Simplicity Challenge Week 3 Recap

I’m a little behind on this goal of mine but I wanted to finish it out strong! Here’s a recap of the challenges from week 3! If you’re just catching up, here’s my recap from week 1 and week 2!

Pull out all the formal dresses in your closet that you’ll never wear again and donate to charity.
I did this last year before we moved — one of them went to my cousin and the others were donated.

Clean out your medicine cabinet. Trash anything expired. Restock essentials.
I feel like this is one area that is so easy to get out of control since we don’t use these items often and are therefore just dumped in a basket on a shelf in the linen closet. As part of this challenge, I sorted through everything, tossed anything we don’t use, and then divided items up by category (wellness, sickness, and first aid) into a container that has three drawers.

Quit something today. Just say no.
I could write a whole post on this alone — I recently had a conversation with my friend Gina all about this topic and how we are quitting a few behaviors, obligations, and expectations for 2019 in pursuit of happier, healthier lives.

Write out three simple dinners you can make with the ingredients already in your pantry.
As I mentioned before, we don’t purchase or consume many pantry items, but we almost always have ingredients for homemade stir fry, egg sandwiches, and salads in our fridge.

Detox your social media feeds. Follow inspirational accounts. Unfollow anyone draining.
I completed this earlier this year — click here for the full post!

Clean off your desk and wipe it down. Ditch clutter. Keep only the essentials including your computer.
We have an office off our main level, but I recently moved upstairs to the loft since it’s easier to keep an eye on baby! My desk pretty much only has my planner and laptop on it these days.

Clear the clutter on your computer. Delete unused files and organize important ones. Empty the trash.
This always feels so good once it is taken care of! I’d love to stay on top of this during this upcoming year — it’s so easy for it to get out of hand, especially as a graphic designer! Andy also helped me to set up a folder on Dropbox to organize all of my photos this year, too!

What’s one thing that you need to say “no” to?
What are three of your go-to dinners?

Simplicity Challenge Week 2 Recap

Today I’m recapping week 2 of the Simplicity Challenge! Click here for my recap of week 1!

Start the habit of throwing a small load of laundry in every morning.
We used to do laundry once per week since we shared the laundry room in our rental with the girl that lived below us. It was awful — laundry days (Sundays) always took up the whole day and I felt like we had to stay close to home so that we could constantly be flipping our loads all day. Plus, I’m super particular about my clothes and hang up most of my shirts and pants so it takes even longer. Ever since we moved into our new house this past summer, I’ve been doing a load of laundry probably every other day and it has made such a difference! It’s far less overwhelming to wash, dry or hang, fold, and put away one load per day verses 4-5 loads.

Set a recurring alarm for every weekday. If you’re letting your kids wake you, set it for one hour earlier.
Ha! My kid will most likely be waking me every morning (and all throughout the night) for at least the next three months. I’ll solidify a better schedule once he has a better eat / sleep schedule down and for when I go back to work in the spring.

Go put gas in your car today. While you’re there, clean out your car. Throw trash away.
I did a clean-out of my vehicle because we recently met with a local officer for a car seat installation safety check. I tend to keep my vehicle fairly tidy — however, it’s a little trickier in the winter months because they put so much salt and sand down on the streets and sidewalks. I typically detail my vehicle each spring once all the snow is gone and then once again in the fall before winter sets in. I’ve found that keeping my vehicle and our home as tidy as possible instills a more peaceful mindset for my days so I try to abide by this as much as possible.

Buy a few birthday cards. Keep them on hand for birthdays that pop up that you’re not prepared for.
I skipped this challenge because I prefer to give cards that are catered towards that specific person as opposed to a generic one. A lot of times I’ll even skip giving a card and instead just get them a little extra something in their birthday gift.

Put your number on the Do Not Call list. Visit donotcall.gov or call 1.888.382.1222.
Skipped this one as well because I don’t really receive sales calls.

Do something with all those precious photos and videos on your phone. Print. Back up. Store.
Everything has been backed up on two different hard drives to be extra safe! Once little dude arrives, I plan to place an order of mini prints from this site so that I can start adding them to his baby book!

