

The post Soulful Simplicity: a book from my heart to yours appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

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