Simplify 2016: Travel

standard May 13, 2016 Leave a response

Simplify 2016 is a new, monthly series designed to provide practical tips for how to live joyfully and fully in a busy world. Missed the last edition? Check it out here

Simplify

Packing for any trip can be an endeavor. Packing for weeks of various activities, climates, and occasions can be even more daunting. But there is a simple formula I stick to, whether an overnight trip to hill country or a month-long overseas adventure.

  1. Lay out everything you think you need. And get rid of half. Yes, half. I promise you won’t need it all.
  2. Make sure every item can be pared with at least two other items. You don’t want to fill your suitcase with something that only goes with one specific item or will only be worn once.
  3. Pick a color palette. This will make step #2 WAY easier.
  4. Limit your bags to one small carry-on suitcase and one tote bag. if it doesn’t fit, don’t take it. (This will also help with steps #1 and #2).
  5. Wear as many layers as you can on the plane. Especially the bulkier items. I always wear a sweater or wrap, scarf, and jacket. This gives you a little more space in your bag. And also because planes are cold.

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Any other helpful packing or travel tips to simplify the process and enjoy the trip?

Simplify 2016: Kitchen

standard April 15, 2016 Leave a response

Simplify 2016 is a new, monthly series designed to provide practical tips for how to live joyfully and fully in a busy world. Missed the first edition? Check it out here

Simplify

This month’s Simplified focus is my favorite place in the house: the kitchen! I am all for fancy kitchen gadgets, pretty linens, decorative bakeware. But even if you love cooking and baking, like I do, you really don’t need 3 sets of muffin tins, two dozen dish towels, or 8 spatulas. Here are some tips from my recent kitchen overhaul.

  1. If it has only one function, get rid of it. My rule is anything I have in my kitchen must have multiple ways I can use it. A dishtowel can not only dry dishes but can also line a breadbasket or work as an oven mitt. A blender can make smoothies, sauces, soups, juice (a main reason why I don’t own a juicer!) An ice cream bowl can be a prep bowl, condiment dish for parties, or a candy dish. If you can’t find at least a second function for it, let it go.
  2. Organize things by how you use them. Glasses and stemware go by the fridge, cooking utensils by the oven, silverware near dishes. Make things easily accessible. Also, keep like things together. Put baking utensils in the drawer by the baking pans. Keep cookware and oven mitts by the stove with the cooking utensils. And that random cabinet or drawer that is in a weird spot (such as above the fridge)? If you don’t need it, leave it empty. It’s freeing. I promise.
  3. Collect things that are pretty. Don’t just go for the functional tools. Splurge on the fancy muffin tin, use the special occasion dishes. If you’re going to only have one of something, you might as well love it. And you might as well use it. Don’t let it collect dust waiting for a special occasion.

Happy Simplifying!

Got a spring cleaning itch? I’d love to hear how you’re simplifying your kitchens!

Simplify 2016: Wardrobe

standard March 18, 2016 Leave a response

Simplify 2016 is a new, monthly series designed to provide practical tips for how to live joyfully and fully in a busy world. First up, let’s tackle our closets. 

Simplify

New year. New month. New season of Project 333. I last talked about my experiences with a capsule wardrobe back in 2014 when I first started. I’ve been doing one every season since, but I did eventually change my starting dates. Texas weather just doesn’t fit with standard seasons, so wardrobe planning can really not make sense in some months. I now set my seasons beginning in March, June, September, and December.

Here are some of my tips for getting started and sticking with a capsule wardrobe:

  1. Designate time when you feel your best. If you’re going to be going through and sorting and trying things on, make sure you are ready to accurately critique your closet’s contents.
  2. If you’re not sure about something, it’s okay to hold on to it. I put maybe items I am not ready to part with in my 33, and if I don’t love how I feel when I wear it, out it goes. A new item may replace it, but usually I just end up with less than 33 pieces.
  3. Don’t get hung up by the number. If you end up with 21 or 34 or even 40 items, it’s okay. As you wear through things, you will figure out your style, your go-to items that you gravitate towards over and over. And yes, some things will still go unused, even with just 33 items. Go ahead and take those out at the end of the season and find them a new home.
  4. Build a wardrobe of your favorite things. If it only goes with one other item, if you bought it because you thought you should have it, if you just don’t feel your best when you wear it, get rid of it. Why spend the whole day wearing something that doesn’t make you feel like a rockstar? We work best and act as our best selves when we are confident and feel good about our bodies and our appearance. So set yourself up for success in the morning. It will be worth it.
  5. It’s okay to keep shopping, but ask yourself, Do I love this more that what is already in my 33 items? Anything that comes in should replace what goes out. So make sure it sparks joy. 

Happy Simplifying!

Just getting started with a capsule wardrobe? Check out Project 333 and Unfancy for more tips and resources.