Dump out your purse. Throw away trash. Create a little bag of essentials. Make your bag work for you.
I don’t really use a purse these days — I have a tote bag that I use whenever I’m going to be out and about for the day, a backpack for commuting to work (way easier to carry my lunch, planner, laptop, etc.), and now I’ll be using my new diaper bag! Whenever Andy and I go out, I always use this little zippered clutch (mine is leopard print but this one is similar!) that he gave me for Christmas last year — it’s the perfect size for my phone, a lip color, and my cards.

What type of bag do you carry?
How often do you fill up your vehicle with gas?
It’s probably once every two weeks for me!

Simplicity Challenge Week 1 Recap

As mentioned in my January 2019 Goals post, I’m participating in the Simplicity Challenge this year! I’ll be recapping the challenge one week at a time as a way to not only document my progress, but also to hold me accountable!

Below are the challenges from the past seven days!

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Walk through your home with a trash bag or five. Be ruthless. Papers. Receipts. Tags. Empty Bottles. Go.
Andy and I are fairly tidy people and don’t really have a lot of junk laying around. I emptied our bathroom and kitchen garbages on this day, cleaned the master bathroom, wiped down the bedroom mirror and fan, and laundered our down comforter.

Clean out your fridge. Check expiration dates and throw things away.
This felt SO good to take everything out and wipe down all of the shelves and drawers — it’s crazy how messy / sticky fridges get. I also took the liberty of reorganizing the freezer since it is chock-full of items right now because I prepped a ton of chili, soup, waffles, and spaghetti squash to use as quick meals once baby arrives. I’ve also been on a major smoothie and stir fry kick so there were a lot of bags of frozen fruits and veggies to sort through in there as well.

Put two things that make you happy on your bedside table. You should also have a lamp and a clock.
We lean towards more of a very clean / minimalist decorating aesthetic in our home and didn’t really have much on either of our nightstands. I have a little decorative tray that I set my glasses on each night along with one of these since I can’t go to sleep without applying it! I use my phone as my alarm clock and keep a clock on our master bathroom counter instead of on my nightstand.

However, I’m thinking of making the switch this year to charge my phone in our bathroom and instead having a simple clock on my nightstand. I’d really like to avoid checking my phone when I’m up for middle of the night feedings since it messes with your sleep cycles.

Simplify your phone. Delete old contacts and unused apps. Refresh your lock screen.
This was another one of those tasks that felt SO good! I also cleared off ALL of the old photos so my phone has plenty of space to take pictures of a little newborn! Here’s a post that covers the apps on my phone in more detail if you’re interested!

Restock anything that needs restocking in your bathroom.
We keep all of our bathroom items in our hall linen closet, but I recently stocked up on a few items during our last trip to Costco. Items we always have on hand include q-tips, cotton balls, toilet paper, epsom salts, nail polish removed, shampoo + body wash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. I also just added a new pack of razors to my grocery order for this week since I was running low on those as well.

I used to be really good about keeping extra makeup on hand, but these days I am finding it so enjoyable to switch things up every now and then. In the dead of winter, it’s always fun to pop into Ulta and ask the girls what their favorite products are — it’s how I learned about my favorite concealer and this eyeshadow primer that I can’t live without! Here’s a post that covers my current makeup lineup!

Restock pantry staples (with longer shelf lives) that need to be restocked.
We don’t really have a lot of pantry staples because I’ve found that most of what we eat is fresh / frozen foods (veggies, fruits, chicken, etc.). Some of the few items on our pantry shelves include old fashioned oats, Trader Joe’s organic roasted red pepper + tomato soup, pickles, and items such as a jug of vinegar and olive oil.

Walk through your house with a donate bag. Schedule a pick-up or drop it off as soon as the bag is full.
I dropped off a bag last week and it felt so good to say goodbye to a handful of items that were sitting in our mudroom area for the past two weeks!

Are you participating in the Simplicity Challenge?
What’s one area of your home you’d love to declutter or simplify?